It's been a bit quiet on the garment sewing front recently - we've had half term holidays and I now have a sick child at home (oh joy!), so there's not much to show off that I've made for myself. I have however, managed to squeeze in a rare bit of unselfish sewing. Yes, don't adjust your sets, you read that correctly! Sewing for others doesn't come naturally to me I'm afraid, it works out at about one item a year, so today's make is my contribution to 2013! It's a skirt for my mother-in-law Audrey.
The skirt is my birthday present to her from August, which delivery-wise isn't too bad by my standards. Audrey had previously admired my Apple Print Ginger skirt, so this was the pattern we went with. Because she's an elegant, mature lady, the cutesy knee length and exaggerated high waist of the original pattern didn't really appeal to her, so I had to make the following changes:
- Increase the overall length of the skirt by eight inches
- Lower the upper edge of the skirt so that the top of the waistband finished at the natural waist
- Eliminate the deep, faced waistband and add a separate, smaller one instead
- Add a button and buttonhole fastening, as the zip now finished below the waistband
- Insert a regular, centred zip instead of an invisible one
Please don't ask me how I made these changes because I really can't remember, I just made it up as I went along. But I DID actually go to the trouble of making a muslin. This was mainly to check that the changes actually corresponded with Audrey's measurements, but also because I was nervous of hacking into the beautiful fabric she'd chosen - a very stylish Liberty print fine cord. It has very muted background colours (a dark plum colour and olive green) coupled with bright fruits of some sort (mulberries maybe or rose hips?) to liven it up. Anyway, the fabric - Isla Rose - came from Sewbox, who stock a great range of Liberty lawns, cords and jersey prints at knock down prices. I also fully lined the skirt with an olive green dress lining to prevent the cord being too clingy.
I'm happy with the final look of the skirt, although it seems to have lost an inch in length during the construction process! I'm truly flummoxed by this as I measured everything VERY carefully, but maybe my abysmal maths skills had something to do with it…. The skirt is well below the knee as it is though, so fingers crossed this won't be too much of an issue. Mystery lost inch aside, it has the classic, smart look I was hoping for which I'm relieved about.
I'm also relieved I've finished this project, partly so that I can actually give my mother-in-law her belated birthday present, but also because I find sewing for others much more stressful than sewing for myself. Does anybody else find that? For some reason, the stakes seem higher and there's more of a self imposed pressure to get everything exactly right. I think she'll like it though, it's very much her style.
My next project is a raincoat and I'll be updating you on my progress with that in the next post. I hope my son gets better pretty sharpish though - it's teeming with rain outside and I could really do with making it soon! x