Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Handmade Kulur's Romatikerin Skirt - A Learning Experience

In our description of us, we mentioned the stitch ripper. A useful but most hated instrument. Well this is a cautionary tale in which this little instrument plays a significant role. At the beginning of last year I joined a Facebook group with the aim of reducing my stash... Stashbusting.... you've heard all about it before. Well this February, the lovely ladies organising the group set up a competition. The itention was to really get us sewing and cracking on reducing our stashes. The challenges were to sew something red, something from the fabric you disliked most, the largest or the oldest fabric in your stash. Spurred on to finish a red cord skirt I had cut out half or last year, I got down to work.

I had picked a pattern from Handmade Kultur. It is an indie German magazine that covers sewing, knitting, handicrafts as well as woodwork and such stuff. There are the obilatory tales communal gardening, recycling and the like. I really like it, but up until now I have only looked at the pictures. The Romatik Skirt.....looks pretty doesn't it.
Handmade Kultur
I started it in red elephant cord. I cut out the outer skirt pieces and managed to cut out two against the nap. Annoyed I threw it in my UFO bin and ignored it for a year. At the beginning of the month I hauled it out again and recut those pieces. I patiently overlocked them and thought I was almost there. Then I discovered I hadn't cut out all the pieces needed. Lining, facings, ruffle were still missing. So I traced the pattern and lost several pieces several times (kids ripped them, dogs ate them, I misplaced them, I am sure someone used them as firelighters....). I cut the facings, found some contrasting lining fabric in my stash and pulled out the fabric I had bought for the ruffle many moons ago and it was too short. I trawelled fabric shops and discovered it had all been snapped up.
 I went back to my stash to look for a different piece. Found one, cut it, to discover it was too short.... pieced it together in three.... accepted that my hem line was going to be shorter than planned....

So cutting down, sewing left to go. I sewed the outer layer together and then got to the facings. It took me an hour and quite a bit of internet research til I found The Daily Sew showing me on a photo how to attach the facing to the lining.
(I managed to sew one of the pleats the wrong way but decided on a global scale it is quite irrelvant. Time will tell).

The next step was sewing the loose stitches for the ruffle.... my thread broke ten times. I unpicked it three times and rethreaded my machine five times. In the end, I ripped out the thread from both the skirt and the machine and the bobbin and chucked it in the bin. I then went to my threads and chucked out all Ikea thread. I know people who love it. I hate it (this is my third bad experience) and have vowed never again.

I sewed the ruffle to the lining (which has facing attached) as the instructions in the pattern said. I then pinned the hem as I want to be able to play around with them before finally deciding. I then pinned the lining into the skirt. I picked it up, just about to be dlighted that I was going to get it finished that night and discovered to my horror that the ruffle was sewn in the wrong way aound.

I went to bed. Next morning I unpicked it. and repinned it.

Now it is waiting for me to sew it, attach the facings to the skirt, trim off the hem of the outer skirt, add the zip, hem and then wear. And of course enter into that competition. Maybe I get lucky and I win some thread ;-)

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