Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The Second Thing I Made

The first thing I made went into the rag bin, but the second thing is definitely a keeper/wearer. One of the things that appeals to me about sewing is that one is not confined to whatever style happens to be on the rack or in the catalogue at the moment. One can pick through all of recorded history for comfortable and/or flattering styles.

I like designs by Perry Ellis. He died in 1986, so the only way to get fresh  Perry Ellis patterns is to go back in time (figuratively speaking). The second thing I made was  the skirt from Vogue 1052. I found the pattern for sale on ebay.

I used linen purchased at Joann Fabric & Crafts Store. The selection of fabrics at the store I first visited was woefully limited. I since discovered a second Joann's in my city (San Antonio) with a more extensive fabric inventory, but it's closing. They'll be opening again north of their present location, but the new store will be a "super store" which probably means the focus will be on crafts with a limited slection of fabrics, as at the store I visited first. The store that's closing is having a liquidation sale, which has been great fun (patterns for 25 cents each), but it's sad to observe that offering a wide selection of fabrics appears not to be profitable. I recently read that Hancock Fabrics is in bankruptcy. Not that their seletion of fabric was ever very good. I remember Hancock Fabrics from when I was young. One reason I stopped sewing was that I couldn't find any exciting fabric to work with. If the Internet had existed then, I don't suppose I ever would have given up sewing. I wonder to what extent the Interent is responsible for the demise of the bricks & mortar fabric stores. Another factor would be the amount of labor required to cut fabric for customers and re-stock the bolts after cutting. Internet fabric stores make a lot more sense, except for the fact that the sense of touch is so important in fabric selection. My favorite online fabric stores are the ones that will send swatches they think their customers will like, sometimes even without being asked. Michael's Fabrics is like that. I've bought a couple of beautiful pieces of fabric from them, to save until I'm a little better at sewing. I find that having nice fabrics to look at and touch provides inspiration.

Anyhow, among a lot of really ghastly fabrics, I found this linen at Joann's and chose it to make into the Perry Ellis skirt. The pattern did not include a lining, but I wanted to line my skirt. I used the same old sheets I've been using to make practice garments. They have a high thread-count and are very soft and silky. One of the things I especially like about the skirt is that it has in-seam pockets, one of which provides the opening for putting on and taking off the skirt. There is no zipper, just the pocket opening with buttons (I found that I also needed a hook & eye to keep the pocket closed properly when I'm wearing the skirt). I couldn't be more pleased with the skirt if I'd spent $400 on it. The soft cotton lining feels luxurious and give the linen fabric a nice drape. I must apologize for the photo. I probably should have asked my husband to take the picture, but he always makes too big a production of it, and it would have ended up taking half an hour. I either need to use the timer on the camera or get a better mirror and better lighting. Here I am wearing the skirt:

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