Monday, April 28, 2008

The unfinished skirt

Two or three years ago I signed up for sewing classes, held every Monday night for six weeks at a local adult education centre. For three hours every Monday night for six weeks, with my Janome Excel and more ideas than talent, I learned the basics: how to read a pattern, choose fabric, cut a pattern, fit a zip, iron the fabric regularly and sew in a line that was straight 60% of the time.

The aim of the course was to work on and complete a project. Of the 10 women there, I was the only one creating something for myself. One woman planned to sew a Christening gown for her niece; another wanted to learn how to sew underwear to sell on eBay; and a woman with a nose stud had big plans to sew parachute pants for her husband out of home-dyed fabric.

I chose the New Impressions 50's Style Skirt pattern (pictured) from Spotlight, on special for just $5.00 (bargain!). I'd recently found a huge length of vintage 70's fabric for just $2.00 in an op shop, a sample of which is pictured. It's a thick cotton, with a creamy background and a busy print featuring gypsies, cowboys, old movie posters and Wild West steam trains. It was perfect for the skirt; although I did have to take some extra time to match up the prints when cutting the various pieces, so it didn't look too strange.

Apart from never knowing what I'm doing bobbin wise (if I successfully thread a machine, it's pure luck), creating something wearable and unique is a big enough buzz to keep me going. And yet somehow the skirt never got completed. I'm so close - all that's left is the hem. The hard bits - the hidden zip and the inclusion of interfacing (I had no idea what that was until doing the course...) in the wide band at the waist/hip - have all been done.

If I can handle the horror of unpacking my Janome and threading a bobbin all over again, I think my masterpiece may finally be finished this winter. I can just imagine it, teamed with boots and a black turtleneck. And maybe when I've got the machine out, I'll swallow my fear of creating something that isn't perfect and start on my next project... which I'll keep under wraps for now.


CurlyPops said...

I say 'Unpack the Janome and have another go'! My stuff isn't perfect but I have lots of fun making it.

Chocolate Cobwebs said...

Thanks for the encouragement! I must admit that while the skirt already has some wonky sewing lines, it doesn't detract from the pride I feel looking at it, knowing I made it myself. So I will definitely swallow my fears and give the hem a go :)