B List

I am really bad at stitching in the ditch. Really bad. I have no idea how anybody successfully achieves an even, invisible stitching line that does not wander with all the fabric you cannot see caught in the back, but not too much such that your elastic casing becomes too narrow for the elastic. Or, as is often the case, both, in alternating sequence on the same waistband.

I’ve learned a thing or two about coping and even more about avoidance so when I realized I could hand-sew waistlines and bias edging with far better results in not much more time than it was taking me to fix my mistakes all the while skirting (har har) the horrible feelings of frustration and inadequacy, well, that’s how I do it, now. The slow way. The in-front-of-the-TV way. The gee-I-thought-this-would-be-super-annoying-and-should-be-avoided-and-I’m-surprised-to-find-I-rather-like-it way.

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I wrote all of that because I have not much to say otherwise about this skirt. It’s the same skirt and fabric as last time, different view and different color. View B-stands-for-Boring because it doesn’t have view A’s fabulous pockets in Boring Brown. We’re getting down to Basics here, folks.

Pattern: Gypsum Skirt by Sew Liberated, View B
Size: 8
Fabric: Robert Kaufman Brussels Washer Linen Blend in some brown shade I don’t remember
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Fear not. It still has pockets. Just the Boring inseam variety.

The waistband really elevates this pattern. Even as basic as it is Hubs was surprised that it was something I had made and that’s 100% because the waistband looks complicated. It’s not – it’s just a wide elastic waistband sewing over a couple times. Which is great! It never cups or rolls and I find I really prefer the wider elastic to the narrower stuff. Unfortunately when I pulled this on this morning I realized that I hadn’t cut the elastic quite short enough. It’s driving me crazy and not as flattering as if it sat at my proper waist and to fix it I’m going to have to pick out all that stitching. So much for my quick summer-into-fall basic. Wah.

Hippy Hippie Lake Dippy

Well, that turned out better than I had imagined.

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Pattern: Gypsum Skirt by Sew Liberated, View A
Size: 8
Fabric: Robert Kaufman Washer Linen Blend in Sage

I’m hippy. I didn’t think big, wide pockets or a gathered elastic waist would work on me. I was seduced by the pockets on this pattern and decided I didn’t care and if I ended up with a loafing-around-the-house skirt then so be it. I’ve mostly eschewed elastic waistbands but it’s true what my mom has been saying all these years: they are comfy. And this pattern makes them cute, too! Unlike that pair of stretchy black old lady pants she gave me that one time.

The sage green fabric purchase was inspired by a pair of pants I adore but haven’t been able to wear since 2 kids and 10 pounds ago. Maybe just 1 kid and 5 pounds, I don’t know, suffice to say I held on to those pants that were making me feel bad long enough. Clearly I’m still psychologically holding on to them even after clearing them out of my closet.

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Look! A bird! Not really. I’m grimacing at nothing here. Hair styled by slumber + lake water.

Speaking of embracing elastic waistbands as a sign of aging, I see a lot of my aunts’ features in this photo of me. I see them in me more as I grow into the age I remember them as and the faces I remember them having from when I was young. Aging is a trip.

Back to the skirt: I LOVE IT. It’s fun to wear. It’s swishy. It’s comfortable. The pockets are the envy of any and all pocket-coveting skirt-wearer. A++. Now for some cropped shirts to wear with all these high elastic-waisted skirts and pants I’ve been making. Onward!

Fake Merry Til You Make Merry

My friend told me that I have the most holiday cheer of anybody he knows. It was meant as a compliment (or good-natured teasing), but it made me feel misunderstood. Once October hits I get very busy. This is intentional. I do the things and I buy the things and I make the things. But to me it doesn’t feel like cheer. It feels like desperation. Not desperation to make all the things or do all the things or have a perfect holiday. It’s a coping mechanism. I keep busy while I feel like I’m heading towards a cliff I can’t see. I worry that I’ll careen off that cliff and I have to do as many things as I can before that happens. My avoidance masquerades as excitement. I let myself get lost in the trappings so I don’t have time to think about the spirit.

The confusion this creates is understandable. Look, for example, at the Christmas outfit I made this year. I’ve already talked lots about my new Christmas sweater, but I haven’t mentioned my new skirt.

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Pattern: Everyday Skirt by Oliver + S
Size: Medium
Fabric: Moda, Berry Merry, Reindeer Games Cream
Mods: No pockets! I rather miss the, but didn’t want to spend the time or fabric.

If I was going to make a sweater-babe-style sweater I needed a skirt to go with it, after all.

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What I actually look like when not posing provocatively.

It’s more a costume than an outfit. You know how faking a smile will improve your mood? This is that in clothing form. But I’ll tell you a secret: there are moments when I wonder if my friend might be right. It may be that I do have a lot of holiday cheer. I tell myself that I’m faking it but maybe it’s that I’m finally letting that cheer assert itself a little. This year maybe there’s room for all the feelings the holiday brings.

Catharsis

My first skirt! If you don’t count the abominations my girl scout troop collectively made in 4th grade. We all wore those shapeless sacks to school on the same day and I wish I hadn’t gone along with the idea because that skirt was so ugly and I was so embarrassed and uncomfortable.

Let the healing from that indignation begin by reveling in our own autonomy. Nearly 30 years later I’ve made a skirt whose fabric and pattern I selected myself with much more positive results.

I even get to decide for myself when to wear it!IMG_7828

Pattern: Everyday Skirt by Liesl + Co.
Size: Medium:
Fabric: Alison Glass Petals in Eggplant from Hawthorne Threads

This is my first time working with a border fabric. They’re so pretty. I wasn’t sure, though, what to do about the hem. I didn’t want to lose any of the border, but it seemed weird to not hem at all. A cursory google search revealed no quick or obvious solution so I cut the pieces out less the 2″ hem and decided I would deal with a hem later if it needed one for weight or wear by adding and folding over a(nother) border.

Not hemming meant having to find a way to deal with side seam selvages that would usually be encased therein. Mitered flat-felled seams seemed to do well enough.

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I would have preferred solid eggplant pockets, but I didn’t have enough fabric. They’re fine with some pattern peeking out.

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It still feels weird to not hem. My 4th grade girl scout troop leader would be appalled.