Friday, March 1, 2013

Made by Me Files: Baby Cord Elastic Waist Skirt.

If you have been reading my OOTD posts, you will see that every few outfits or so I mention either attending a sewing class or actually sewing garments as part of my "anecdote" portion of the OOTD information. 

Or maybe you spied this facebook photo of mine a while back and saw that I had made the top in my sewing class.

Anyhow, I clearly have been trying my hand at DIY.  ;)

Because I have a mix of fear (I am going to break the fabric or the machine*), perfectionism (no point in attempting something unless it is exactly right), and lack of time (sewing for me takes so so so long, mainly because of reason #2), I kept putting off this desire of mine to make my own garments. 

*I did break my machine, but turns out the machine I had was known for its issues, which only made me feel marginally better.  I did replace it with the Brother HC1850, which is amazing and such a joy to sew on.  Maybe if I get a few moments I will do a review of it since it is a fairly new machine and only has a handful of reviews on

Obviously, if you have been reading here for a while, you know that I have made a dress before, but after that project, I hung up my fabric and needles for another day. 

Long story short, Fairfax County has been offering sewing classes in its Parks and Rec schedule, and I decided 2013 was the year I was going to finally make good on my dream of creating my own clothing, and by myself.  (The dress I made with my stepmother's help.)

As I finish garments and wear them, I will post on them.  I don't do tutorials as I am still learning, but if I ever get good enough, I may break down the process of how I make what I make. 

This skirt I made is actually made from a tutorial, a combo of two, actually, this one by "Growing Home," and this one by "A Small Snippet."  These both were very easy to follow, and after the few projects I have attempted on my own (the top from the FB page and many pairs of pajama pants), I felt very comfortable attempting this skirt with their fabulous tutorials.  Thanks, ladies!

The fabric is from Jo Ann, and is a baby cord fabric with tiny "button" florals in a teal, brown, white, and pink. 

I added pockets, which seems like it would be really hard, but I found very easy.  Again, the pictures from the two blogs I visited for inspiration were very helpful here.

Here I have worn the skirt longer and on my hips.  The elastic is sized for my waist measurement, but there is more than enough give to wear it lower.  (It stays there, too, fwiw.)

The skirt turned out a bit fuller than I wanted, but I am not displeased, the swingy, free shape is very feminine.  :)  The next skirt I make with this pattern I will likely take in by an inch or so on each side, just so I have less gathering at the waistband.

Here I have styled the skirt for summer, wearing the waist higher so the skirt is a bit shorter.  The Loft belt cinched over the elastic band with no issues and stayed there, which is probably because the baby cord is not smooth and kind of "grabs" the leather and holds it there.

I also tried it without the belt and lower on the hips.  It is a bit less edgy but very pretty.  Add a pretty summer scarf or a pendant necklace and I am ready to go. (Well, as long as it is warm outside.  Not today, clearly!)

Since it is in the 40s today, this is how I am styling it, with a sweater, tights, and closed toe wedge heels. 

The skirt isn't lined, so I was concerned that the tights would catch on the inside of the skirt, but because the skirt is so full, the tights and inside portion of the skirt don't even touch, unless I am sitting down.

Styled with the bag from the edgy summer outfit.

Here is some info on the pieces from the outfit.

I made a mini version for my favorite mini-me.  She loves it, but I had to lol when she asked me, "momma, where are my pockets?"  :)  I thought she wouldn't even notice.

Here is a close-up of the fabric's design.  The total cost for the fabric (3 yards) was $12.  The elastic cost around $3.  So that is two skirts for $15.  I am not calculating labor, which would be ... times something like 10 hours (it shouldn't have taken me that long, but I kept going back and fixing things, I really don't want something imperfect if I can change it).

The two of us together.  CW has since added a pair of jeans under hers since she is going to Little Gym tonight.  (She doesn't want to take the skirt off.)

This is for polyvore. 

What you all should know, though, is I had started this skirt as a toile, a practice version of the skirt so that the next skirt I make is 100% perfect because I have had a chance to see what is wrong with the original design.  I think my plan is to make the same design, but with a thinner waistband, a bit less full overall, and a hair longer.  I have some of the fabric leftover from the blouse project (the black version of the Tresco floral that J. Crew is using now) that I can make the skirt from that.  I might even be able to wear the top and skirt together.

Thanks for reading everyone! 

If you are a sewer, do you have any other fun projects you have found out there on the internet?  I am definitely looking for more to create!  :)