Alexandra Duncan

Science Fiction. Fantasy. Feminism.


Earlier this year, I might possibly MAYBE have gotten addicted to ModCloth, a site that sells vintage-inspired clothing and hipster brick-a-brak. (I am very susceptible to hipster brick-a-brak.) I've mostly been window shopping - although I did buy a gift for someone there earlier this year - and several weeks ago, I came to an important conclusion: my wardrobe has a very serious polka-dot shortage.

No problem, I thought. I've made clothes before. (For clothes, read "Renaissance Festival costume.") I'll buy some polka-dot fabric and whip up a skirt!

I should mention at this point that I don't have a sewing machine. I learned to use one in middle school Home Ec., but I've never owned a working one, so all the clothes I've ever made have been hand-sewn, including the aforementioned Renaissance Festival costume.

No problem! I thought again. It's just a skirt. How long can that take?

Apparently, the answer is three weeks, especially when you decide to go all fancy and layer polka-dot tulle over coral-colored charmeuse and throw in a box pleat or four. (That's my new favorite term for the week - box pleat. It sounds like I know what I'm talking about.) It doesn't help if you're trying to sew in a zipper for the first time, either. At one point, I stopped into the fabric store for more thread and seriously considered dropping $100 for a basic sewing machine, a luxury we could in no way afford.

So I pushed on, until the whole project became a kind of Zen exercise in patience and pin placement. It isn't perfect, but I'm pretty happy with the finished product.
Now with Orange Thief-Cat!
Here's another shot, where you can see the color combination a little better.

I can see now why dressmakers always try out their designs in muslin before moving on to the actual cloth they intend to use. There are a lot of things I'll do differently next time,  like being more careful with my zipper placement and waiting to hem the thing until I'm sure it's the right length. And fair warning to Jeremy, I'll probably be asking for a sewing machine for Christmas next year.

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