Unicorns and Rainbows
July 19, 2011
Last summer I came back from visiting my parents with a suitcase full of fabric, notions, patterns, and knitting needles belonging to my grandmother. My dad picked up bags and bags full of sewing supplies from her house for me to go through, and I was happy to sort and choose things that I could use. She had a lot of yarn that we donated, but there was also a lot of fabric that made me very excited. One of my favourite pieces was a white knit with printed unicorns and rainbows on it. It's fabulous in that early 80's kind of way (think Care Bears), and it reminds me of something that I would have worn when I was a child. And since my grandmother occasionally sewed for me when I was young, there is a chance that I did wear it (although I think I would have remembered something as awesome as that...).
I considered making a shirt for myself out of it, but I'm not sure that I can pull it off anymore. I think I'm too old now for something so whimsical. But, I have happily made it into little skirts for several of my older son's preschool friends. The first skirt I made with a fold-over yoga style waist (without an elastic), but this time I wasn't in the mood for that. Instead I made a simple gathered skirt with an enclosed waistband in a coordinating pink knit. Since this particular knit came in a tube, this was a fast project to make. It was as simple as cuting off the appropriate length of knit, attaching the waistband (with the elastic already placed inside), hemming the bottom, and adding my tags.
Here is a close up of that fabric so that you can enjoy the unicorns and rainbows in all their glory. And let's be honest, they are glorious, aren't they?
Like I mentioned, this was a simple skirt to make. The skirt was gathered by setting both my stitch length and tension on the max, and then later adjusting the gathering to fit the waistband. When I made the waistband, I sewed the piece of pink knit into a tube, and pressed it in half. Then I joined my elastic together and put the loop of elastic inside of the pink waistband. I am lazy and I hate feeding elastic through a casing and then sewing it shut afterward. I prefer to completely construct the waistband and then attach the whole thing to the skirt all at the same time. Once the waistband was sewn on the skirt I topstitched around the top with my double needle to sew down my seam allowance and give it a finished look.
I still consider myself to be a novice at sewing knits, and I used to think it was impossible to make a nice, professional looking bottom hem. I have been using the Sew Liberated tutorial and Sew, Mama, Sew, and I really recommend this method. It doesn't work well with super stretchy knits, like ribbing, but it is perfect for most knits. The inside doesn't look amazing, but the outside - the part you can actually see - was perfect, so I was happy.
Last, I added my tags. I know I've mentioned before that I sometimes feel awkward about this, but I think it's nice for people to know who made things (especially since this skirt is a gift), and it is always crucial to know what size things are.
In other news, you may see a few more girly projects from me in the future since we found out last Friday that we will be welcoming a baby girl to our family in December. Yeah for girl sewing!