Trying to get back into ‘dressmaking mode’ after an excess of quilt block making and knitting, I bought a metre of dark blue ponte roma and traced off the pattern for the ‘Easy Knit Pencil Skirt’ from the Gertie Sews Vintage Casual book I bought Mlle Tialys the elder for Christmas.
Firstly I had to perform the dreaded task of changing the thread on the overlocker but the signs were good as I managed it first go.
Then, it all started to go pear shaped. I forgot the sizes are probably American (that or I’m skinnier than I think) so cut the skirt out at least two sizes too big. However I did realise this before it was too late because I actually followed the instructions which tell you to baste the side seams and try it on before overlocking them. You should apparently do this each time you make the skirt as all jersey and knit fabrics differ in stretchiness, which is a very good point. However, once I had cut it down to my size, the edges weren’t quite as neat and I had also managed to slice through my fingertip with the rotary cutter for good measure.
Then I cut the elastic for the waistband a little too generously as I didn’t want to feel it digging in so instead of stretching the elastic slightly to fit the waistband, I found myself stretching the waistband slightly to fit the elastic. Which is probably why one of the needles in my overlocker broke and also why the waistband doesn’t lie quite as perfectly flat as it’s supposed to. I replaced the needle, adjusted the tension and broke another one. I finished off using the 3-thread overlocking stitch as I find that getting into a tizz with my machine puts me in a bad mood for the rest of the day. That and having to do housework.
I don’t play the guitar and neither do I usually stand as if I’ve put my hip out but there were no photographers available and the only decent light and big mirror were in eldest daughter’s room so a selfie it had to be.
On the plus side, I did the neatest twin needle hem I think I’ve ever done. Nice and straight with no tunneling. As my overlocker is on the right hand side of my sewing machine I used the thread from the extreme left spool as my second twin needle thread so there was no wobbling going on, a technique I might employ in the future as it seemed to work so well.
That was, however, after I broke the first twin needle on the sewing machine probably because I started off at a side seam and going through an overlocked seam and hem thickness all at the same time might have been a bit of a stretch – no pun intended but it works so I’ll leave it in.
So £ 6.99 for a metre of ponte roma – 3 broken needles, one of which was a twin – and several items of bloodstained clothing before I realised my finger had been sliced with the rotary cutter meant it wasn’t quite as quick or cheap as I had originally planned. In my experience, it rarely is.
However! With one pattern piece only – which you cut out twice on the fold – and around 0.8m of fabric – this really is a comfy yet quite smart skirt and I will be making it again hopefully without breaking any more needles or attempting to slice the top of my finger off. Where I will wear it is a different matter. Will it go with wellies do you think?