Sunday, 3 April 2016

A Sewing Project!

Hey everyone!

For today's post, I thought I would share with you how I spent the 1st of April. 

I bought some fabric an absolute age ago with the intention of making a skirt. I pre-washed the fabrics and ironed them ready for sewing and then... that's as far as I ever got with it. I am a perfectionist and this in turn can make me a procrastinator, where I find myself not wanting to embark on something lest it doesn't turn out perfectly. I also become disheartened very easily when I don't understand things, and something I have always struggled with is following instructions. I have a sewing book filled with step by step explanations of various techniques and while I can tell it's a good book, the way things are explained in it absolutely baffles me. I'll look at the image for the first step of a technique and wonder "wait-- how did they get to that stage in the first place!?" My knowledge of sewing theory leaves a lot to be desired. The way I go about making things is to look at things I already have and study every detail, before (with the aid of having watched sewing tutorials or read sewing blogs and taken in the images as best I can) drawing up my own imagined pattern or plan of how that thing was probably made, and finally tweaking it to my current requirements. That's how I approached making the skirt.

I measured the hem of a skirt that I liked the fit of and used that as a guideline for how much fabric I would need. I think the most tedious part of the whole process was dealing with the lining, which my overlocker really didn't like due to me being too stressed to sit and figure out how much I needed to adjust the differential feed to cope with slippery fabric. I think I must have spent a total of about 8 hours making this skirt. The first time making anything is always the worst, I guess, but when I finally finished (well, there's still a couple of things I need to tweak and I have yet to make a matching hairbow), I thought to myself "is sewing really for me because right now I want to chuck my sewing machine out the window and watch it sail... sail down to the ground and before it shatters into a million pieces." I made so many mistakes along the way that I had to go back and correct that I was pretty sick of the sight of all my sewing supplies by the end of it.

Sewing the hem! I chose a super thick cotton lace for the job. I wish it were a little more detailed but I'm fairly content with how it looks.

The finished product! I really like fruit prints so this fabric spoke to me. I was somewhat inspired by Angelic Pretty's Drained Cherry series, and general retro fashion.

 Probably the neatest sewing of my life happened on that hem.

I somehow got the length of the skirt perfect for me. The lining came up a little short but I'd rather it too short than too long. I included a built in pocket on the right hand side (another idea that Angelic Pretty gave me!), and the back of the skirt is elasticated. I didn't include a side zipper because honestly, I think that would have pushed me over the edge. I don't find that I need one anyway, as the skirt stretches enough to just slide on. There's a few things I would change, such as making the elastic a little longer so the waist is more forgiving should my waist measurement fluctuate, and making the elastic for the top channel wider, but these are details that come with practice.

When all's said and done, this came out bloody well for my very first skirt. The aim of the project was to see whether or not this is something I could potentially offer in my shop in future, but honestly, even with improvement on the finer details and finish, and getting faster at making the skirt, I don't really see it being profitable. I would want to charge enough for the skirt that it would cover the materials but also pay myself a decent wage for my time, and I just don't think people would pay the figure I have in mind. My business plan constantly seems to be changing. This time last year I was planning on showcasing jumperskirt designs. Although I'm not glad that I went through a real motivation slump last year and didn't even finish putting together my mock ups, I'm kind of glad I never carried out that plan because I think I would have ended up with dresses I couldn't sell, or would eventually have to let go of for cheap. It's not as bold and varied as I'd initially planned, but I think for now, keeping the clothing I offer as being just bloomers seems to be the way to go because it actually fills a niche, and is going all right thus far.

Speaking of, I'll be doing my first big convention in July, an event called Hyper Japan. I have so much to make and do, but I know I can manage it if I plan it all out properly. It's going to be quite the financial investment (the cost of a weekend's accommodation in London is going to be particularly dear) but all I can do is hope that it will pay off. Wish me luck in selling a decent amount of stock so that I don't regret the "follow your dreams" approach to life I seem to be taking.

That's all for now. I'll save the rest of my weekend anecdotes for another day. Thank you so much for reading, and let me also take a moment to express my gratitude towards those who take time out of their day to leave me a comment as well! It means a lot to me. I don't have a large follower count by any means but I still didn't think it would ever get to this many, especially as I'm obviously a bit of an eccentric. I hope you will continue to enjoy my blog, and if for any reason you decide it's not for you anymore, thank you for the time that you did stick around and I wish you all the best. 

My ending question for you today is, have you gotten up to any sewing/craft/general life projects lately? I'd love to know how they went for you! See you next time 


  1. That skirt is really pretty, and seems so well made too.

    I haven't done much crafty stuff in the past few weeks but I'm planning on making my first cosplay this month because someone decided our little city deserved a convention and if I'm going (which I am) I want to go in costume! It's going to be... an adventure...

    1. Thank you! I didn't actually think I'd do as good a job as I did to be honest with you!

      It's always exciting when something new comes to your area! My hometown is getting its first proper convention at the end of the year but I'm sceptical it will be worth going to XD

      Who will you be cosplaying? :) Presumably as it's your first time making one you've not gone for anything too complicated! Good luck in making it and I hope the convention will turn out to be a good one!

    2. I'm sceptical that ours will be worth it either but I'm still going, lol.

      I'm going as Sabriel from the book of the same name by Garth Nix. I've always wanted to do it and have even (thanks to my boyfriend) been collecting bells for it and the convention just gave me an actual reason to do it! It is fairly simple, the most complicated thing is a bandolier of bells but my boyfriend does leather work so I'm palming off that hardest part to him!