Challenge to Self: Day 2

Taken In

10:14 AM – Day 2

I have taken the oversized skirt in by 2″ in front, and 2″ in the back, for 4″ total. It fits much better now. Now I have to figure out how to reduce the waistband!

Next time, I will definitely start with a smaller size.

Challenge to Self: Uh-oh.

Pattern runs large.

4:00 PM

I have discovered that this pattern runs large!

Although I made the suggested size for my hip and waist measurements, clearly it doesn’t fit. I wondered whether the finished hip measurement wasn’t a bit big for me . . . but I was worried that if I cut a size smaller, I would have too little extra fabric to adjust the fit.

Nope. I would have been fine.

Looks like I will have to take in every seam, perhaps by as much as 1/2″. I hope that won’t distort the skirt too badly.

I hate to pause on a down note, but as I mentioned in my last post, I have company to prepare for. I will have to come back to this later . . . if not tonight, then on Sunday.

Challenge to Self: What’s in my pocketses?

Routine Maintenance

3:00 PM

As I had forgotten to eat breakfast today (!), I figured it was time for some routine maintenance.

Since lunch, I have stay-stitched all pieces of the skirt, then serged around the edges. Then, I took some time to review the pattern instructions.

Since I need to pin the pieces together and try the skirt on, I decided to change the order of assembly. Rather than sew the front side pieces to the front, then install the pockets, I sewed the pockets onto the front side panels first. This should allow me to pin all six panels together so I can try the skirt on and make adjustments before sewing any main seams.

So far, I am happy with how this project is looking. It helps that the construction is similar to other Simplicity and New Look patterns I’ve sewn.

Next up, pinning the skirt together. However, I must remember that I do have things other than sewing to do today. Namely: laundry, cleaning the apartment for my brother-in-law’s visit tonight, going to Jackson Heights to buy short-grain brown rice, and risotto-making.

I don’t think I can allow myself much more than an hour more to work on this before I get groceries.

But that doesn’t mean I can’t come back to this skirt later today, after I have gotten things in order for company. I don’t think I will worry too much about my sewing mess being on the table.

Pockets installed.

Challenge to Self: Cut and Marked

Simplicity 2541 – Cut and Marked

1:15 PM

I am moving right along. Now, I have cut all my pieces out (noticing just as I was putting the fabric remnants away that I needed to cut out a second pair of back yoke pieces) and marked them. In the future, if I remake this pattern, I will trace a copy of both the front and back yoke pattern pieces, so that I can lay all of them out at the same time.

Next up: wind the bobbin, stay-stitch, then serge around the edges of my pieces.

Challenge to Self: Ready to Cut

Simplicity 2541 – Ready to Cut


Hopefully, this challenge means I will work quickly, but not sloppily.

I just finished pressing my fabric (and noticed before it was too late that I had the right-side facing out!). I’ve pinned all the pieces, and I’m getting ready to cut. I haven’t followed the pattern’s cutting guide exactly, because this layout is more fabric-efficient. I did make sure, however, that all pieces are pointing the same direction as in the diagram, and that pieces that are shown face-down in the instructions are face-down in my layout as well.

I am hoping that I can still get a pair of shorts or capris out of this length of fabric afterwards.

Checking the grain.

How do you check to make sure that big pattern pieces are lined up correctly according to the fabric’s grain? It’s so easy to rotate the pattern ever so slightly. I try to double check by using a ruler to visually extend the grain line beyond the edge of the pattern piece.


Challenge to Self: Altering the Pattern

Simplicity 2451 – Altering the Pattern

10:45 AM

My first step (having traced this pattern earlier in the week) was to shorten the skirt. I concluded that my recent Simplicity skirts were drafted for someone taller than my 5’3 3/4″ frame. The finished skirts both go below my knees, and would look better shorter. However, on Simplicity 5914–which has the same six panels as this skirt–I felt that I could not hem the finished skirt higher without sacrificing it’s nice flare.

This time, after holding the pattern tissue up to myself and noting that Simplicity 2541 is also long on me, I decided to remove 1.5″ along the lengthen-shorten lines of all the skirt panels. I hit my first minor roadblock: I couldn’t find any regular cellotape. Instead, I used double-sided tape to shorten the patterns. The double-sided tape made the process a bit awkward, but it was quick.

I hand washed the zipper and used the iron to pre-shrink it.

Meanwhile, my assistant decided to guard my fabric and thread.

Myshkin assists.