Craft Fail – bias cut skirt

Replacing sneak peak this week is a hopefully infrequent feature on my craft fails.

This week I have failed to make a bias cut skirt; I’ve had a red tartan bias cut skirt in my mind for a long time and there’s a bias cut skirt pattern in Simple Modern Sewing by Shufu To Seikatsu Sha (one of those English translation, Japanese sewing books), so I thought I’d give it ago. On paper the skirt is a pretty easy make but something went wrong, possibly me being totally the wrong body shape. I am for reference, for anyone else thinking of getting this book / making this skirt, a UK size 14 bordering onto size 16, on my bottom half, I am not petite but I’m currently not overly large either. I’m an ex-apple, now very much pear shaped person, my excess baggage is very much on my hips and thighs but not my bum, there isn’t a pair of jeans in existence that fit me around the hips but don’t fall down over my bum. I looked at the sizing for the skirt, looked at the waist size for the largest size (funnily enough called the ‘large’ size), grimaced a bit because I was pretty sure my waist measurements were bigger and opted to make the large anyway because I wanted this skirt and I was still sort of optimistic I could still fit into it. So, “ah ha” you go, this skirt is a craft fail because she’s just made a skirt that she already suspected would be too small for her and it’s turned out too small . . . wrong, it’s actually a bit too big …. The big craft fail is, I think, the darts, they’re in a funny place, at least on my body they are, so when I tried the skirt on (prior to binding the top and hemming the bottom), although the skirt looked fine from lower hip down, anything above that line, *shudder*, I looked like I was modelling the latest tartan sack of potatoes. The darts didn’t seem to correspond to anywhere near remotely the curves of my body and if I pulled the waistband out, there was a good few centimetres spare.

At this point I questioned whether to continue with this skirt (like I say, I still needed to bind the top and hem the bottom) but I thought (pulling my top down over my waist in the mirror, as I modelled it) “well, as long as I wear a long top over it, it looks okay”, so I carried on with the next step, the binding (I so want to call it bias binding but it’s not, as it’s a bias skirt, the binding strip was not cut on the bias, to give the skirt some stability). I press the strip of fabric, start pinning it around the top of the skirt and discover that the binding strip is too short! Now I may have made a mistake with this, I may have not cut it to the right size but I was already feeling less than favourable to this pattern, so it was at that point I gave up. I know I could have gone to the remains of my fabric and cut another longer strip or I could do the bodge option and just hem the top (not ideal, I know) and then I could hem the bottom and probably wear it the next day and feel slightly uncomfortable in it and then stick it in my wardrobe as a guilty reminder of my clothes making ineptitude until at some point in the probably far too far future, I chucked it out, having only worn it the once. And although there was a big part of me that was fighting to continue making this skirt to the bitter end, I am quite proud of myself for knowing myself well enough to know that even if I did finish making this skirt, I would wear it once and that was it and then there would be the whole guilty wardrobe scenario and I didn’t want that. I had made a vow to myself a while ago that I was going to only wear clothes that I feel comfortable and good in and that skirt definitely did not make the grade. I also thought that if I completed the skirt, wore it once and then left it to the fester in my wardrobe, it would be an even bigger waste of fabric because if I stopped making the skirt now, I could put the incomplete skirt in with the rest of my fabric and I will hopefully, at some point in the future, use at least some of the fabric to make something else. Whereas if it was hanging in my wardrobe, the only place it would end up would be the bin.

I hate it when craft projects fail, you read the countless articles about how crafting is relaxing and good for your mental health and it is, most of the time, but when you’ve spent time, energy and money on something and it doesn’t work out …., specially when you would really quite like whatever you’ve been imagining in your head what the craft project would turn out like. I would love a nice, drapey red tartan wool skirt and well, I still haven’t got one lol. Instead I have a large amount of tartan scrap fabric and nagging questions about my body shape and whether I’ll ever be able to wear (or make for myself) a fitted skirt (or even harder, *gulp*, a pair of trousers). I think the answer is (after another recent fitted skirt sort of fail), that I have to make muslins, I don’t make them because I’m a lazy crafter (or too rushed to make something for a certain date), well, I’ve come undone too many times.

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