Saturday, December 21, 2013

Skirting the issue

My niece Zoe was in the shop on Friday and went doolally over a fabric in my bunting stash. Because I had a decent sized piece of it, I decided to make her a skirt for Christmas. As you do.
I cut three gored panels using my pinking rotary blade, as I really like pinked edges on this kind of cotton. The idea is that the skirt has a centre back seam and two seams that land slightly forward of the sides. I know she likes a 14 inch length from what she was wearing on the day, and has a 24 inch waist. I've gone for a gore rather than a straight gathered on look as at 11, her tastes are not so much for the poofy and frilly. SO sad... ;-)
 Three panels stacked up. Next stop, a bottom flounce cut on a gentle curve. I used a big craft ring as a template.
 After joining two ends of the two flounce pieces into an infinity strip (grrr) I resewed and narrow hemmed the whole thing. I french seamed because I am mad, having been happy to pink the rest, and of course narrow hemming over a french seam is, well, mad. 12 layers of fabric? Mad.
 When I laid the flounce down against the skirt, I realised I was going to have to gather it up a lot, turning it into a frill. Bad. So, I lined it up and cut a big piece off the end. One french seam eliminated. Replaced with a pinked one.
 Finally sewn on, I rather like it. It's not quite as fluoro as in this photo. But she does love lime green so she will be happy!
 To cover up the seam joining the flounce to the skirt, I sewed a bias binding to the seam allowance, then flat to the skirt.
 Then I added a wide elastic waistband.  I decided to sew it facing upwards, then bring it down over the raw edges and sew again, like a one sided flat felled seam. A great plan except I sewed the skirt to it the wrong way first time and had to unpick it.
At last, all seams face the right way, have been sewn down and here is the inside showing a nice, neat inner.
What I learned - sewing in the shop when tired and being interrupted is not a good time to try and invent new ways of finishing garments! And making some attempt to measure things before cutting them saves time and fabric. Amazing!
But we got there in the end!
Hopefully the Zoemeister will like it and not think it too young for her.  Although she chose the fabric even if she doesn't know that I've made her something out of it. I wouldn't have picked this for her if left to my own devices, and my sister thinks she will like it so that's good :) She is in that teetering stage between childhood and teenager, which is utterly delightful. I hope she is in no huge hurry to grow up too fast.


  1. Lovely and bright - glad you persisted and got it finished too!

    1. I almost wish I had a few others to make so I could get more benefit from all the 'lessons' learned! :)

  2. Replies
    1. Isn't it lovely when they are young enough to whip up clothes for, I love your Duck Dynasty dresses! :)

  3. That is so gorgeous, the colours are so vibrant, fresh and cheerful. She will love it!

  4. So what was the reaction? I bet she will love it, not only for the skirt itself but also the thought, effort and personal touch.

    1. She loved it and was very impressed with how I managed to get so much information out of her on the day without her realising why hehehe. The waist is too tight so I have it back to extend but otherwise, a hit!

  5. Dear Mrs. C.,
    What a sweet you are to have suddenly sewn a skirt for her. Your "mad" moments had me giggling...they are just so natural.

    How does one pronounce "doolally"? What a fantastic word, and it dearly wants to be part of my vocabularly, but I don't want to hurt its feelings, or anyone else's, by mangling the pronunciation. So is it "doo" with "oo" of "coo" or "soup", and lally with an American or Irish short "a" sound as in "hat", "fat", rather than the more British "ah" as in, well, as in the same words "hat" and "fat", but in which "hat" and "hot" sound more alike than not. Oh dear, now I've gunked things up, but do you get my drift?

    You see, we have a word here in Kentucky, "doololly", with "lolly" as in "lollypop", but a doololly can mean a thingummy, a whatsit, whatchamacallit, or dooflatchie, or it can mean to dither, delay, moon around. I imagine that to actually be doolally is to be over the moon, a little nutty about, or really crazed over. Is that so or am I off?

    If you care to share the etymology, I can give you an Eastern KY gem in return: "spiserinctum". Somebody with spiserinctum in him has a little more spark in his batteries than normal, a little extra juice in his step, sparkle in his eye. He's likely to walk straight up a mountain without getting out of breath. He's ready for anything, and then some. Ueber-energetic. My six-year-old twins' Papaw (grandfather) says they tend to have a lot of spiserinctum when they come out to the farm and get to running around in the creek, especially after having had some ice cream.

    Hugs to you and a very Happy New Year,


  6. Oh what a wonderful word!! Spiserinctum. first i like eye not ee? I suspect that you, like me, read widely as a child and absorbed a lot of big words without their correct pronunciation, then causing adults to laugh when they were trotted out and said incorrectly! Thus we grow up interested in how to say things correctly?
    Anyway you are absolutely correct about doolally, its pronunciation and meaning. My only extra tip would be that the emphasis is on the DOO. I am not sure of its roots but I am sure that doololly is closely related, but went off on a tangent of meaning. So now I am adding spiserinctum to my vocab. Zoe has a touch of spiserinctum about her too!!