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The weatherman said “snow”

I heard it. It is an actual possibility this weekend. And that, boys and girls, is why I have not put my seedlings in the ground yet. Minnesota has been uncharacteristically warm for the last month, and I know plenty of people have jumped the gun on gardening. However, the average “last frost” date is May 10, which is next Monday. Since I would rather not watch my new lettuce seedlings (or cucumbers and tomatoes, which have also sprouted) die, they’re still sitting inside, in the sunny window.

Truthfully, I had already picked out this outfit last night, long before I heard the weatherman predict snow (OK, it’s probably slim possibility), but what better way to combat cooling temps (and withdrawal from California weather) than a new spring skirt?

I have owned Sew What! Skirts for… a long time. Over a year, at least. And though it’s a lovely book, and I’ve had fabric mentally picked out to make several of the skirts, I have not made anything from it. That is, until two weeks ago. I finally drafted pattern pieces for the a-line and straight skirt. I cannot begin to tell you how thrilled I was when I tried this on and it fit, first time! I have had a terrible time lately getting pattern-based clothing to fit (and I carefully read the measurements on the back of the patterns, so I have no idea what I’m doing wrong), so I was incredibly pleased.

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Mirror reflection, quickly taken this morning before leaving for work.

You can’t tell, but it has a fake waistband. I made the facing as directed, added some interfacing to it, and then sewed it in. Then I did the whole understitching thing, which did make it roll inside so as to be invisible, but I still had a raw edge inside the skirt. I carefully measured and ironed-under the facing, and then from the front stitched it down. It looks like it’s two pieces, if you don’t look too closely. I also used lace hem tape to enclose the bottom hem completely, and stitched it on, visibly, from the front.

I decided it needed a bit of fun, so I added some embroidery to it. I used a pattern I’d favorited on Flickr (details are on the photo pages in Flickr), and some variegated thread I already have. I even used a zipper that I had in my stash, ripped out of a thrifted skirt that didn’t fit. The fabric was a remnant, so the total cost of this skirt was… $1.25.

It took me two evenings to make the skirt, and a few more to finish up the embroidery. It was actually done before we left for California. I washed it up last night, hoping that more of the pattern ink would wash out (it didn’t, but I have hope for future washings that it will eventually fade).

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Taking pictures of a skirt you are wearing 2 minutes before leaving for work will get you awkward angles and not high quality photos. But I couldn't wait any longer to share it with you.

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Quite springy, I think!

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Close-up on the butterfly and that variegated floss.

Since I was feeling springy, I decided to wear the butterfly earrings I made a while back (I’ve shared these before).

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What a perfect match!

Monday night I started on the straight skirt (I drafted both patterns at the same time), using this grey stripe fabric (also a remnant). Unfortunately, it did not end up fitting as perfectly, and I had to make some alterations to the shape last night (I also had to buy a zipper*, because I didn’t have any more 7-9″ invisible zippers, which are my new best friend). I think I’ve got the shape fixed, and now I only have to finish the side slits, hem it up, and stitch down the facing. The total cost of that skirt will be around $5.50 (more than 4 times the blue one!).

I still can’t make a skirt in under an hour, but that’s OK. Between the invisible zipper, facing, and hemming, that is an hour alone. Plus, I’m watching some excellent TV while sewing, so I’m staying entertained.

*Bonus: While at JoAnn last night, I was able to pick up several clearanced zippers for 50 cents each. They were discontinued colors, I think (dark teal, mauvy-pink), but most were invisible. You might want to check it out if you’re in the market.

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