August 26, 2010

Into my sewing history - part 3

After sifting through all my clothes when installing my new wardrobe, I promised you a whole series of blasts from my sewing past.
I've shown you two.
The old achievements were quickly pushed aside by new projects and newer plan... much like... No, let's not get philosophical about that. It's not so bad, after all, those old achievements were the building blocks of all mycurrent crafty endevours... much like.....

Joking aside, I thought it would be nice to do one more post with my old skirts. Completely apart from their looks, they represent an important step in my 'development' as a seamstress. They are the result of my very first tentative steps into pattern making.

I made these before taking lessons in pattern making, using a (unfortunately Dutch-only) book called 'Rok en co' (skirt and co'), with the subtitle 'for the lazy seamstress.
I would recommend this book to all beginners who like the notion of making patterns but lack the time or the love of math/technique to go all the way. It has loads of fun illustration and tutorials for several simple skirt patterns. And the sort of can-do attitude that encourages you to use it as a starting point for your own experiments.

I made these skirts based on the book's pencil skirt. The first one is long, has a little flare from just above the knee and a curved-up hemline. The second one is plain at the front but has a lace-up center back with three rows of circular ruffles underneath.

This skirt was based on the book's gored skirt tutorial. I made a long, plain 6 gore skirt before. This one is treated as a 6 gore skirt at the front and as a 8 gore skirt at the back. Instead of widening the gores themselves, I inserted the red satin godets. The skirt also is quite a bit longer at the back.
The pattern worked out fine, but this was the item which really showed me I needed some extra sewing skills. I had no idea how to make a good hem on such flared bits and the zigzagged seam allowances at the back were on show all the time.

The last skirt was a quick high-summer option. I used the pencil skirt pattern as a base for the yoke and the circle skirt tutorial to calculate the hole I had to cut in the rest of the fabric.

When I went to my first sewing technique and pattern making lesson, I took both of the knee length skirts and the voile blouse with me, to show the teacher my starting point. She was very nice about all of them and told me all I really needed to learn were some finishing tricks. Of course, then my sewing addiction really kicked in, I learned much, much more from her and the rest, as they say, is history.


  1. Very cool post! I love seeing what you've done to get you where you are now, sewing-wise. To be fair, I look at my old projects and roll my eyes. I still wear some b/c no one really sees the flaws like I do, but I think once I knew how to fit and finish nicely, it made all the difference.

    Now if I could just find a copy of your book in English! It sounds right up my alley. Patternmaking maths kind of freak me out. But that's the great thing about sewing: we're always learning and growing. Good 'nuff.

  2. I no longer have any of my really early projects, which makes me a little sad. It's nice to still have them to reference to and see how far you've come. Do you still wear any of these? The corset back one looks fun and interesting. And it is unusual to see you without your heels!!

  3. blast from the past. well you have inspired to me to go back to closet and share all those unsung heroes with fellow bloggers. Thanks for the inspiration. You have a nice skirt collection...