I mentioned in the last post that I had picked up some fabric while on Bainbridge Island last week. I really love it, and am excited to sew with it. Garment sewing has been tugging at the back of my mind again lately, but it’s been about 10 years since I sewed with any regularity. Sewing is not like knitting: there is no “frog” where you get back to the beginning and start over if you made a mistake. For that reason, I felt that a little practice was in order.

I have a pretty simple skirt in mind, but I had also fallen in love with the shape of this one when poking around in a boutique clothes shop in Langley, on Whidbey Island. The pieces have a more complicated shape than I was planning to use for the plaid fabric, but it was still a pretty good warm up.

I took some measurements and drew up a quick sketch,

and then whipped up a muslin to check the fit (and felt very virtuous for doing so…it’s sewing’s equivalent of the swatch, except you can’t reuse the yarn. I hate wasting fabric to make a muslin, but it is how you get a good fit).

The muslin wasn’t exciting, so I didn’t take pictures of it, but I do rather like the finished skirt.

My favorite thing about a fluted hem is that you get a fairly fitted hip but get to keep all of the leg room. I didn’t flute this one as strongly as the inspiration piece was fluted, but it’s enough that it never restricts my stride. That’s a key feature in skirt wearability for me, and I have a feeling that this one will be a favorite.

That’s one warm-up item down. I did remember a lot of things along the way, and it’s nice to have a little recent practice under my belt before embarking on a more ambitious plan with the more expensive fabric. (It’s also nice to have a new skirt…) I drew up a new sketch that’s closer to the one I actually want to make with the plaid fabric,

and I did the muslin and started a practice version yesterday. This one is a much simpler A-line cut – with 3 main panels rather than 7 – but it has a waistband and pockets which add quite a bit to the complexity. I haven’t decided yet if I’m going to do the welt pockets in the front as I have drawn, or if I’ll put them on the side instead. The welted pockets look a little fancier and would be fun to try since I’ve never done one before, but side pockets can usually carry more stuff. The practice skirt has lined side pockets, and I am quite liking them so far, so we’ll have to see how they hang once the zipper is in. Side pockets do have a tendency to gap, so the welted pockets might be a little more flattering, too. Branden is picking up a zipper on his way home from work tonight, so with any luck we should have a verdict soon!