Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas!

Our tree

Lorenzo's new favorite spot

Handmade ornament for Cate

Christmas in California!

Happy Holidays to all!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Reflections on being a beginning sewist, indie pattern companies, and product support

Life got in the way a little and prevented me from moving forward on the Red Velvet Sewalong for awhile, but I'm happy to say I've completed through Day 5--Hooray!  This means I've:
Hey, I figured out how to do a three stitch zig-zag!

  • done the Deep Bust Adjustment and added longer sleeves to the bodice
  • cut out my fabric
  • stabilized and sewed my shoulder seams
  • attached the facing and topstitched it to the bodice
I wasn't totally happy with my topstitching, at first, and was considering ripping it out, but then I looked at it again the next day and decided it was fine.  The fabric crept a little on the top as I was stitching, which made it look a little skewed.  But, then I decided it didn't look bad (and certainly not bad enough to keep me from wearing it), so I decided to move on.  In the videos accompanying the sewalong, Steph shows how she uses steam a seam on that part which I'm sure keeps the fabric from creeping.  I didn't have any, so I didn't do that step.  Next time, I will (I haven't even finished this dress and I'm already planning another one!).

My mom was visiting last week and I showed her the pattern and we talked about the price difference between indie patterns and buying a Big 4 pattern from Joann's.  It's true that indie patterns are much more expensive than what you would pay for, say, a Simplicity dress pattern.  I like supporting small businesses (especially those owned by women), and I recognize that a higher price is something that goes along with buying from a small business.  Not everyone has an interest in going out of their way to support small businesses, though, and some prefer to save money on buying their patterns and spend it on more expensive fabric instead and I can appreciate that point of view.


You are never, ever going to get the sort of product support on a Big 4 pattern that you can get on an indie pattern in general and on the Cake patterns in particular.  Never.  Maybe, if you are an experienced sewist, that doesn't make much of a difference to you, but if you are a beginner, well, the videos accompanying the sewalong are worth the price of the pattern all by themselves.  And, on top of that, you can upload images of your project to the flickr Sewalong group and if you are having a problem, the designer herself will help you sort it out.  Frankly, this is pure gold, and this is what my mother and I ended up talking about.

I am quite lucky in that:  1) my mother is quite good at sewing, and 2) when I decided to learn to sew and bought a machine, my mother helped me make a dress from start to finish.  This meant that I learned a whole bunch of very basic things right at the very beginning and had enough confidence (and knowledge) to make a few skirts and kid's clothes on my own.  I'm also unlucky in that my mother lives half a continent away and so, after that initial lesson, I was mostly on my own.  That's where the product support, sewalongs, etc. come in.  

I know I'm not alone in this.  There's a large number of beginning sewists who have nobody nearby to help them learn to sew and improve their sewing.  Maybe they don't live near family or if they do, nobody in their family sews.  The online sewing community has been instrumental in helping people in those circumstances, and sewalongs (led by the pattern designer or another experienced sewist) are invaluable.  I'm very grateful that they exist and I hope to join more sewalongs in the future!

Sunday, November 10, 2013

RV Sewalong--Getting ready

Hot Date 

In preparation for the sewalong, I took my measurements and then roughly cut out the pattern pieces I'm going to be using from the pattern paper and ironed them.  It appears as though I will need to do a Deep Bust Alteration since there is 3 5/8 inches of difference between my bodice length and the pattern piece length!

Tomorrow, I plan on tracing the pattern pieces in addition to whatever we need to do for the sewalong.

Saturday, November 09, 2013

Sewing Along

I've signed up for the Red Velvet Sewalong!

Red Velvet Sewalong Esme House 

Cake patterns is hosting a sewalong for the new Red Velvet pattern.  They've divided everyone into three houses (I'm in Esme) based on the names of the models on the pattern envelope.  There's a points system and a prize and a Flikr group and all sorts of stuff.

This is the first pattern sewalong I've done and I'm super excited about it.  I'm hoping that the 30 minutes a day of sewing during the sewalong turns into 30 minutes a day of sewing after the sewalong, too.  The sewalong will give me some accountability in that you get points by showing progress pix and for finishing an object (a Red Velvet dress or clutch or Espresso leggings).  This is going to be a good time to start the sewalong, too.  My husband, John, will be home on the 11th for Veteran's day so I'll be able to work on some of the Espresso leggings before the actual sewing starts for the Red Velvet dress (Day 1 is getting all of your materials together and choosing size and fabric).  On Sat., the 16th, John will be leaving town and my mom will be flying in.  Mom sewed many of my clothes when I was little so it will be great having another sewist around during the sewalong--she can help me figure things out if I get stuck.  :)

Monday, November 04, 2013

Ginger #2

 I finished my second Ginger skirt.

Pattern:  Ginger from Colette
Fabric:  Cotton stretch sateen from Joann's
Notions:  1 invisible zipper and a grossgrain ribbon for trim at the bottom
Modifications:  Used a contour waistband pattern piece I made for my first Ginger, raised the hem a few inches, and added some ribbon as trim.

Actually, I finished it quite some time ago.  I was going to add some ribbon to the waistband and it's been hanging in my closet with the ribbon pinned to it.  Sunday morning, I was desperate for some clean clothes so I pulled all of the pins out and put it on.  Perhaps I'll add the ribbon sometime in the future.

Part of the reason this skirt has been hanging in my closet without being either finished or worn is that it didn't fit right.  I gained weight in between making my first Ginger and the second and so the waistband was too tight to wear a little below my natural waist like I wanted, instead it sat at my waist.  And, because I raised the hem, it was too short when it was sitting at my natural waist.  So, it sat in my closet, waiting for me to either take out the hem and lengthen it or give it away.

My experience with this skirt is one of the things that prompted me to start exercising and start eating better. It wasn't a long time between the time I finished my first Ginger and my second and yet I had still gained enough weight in that time for the skirt to not fit right (the 1st Ginger was longer so even though it sat higher on my waist that I would have liked, it didn't seem too short).  I've been steadily gaining around 5 lbs a year for the past 10 years.  This is not something I wanted to continue!  So, I've been eating twice as many fruits and veggies as I had been, drinking three times as much water (seriously, I was terribly dehydrated before!), and watching my portion sizes.  Now this skirt fits like I want it to!

Obligatory self-portrait in the mirror
Question:  does modeling your finished projects ever get any easier, or does it always feel awkward?  I always feel like a bit of a dork having my husband take random photos of me.  I'm not a center of attention kind of person.  I've heard having a tripod and a remote helps but I only have a point and shoot camera.  I can get a tripod for it, but not a remote, and the timer gets old real fast.  Any suggestions?

Sunday, November 03, 2013

Tuxedo kitty!

I wrote a nice long post about finishing up Cate's costume, but blogger ate it.  I don't have the heart to write it all out again right now, but I wanted to show you the pix from Halloween.

More details soon!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Getting down to the wire

Well, I got the t-shirt cut out last night, so I'm sewing it tonight.  I confess to doing a few things that I would normally consider rather shoddy practice in order to have it done in time.  First, I didn't pre-wash the fabric.  I realize that I run the risk that it will shrink in the wash but, really, at this point I don't much care if she is able to wear it past Halloween.  Second, there are a few things I would probably rip out and do over if I wasn't on a deadline.  There are a couple of little unintentional tucks in the tops of the sleeves which I would normally try to eliminate by ripping out that small area and redoing the stitching there.  I did some top-stitching around the collar to help hold down the seam allowance on the neck band and it is quite visibly uneven in one particular spot (because I used black thread all the way around the neck, even on the white fabric of the front).  I haven't finished the side seams or done the hem yet, but I will also likely not be too fussed if they turn out less than A quality work.

So, here's an update on the costume:

  • Collar:  Not started
  • Tail: needs to be sewn to an elastic band
  • Shirt:  needs side seams and hem sewn
  • Ears:  complete
  • Leggings:  purchased
  • Make up:  need to buy black eyeliner to draw a few whiskers and give her a little black nose
I guess I had better get back to work!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Best laid plans and all that

Old Plan

Saturday evening, armed with my shopping list and a coupon, I ventured over to Joann's to purchase the things I needed for Cate's costume.

I should have stayed home.

Apparently, on top of not being the only person who suddenly realized Halloween was less than a week away, there was a one day sale going on.  The place looked like some sort of bomb went off.  Fabric bolts were strewn everywhere--on top of other bolts, in random aisles, and even on the floor.  The pile of bolts behind the cutting countered looked as if no one had been reshelving fabric the entire day.  The line to the cutting counter was long, there was a good 15 to 20 minutes between when you took a number and when they called your number.  Check-out was also a lengthy process.  Pro-managerial tip:  if you have a sale the weekend before one of the busiest sewing holidays of the year, try to have more than three employees working.  The same person who cut my fabric also rang up my purchases at the front.  I think she was moving back and forth between the two as each line started to get out of control.

Artist's rendition of my face after
shopping at Joann's on Saturday.
Several items I went there to buy were not available.  First, the McCall's pattern I wanted to use to make the black and white t-shirt was not there.  Possibly not surprising since McCall's patterns were on sale for 99¢.  Second, I couldn't find any simple black interlock or jersey fabric.  There was black performance knits and dancewear knits and special occasion knits with glitter, but no plain old block cotton for making a simple t-shirt and leggings.  Fortunately, the one mission-critical item I needed--fuzzy black trim for making the kitty tail--was in stock.  I was also able to get white interlock fabric and silver ribbon to make her collar.

I ventured back on Monday, armed with a second coupon, and fortunately found a bolt of black cotton interlock.  I spent a good deal of time locating two different patterns that I would be okay buying (since the McCall's pattern was still out) which was fortunate since only one of them was available (a Burda pattern, the number was in the 9800s and the store didn't have any Burda patterns past 9550).  When I and another frustrated shopper asked about the missing patterns (she was also in a situation where the pattern numbers didn't reach as high as the pattern she wanted to get), an employee pointed us to a cart piled high with boxes of patterns and said we were welcomed to look through them.

New Plan

Halloween is now in two days and I have the following done:  the tail.  I worked on ears last night but was having difficulty with the crazy fuzzy trim and, in any case, my prototype ear is far too large for Cate (she would look more like a rabbit).

  • Tonight:  Make the ears the ears, and, if there's time, I will cut out the t-shirt pattern (oddly enough, one isn't able to just stop making supper and taking care of a two year old in order to make said two year old's Halloween costume).  
  • Wed.:  Sew up the t-shirt if I was able to cut it out the night before.  Buy:  1 pair of black leggings, and, a black t-shirt if no time to make the t-shirt from scratch. (I'll sew a large oval of the white knit fabric onto the front of the t-shirt so she can still be a black and white cat.  Or, maybe glue it on if I'm really pressed for time!)
  • Thurs.:  Halloween!  Take a billion pictures, trick or treat at a couple houses, go to the party the apt. complex is having, and then collapse on the bed.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Halloween is less than a week away!

I just realized that Halloween is just around the corner and I have yet to start Cate's costume!  Nothing I've planned is difficult to make, but I have so little time for sewing on a day to day basis.  Here's my plan of action:

Today (Sat.):  Go to Joann's, buy materials and craft supplies and get the fabric washed.

Sunday:  Make the tail and ears.  These are the most critical parts and I can't buy the kind of tail I want.  I'm using this tutorial to make the tail and the ears (the tutu is adorable, but it doesn't exactly go with the theme of being our tuxedo kitty).

Monday:  Trace t-shirt and leggings patterns and cut out fabric.  I'll be using the plain t-shirt (no peplum) and leggings from McCalls M6780.

Tuesday:  Sew up the t-shirt, check fit.

Wednesday:  Sew up leggings, check fit.

Thursday:  Halloween!

[Edit:  I originally wrote that Friday was Halloween, but after posting, I was talking to my DH and realized that Thursday is Halloween!  It's even sooner than I thought!]

Monday, October 21, 2013

Next Project!

It's getting to be that time.  A time that strikes fear in the heart of every new parent causing them to lay awake at night wondering how they will get through it.  A time of joy and tears, a time of wonderful success followed by heartbreaking set-backs followed by cautious optimism.  A time of fantastic highs leading to cheering and dancing and rejoicing and terrifying lows leading to sobbing and moments of quiet desperation when you consider that maybe, just maybe, you are the one parent who will fail.

Yes, I'm talking about potty training.

There is an overwhelming amount of advice in the forms of books, articles, blog posts, and the sage advice of the people you meet on the street or in the store as you purchase training pants or well-meaning friends and family.  There are theories, techniques, studies, and opinions.  Helpfully, they all contradict each other.

And the potties, Good Lord, the potties!  They range from a simple piece of molded plastic to having lids, deodorizers, and a spot for putting a box of super special toilet paper/flushable wipes made just for the whole potty training experience.

One thing that does seem clear is that Cate will need some sort of training pants.  Having used cloth diapers (and some disposable compostable diapers), we are reluctant to go out and buy a box of BigBrand Pull-ups.  Therefore, we are looking at cloth training pants.  I hate those plastic pants that have traditionally been put over training pants, so I'm looking at some alternatives.  One of those alternatives are these modified training pants.  Instead of using a plastic cover, this mom sewed a panel of PUL fabric onto the outside of the store-bought training pants.  PUL is a waterproof fabric often used to make cloth diaper covers.  In theory, I could just use one of the PUL cloth diaper covers I already have to cover the training pants, but the ones I have are designed like a diaper, that is to say it is flat and you bring the front up and the sides around and that's held in place by velcro (I have these in various shades).  However, I would like something that Cate can put on and take off herself.  Wool diaper covers (like the one that I have that is almost finished, and she probably will wear that one) would also work, but she's grown out of the ones I have made and borrowed and I'm not sure I want/have time to make a bunch more in her size.

Fortunately, Joann's sells PUL so I just need to make a trip over there and buy a half yard of it or so and get busy with the sewing machine.  I may make a couple of PUL pants that would entirely cover the training pants, too, to use until she starts to get the hang of things because I'm thinking that the PUL panel is not going to be sufficient in the event of a big accident.

I'm not sure when we're going to start on this little experiment.  We already have both a potty and seat that sits on the toilet that she can use and she likes to sit on both of these and has even peed while sitting on them a couple of times.  So, I suppose you could say we've already started, in a way, with a very gradual approach.  But, I think we need to start ramping up and we'll probably do that sometime soon.  Wish us luck!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

What's on my sewing table (or would be, if I had time to sew)

Finding time to sew is challenging these days.  There's the whole toddler in the house thing and on top of that, I seem to have some difficulty keeping my sewing area clear of crap junk important things for which I have yet to find a suitable home.  I have also embarked on a quest to eat healthier and exercise more which is leading to some weight loss, and probably will continue to do so for awhile, thus making garment sewing for myself a little complicated (my measurements seem to be changing from week to week).  So, what's a sewist to do?

Sew Kid's Clothes
Cate's Halloween costume
inspiration. Perhaps the kitty
should dress up as Cate?
Cate has outgrown her Big Butt Baby Pants and will be needing some new pairs for the fall/winter.  Also, I've got some cute corduroy I've been dying to make into a dress for her since before she was born.  Then there's that pesky Halloween holiday coming up.  I think we're going to go simple this year and she will be a cat.  Our cat, to be specific.  He's a tuxedo kitty, so I want to make her a t-shirt that has black sleeves and a black back but a white front.  That, plus some black leggings, white socks and shoes, a tail, some ears and a silver collar (which is what our kitty wears), oh and some whiskers drawn on her face, should be sufficient.  Our cat is an indoor/outdoor kitty and very friendly with our neighbors in the apt. complex, so I think they will get a kick out of it.  I'll have to try to get a picture of the both of them together.

Sew Knits
Knits are famously forgiving and you can wear a slightly oversized t-shirt and not have it look really wrong.  So, I will be making a couple more Renfrews.  I also recently bought a Tiramisu dress pattern and then realized I probably should have bought a Red Velvet dress pattern since that's the sewalong that's coming up.  Hmmm...maybe I better go back to the Cake website.  The Tiramisu is assembled flat with the side seams sewed up at the very end.  That's great because I think it will make it easier to fine tune the fit and take it in as needed.  I also bought a pattern for the Espresso leggings.  I wear a lot of leggings and tights in the winter here.  It gets chilly here in the winter and the builders in this area don't know how to insulate properly so it also gets cold in the apt. because I refuse to turn the heat on during the day when it's 55 degrees outside (and, consequently, not much warmer inside).  So, leggings and tights are a must with skirts.

Sew a Wrap Skirt
I was thinking that a wrap skirt would be useful as I can tie it more tightly or loosely or whatever depending on my fluctuating waistline (hopefully my waistline will continue decreasing, but I do get bloated every now and again, I'm sure you know what I'm talking about).  I love the look of the Miette skirt by Tilly of Tilly and the Buttons and the Great British Sewing Bee fame.  The largest size is still slightly too small for my current waistline.  I'm trying to decide between just going ahead and making and wearing the largest size now on the basis that my waist size is only off by a couple of inches and there is plenty of coverage in the overlap in the back so it's okay if it overlaps a bit less (the side seams would be slightly off, but hopefully not for long).  Or, maybe I'll wait awhile and make it when I start to fall into the size range of the pattern.

Sew Craft Projects
I'm currently in a swap for handmade knitting needle/crochet hook holder/wrap/thing so I need to get busy making that.  I do have some time because it's not due until sometime in Nov. but if I get involved in the Red Velvet sewalong I don't want something else due at the same time as the sewalong and needing my attention.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

UnFinished Objects

Life has been pretty busy around here, but not necessarily in the knitting and sewing departments.  I don't think I've completed anything for several months, now!  I have a bunch of UFOs laying around, however.

UFO 1:  Cate's Easter Sweater

That's this past Easter, not Easter 2014.  It's a pretty little thing made using Rowan Calmer, a lovely cotton/acrylic blend that is sadly discontinued.  I missed my Easter deadline, but continued to work on it thinking it would be a nice summer sweater (light sweaters are a necessity in the SF Bay Area).  Unfortunately, Cate grew faster than I knit and I started to realize that, once complete, the sweater would not fit her.  :(  However, she has a cousin, Elena, who will be turning 1 at the end of Nov.  Elena lives in Atlanta, so a lightweight sweater would be perfect for her.  The knitting is done, I just need to block it, sew the side and arm seams, and add buttons.

UFO 2: My Turquoise Shrug

When I realized Cate's sweater wouldn't fit her, I put it down and started crocheting a shrug out of Rowan Calmer in a very pretty shade of turquoise (back when Calmer was discontinued, a local yarn store put their remaining stock on steep discount and I snatched up a bunch of it).  The shrug pattern I"m using is very simple; you crochet a large rectangle, fold it in half lengthwise, then sew a short seam on each end of the long open side.  This makes a nice, short-sleeved shrug.  I would like one that's around 3/4 sleeve, though, so I'm making a much longer rectangle.  After doing the seaming, I plan on picking up and knitting some ribbing around each opening to give it a bit more shaping.  I've been working on this one here and there, but crocheting hurts my wrist so I've had to take a break.

UFO 3:  Mom's 2012/2013 Christmas Socks

Every year, I make my mom socks for Christmas.  That is, every year except last year.  I started this pair of socks, but, between having a toddler and using my knitting time to make things for that toddler, I barely got them started.  I am using Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock in Byrne (I think, I lost the ball band and the colorway doesn't look exactly the same on the website, but it's close) and the Spring Forward pattern from Knitty Summer 2008.  I now have the foot and part of the leg done on one of them.  Maybe they'll be done by Christmas this year, or maybe they will turn into 2012/2013/2014 Christmas Socks!

UFO 4:  Purple Woolies

I knit a wool diaper cover for Cate using Malabrigo yarn and the Sheepy Pants (Ravely link) pattern.  Before adding elastic to the waistband, I tried them on her and they were enormous and I was thinking I was going to actually have to cut off a large portion of the top so that the crotch wouldn't be hanging down to her knees, so I set them aside.  That was several months ago.  Now, they are still too big, but not as bad as before and I simply turned under about two inches at the top instead of the one inch that I originally intended.  I've almost finished sewing down the waistband after which I will add the elastic, sew the waistband closed, lanolinize them, and they will be good to go!

No sewing UFOs right now, sewing's a lot harder to accomplish since I can't take it with me to the park or doctor's appointments (though I've actually considered starting to sew garments by hand simply because it seems like it would be easier than trying to find time to clear off my desk and sit down at the machine!).

Saturday, July 06, 2013


This is a summer of almost non-stop travel.  Iowa June 11-25, Boston July 11-23, Sunday school teacher training in Napa Aug. 11-18.  It's a total coincidence all of the departure dates are the 11th.  I actually didn't even notice it until I typed it out just now.

So, what with one thing and another and this and that and the other thing...I fell off the wagon.

Forgive me Father, for I have sinned.  I bought cheap clothes.

I have been trying to be more environmentally and ethically conscious when buying clothes.  But, well, we were leaving for Iowa in a couple of days and it gets beastly hot and humid there in the summer (95+ degrees F with 70-90% humidity) and I didn't have any shorts and I had very few t-shirts.  I had looked and looked and tried on shorts to no avail--nothing fit and time was running out.  Sooooo, I went to Kohl's and bought two pairs of Lee* jeans.  Since none of the capris and shorts were of the same cut, I bought the full length jeans and hacked one pair off at the knees for shorts and the other off a little below the knees for capris.  Aaaannd, since I was at Kohl's, I bought 2 t-shirts.  And a purse.

Then, while in Iowa, I went to Eddie Bauer and bought 1 t-shirt, 1 tank top, and 2 rather sheer blouses (looks like maybe made of a cotton voile) to wear over tank tops.  I feel slightly better about this because 1) I am still wearing Eddie Bauer clothes I bought 5 years ago and 2) the clothes were made in China where the factory conditions are much better than, say, Bangladesh (although, it should be said that in many factories the workers are still not paid a fair wage and the factories have no respect for the environment).

Then, today, I bought a pair of Dansko sandals that were regretably made in China.  Have you tried to find shoes that aren't made in China?  I'm having a hard time finding them in stores.  I have found some to order online but I have such a hard time finding comfortable shoes to begin with that I prefer not to order shoes online for fear I will end up in an endless cycle of ordering and returning shoes.

They say that you find out how strong your convictions are when your back is against the wall.  I guess mine are not as strong as I would like them to be regarding where my clothes/shoes are made.  I feel pretty good about trying to buy clothes/shoes that will last, though.  I have hopes of wearing my Dansko sandals for a number of years and having them repaired when necessary.  I am handwashing my lightweight shirts from EB because I think that will make the delicate fabric last longer.

I'm still working on making my own clothes, too.  It's just taking me much longer than I anticipated.  Last night, I finished another Renfrew t-shirt (this time made from a ribbed knit cotton/spandex blend from Joanns).  I have enough fabric for two more t-shirts and I'm hoping to make a simple Renfrew dress by extending the hemline.  And, I want to make another Ginger and a Miette (this would require some pattern grading, unfortunately, but it's so cute I'm willing to give it a try!).  I'd love to make a Cambie, too.  But, I fear it may take me all summer to get through that list (especially with all of the traveling planned).  Fortunately, I think I am set for the summer and the t-shirts and skirts should carry me through most of the fall and on into December (local climate being what it is).  So, I have time to continue to work on my wardrobe.  And, perhaps I need to revise my expectations and realize it's going to take awhile to put together an ethical wardrobe and that there's no point in beating myself up in the meantime.

*Lee classic fit jeans fit me.  I have tried others--all kinds of "curvy" fit jeans at Gap and many, many types of Levis (515, 529, I've tried them all).  They do not fit.  I hope one day I will be able to make my own jeans but until that blessed day, I have decided that I will be buying Lee jeans and not feel guilty about it.  I did try finding a pair 2nd hand, but I could not find any.  :(

Wednesday, May 29, 2013


This is the Colette Ginger which is an A-line skirt with a waistband and a back zip.  It's a pretty straightforward pattern, but I made a muslin anyway to check fit.  I'm glad I did because the waistband gaped at the top.  After pinching out the excess, I realized that what I needed was a contoured waistband.

Fig. 1:  My natural waist is ridiculously high
The Ginger waistband is similar to other waistbands that I've encountered in that it is pretty much rectangular when you sew the pieces together.  I think the idea is that since it's supposed to sit at your "natural waist" (that is, the narrowest point of your lower torso) the waistband doesn't need to be much wider on the bottom than on the top.  However, my natural waist is really high--maybe a couple of inches below my bust--so I never wear skirts and pants at my natural waist. 

So, I tend to wear my pants, skirts, etc. lower than my natural waist, but that area has a lot of curvature, so a mostly rectangular waistband is not going to fit me right.  However, if you take in the waistband at the seams quite a bit, but only at the top of the waistband, you end up with a really strange looking, trapezoidal pattern piece.  If you cut your waistband with those pieces and sew them together, you get what sort of look like mitered corners at the side seams (ask me how I know).  Enter the contour, or curved, waistband. 
Fig. 2  Rectangular vs.
Contour Waistband

Of course, the Ginger skirt doesn't come with a contour waistband, so I would need to draft the pattern pieces myself.  This was a little daunting considering I hadn't ever done it before, but since I was working with a muslin I figured I didn't have anything to lose.  I searched for a tutorial for drafting a, but only found written descriptions of what to do in a reply to a post on Pattern Review (and another method here).  I was surprised by the lack of information on this subject--I can't be the only woman with this sort of problem.  In any case, I was able to successfully draft pattern pieces for both the front and back waistband, and make a Ginger skirt in my fashion fabric (turquoise linen) which I love!  I've already worn it a couple of times, but haven't managed to get pictures yet.  Perhaps I should work on that tomorrow. 

Monday, May 27, 2013