Dove Knits

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Totally unexpected

Today, I did something I never do.


I hate sewing. Well, no, I like it, but I have no patience with it. As the result, my sewn pieces come out sloppy, and the process is frustrating, so, yeah. I never sew.

But today, I got bitten by the sewing bug. See, I had this pair of pants that are a beautiful chocolate brown, but they were too short and too tight. I hate throwing anything away, so I figured, hey, let's make a skirt!

So I broke my brand-new sewing machine out of its box (I got it last October. As in 2005. Hadn't opened it!). And that's what I did.

I followed the basic directions for converting pants into a skirt (I think those directions were on, but I saw them many moons ago, and went from memory today). Basically, I cut off the pant legs around the knee. Then I used a seam ripper to open the seams on the inside of each leg and up into the crotch area. Laying the skirt flat, I pulled the legs apart until the dissected crotch area, when overlapped, lay flat. Pinned and sewed. Cut open the leg remnants and sewed them into the wedges between the legs of the skirt. Trimmed the hem even. Finally, I added a polyester lace ribbon that I bought at Joann's months ago. You can't tell from the photo, but it's pale lilac.

Now, this skirt has many flaws. You can see one in the crotch area in the above photo -- I didn't overlap the new seam exactly with the old one, so it looks like there IS no seam. Trust me, though, there is. Secondly, The edges are only roughly finished. Thirdly, I stretched the hem too much as I sewed, giving it that belled look (which I actually like). Finally, there are a few spots where the fabric accidentally gathered, and I didn't feel like ripping it out.

Through it all, I sewed the front and back pieces of the skirt together more than once, and broke a needle (I had spares).

But I don't care, because the skirt still looks fabulous on me:

Of course, having sewn the skirt, I had to keep going. So I dug into my rather extensive fabric stash and pulled out these four half-yarn-wide pieces I bought back in college. There isn't enough fabric here to do anything with, really, so I decided to make cloth napkins, which goes wonderfully with my new resolution to be as environmentally conscious as possible.

These are the most basic napkins ever. I cut out squares (roughly square-shaped, anyway) and folded the edges under, pressed, and sewed. But they are pretty colors, and they do complement our dishes. Plus, it gave me a bit more time to bind with my machine. My mom's machine hates me, but this one seems to be getting on with me nicely.

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At 8:35 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Now that's what I call a very productive weekend. Nice work on the skirt!!

At 10:22 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am so impressed! Say what you will about the flaws, that skirt is amazing! What a great idea. My sewing maching is currently in time out in the laundry room. It needs to think about it's behavior before I'm willing to speak to it again.

At 12:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow! That is so cool! I bow at your bravery! Evey time I try to sew I freak when I get near the sewing machine. I've always wanted to make a quilt but most likely it will never happen because of this problem.

As for Sherwood, I decided on KnitPicks Merino Style. It seems really soft!

At 5:42 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The skirt looks awesome...what a great idea! I'll have to remember that for my girls.

The baby sweater (below) is beautiful. Don't you just love cables.

Glad I stopped by!

At 7:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cute! And it's about time you took the sewing machine out of the box!

At 6:55 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Beautiful work on the skirt! It looks great on you. The "accidental" bell shape is very flattering. The lace is my favorite part.

At 7:11 PM, Blogger kristinbear said...

The skirt is *so* cute! I love it. Thanks for the information on the amount of yarn you used! You were able to get gauge with the Swish?

At 11:23 AM, Blogger Molly Sabourin said...

Hi Tanya,

It was so fun to hear from you! I love your blog, how inspiring! I am amazed that you have time to be so creative. We sure miss you all. Please say hi to Russell! We hope to get out to our home church again soon. And that is a great skirt by the way!


At 2:01 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

the skirt is great & looks fab on you :)

At 1:43 PM, Blogger Sourire11 said...

Very cute skirt! And the cloth napkins are adorable, too - yeah for being environmentally conscious!

At 11:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

For not liking sewing you did an awesome job on the skirt. Hopefully you will grow into it because you have some wonderful ideas and I would like to see where you could take sewing.

At 7:16 AM, Blogger Julia said...

I keep seeing your comments on familiar blogs so I finally visited yours. This skirt is adorable and gives me some ideas now that so many of my pre-pregnancy pants don't fit me right anymore. Thanks for the inspiration. Oh...and I'm the opposite of you. I knit, but I would never have the patience to do the beautiful work you do. Sewing seems to yield results more quickly, at least in my mind, so I have more patience for it.


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