The “I can do it” spirit, instilled by my father, is alive and well in my feeble brain, so when I see Mimi G.’s adorable Skirt With Sash how-to tutorial on Pinterest I figure, “How hard can it be?” Who cares if I barely know how to sew. In fact I hate to sew, but I shove that negative thought out of my mind. The Skirt with Sash is adorable.
So, whether it’s inspiration or insanity, I buy Mimi G’s tutorial and pattern for the pocket, for $9.99.
I’ve never sewn a pocket before.
I watch the first 20 minutes of the tutorial in order to get an idea of what’s in store, and other than the tidbit about the Invisible Zipper, I’m confident that I’m up to the task. I visit my friend JoAnn, resolute. I ignore the fuzzy fabric store dizziness and make my way past the Perfect Quilt Fabric to the sale table. I find just enough lightweight denim for a skirt, some interfacing (I had to ask), thread, and the Invisible Zipper.
I’ve never sewn in a zipper before.
Although Mimi suggests the project is for a beginner, her instructions presume a relatively experienced student, which we all know I’m not. Undaunted, I stitch ahead. Although the pocket part goes fairly well, I stop the first night after my fingers are rubbed raw from trying to gather 2 1/2 yards of not so lightweight denim. Mimi’s gathers are perfectly formed, while mine…aren’t.
Day Two begins. I figure out how to finish the gathers in an imperfect sort of way, and then attempt the zipper. Mimi demonstrates…and warns. “Be careful not to sew over the teeth of your zipper.” I try to imitate her actions…then rip the zipper out. Again, I watch Mimi and listen intently. She doesn’t use pins, but I do. I try again….I rip it out a second time (not with a seam ripper mind you, but with hair scissors. They have a nice sharp tip).
Did I mention I’ve never sewn in a zipper?
I try a third time. I zip and unzip, it all looks good. I sew, slowly, and as I lift the skirt from the machine I shake it out, excited that I’ve accomplished a feat. But wait. Something’s amiss — the skirt is discombobulated. In fact, it was so discombobulated that I can’t really find the words to describe what happened. If I used curse words, this would be a good time, but I don’t. So, I give up.
I put everything away.
Day Three. I pull everything out again. I will not admit defeat. I rip out the zipper for the 4th time. Rather than pinning it onto the fabric in my lap like Mimi does, I lay it out on the table, and with painstaking care I attach it to the fabric, then sew. Wah-lah! I declare victory. I then secure the waistband and fasten belt loops. I decide the fabric is too heavy for a sash and try it out with a scarf instead. It looks pretty cute. Besides, I don’t want to sew the sash.
Mimi finishes her hem off camera. What?! Did I mention that I’ve never sewn a hem before?! I feel abandoned by Mimi G.
I’m at a complete loss.
So, for the next two hours I search the internet for blind hem tutorials and found some doozies let me tell you. Being a teacher myself I learned a whole lot about the art of instruction this weekend.
I attempt the hem three, maybe four times to no avail. The thought of learning how to hand stitch a hem gives me a sick headache. So, the unhemmed skirt waits, draped across the dining room chair – the nicely covered dining room chair I might add, and the sewing stuff is tucked away for another day way down the road.
I know a really great tailor at Southpoint Mall who sews a hem for a really great price.
P.S. For the record, if you are an experienced seamstress and you sew your own clothes, Mimi G is worth checking out. She has some really cute designs.