Tuesday, October 20, 2009

How I Procrastinate

11 days to Halloween, three fancy costumes to sew and -
oh, look! Camel corduroy. Lying there among the fleece in
my fabric store plastic bags. And some more corduroy
with fall-leaves print. Hey, let's make a skirt.

In my defence, I have taken the kids' measurements.
Scribbled it in three columns on some scrap paper. That's
half the job done, right? I like the heavier fabrics of fall
and winter, so while shopping for costume materials recently,
I also casually threw a few bolts of corduroy in my cart.
And fall clothes have those nice tailored lines that
happy summer dresses don't.

Given the brevity of fall in these parts, these fabrics were
becoming obsolete by the minute, so I prioritized in their
favor and drafted a quick A-line skirt for Emily. Also added
some pockets and bias-taped all the raw edges.

Corduroy's bulk sits better with a concealed zipper so I
found one in my notions box and used that. It was a black
zipper and too long, but hey, it's a concealed zipper, so
it worked. Finished the opening with some random
hook-and-eye hand-stitching.

This is fast becoming my favorite way to hem a skirt -
no raw edges, serged or otherwise. I like hiding all the
raw edges if I can - it's like a masochistic game
I sometimes play while sewing.

*Edited to add explanation on how to do this bottom hem:

Essentially, it is like doing a facing on the
outside of the skirt bottom.

  1. Cut a band of fabric (my leaf corduroy one was 4.5" wide including 1/4" seam allowance on the top and bottom) in the same shape as the bottom-most 4" of the skirt. This is not a rectangle. It is easiest if you use the bottom-most 4" of your skirt pattern to cut this band out and add the seam allowance on all four sides. Cut one for the front and one for the back.
  2. Sew up the side seams to join the two pieces into a continuous loop.
  3. Turn the skirt inside out.
  4. Line up the bottom edge of this loop and the bottom edge of the skirt so that the RIGHT side of the band is facing the WRONG side of the skirt i.e. the band is inside the skirt.
  5. Sew 1/4" seam allowance all along the bottom edge, and iron the seam open.
  6. Fold the band out over the right side of the skirt and iron the fold.
  7. Fold in the 1/4" seam allowance at the top of the band, baste or pin.
  8. Top-stitch all along the top of the band.

I wish I could say I knitted E's cardigan, too
(which she has fondly named "Sugar").


  1. Gorgeou fall skirt! I wish I procrastinated this way.

  2. oops I meant gorgeous. Must improve one-handed typing skills.

  3. Love the leaf print corduroy! And the skirt! How exactly is the hem done? Is it like giant bias tape?

  4. Laura, thanks for the question. I started writing out a comment here then decided to edit it into the main post itself. No, it is not like a giant bias tape. It is more like a facing. Hopefully the post explanation makes sense!

  5. MaryAnne: I used to type one-handed too, when feeding the babe while reading blogs. I still do my blog reading mostly when feeding the babe (when else do we sit down?) but I've given up typing at all. This has meant the end of commenting on all the blogs I love. Shame.

  6. Now why didn't I ever think of finishing a hem that way? Brilliant! I'm going to steal the idea, of course :)

    Also am liking the design very much. Lovely corduroy!

  7. Thanks for the post edit - it completely makes sense!

  8. I love this so much!! The skirt is adorable - scooped out pockets, contrast binding, corduroy, YUM! And the hem facing is so perfect!

    I posted a link to your tutorial on Craft Gossip Sewing:


  9. She's looking so grown up. (How did that happen?)

  10. But... but... LiEr! I'm dying of curiosity here! How will we know what fantabulous costumes you're making if you don't sew them? Oh dear! It's like the chicken teaser! (Yeah, I know. Like you have nothing better to do than inspiring complete strangers with you're mad sewing skills. I am excited to see what you come up with though.)

  11. Love the skirt... the pockets & trim are such a perfect detail. Learning how to do pockets is next on my list.

  12. You are a woman after my own heart. I need to be making a "Nurse Nancy" costume (Thanks for the tutorial on making the hat & apron by the way) for my 3 yr old. Nurse Nancy is her favorite book at the moment. ....So I made two applique pumpkin shirts for my kids to wear . Which turned out so cute, but were really not top priority, seeing as how I've never made a dress as difficult as this Nancy dress is going to be.


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