Saturday, September 8, 2012

Hansel and Gretel School Skirt

DSCF1024a Every time the seasons change, I get a little bit amped up, as if now I’m going to get it together with a new wardrobe and exercise regimen and whatnot, and I’ll change my whole life and start writing self-help books and getting my own show on the Oprah Network.  Or maybe I’ll just make some school clothes, even though I haven’t been to school in a really, really long time.  It feels right, you know?   The leaves have begun to change and there’s that coolness in the evenings, and storybook skirts with cabled hand knit socks suddenly seem like the best idea in the world.  I can change my life, a little.  I can have a new skirt. 


I had this idea, at 11:00 at night, to start sewing some school clothes, so before I went to bed, I dug around in the stash and found this piece of denim, leftover from a failed pair of jeans (more on that later, jeepers, what a disaster…) a couple yards of brown and white checked gingham, a length of cotton lace (thrifted, please don’t hate me) and that incredible, gorgeous, fairytale piece of jacquard ribbon, bought at full price (feel better?) from a fabric shop two years ago, with no project idea in mind at all, but with the sure knowledge that it was meant to be mine. 


I already had the zipper, I already had the button (one of a whole bunch—thrifted—the card on which says, “Pewter Buttons from Norway” (don’t you just love that?  LOVE?)  Then I went to bed, feeling like I do on Christmas Eve and my mom is telling me she can hear sleigh bells and I should go to sleep right away.  Just so excited, you know?  I could not wait to sew this skirt. 


The pattern on the ribbon reminds me of “It’s a Small World.” 


There’s the lining, with hem facing and everything, and the hem, with bias binding I made myself, going all the way around.  The pattern is so simple, an A-line skirt, drafted to fit me (with help from this book) and customizable all kinds of ways—you can make a fitted-waist skirt like this one with a zipper and button closure, you can make a wrap skirt, both with or without linings, you can make your favorite jersey knit Alabama Chanin-style sweatpants fakeout skirt, and probably a few other things I’ve never tried yet, too.  There is only one pattern piece, and the rest comes from experience and (as in my case) haphazard guessing/getting lucky. 


I made the socks a long time ago (in KnitPicks Bare), and hardly ever get to wear them.  I think they have been begging me for a skirt like this ever since they came off the needles.  Clessidra socks, this is your big moment. 

I want to buy some new pencils and walk in the mornings, shushing leaves on the sidewalk, and draw maps and read Grimm’s Fairy Tales, and have milk and cookies and maybe naptime, too.  That’s cozy.