Welts and Hives

I’ve sewn as far as I can now on the KnipMode Weekend Bag without the extra laminate – I’ve finished the lining, the three exterior pockets, and joined the two main pieces, but the next step is to attach the zipper to the long strips adjacent to it, and those are the bits I ran out of laminate for (oh, I decided to be lazy/cheap and forego the piping, btw).

So rather than twiddle my thumbs while I wait for the postal strike to run its course, I thumbed through my fabric stash instead to get some inspiration for some “me sewing”, after making so many christmas presents (which I can’t show you til December since the recipents visit here, sorry). Funny, but the two fabrics that jumped out at me the most were two I didn’t buy at all – a browny tweed tartan wool and a royal blue tartan sheer silk. Both are remnants, and both were gifted to me by my neighbour Helen.

My next step was to go through my pile of pattern magazines and find suitable patterns for them both, and I ended up with:

Skirt 110 from the Feb 09 BWOF and overblouse 114 from the Nov 08 BWOF.

I was pretty sure I’d have enough fabric for each of them, but with irregular cuts, you never really know until you try! I cut out the skirt fabric last night (and have a fat quarter-sized piece leftover) and did all the annoying interfacing and basting prep work. I chose this skirt because I really liked the front pleat that conceals the single welt pockets, and having that large pleat means there’s plenty of walking ease, because I tend to walk really fast and with a large stride, so I always need a walking slit or pleat in my skirts.

With all the tedious prep done last night, I was able to jump right into the single welt pocket construction today, which was actually really quite challenging. Having a busy fabric made it difficult to see my bright red basting stitches, and I’d only ever done double welt pockets before, so I really only had a hazy idea of how to do the single ones. Burda’s instructions were pretty poor in this regard, too – would it kill them to hire a native English speaker to proofread these before they go to print? I mean, really – they called the welts “piping” the whole way through, which really only causes extra confusion. And “abutting line”? Who says that? Ever? Anyway, I muddled through the instructions, reading each line about five times until some sort of meaning soaked in before actually sewing or cutting anything, and I ended up with some smokin’ hot single welt pockets, if I do say so myself…

I was actually kinda mourning the fact that no one would see my perfect welts as they’re hidden under the big pleats, but as I discovered an hour or two later when I tried it on, if you have any hips at all, the skirt pulls out at the sides and the pockets are in full view anyway. So rather than Burda’s drawing about of parallel, vertical skirt side seams and pleats, think instead of an A-line skirt with vertical pleats, and you’re much closer to reality.

I haven’t quite decided if I’m disappointed by that or not, but I’m carrying on regardless, and I finished the skirt apart from the handsewing on the hem and facing tacking (and unbasting my welt pockets), which I’m saving as an activity for Monday’s moorings craft night. I’m excited to finally be able to attend one again – I think my last was May’s! But don’t expect any photos of me in the skirt anytime soon. If you think an unlined wool skirt is itchy, then you clearly don’t have a bad case of hives. Apart from the constant, relentless itching, I look like a teenager with the worst case of face & body acne you’ve ever seen. I’m no narcissist, but I also don’t need photographic evidence floating round the internet, either!

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