Clothes · Working on now

The Tale of the Ugly Skirt

It’s been a while! I have been busy with life, and sewing kind of fell by the wayside. After Christmas, I got caught up in all things baby. We have had some pretty intense teething going on here. Then we moved, which ended up encompassing about 4 months. That’s right, we didn’t move just to another house or city or state, but we moved to another country- Italy. Our stuff took longer than expected to get here, and then have you ever tried unpacking a houseful of stuff with an 11-month-old who won’t let you out of his sight? Let’s just say it’s hard. It takes a while.

Anyway. I finally took my sewing machine out of the box a couple days ago. I knew that if I unpacked it earlier, nothing else would get done. I think I was right because the second I took it out, I started itching for a new project. The struggle is real, people.

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Right before we moved, I got my machine serviced. I highly recommend it. Now it does things I never thought it could do, like sew hems of jeans and zigzag without eating the material. It even sewed new patches on poopy suits without complaining! I have broken needles trying to sew those suckers on.

So I decided to try my newly improved machine out on some knit. When we lived in Bahrain, I had made a maxi skirt out of some fairly thin blue knit. It was a nice skirt in theory. But being in a foreign country with limited options, I couldn’t find 3/4″ elastic, so I ended up using thin underwear elastic. It should have been fine, right? Wrong. The skirt was hideous. The waistband was really thin and looked weird. The top was bunchy. I had hemmed the bottom (which isn’t necessary with knit), so that was bunchy. It was too long, if that’s possible for a maxi. I wore the skirt once and decided it was too ugly. It’s been in my “do something or throw it out” pile for a couple years now.

So I decided to do something about it. I sewed thick black elastic to the waistband (because America is awesome and has stuff like that). Then I hacked off a huge amount of the length. I learned from my mistakes and left the hem edge raw. I made a pattern (on the paper they stuffed in all our boxes, turns out it’s good for something!) from a tank top I liked. Then I used the fabric I had cut off the bottom of the skirt to make a top, sewing it onto the same elastic as the skirt.

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And viola! A summer dress. One that isn’t ugly. It isn’t perfect, in fact, far from it, but that’s okay. I have been wanting to branch out into making clothes, and this is a great start. What do you think, are ugly clothes worth the time and effort to make them over into something useful and not ugly?

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