Friday, 13 January 2012

New Grey Skirt

As of this writing, I can report that I have spent 238 minutes running so far in January, a number that is better than for the same time period in the previous five months and beats the monthly total for two of those.   Given a lack of snow/ice almost any of my January numbers look good at this point but, fingers crossed, the trend will continue.  I promise not to bore you with these details very often.

On perhaps a more interesting note, I have boxes of clothing put aside for alteration.  It is my intention to work through more of those, either to improve my wardrobe or to learn from the attempt if it doesn't turn out well.  Fortunately, this one was a dawdle.  This is a skirt that Bill bought for his mom in the last year of her life.  I remember admiring the ribbon insert and the embroidery when we bought it, though I certainly wasn't thinking about it coming back to me at the time.

I ran across a bag of her things in the loft one day and set this skirt aside for further consideration.   After taking making sure Bill was OK with my wearing his mother's clothing, I took some measurements of me and of the skirt.   I decided that removing two panels would do the trick.  This would also allow the up and down pattern of the decoration to continue uninterrupted.  All I had to do was take apart two seams and then re-construct one to join the edges.  Piece of cake.

It appeared that someone, I'm assuming a carer at Ella's residential home, had sliced the lining out of the skirt, presumably because it was not cut sufficiently large to allow the full movement permitted by the stretchy wool of the outer skirt.   I spent quite some time hand-tacking the trimmed lining around the elastic at the waist and I marked the newly joined back of the skirt with some red embroidery - nothing fancy.  I have half-slips that will suffice in place of the lining, if one is needed.  The fabric is fairly heavy, has a nice hand, it is warm, the skirt hangs nicely and it's very comfortable.  I can't think of anything else one could reasonably ask of a piece of clothing, but in addition this will remind me of Ella. 

I am very pleased with the outcome and have already worn the skirt.  My winter uniform tends to be calf length skirts or dresses with jackets or cardigans and tall boots and warm socks.  I find I can put more warm layers under a skirt and boots than under jeans or slacks and still enjoy freedom of motion. 

Certainly all the potential alterations aren't this simple, but I thought it best to start off with the easier projects rather than get discouraged early on.   Frugal Scholar wrote earlier about the joys of 'making do', which prompted an interesting discussion.  Rather like 'making something from nothing' this sort of 'making do' gives me a great deal of satisfaction. 

Is there anything you do to 'make do' that makes you happy?


Jenn @ Frugal Upstate said...

I get great satisfaction whenever I can fix something instead of buying new. Yesterday I glued the cracks (very very big cracks) in the plastic lid for my slowcooker back together so I can limp along with that a bit longer. . . I'm stubborn that way-if I can fix it, why not? Especially with something that doesn't have to look "pretty" when I'm done.

Great job on the skirt! Learning (& teaching) more mending/basic alterations is a goal for both me personally and my blog this year.

Shelley said...

Hello, Jenn! It's lovely to see you here. I'm much the same myself, though if *everything* around me is broken & glued, I do start looking for some replacements! At least they buy me some time to look in all my usual haunts: flea market, car boot sales, thrift stores, internet and department store. I have learned to avoid certain shops as their goods don't hold up even though the price seems excellent at first sight.

I shall look forward to the sewing posts on your blog! I'm a real novice, me, though Mom tried to teach me years ago. I've got some of the basic skills but they are beyond rusty...

Beryl said...

That is a really cute skirt. I can see why you altered it to fit you. I find I can get wonderful things at the Goodwill here in Oklahoma, so I can "make do" with better stuff than I could afford in Seattle.

Anonymous said...

Yes, we make do with all sorts of things, particularly in the care of our pigeons. Our kitchen has quite a motley collection of dishes, etc.

The skirt turned out nicely. Any chance we'll get a pic of you wearing it?

Shelley said...

@Beryl (why do we use the @ thing anyhow?) - I'm amazed that Oklahoma thrift stores would be better than Seattle, I think of Seattle as being such a 'sophisticated' kind of place...then again there is a lot of money in Tulsa.

@Terri -- Mmmmm not so sure about modeling a skirt for the internet. I dislike photos of myself, but try not to be neurotic about avoiding cameras and if a picture of me is needed for a post, so be it. Modelling clothes? We'll see...