17 April 2015

Gettin' Crafty

Today was absolutely gorgeous (think 70 degrees with light breeze), but I was feeling a bit under the weather (I'd like to take this moment to thank post-Spring Break preschool for sending home another wave of illness), so I opted to work through the pile of almost-finished projects that had become a veritable mountain on my crafting table.

I way prefer to work on the "meat" of a project while I find tying up loose ends tedious, so usually when I finish the crocheting part of a project, it gets tossed aside so I can dive head first into the next. But I really needed to clean off my work space for a new project I was excited to start. So, one-by-one, I weaved in ends and threaded ribbons. Easy work to do while sitting on the floor while the girls play.

Project #1: A flouncy skirt (crocheted) for Abigail made with leftovers from this afghan. I made up the pattern as I went, referencing this book for the shell-like ruffles. The waistband is just a ribbon left over from Eleanor's baptismal gown.

Project #2: An uber warm poncho/shall that I started during the winter. It's made with two strands of wool (and one strand of regular acrylic yarn) cabled (knitted) up for extra warmth. I'd envisioned using it over a carrier so neither I nor Eleanor would need a coat. I find coats with carriers to be obnoxiously cumbersome. But it's way too warm now to use (*cough* 70 degrees *cough*), so I guess I'll have to pack it away until the fall. This project was crazy expensive and crazy time consuming, but I seriously hope it lasts me the rest of my life.

Project #3: I put the finishing touches (toggles) on a vest I crocheted Matt shortly after Christmas. He has been wearing it in the meantime.

Okay, so finally my work space was clear and I could move forward with my new project: two maxi skirts.

I hate shorts. I hate the way they look on me. I hate trying to find pairs with an inseam longer than toddler's shorts. I was the girl in high school who wore jeans all summer long. And while I've found a few pairs that aren't the worst thing in the world (I couldn't wear jeans in Florida), they are at the end of their rope and I'd rather go swim suit shopping than shorts shopping at this point. So last fall, as I sorted through which pairs were good enough to be saved for next summer, I decided to try wearing skirts and dresses during the next heat wave.

Through the winter, I've stalked ThredUp, picking up a few pieces here and there, but I wanted to add to my collection with a few flowy skirts - I was thinking light, summer maxi dress material in a skirt. I decided to sew them because I'm crazy like that. I wanted a super easy pattern (elastic and zippers scare me), so I tried Googling DIY foldover waist maxi skirts. These patterns would be like, a dime a dozen, except they're free. I settled on this one because it said: "This skirt can be completed during nap time, it's that quick and easy!" I was like, "During nap time? I can do during nap time." So when Eleanor went down, I locked Abigail, Frozen, and myself up in my room and went to work. (She doesn't have preschool on Fridays.)

You have to be creative when you don't have a TV.

I found the pattern earlier this week, so I ran up to the fabric store one night after the girls went down. I'd planned to just get enough for one test-run skirt, but when I saw the summery striped one, I couldn't resist.

I didn't have a rotary cutter, mat, chalk, or hot pink thread, and I couldn't get any (washable) writing utensil I owned to show up on the fabric, so I just eyeballed everything and used white thread on both skirts.

And truth be told, I did finish both skirts during nap time! I did not hem them, though. The tutorial was all "the hem is hard, make sure you iron!" So I was all like, "jersey knits don't fray, right?" Plus the white thread would have shown on the pink one's hem and that would have been rather tacky. ('Cause no hems isn't tacky). Honestly, I don't know if I will ever get around to hemming them. We'll see.

My ideal skirt mirror was in the room where Eleanor was sleeping, so here I am standing on my bed to model it.

I really like the way the skirts came out - comfortable the way sweat pants are, but super light weight. Plus I finished two of them in the time it took Elsa to discover how to control her powers. I discovered the only downside when Matt got home from work.

"Babe? I have good news for me and bad news for you."
"I can see the lettering on your underwear."


For the striped fabric, I really wanted the stripes to run vertically, but the grain of the fabric demanded to be horizontal. So I compromised with a horizontal waistband and vertical skirt. It worked quiet well. Except for the see-through part. Any ideas?

Last thought. Because these were my test run skirts, I got a little extra fabric (but then I didn't screw up, so now I have enough to make Abigail matching skirts!), but if I got exactly enough, I'd need 1.5 yards. Assuming they are not on sale and I use a 40% off coupon, the pink skirt would be $8 in material and the striped one $11 (not including tax). I think those are good prices, but not mind-blowingly good. I really wanted to whip up a bunch of $5 skirts. I'm going to keep an eye on the flyers and do some searching online to see if I can find some on a better sale.

Because if I can figure out the see-through issue, I totally prefer these comfy, flattering numbers to a pair of shorts.


Allison said...

This would up the cost on the skirts, but if they seem see through you could buy white or another matching color solid and put that underneath. For extra durability, I suggest using the stretch stitch on your machine (most have them, and I sew a lot of knits) it looks like either || or ||| (two lines next to each other or 3, depending on your machine) those give the thread a bit of stretch but go over twice/3x for durability.

Anonymous said...

Pretty colors! Can't you just wear a slip under the skirt? We're slowly strolling into spring up here, earlier than usual. The temps still hover between 33*-49*. TB

Liz E. said...

Fantastic! Love the bright colors. I think you inspired my subconscious to sew knit, lol. (Borrow some thread from your MIL for the hems?)