The Purple Skirt

Sometimes, self-care is a must. And today, I’d like to share with you one of my adventures in  – er – self-care.

About a year ago, I decided I needed a few extra items in my wardrobe. I had a pile of material, (alas, the remains of a only once-used baby carrier that J rejected instantly – she hated being wrapped  as a baby, so my pre-birth plans of no prams went out the window and the material went back into storage), so I thought, why not make a skirt?

But, you know toddlers and sewing equipment do not go well together. So it would have to be simple. Three rectangular pieces sewn together and a piece of elastic later … and I had a very ugly, very uncomfortable skirt that made me look pregnant again!

What to do? Well, out came the elastic – and I had a giant loop again. I must admit, the kids loved the loop – it was big enough to fit our whole family inside – yes all four of us. That’s how wide the waist was – perhaps a tad big for everyday wear.

So then I thought, why not just add elastic to the back? That would give me a nice smooth front, and a gathered back – easy. Er, no. After alterations, the dress looked great on the hanger. You see, I’d tried to economise by using recycled elastic. And when I tried it on, it looked great from the front. But the back … had a little too much ventilation, and was certainly not fit for wear outside.

Third time the charm – the back elastic

In disgust and despair, my easy dress experiment went back into the box. One year passed. And I decided I needed to really finish it – as it was a high-priority project that needed to be done in a timely manner.

So started salvage the skirt, part two. I measured my hips by simply stepping into the giant loop (yes, I removed the dodgy elastic – my kids were ecstatic to get their giant loop again.). And then I ripped out one third of the darn thing.

After using a McCalls pattern to reshape the waist so that it didn’t gape, (one of the advantages of making my own clothes is actually having a fitted waist), I realised that the skirt looked lovely and would be a joy to wear, as long as I didn’t have to move. Oh dear.

French Seams

More retrofitting was needed.  So I cut a large triangle out of the removed material – slightly longer than the length from my ankles to my knees. And yes, it was symmetric around the previous seam line – waste-not and all that.

Sewing it all together again using french seams ( I find them easier to work with than pretty much any other type of seam – if you want to know why, go and read this) I finally had a working skirt. Well, after the addition of a small amount of new elastic at the waist- I had to be able to get into the darn thing.

And I had a skirt. A beautiful, purple ‘simple’ skirt.

A dodgy picture of the skirt


Back of the skirt, a la dodgy camera
Another dodgy picture –
I am looking forward to when our
camera works again!

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