Sew What?

14 Sep

I’ve been in love with Maxis (skirts and dresses) for a while… but my biggest problem is finding one that is the perfect length.  I am a very average height (5’7″), but I have so much trouble finding a great maxi that falls all the way to the ground.  I did find a maxi dress on clearance last winter for $30 (which turned into a Christmas present from Andrew) that I wear at least once a week during the summer.

However, since that one is a dress, I decided to try making my own skirt.  I had all my materials ready to go:

– Bought fabric, jersey needles, and a twin needle during my drive home from North Carolina at Mary Jo’s

– Got new fabric scissors, elastic thread and matching gray thread at Jo Ann’s using coupons and a gift card from Christmas

– Though I was ready to use my mom’s sewing machine, NinaR surprised me with my very own sewing machine for graduation! You might remember from this Instagram image:

– Last, but not least, some great tutorials/informative websites to go off of: Elle Apparel and Prudent Baby (and yes, we are definitely ignoring the fact that Leanne from Elle Apparel made this tutorial for her pregnancy)

Couple things to note:

(1) I cannot make or cut a straight line to save my life.  I don’t know why. Unless I cut along a straightedge, it is hopeless.  Heck, who am I kidding?  Even with a straightedge, it’s hopeless.  It just happens that way.  I was kind of hoping that these would help – love them!

(2) If at all possible, get extra yardage.  I thought 1 1/2 yards would be enough for me. I just barely made it and it took a lot of shifting to get it just right.  Won’t lie, I was sweating with anxiety when laying it out though. (I used my favorite maxi dress to get an outline)


(3) Please use the appropriate needle for the fabric you are using.  I feel that I can use a regular needle 90% of the time for the type of sewing I do, but I will never ever regret investing $3/5pk in jersey needles for this project.  It’s just better for your project because it’s slightly sharper and has a subtly different shape.  I did learn, however, that you don’t necessarily need a twin needle.

Yup. I had one. But it broke in 0.00342 seconds.  User error.  Just glad I didn’t spend my own money. Sorry, Mama E. I was not about to go out at 11pm to find another one, so I made do.

Remember how I mentioned I am an extremely visual person?  I couldn’t make out the picture provided on Elle Apparel for one of the steps, so I read the directions and quickly realized that I sewed the entire top together.  No hole. All pieces were connected so there was no opening for my legs to go through. DOH!  I’ll blame it on the fact that it was 1am (Chris was out of town) and my eyes were going cross-eyed from staring at the fabric and sewing machine for 4 hours.  So, I called it quits for the night and cut my stitches out with a seam ripper in bed.

The next morning, I repeated the step, correctly, and ended up with this:

HOORAY! I’m pretty pleased with myself, to be honest.  It is WAY FAR from being a great project – I wouldn’t even offer this as a gift.  But, I got a skirt that I wanted, in the length I wanted, and for $25 total (thanks to gift cards and coupons).  I am also happy to report that I wear this skirt 1-3 times a week. Gross, you say?  YOU try it on and tell me you wouldn’t want to keep it as your go-to piece!

Happy Friday, everyone!

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3 Responses to “Sew What?”

  1. AlexOnActing September 14, 2012 at 12:28 pm #

    Did the $25 include like the scissors and everything? Cause if you made another one then it will prolly only be like 10$ and even cheaper with a 40% off coupon!

    • NinaE at NinaSquared September 15, 2012 at 11:45 am #

      The $25 was for the fabric and new jersey needles only. But I love the thought! I need to try a different fabric store than Jo Ann’s – their jersey selection stinks.

  2. Barbara Putnam September 17, 2012 at 8:38 am #

    that skirt turned out great! i love that you said 5’7″ was “average”… ha! speak for yourself. i thought being 5’5” was average lol i always wanted to start making my own clothes but i’m the pickiest person when it comes to blouses. i always find the print i like but not in the material, or vice versa. but i’ve never given sewing a shot so hmm… we shall see. 🙂

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