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Thursday, 26 June 2014

How to ... turn a weekend project into a week's project

Saturday, the weather forecast mentions heavy and thundery rain, hail and frequent lightning. My plans were cancelled, not due to the weather, so I had all possibilities at my fingertips, as long as it didn't include wandering outside. My eyes looked at my famous Ikea bag with fabric, went over to my desk with my sewing machine and my brain remembered the sew-along "A simple item from stash fabric" which was about to start. Still lying in my bed, my weaker self started to nag about closing the eyes and get more rest, but my fingers were already infected with the sewing bug and it finally got hold of the rest of my body, wanting to finish the skirt over the weekend.

I found a white polycotton with red polka dots which I wanted to use as the skirt part of a dress. Since I don't yet have a dress pattern, I work with body blocks rather than with commercial patterns, that fabric had to wait ... or not. I could just turn it into a circle skirt and wear it on a lovely summer day. I decided for the latter and, instead of inserting a zipper or using elastic band, I decided to use some of my buttons. It also helped that I found a similar fabric here.

The fabric itself is rather see-through, so I decided for an underlined skirt and used some of the white polycotton I bought a while ago. I used the half circle skirt pattern which Barbara helped me to make, and cut the pieces. For the back piece, I just traced the pattern onto my fabric. For the front pieces though, I folded the pattern in half, traced it and added some extra fabric for the buttons and button holes, respectively. The width of that extra fabric is the width of the buttons I used, in this case 2 cm. (More explanations on how to add a button front closure can be found here - although that tutorial is for a dress.)

My folded blue half circle skirt pattern on the fabric I want to use, the buttons are next to it. 

I then sewed together my red polka dot fabric with my white underlining, wrong sides up, just a straight line along the edge where the buttons and buttonholes will be, zigzagged it and then trimmed it. Ironing is essential, so I ironed it, flipped it over and sewed another straight line, just for effect than for anything else, two cm (my button width) from the edge. If you want to, you could add another layer of fabric or underlining for the part where the button holes will be. But since my skirt is already underlined, I decided against it.

The front layer

It turned one pm, and the weather forecast was slightly wrong. It rained a few hours, no sign of hail or thunder and then the sun was visible. Quickly sewing the back piece to the two front pieces, and all which was left were buttons, buttonholes and hems. But first it was time for socialising!

Sunday morning, and this is how you turn a weekend project into a week's project: I realised that my back piece is wrong side up, so I had to rip the side seams apart and start again. Important note to myself: You must never rush things! I spend most of Sunday evening to undo the wrong I did to my skirt. And I did the hems.

After I found my motivation the week after, and a very useful hint to start with the button holes from my fellow seamstresses at a monthly meeting, I did the button holes. And forgot to take a picture. But basically, I marked where the top and bottom button hole would be. I then put a mark on exactly half the way down and made this the centre of another button hole. I repeated that until I had no more space on my fabric and marked 9 button holes. After sewing all of them and ripping them open, I marked the middle of each button hole on the other skirt front to know where my buttons should be.

Et voila:

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