Tuesday, June 7, 2011

It started out as a skirt.... (and then it grew) -- and yet another truly poor pattern

I had an itch to divert from the projects I was supposed to be working on and trying to make the actual skirt I had based an earlier version on.  

I wanted to cut out what was required, but after studying the pattern pieces themselves and then the instruction sheet for quite some time, it was clear that they had NO idea what they were actually trying to describe.  This one brings lousy instructions to yet another low...  (I hate to be negative, but really....  I feel SO sorry for people who are just learning to sew.)

Finally I decided to begin with just one set of the instructions and see what was needed after that.  My idea worked fairly well, as it turned out.

I altered what they said to do and cut.  The photo on the pattern showed every tier of the skirt was gathered to the previous one.  The cutting instructions for tier 2 were ok (but the number of strips was totally wrong), and the cutting instructions of the bottom tier (or ruffle) were almost correct for what I actually did, but TOTALLY incorrect for the skirt pictured on the pattern AND for the instructions on how to make it on the inside.  The cutting instructions were closer, but still not correct.

The instructions for tier 3 were interesting.  They told you to cut the number required for how I made the skirt--which is no where near enough to gather it to tier 2.  (Now if you are feeling somewhat "lost", please get in line behind the whole long queue of which I am a member...)

Once I had cut tier 2 and 4, it became much clearer what to do about tier 3.  Tier 4 (ruffle), when cut as they directed, is not sufficient for gathering it to tier 3, but it is already over 4 yards around.  If you made it like the picture and the instructions (not the cutting directions), it would end up 10 YARDS around the bottom!   I do not know how many pounds it would weigh at that point, but I'm sure my granddaughter would find it awfully heavy.  

My solution was to gather tier 2 to tier 1.  Sew tier 3 to tier 4, apply the baby rick rack and hem tier 4, THEN gather tier 3/4 to tier 2.  This photo shows how it turned out.

They showed rick rack on every tier of the skirt--including at the hem--on one view; none on another view.  I had already determined that too much rick rack was going to be all in-your-face rick rack with these fabrics, so I knew I was not going to do that much.  But I really needed to de-emphasize the seam where tier 3 joined tier 4 without gathering, so I chose to apply one row of tiny baby rick rack, and I like the way it turned out.

The skirt

Just to show you how truly full it is this way, here is a "spread-the-skirt" photo.  You can see that it is PLENTY full enough for her favorite twirling!

As I was finishing it up, I kept mulling over more things.  The pattern showed how to decorate a store-bought tee shirt and included a butterfly pattern.  Finally I pulled a new tee shirt (already washed and dried) from their "staying at Nana's" supplies, and decided to play around with it.

First I applied the decorative stitching around the sleeves, using wash-away stablizer.  That went pretty well, so I put it around the neck, too.  (I was afraid the neck stitching might be a tad itchy, but not nearly as much as the store-bought ones which have really scratching stuff all over the back of appliques.  She will not wear anything that scratches.)  

Back view

Then I used used Steam-A-Seam 2 and cut out the butterfly, then steamed it to the shirt.  Using wash-away stablizer, I appliqued the butterfly to the shirt, added the body stitching and antenna, and wha-lah! 

After using the Wash-Away stablizer, I ran water over the back and rubbed it with my fingers in a sink of water.  Very soon it was all gone, so I dried the shirt.

One outfit...

When I had finished the skirt, there was one partial strip of the four fabrics left over.  It just kept screaming "purse" at me, so finally I gave in to the impulse.  I made this one up and getting the turn-it-to-the-outside could have been tricky with the zipper, but I figure it out correctly!  

It is lined with the same fabric as the butterfly and tier 1 of the skirt.  I used light weight iron-on pellon on the outside purse fabric and iron-on fleece on the lining fabric.  I didn't do the best job on the strap attachment, but it's fine for the what it will be used for (mostly hauling around fuzzy animals, sharks, etc.)

Back of purse
back of zippered purse

(I should have taken a proper shot of the zipper at the top, but it went home with it's happy owner this afternoon...)

Purse front

And the completed ensemble...

Pretty cute, if I do say so myself!  

And she LOVES that she can twirl and loves the purse, so that's real success.

No comments:

Post a Comment