Monday, September 27, 2010


I often have a problem finishing a sewing project in a "reasonable" amount of time. If I don't finish a project within a week of having started it, I will often get busy with work, or gain more interest in another project, and will abandon the half-finished one. The thing is, I never abandon it completely. I usually just end up bagging the pieces up, sticking them in a plastic container somewhere, and forgetting about them. Until one glorious day, 6 months later, a year later, 3 years later, when I stumble across it again and think "Gee, I am so close to finishing this, and it is such a cool project." Out comes the bag and the half-sewn fabric, and we are back in business!
Such is the story of this floral skirt that I have been working on lately. I bought this skirt super cheep somewhere between 6 and 8 years ago. I really liked the fabric, but was bored with the style. I thought that adding some ruffles would solve that problem and make it totally worth buying. I had in my head circular ruffles, to give it a cuban/salsa feel to match the floral. The only problem was that at the time, I had no idea what circular ruffles were or how to make them. I only knew that there was a way to make ruffles that didn't involve lots of gathering at the seam, and that was what I wanted. About 6 months later I finally managed to acquire some fabric that I liked for said ruffles (the black and red-violet cottons, which were purchased at Fabric Depot purely for their color and weight). At which point, the skirt and fabric sat in my UFO (UnFinished Object) drawer for years. Every once in a while I would take it out, but I would always put it back as the idea of doing the math to figure out the necessary size of the circles was too much for my poor word-addled brain.
Until 2 weeks ago, when I bought a book at the used book store that inspired me: Singer 101 Sewing Secrets. On pages 84-87 there is a whole spread on how to make circular ruffles (which, as the name implies, are ruffles made out of sewing basically doughnuts of fabric with one vertical cut in them together). This type of ruffle gives a soft, even wave and doesn't add any bulk at the seamline (think Spanish ladies/Flamenco dancers). So I got to work calculating circle circumferences and cutting and sewing fabric. I am so very close to being done with the skirt: all I have left is to attach the completed ruffles to the skirt, and to replace the invisible zipper that broke. But I must confess, my interest is waning rapidly. Yesterday when I went to work on the skirt, I ended up sewing this instead:

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