Monday, February 25, 2013

Say it ain't sew

This weekend I sewed a skirt, it is essentially a Christmas tree skirt - but with a button that my grandma will add, it's a person skirt. What I learned about sewing is that it's mostly about cutting, pinning and pricking your finger, and then unpinning, pricking the same finger and sewing.  It's the final step in a succession of important pin-related steps. If you already know how to sew this post is not for you. This is a post for people like me who own sewing machines and use them out of guilt, boredom, and the desire to feel something. Not for people who want to create art or clothes that fit well.

So, first things first: visit your local Ikea for pre-cut fabric so you don't have to wait for an employee to cut it or make a decision about which fabric to buy. Now you have your fabric for a skirt.  Hopefully a yard is enough.  That's what I used because that's what Ikea employees pre-cut.

not the fabric I used

You will need a sewing machine - you can sew this by hand if you have a lot of time, I would recommend this option for the unemployed and the elderly, who are also unemployed - so just anyone without a job. You will also need thread, scissors, pins and a laptop or some sort of device to watch YouTube videos of sewing tutorials.

As I mentioned earlier, the skirt I made is essentially a tree skirt, which is essentially a circle with a hole in the middle.  I realized fairly far into the project that to make a circle you just need to fold the fabric into a square.   This was a sad realization since I had spent a lot of time trying to cut a giant circle and then having to rewind Breaking Bad, when I could have just folded the fabric in fourths and not missed any important meth-making scenes. So, fold the fabric into the largest square possible (since it's a yard it is in a rectangle so you will need to cut the excess off).  Then, round the edges so that when you unfold it you have a circle. But don't unfold it yet; or if you do, refold it.
here's a smart person's diagram that I didn't use

To cut the waist hole, just cut in a U-shape from the corner of the folded fabric where all of the material is gathered.  To measure your waist you can use a measuring tape, yarn, or take a guess. I did the latter and only needed to re-trim three times. Now unfold the material - you have a skirt.  You should feel good about this, but not too good.

almost a skirt

The pinning process begins simply enough - just fold all of the edges inwards (about a 1/4 inch) and pin. This sounds easy, and it is for most people, but the skirt is rounded so fold and pin accordingly unless you want it to be jagged and lopsided like I did. You will probably prick your finger(s) and judging from other sewing blogs and jokes on Pinterest, this is normal.

this is how you pin

Now you are ready to sew!  This is where you will want to YouTube how to sew if you don't already know. Here are some things I forgot to do that might help you: 1. Make sure that the needle picks up the thread from the bobbin - just use the handwheel and turn it once, good.  2. Make sure that you put the presser foot down. This is a big one, and if you forget to do it, don't post to a sewing forum about it, no one will like or respect you for your comment because it means you are not one of them. 3. Backstitch so that the seams don't come loose. This is another one not to post to a forum about, just YouTube it privately and don't make any comments.

just a tip

Ok, it looks like you have a skirt.  But you don't because there is nothing to clasp it around your waist.  This is where a grandma or other elderly person will come in handy.  You will need a button or two, and maybe a clasp.  This is no big deal for older women learned how to sew buttons instead of how to read as girls, so ask one of them to help you or to just do it for you, which is easier for everyone.

Now you really do have a skirt!  You can wear it to work, twirl around in it, or not wear it because you aren't sure how well the buttons were sewn on. But you can feel good about the fact that you created something. And it's beautiful.

still needs a button, but close enough

1 comment:

  1. Kelly, will you make me a bunch of *fun* mumus that I can cinch at that waist w/ an assortment of store-bought elastic belts?