I made this:
Totally patternless, no less. And I probably used about twice as much fabric to do so as was actually necessary.
My original plan was to make a pinafore dress–an empire-waisted, a-line skirt with criss-crossing straps and lots of buttons, mostly decorative. It would be really simple, not use too much fabric, and would mostly be practice in making seams, something I’m pretty bad at. Most importantly, I wouldn’t have to take a bodice into account.
So I cut out five skirt panels from my fabric, only part of the way through I got really concerned about whether I had enough fabric and started paying more attention to conserving fabric and less to how the skirt was actually going to look. In the end I succeeded in doing neither, because what I ended up with was three panels cut on the right side of the fabric, and the other two backwards. Eventually I sorted it out, by shortening the panels and disregarding the actual grain of the fabric, but when four panels were sewn together and I tried on what I had created, it didn’t fit very well and the entire project was just getting more and more complicated. I didn’t even want a pinafore dress, I was only making it because it seemed simple.
And so I thought, why make an ill-fitting dress suitable only for children under twelve, when you can make a tasteful, high-waisted skirt instead and with less trouble?
So that is what I did. I used the last piece of fabric to make a sixth panel, and voila! A skirt!
I kept the sash, because I had already cut it out and I needed a waistband. I think it adds a nice detail and it is good to be able to cinch up the waist a little bit, but even as I was making it I was aware that the sash I was envisioning was not made of quilting cotton, but maybe of some material that gathers and drapes. Hopefully, though, this fabric will have an opportunity to soften up, because I will be able to wash this one with impunity!
Which brings us to the highlight of the skirt–French seams!
I’m really proud of them. You can see from the picture at the top that the first one didn’t turn out ideally–there is a thin line of unfinished edge showing in one of the seams, but I refuse to let that bother me.
I also kept the button fastening from the original dress design, mostly because I didn’t have any zippers, but buttons are cute so that’s all right.
The closure was kind of tricky and is less than perfect and probably not the most durable thing ever, but it’s almost my favorite part, if you don’t look too closely at it.
Now that I have purchased an iron, I have no excuse not to sew things and I am already trying to figure out what my next project will be. Though I am somewhat limited by lack of skill and having only one pattern (well, two, but one needs all sort of fitting work first), I am sure I will come up with something, and if I don’t come up with anything soon I will maybe make myself curtains with beautiful seams.