Skirting the Issue

I’ve had the Amy Butler Barcelona Skirts pattern for about a year, yet have never made the first one. I did trace off the pattern, and I bought plenty of fabric for making a couple of them. I just found other things to sew first. Why? The zipper. I have an irrational fear of sewing zippers, for no other reason than the unknown.

Not anymore.

In the past week, I’ve sewn two skirts and one pair of shorts, all with invisible zippers. They’re not perfect but unlike previous zipper experiments, they are functional and wearable — and they don’t look half bad. In fact, they look pretty darned good!

This is actually the second of the two Barcelona skirts I sewed. I bought this fabric when I bought the pattern, brought it home and washed it, then promptly ignored it. And that’s a total shame, because I could have been wearing and enjoying it all this time.

I made this more or less as the pattern dictated. Instead of using sew-in interfacing for the waistband of the apron, though, I used flannel. While I like the feel, it’s a bit too heavy, especially when folded over.

I also had some issues with stitching the waistband closed. If you could see it close up, you’d understand what I’m talking about. I think part of the problem was the thickness of the waistband, courtesy of the flannel. The other part? Sewing too late again. Yes, it’s the bane of my existence. Unfortunately, it’s sometimes necessary and I guess I really need to learn to keep it together when the clock ticks past 9 p.m.

I did make a bit of bigger goof in sewing this skirt that had nothing to do with the time. I thought the first skirt I made was a little on the small side, so I added a half an inch to the middle of both the front and back sections, then used a smaller seam allowance. I now have a skirt that is too big. Guess I’ll be taking it in before I break it in.

This was my first attempt at the Barcelona skirt, using a pretty blue floral fabric from Joann’s. Boy, do I like this fabric! It’s very spring-y and sweet, but not in a cloying way. You know? I think I may even have paid full price for this fabric, I liked it that much. Glad I did, too, because it’s sold out around here.

The apron was sort of a last-minute project. I decided on Saturday to make Miss L a coordinating outfit for Easter, since we were going to church the next day for her big brother’s baptism. I thought the apron would help pull together our outfits. While I got her dress finished before I went to bed Saturday night, the apron was only about half done. Woke up early Sunday to finish it before church — and then managed to leave it on my bed when I walked out the door.

Brilliant.

I opted not to make this apron reversible, and also did not use any interfacing on the waistband. Because it’s not reversible, I did need to finish the back side and bottom edges. I think it’s one of my favorite aprons, and I actually wore the outfit at left all day Monday — even out and about. (By the way, the picture is actually a self portrait. I used my handy dandy tripod and the timer on my 30D.)

The dress on the left is Miss L’s Easter dress. It’s just a simple A-line dress, fully lined, with buttons at the shoulders. I think it’s going to be a great dress for spring and summer, very cool and fun and classic. The Easter bloopers actually continued Sunday morning. I didn’t realize I’d put the dress on backwards until after lunch. Guess I need to sew some tags on it!

My little “Stinkerbell” had fun posing today, especially the photo on the right. What a nut! Tomorrow is “green day” in her class and she needs to wear something green. I recently acquired this Tinkerbell knit fabric and knew it fit the bill. I’m not big on buying anything with characters on it but I made an exception for this one because Miss L loves Tinkerbell and I couldn’t resist. The pattern is Butterick, 3316 (I think). It’s no longer in print but definitely worth searching out. It has a curved bodice, which does make it a bit more interesting than just a basic swing dress. Fun to sew, pretty fast — except when I sewed one section wrong and had to re-cut two pieces to fix the goof. When the weather warms up, I’ll shorten the sleeves so it can be worn through the summer.

This Burda pattern is another I’ve had for a while, just waiting to get up the courage to sew something with a zipper. I hate that I missed out on a year of getting use out of it, because these pants are cute as can be. I made the bermuda length but there are two other lengths, so they can be worn year round

I love this fabric, a pretty embroidered twill with bumblebees on it. I found it at Joann’s, along with two other twills. One is pink with strawberries; the other is green with ladybugs on it. I was only going to buy the pink and blue but that little blond cutie insisted on the green ladybugs.

I’m planning to make tops to coordinate with all three pairs of shorts, but I figure I’ve got a little time since the weather is not quite warm enough for wearing them. (I can already tell that t-shirt isn’t going to make the cut for summer, cute as that pumpkin belly may be.)

I’m meeting my goal of sewing more for me this year, that’s for sure. Today, I broke in my new coverstitcher with the top on the left, Butterick B5185. I made it with short sleeves with a pretty teal knit I bought at … yes, same place. (Really, I do shop other places; it’s just how it worked with this sew-and-show.) I messed up while sewing it and had to rip out some stitches and fix it. It would help to read the directions before I start sewing.

A little love for the CP900: I never thought I’d own a coverstitcher. It just didn’t seem like a must have for me, and I was making do just fine with twin needling on my sewing machine. But then I learned about a great deal on a Janome CP900 and decided to splurge. So glad I did! It’s really amazing how great it does on coverstitching knits (and it should, since that’s what it’s supposed to do). In fact, my son was surprised to learn the shirt I was wearing was made by me and not store bought — and that made my ego just swell.

On the right is my new Favorite Things skirt, the Hip Skirts pleated skirt. I used a fabric I found at Hobby Lobby that’s one of my favorite colors (aqua). I like the skirt but did not cut the elastic small enough, so it’s a little roomy in the waist. It’s an easy enough problem to fix; I just haven’t done it yet.

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16 Responses to “Skirting the Issue”

  1. designonpost

    I could’ve written the first part of this post. I’m afraid of zippers too and I still haven’t made my Barcelona skirts pattern that I’ve had for nearly a year.

  2. Becky

    They all look very nice! I love the prints you picked for your skirts, they’re so cheery.

  3. Kat

    You’re such an over-achiever…I just read that you made L’s Easter dress fully lined. Phhhttt. Mine only have facings. :crackingupatmysilliness:

  4. sheree

    love all your new creations!

  5. Carrie

    I love the way your skirts turned out! I too bought the Barcelona pattern over a year ago, and it’s been sitting in my pattern bin. I love Amy Butler patterns, but sometimes I’m too intimidated to use them! Crazy! I think I’ll break down and try this one – thanks for the inspiration!

  6. Jessi

    Wow – look at you you busy lady! I especially love L’s easter dress – so simple and refreshing!

  7. capello

    i have that amy butler pattern too, but haven’t made anything with it yet. but seeing your pictures reminds me how much i should.

    and you have nice legs. i’m envious.

  8. sadira

    Look at you go! I am so jealous of all your beautiful new skirts…I’m tellin’ ya’, in my opinion, there is nothing better than a good A-line skirt!

  9. melissa@yummygoods

    Great job! I love the skirts!

  10. nichol

    Wow Mary! You’ve been BUSY! I love those little pants with the green lady bugs and L’s dress and the pleated skirt. And…. everything! It must feel really good to be wearing something you sewed yourself. Great stuff and fun fabric choices!

    Best,
    Nichol

  11. Corrine

    LOOVE the creations girlie!!!

  12. craftapple

    I think this is the first time I’ve seen someone make the apron overlay from AB’s pattern. Very cute – I would want to wear it out – is that allowed? I’ve wanted to make it for a while, but other things keep getting in the way. I also do most of my sewing at night and have to be completely focused – and the later it gets the harder it becomes. Crazy, but that’s what we moms have to do, right?

    And yes, it’s amazing what difference an eight of an inch here and there can make!

  13. beki

    Wow, you’ve been busy! Everything looks great. You make me want to run out and buy some new patterns (though I have many, many patterns of my own that I haven’t touched).

  14. Angelina

    I’m not supposed to be here but I couldn’t resist. I had to see the pictures and now I’ve seen the shirt and have cover-stitch envy!! That shirt looks fantastic on you and so well made. Some day I might have a cover stitcher as well. I love the skirts you’re making for yourself too-especially the last one. You are going to be the best dressed lady in your city!!

  15. Amy

    Wow, I love everything! Especially all the skirts and aprons. Will you sew me a new wardrobe?

  16. Barb

    LOVE that top pattern. I am full on going to buy that one and make it too.

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