Today was “Copy Your Favorite Garment” class:
Make a pattern without taking your garment apart. Pattern–making experience is not necessary, but you must have sewn clothes, know garment construction plus sewing/pattern terminology. This class is for those who cannot find a pattern or can’t fit patterns but own a garment that fits (and not mind pinning it and getting some wash–away ink on it). I’ve taught this class for 15+ years at local stores and since 2004 at the Experimental College.
It’s thru’ the Experimental College at the UW (it’s a student group), which is a great resource if you’re in the Seattle area.
I wanted to take the class because i have this fabulous skirt which never fails to receive compliments — but for which i have no pattern. The awesome things about this skirt are: #1, it has sixteen gores. #2, the fabric is weird and quirky. I tend to think of it as a GothLoli Pennsylvania Dutch skirt. Can you imagine how fabulous this thing would be over layers upon layers of tulle??
The weird thing about this skirt is that Mom and i aren’t sure where it came from. We found it in my grandmother’s sewing things when we were cleaning out her sewing room. The gores were sewn together and the zipper was hand-basted in. But all it took was one flip to the inside of the skirt and Mom and i knew instantly that my grandmother had not put it together — the seams were shockingly uneven and rough. But the skirt mysteriously fit my waist, so i brought it home. Put in the zipper, fitted it with my usual band-less waist, and sewed up the hem.
The more i wear it the more i love it. (Tho’ i don’t wear it often because the ironing of it is a pain.) The more i wear it, the more i want more skirts in the same pattern (okay, ironing be damned). But there are no patterns for mystery skirts! And so today i learned the basics of making a pattern from the garment itself.
And now, i shall make more and more skirts just like it. First up, a skirt in this:
Oh. My. Freaking. Word. I loved this fabric the instant i saw it. Yes, it’s a Spoonflower fabric — and, yes, that means that 1 yard of cotton will cost about $18. I would normally not pay that much for fabric if i were buying it at a local store. (The most i’ve ever paid for fabric was $15 a yard, but it was Japanese fabric in an adorable owl pattern and the drape and feel of the cloth was absolutely divine. And that is the careful-est sewing i have ever done on any garment. You bet i didn’t want to mess it up.) But i think, for a design that i absolutely adore and at a cost that will go to support an independent designer, i might be willing to make an exception to my upper-limit for fabric cost and buy this one.