I am a self-proclaimed sloppy seamstress. I love to sew, but my creations feature more enthusiasm than polish, more brilliant idea and less brilliant execution. And I'm okay with that. Even more, I celebrate my adventurous approach to sewing. I am not afraid to mess up because I know that messing up is an essential part of how I learn. As a result, I have more fun and more creativity trying things my way rather than how the how-to recommends, and I have never once wanted to give up sewing.
Using the Patternless A-Line Skirt pattern from the book (free on CraftFoxes and featured left), I did something I almost never do — read all of the steps before starting. Don't give me too many kudos, as there are only two. Next, I choose to use Hubby's old T-shirt instead of the yard and a half of 60" yardage, as recommended by the refashion book's preamble.
Since the book didn't have a how-to on prepping a T-shirt for a refashion (something I'd recommend they add to the next addition), I left the seams on, something I will not do on my second run-through of the project. With the seams on, the T-shirt refused to lay flat and getting the edges to match was nearly impossible.
The next step was stitching the side seams and then attaching a fold-over elastic. Simple, right? If I had used store-bought cotton jersey, you are absolutely correct. However, the T-shirt I used was a men's small instead of the extra-large that the authors of "Improv Sewing" recommended. As such, when I sewed the side seams together, the skirt was just a little too tight to be modest. Even more, since I didn't have the length for the fuller bottom edge, the A-line was more a straightish pencil cut. While stylish, it was not what I was going for. However, the impulsive crafter that I am (and also because I lacked the ambition to make a craft store run), I decided to like the change.
I finished the skirt by sewing a double hem for the waistband. The authors recommend a folded-edge elastic, which seems a lot simpler than what I used. But since I didn't have that, I chose instead to use elastic salvaged from Hubby's unwanted boxers. Gross, but necessary.
And voila! A skirt that looks nothing like the pattern but is still stylish and one I love. Even more, the pattern was easy (minus all my mistakes) and invited me to come back for a second visit. This in itself is a rarity. Most patterns I finish and am done with like a bad break-up, but "Improv Sewing" was more like chocolate cake. One bite is hardly enough.