Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Another Ginger skirt (but not for me!)

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




24 comments:

  1. That fabric is gorgeous. I get nervous making something for someone else. Right now I'm making a tote bag (using your tute) for someone. You would think I was responsible for making Princess Kate's wedding gown the way I'm stressing over it. It will be finished today and I can get back to making a pair of jeans for myself. Given the cold weather here in the U.S., they are much needed right about now. I hope your son will be feeling better.

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    1. Aw I'm delighted you're using my tutorial! It's ridiculous isn't it, the way we stress?! Hope you can get back to your jeans making soon. x

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  2. Oh it's beautiful - what a lovely present!!!
    I'm afraid I don't do very much selfless sewing, but my mother-in-law is constantly giving me little things to fix (because it's my hobby and therefore I'll enjoy it!.....!!!)...apparently there are a pair of curtains on their way to me....joy!

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    1. Thanks Suzie! Haha, good luck with the curtains, my blood runs cold at the very thought! x

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  3. Great skirt! I think she'll be super happy with it :) I usually stress a bit more when sewing things for other people, but that's just because I want every detail to be perfect. Which is usually quite hard for me to do..

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    1. No I'm the same, I just want it to be perfect for them. I'm not half so fussy when I make things for myself! x

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  4. Hope sick child is on the mend. I had one of those this weekend, thankfully short lived.

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    1. Glad to hear yours was short lived. He's back at school today (fingers crossed!). I'm off for a walk in a minute, I've been going mad cooped up in the house! x

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  5. Lovely print for a lovely skirt. You are a much better daughter-in-law than I am: my MIL has been asking for a tunic for about a year and I have yet to delivered the goods. In fact, I have not even taken her measurements yet. One of these days...

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    1. Thanks Andrea! I'm lucky, my MIL is very good about not badgering me, which is why I've probably been stressing about getting her skirt right! x

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  6. Lovely skirt. I agree though, sewing for others is so much more stressful. I am usually way too selfish to do it. I am sort of making a skirt for a friend at the moment though. I really do want to make it for her but I feel under so much pressure to make it perfect that I have hidden it until I am feeling a bit more confident in my skills. She won't actually care or even notice if it's not perfect, but still... Anyway I hope the boy is feeling better.

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    1. Thanks Jo, he's back to school today. I'm the same, as soon as I agree to make something for somebody I get a feeling of doom that I won't be able to do it well enough! I like your idea of hiding the skirt thigh - out of sight out of mind! x

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  7. Gorgeous skirt ;) And my wonderful MIL & I sat together to make her new cushions - on her awesome vintage machine - so it ended up being quite a lovely activity, but the stress, oh the stress of making choices for someone else! I think I'm much better with directions on what they want rather than a vague -"you decide, I'm sure it will be lovely" ;)

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    1. Yes, the vague directions are the worst, as we then have to mind read as well as sew! x

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  8. Well you are the perfect daughter in law, this is perfect! Good on you for making something for someone else. I really struggle with the discipline of not being selfish!

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    1. Aw thank you Julia. But honestly, I'm totally selfish the other 99% of the time! x

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  9. Haha my MiL is a seamstress by trade so no chance I'll have to make her anything! Although she did have fabric envy and pattern envy for something I cut out this weekend gone! Lovely skirt!

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    1. Phew, you're lucky on that front! x

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  10. Love that corduroy fabric, hope you MIL likes it as much as we do !

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  11. Oh Jane thank you for making me feel less guilty about 'failing' on my promises for others. I find even promising is stressful. Let alone sewing. Actually, having not even started the sewing, how do I know? I have promised a dress from a may birthday, a dress from an August birthday and a tunic from a September birthday. And a men's shirt from a September birthday. So far....I have not even cut out the patterns... I feel dreadful...but clearly not enough to do anything about it!
    So well done, you've made a work of art, it's for someone special and that is commendable!! But...I'm not enthused it motivated to fulfill on my dress promises..... Yikes.

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    1. Haha, you've made me feel better now! x

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  12. Great fabric and a lovely gift. I hope (and assume) everyone is back to full health at yours as I'm back-reading again, and loving the new blog look! Bethx

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    1. Thanks Beth. Yes, they're all back to normal now (thank god!) x

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