Monday, August 11, 2014

Large and in Charge

I'm trying to be more mindful about my clothing, part of which involves starting to sew my own clothes.  At last count, I owned seventeen skirts, (some of which need to die in a fire) and yet, now I am sewing myself another one.  I used to sew most of my children's clothes, but it is much more difficult to make a decent-looking garment for an adult than for a child, so I've been a bit apprehensive.

I chose Amy Butler's Barcelona skirt pattern for my first attempt because it is so versatile.  There's a basic A-line pattern, and a second version made up of tiered fabric. This weekend, I sewed the muslin of the tiered version, and I'm really glad I took that step to work out some fit and other issues.  Sewing pattern sizes have not kept up with vanity sizing.  After applying the paper pattern to my hips, I realized that I would need to make the size large.  Large!

For some reason, my sewing machine made unspeakable puckerings in the fabric, and I realized that attempting to turn under the fabric on the underside of the tiers completely ruined the look of the skirt, and also the large size did turn out to be too large, although probably not enough to justify downsizing to the medium.

View from the side.  There is a giant piece missing out of the back because I didn't have enough muslin, and all I really needed to see is the fit around the hips.  It's a bit longer than the real skirt will be.  A lot of people make it up with only three tiers, for a shorter length, and I might try that for a winter version of this skirt that I can wear with tights.

Not sure what's going on with the ass wrinkles

This is the fabric I chose for the real skirt.  Giant green polka dots?  I know.  I spent about an hour in Les Fabriques, getting more and more overwhelmed.  I went with this because this skirt works best as a print, and I didn't want florals or stripes or plaid.  

Eventually, I hope to use my Barcelona pattern to make this skirt, which I first saw on Pinterest.  (Photo came from here.)

What else happened this weekend?  I was on call night and day, which limits one's ability to have any fun at all.  During the week, this is my life, every day.

  1. Walk to work
  2. Sit in dolorous cubicle of despair
  3. Walk home
  4. Cook dinner
  5. Go to gym
  6. Watch Frazier reruns on netflix
  7. Read
  8. Sleep
On a really ambitious day, I might stock up on dog food or fold the laundry or clean something.  As you can see, I have nothing to blog about but the weekends.

Anyway, the city Parks & Rec department is sponsoring Shakespeare in the Park, and this weekend there was a performance every night in Belmont Park of Much Ado About Nothing.  I went to the Saturday performance.

Of course an event like this calls for cocktails, and I made Thug Kitchen's blueberry-basil gin & tonics. I splurged on Hendrick's gin which mildly scandalized Ian, who explained it is too good to mix with other things.  It feels odd to be educated about spirits by someone you gave birth to and used to dress in John John suits.  Also splurged on high class tonic (or "quinine water" as my father calls it) and these G&T's were dope ass drinks, as Thug Kitchen would say.

It isn't really kosher to carry a glass of alcholic beverage into a public park, but I settled myself unobtrusively near the back, on a blanket, but then one of the organizer ladies noticed me and insisted that I move to the front.  I demurred, but it was hopeless, and then my drink caused a flurry in the audience.  "THAT LOOKS DELICIOUS. WHAT ARE YOU DRINKING?"  So much for trying to be inconspicuous.  But then I saw the woman next to me spike her drink from a whiskey bottle, concealed in her Whole Foods shopping bag.  I remembered with dismay that I was on call, which is why I sat in the back in the first place, and I had to spend the play checking my phone every few minutes like one of those phone-obsessed philistines that everybody deplores.  But the play was funny and I never did get paged.


  1. I love the layered skirt with all of my heart! I wish I could have seen Much Ado About Nothing in the park with you. :-) Have you seen Joss Whedon's movie version (with Nathan Fillion)? I love it.

    1. I long time ago, I think I saw a version with Emma Thompson. Is that the one?

  2. I think it's terrific that you are making your own clothes. Sewing, like singing, is a skill I have no aptitude for, but I applaud it in others.
    Sounds like you had GOOD things in your weekend to take the edge off the crazy week schedule. That's a cute play--and a cute skirt!

  3. Having gotten so fed up with pattern sizing over the years, I've resorted to making my own. I've got a good layered skirt with a forgiving elastic band waist, but am still working on a fitted, zippered A line style.

    Not being kosher has yet to stop me from carrying a drink to the park, especially when I can wander over from my own front yard, as I know you can as well. Cheers!

    1. Wow! I have dabbled in pattern drafting, and it never turns out well.

  4. "Dope ass drinks." I'm dying. If I'd known you were going to mix Shakespeare and booze, I'd have mixed up my own flask and come over to the park too. I've been on a caipirinha kick all summer and want to enjoy them thoroughly the rest of the month until Labor Day, when I'll probably switch to some sort of autumnal drink rut.

  5. Oh, and I really like the skirt and material. Brava for making your own. That's not a skill set I have, even though I grew up with clothes made by my grandmother, including my wedding dress.

    1. Thanks! My grandmother used to knit clothes for us. I even had a knit bathing suit! (I was five.)