Sunday, December 25, 2011

Dancing Skirts ... and Post Christmas Wrap Up


Happy Christmas!

Table of Contents:

I have been quite busy the last week, or so, cooking, baking, cleaning... preparing for the holiday. Though, to be honest, very little decorating. This year we placed our gifts under the Christmas Poinsettia, and I drew a stocking shape on two grocery bags. That, plus a wreath, and I was done. I've been working a lot and just couldn't get into the decorating, especially as the kids weren't around much to help/inspire/motivate.

Lazy? I like to think "efficient." :) You see, my week of vacation, and sewing, begins tomorrow and I'm ready to go! My house is all tidied and ready for some serious creative work.

I hope. :)

Dancing Skirts

I may have mentioned that younger daughter is now into Swing dancing. She had many dancing activities recently, so this week I whipped up three dancing skirts for her. For all three I hit the stash. I drafted up a gored trumpet skirt pattern. I was going to post a tutorial, then I googled and discovered there are many such tutorials, so why create another? In particular, I recommend this one and this one. It really is easy. :)

I first made an 8-gore skirt in red. The fabric for this one is a red sweater knit from Fabrix. This sweater knit is very "sticky" and wanted to grab onto itself. It was highly annoying to sew. I should have lined it, but couldn't be bothered. To help force it to behave, I took a couple dryer sheets and rubbed them all over the skirt, inside and out. That helped quite a bit. It's hard to pin down DD2 for pics, as she has a very active social life, but here is the hangar shot. It's a little bumpy at the waistline where I topstitched it, but that disappears on her body. I hemmed this skirt by hand.

Next up, I made her a 10-gore skirt using a slinky green fabric, also from Fabrix. This one has no hem, and is 3" shorter than the red skirt.

Finally, I made her a black skirt, also using a slinky fabric from Fabrix. This is a 12-gore skirt, with an asymmetric (raw edged) hem. Unfortunately, I have no shots of it on her, but here are a couple hangar shots.

The technique for creating the pointy hem is quite easy. Once you create the gore pattern piece, just draw in the asymmetric hem. I made the hem shorter on one side by 4" and then drew a curve to connect it to the other side. It would have been interesting to make it even shorter on one edge and to use a straight line to connect the points - to create a more dramatic effect.

Drawing the 12-gore asymmetric pattern. The original 10-gore skirt pattern is on the left.

The resulting 12-gore skirt pattern. I photographed the back side because it continued to curl up when laying on the right side.

Note: If you do try this, make sure that you cut all 12 gores with the same orientation. Unless your fabric is the same on both sides, you need to cut them all the same - do not fold the fabric in half and cut them out and expect it to work out. You have been warned. ;)

Photo Shoot

Several weeks ago my kids and their two cousins asked me to do a photo shoot for the grandparents for Christmas. I am not a professional photographer, by any means, but I enjoy taking pictures so I enthusiastically agreed. We had to wait for finals to be over, but we finally had an hour last week where all the schedules aligned and I was able to corral the cousins at the Palace of Fine Arts in the late afternoon. It was so much fun! Besides the jumping photo at the beginning of this post, here are a few more pics, out of the more than 500 that I took.






I think you can see that these cousins are more like siblings.

Christmas Booty

My two girls gave me some fun gifts this year. Nothing sewing related, but it's not like I need much in that area. ;)

Fun felted slippers!

I love this whimsical reindeer so much, she's staying out all year!

I saw a profile about Vienna Teng on PBS recently. I was waxing rhapsodic to one of the girls about her music and was gifted with one of her DVDs.

Here is one of her songs. She is classically trained and amazing. Prepare to be enchanted!

I also received a pair of knitted gloves that had not yet arrived, so no pictures, though DD wrapped up a printout. They have polka dots!

I expect to be sewing more than blogging this coming week. We'll see how it goes. :)