Friday, March 23, 2007

Let's Not Get Complicated

I got a second wind around 10 PM last night and decided to just go ahead and make up a Favorite Things Cute Skirt. From sewing the muslin the other day, I knew it would be a fast project. That is until I started overthinking things. I'm good at that. ;-)

It started with the fabric … a very sheer cotton batiste (I think). OK, I could sew the pattern as is and wear a slip. But ugh. Another band of elastic around my middle in August in Florida? It wouldn't be a Favorite Thing anymore. So I started rooting through the stash to see what I had for an interlining and I came across some white cotton bastiste (I know this one is bastiste) purchased from a Martha Pullen expo a few years ago. Perfect. That is until I started overthinking things.

To underline meant that the white bastiste would have to be caught up in the sideseams of the outer layer, at the very least. I wanted a more flowy, breezy skirt. Which meant a true lining. Which meant tossing out the easy, sew-in-an-hour-or-less instructions and making up my own. Not to mention making up my own lining for an 8-gore skirt. Neither of these is hard. That is until I started overthinking things.

By this time, it was going on 11 PM and my brain really did not want to think about all of this. I came downstairs, poured myself a (soft) drink and sent out some email (Hi Belinda!). But I forced the thinking cap back on and came up with a plan.

I sewed up the 8 gores of the skirt fabric as per the pattern — one section of 3 gores and the other with 5. I then topstitched each gore seam because if you're going to break away from easy, you might as well go all the way. I laid those two sections on my white bastiste one at a time, traced around them with the rotary cutter and came away with a front and back for my lining.

With a true lining, I couldn't use the great neat-finish waistband application instructions so instead I just sewed the waistband in the round but because I like to overthink things, I aligned the skirt and waistband sideseams and sewed one raw edge to the skirt, inserted the back elastic and stitched that in place leaving an opening for adjusting the elastic, and then flipped the other half of the waistband down and stitched in the ditch from the right side of the skirt.

Of course, I'm now slapping my forehead because I should've just serged the folded-over waistband on all in one pass, leaving an opening in one sideseam for the elastic, and then finished it by edgestitching the seam allowance flat from the right side of the skirt. Oh well, by this time it was waaaaaay after midnight and I did what my tired brain came up with. On the bright side, the next one will now go at least 10 times as fast. ;-)

Then I tried it on to adjust the elastic and see about the hems for the lining and outer layer. My plan was to turn under a narrow hem on the skirt, and cut the lining about an inch shorter and narrow hem that too. Until I started overthinking things.

When I looked in the mirror, the lining was hanging out at the bottom since I had cut it a little longer than the skirt just in case. Hmm. What if I purposely left the lining longer than the skirt?? Flowy and romantic, no? (Just go with me here.) So that's what I did. Instead of cutting the lining shorter, I cut the outer layer shorter. And instead of narrow hems, I opted for rolled hems on the serger. Nothing rolls nicer than a lightweight cotton batiste. Then I stopped thinking and overthinking and went to bed.

And that's how to take a really easy pattern and make it take 3 times as long to sew up. ;-)

But hey, at least I *like* the skirt on me now. (Photo coming soon.) With this lightweight and drapier fabric, it's not the sack that my muslin fabric was. The two cottons feel very luxe. Looking at the back view on the pattern, mine looks pretty much the same. Well, except for that underlayer sticking out. ;-)

And now I'm not going to overthink things. I'm going to pretty much cut and paste what I wrote here into a review on PR. So if you've made it this far, you probably don't need to read the "official" review.


  1. Can I say that I like the skirt! and sometimes taking the long way home still leads us to the results we want...

  2. It is ADORABLE!!!!!! I want one too!!! I love the lining as slip, and how it peeks out the bottom. I may have to copy you with this skirt and the Butterick top.

  3. I really love that skirt! I have a yellow and ocean blue light fabric that I just couldn't decide what to do with - and now I know! I'll just have to find the batiste for the underlayer.

    Awesome outfit! I bet you look quite fetching in it!

  4. I really enjoy reading your (over)thinking process. :) Good job on the skirt.

  5. Absolutely lovely. Are we twins? Overthinking things during the sewing process?
    Perfectionists perhaps?

    Now you have 2 interchangeable outfits and all in 1 week. Well done.

  6. it's adorable! it would look cute with a white top and a pair of sparkly flip flops


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