Thursday, August 23, 2007

Res Completa: Jupe (Jeune Femme)

My second sick day of the week, Wednesday, brought a finished object, though not a knitted one. This skirt has been a work in progress for a very, very long time and, in thinking about what to write about it, I realize that I have about 10 years of memories and major life events wrapped up into it. It's funny how we transfer our feelings into things that we make.

Pattern: Very Easy Vogue 9928. My mom bought this pattern for me in the late 90's, either after my senior year of high school or freshman year of college. I had been sewing little things since childhood, but she used this skirt pattern to teach me more about sewing garments. We used a leopard print fabric and never finished it because of the freaky waist band (see Modifications). This pattern reminds me of bonding with my mom when I had first left home.

Size: 8

Fabric: This fabric came from my fabric stash (which has greatly slowed in rate of decrease since I started knitting) -- I seem to remember the label saying it was silk before I carelessly threw it away a couple of years ago. I bought it in 2003 from one of my favorite fabric stores, Eres, during the year after college when I had moved back to LA and was working for the UCLA Astronomy Department. Eres was located just a couple miles or so down Santa Monica Boulevard from where I was living at the time (but would take me 40 minutes to get there in traffic) and was having a going-out-of-business sale the entire year. Mostly for sale were 2 or 3 yard remnants of luxury fabrics. You could tell the store was pretty fancy in its day. I picked up a few of these remnants for less than $10 each, I believe, and they're amazing fabrics. How I wish I had bought more! The year I was down in LA after I had graduated was an interesting year. It started out with me hating life -- I felt that all I did was work and sleep. I had no energy for late nights with friends anymore, I didn't feel like I related to anyone, I felt like because I wasn't in school my mind had turned to mush, blah blah. But by March, I had figured out that working was more fun than school, that because my boss was never around I could learn quite a bit on the internet (e.g. info about Nostratic languages, Elvish), and there were tons of people around me to make friends with. I started hanging out with astronomers; my good friend Beau and I started meeting to read Latin and drink margaritas every Monday. It was one of the best times of my life. Anyway, I remember how much I loved sewing that year and this fabric reminds me of that time. Part of me wanted to make something really special with it, but this skirt is exactly what I had in mind when I bought it, so that's what I stuck with.

The lining is also from Eres. It's a cool 70's polyester print:

Start to Finish: October 2006 - August 22, 2007. I cut out the pattern pieces right after Neill and I got back from our Honeymoon last October. Without a wedding to plan, I felt like I had vast amounts of time to fill and wasn't really sure what to do with myself. After a couple of weeks or so, I had finished all but the hem. I am horrible at hems. So I put it off for 10 months and finally got my act together on Wednesday.

Modifications: The only thing I changed was the freaky waist band. I swear, it does not fit on the top of the skirt. I tried it upside down, inside out, it just didn't work. I squeezed it and eased it to fit, but that resulted in a weird flaring action, which looked horrible. I also remember my mom and I having the EXACT same problem a decade ago when we were working on it together. When it was time for me to go back to college, we still hadn't figured it out, so I tossed it in the basket on top of the dryer in the laundry room and hoped my mom would find it and finish it for me while I was gone. I believe it is still in that basket today. Anyway, to solve the problem I just cut out a completely straight strip of interfacing, sewed the fabric to it, and sewed it to the top of the skirt. I couldn't be happier with it.

Notes: My hem kind of sucks. I worked on it all day and was so careful, but it still turned out ripply and uneven. This is why I knit more than sew. I can't figure out what I did wrong. Regardless, I'll probably still wear it. I need a skirt like this, and I really do love the fabric.

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