Sorry folks, but I’m challenged to come up with a clever title today. However among all the projects I’ve worked on between my own and my past student’s, this could possibly be my 142nd skirt… I finally succumbed to the Office Plague and have been home in bed two days now. Such a downer during Me Made May! Out of sheer boredom I have decided to put on an outfit and post the project I finished earlier this week. I give you BurdaStyle #142 and a close-up of the fabric:
The fabric is 100% polyester and boy did it put up a fight! It feels and acts just like plastic when working with it. I very rarely sew with or wear polyester, but this fabric is definitely one of the most interesting to me that I came across this past year- and that’s saying something as I look at and play with fabric all day long at work. It has a linear pattern that I think looks kind of weird on the straight grain (polyester, plaid…things that start with “P” that I dislike…) so I waited some time to find something to do with it.
The skirt pattern was pretty quick to sew up, but not a lot of fun to cut out. There is a big gore in front and back that creates the flared part of the skirt and each is a half circle. They are meant to be cut on true bias at the center point, but I wound up cutting one of them on the straight grain due to fabric shortage (which I used in the back).
I actually like the effect, and it makes for an interesting study for what happens with the direction of the pattern and the formation of the cones when hanging. For those who don’t know what I meant by that, “cones” are the triangular formation that are created along the bottom of a circular or bias cut panel when hanging on the body. Depending on where the fabric is stretched by gravity, and what direction in the woven fabric the piece was cut, you get a different outcome.
Ok! So technical lessons aside, let’s talk about something even more painful: downloadable patterns. I love to use BurdaStyle downloadable patterns. The designs, sizing and the fit are are some of my favorite to work with, however, you have to assemble the patterns yourself, which when adding in any alterations for fitting, moves one quite far out from any sense of short term gratification!
After purchasing the pattern, you print it out, resulting in anywhere from 20 to 40+ pages. You then have to trim up the pages to neatly tile them together. God forbid you run out of tape half way through. This is what it looks like on my work table (and how I spend many a Friday night):
After that part is done, you have to trace off the size you need, and then add the seam allowance. I am a recent convert to Swedish tracing paper. It’s pretty magical stuff because of its transparency and softness – it’s basically a big roll of dryer sheet material sans fabric softener. It’s so much easier to work with for this type of tracing than normal pattern paper used for drafting.
And here is probably my favorite gadget in my sewing lair, next to my bias tape maker:
I love it even more than the fabric I bought from them! Because it’s so small, flexibe and versatile, it makes marking the seam allowances quick and easy. So much easier for me to handle than a ruler or regular seam gauge!
Ok, it’s time for more tea and medicine and sleep for me. I have to get better so I can take my new skirt out for a spin.