Sewing with friends

Long time, no post, sorry. I wish I could say that Vogue 8997 dress was done, but umm, well, it’s still in pieces. Some pieces, not even all of the pieces. I need to finish cutting it out, and well, I ran out of motivation last weekend. One might even get the idea I don’t want to make this dress given how I’m dawdling about making it. On the plus side, I made a second bodice muslin and am really happy with the fit.

8997muslin2collage
Oh, PicMonkey, why did I have to find all of your cool effects today? I don’t think muslin pictures on Trudy need to be this tarted up…

In the meantime, I had my best friend over for working on skirt projects for which we bought fabric back right after New Year’s. I discovered that I don’t wind great bobbins on the new machine thus far, but I’m hoping that with adjusting the metal piece by the side, that it will work properly. So far, too much of the thread builds up at the bottom of the bobbin being wound and then wraps around the spool pin making a mess. Anyway, we had started our projects back in February by tracing out our patterns from my BurdaStyle back issues and cutting fabric that day. I had shown her  my method for marking simple darts (totally taken from a video on the Threads website) and then everything was put aside to linger in my sewing room unsewn. I will even confess to having thought about making mine, but decided that was defeating the purpose of working on the same type of project simultaneously. Yesterday, we dug up the pieces and started assembling. The instructions in the Burda magazines are pretty useless for a newer sewist as they were very terse, so I went with my basic order of construction. Make the front, make the back, test for fit at the side seams, finish. Well, the back of my friend’s skirt has a bias draped piece at the bottom, so I decided we should start with the back piece. The darts were easy and then immediately onto the zipper. My friend is not a fan of sewing zippers and wanted to know if we could do it later, so I pointed out that zippers are way easier when dealing with flat pieces. For my own projects I put in zippers as soon as possible as those seams aren’t ones I will use for fit, and as I don’t like sewing them in, better to get it done as soon as possible so to get to the fun sewing. I just wish that pattern directions would catch onto this idea. Her wool is a pretty loose weave so I had the foresight to show her about stabilizing the zipper area with interfacing. Of course, I totally failed at remembering to finish the seam allowances, so we’ll have to figure that out tomorrow. Then she sewed the bias piece on, leaving her with the completed back piece. The front is just two darts on a straight skirt, so finishing the project should take no time at all.

Burdaskirtback
Isn’t the drape on that bias piece absolutely lovely? I’m seriously coveting her skirt, but don’t tell ::shhh::

As she’s more of a beginning sewist, I’m really excited that she’ll have a garment worthy of wearing in a professional environment, while showing that making nice clothes that fit doesn’t have to be daunting. That’s one thing I love about skirts. They tend to be so forgiving fit-wise and construction is usually easy. I have made my share of goofy cotton skirts for summer, but they look no different than the ones I used to buy for myself before I started sewing. But really, what I love is that, so long as an appropriate fabric is chosen, there are no obvious tells that your skirt is handmade instead of store-bought. And when I first started getting serious about sewing my own clothes, with all of my tops looking slightly off, my dresses made of quilting cotton, and pants flat-out unthinkable, making a simple wool skirt that blended in with everyone else’s clothing was confidence boosting. I wore that poor skirt out, and the matching one I made in denim, but knowing that nothing I could buy was any better made than what I had made kept me going through the projects that failed or that didn’t fit like I wanted. Eventually, my skills with other garments started catching up, and now I’m making things that were unthinkable to me in 2006, but it all started with skirts for me. I don’t know what my friend’s sewing journey will look like, but at the very least, I’m glad to get to be a part of it. Besides, fabric stores are way more fun with someone else to shop with ::grin::

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