The police department my husband works for holds an awards ceremony every year. It’s always nice to see the officers and citizens recognized for their hard work and bravery, and it’s a good chance for our law enforcement family to catch up with each other. Tonight’s the night, so I decided to make a skirt to wear that I’d bought the ingredients for last week.
I have a few comments about this pattern. First of all, I never pay more than about $2.50 for a clothing pattern. There’s already too much risk involved for me without paying $15 to $18. This one was $1. Second, I like the different style options available on this one. Last, but not least, this is only a 2 hour pattern if you are paying attention and not trying to do several other things at the same time. The rest of this story can only be blamed on me, not Simplicity.
Cutting this out was a breeze, as it only uses three pattern pieces. The first step is just stitching the two from pieces together, then the sides. Piece of cake. Had I just stuck with one thing at a time, instead of bouncing between this project and another, everything would still be fine. You can probably imagine by now, that’s not how this went. This is what the waistband should look like once it’s sewn on.
After stitching the original seam, stitching a second seam next to it for added strength and zigzag stitching over the edge to make sure my unravel-prone fabric would stay together, I held the skirt up and found this.
That, my friends, is the outside of the skirt. With the exposed seam for the waistband. I just sat there staring at it in disbelief. A lifetime of sewing, and I was going to lose this skirt to a dumb mistake. There was no way this fabric was going to survive ripping out three seams and still be viable. I thought about cutting off the waistband and starting over, since I had a little bit of fabric left to cut a new one, but that would mess with the shape and length of the skirt.
Instead of throwing a fit, like I wanted to, I laid it down gently on my work table and walked away for a few minutes. That moment of clarity was enough for me to realize all I needed to do was cover up that seam. Bias tape to the rescue!
This tape, folded, is about 3/4” wide. I ironed the seam down toward the bottom, then pinned the end of the tape on, barely covering the seam at the top to prevent shrinking the casing for the elastic.
For the rest of the tape, I just laid it in place as I sewed close to the top edge. When I reached the end, I cut the tape, folded the end under and stitched it over the top of where I had started. I sewed close to the bottom edge to finish it off.
After that crisis was defused, I closely followed the directions to add the elastic and hem the bottom. Once I was finished, I tried it on and was happily surprised. I love the black trim at the top and would actually add it on purpose if I had it to do over again.
What did I learn from this? It’s especially important when working on a project outside my norm, like clothing, that I pay attention to what I’m doing and not try to multitask. Also, don’t throw away a project just because I made a mistake. I can guarantee I’ll get to put that life lesson to use again someday.