Tuesday, 2 April 2013

When good projects go bad... and then good again

Browsing through old photos I came across a couple from last year which reminded me how frustrating it is when a project you are looking forward to goes horribly wrong.  With the exception of the baby bloomers fiasco, I tend only to post about successes. But believe me, there are some pretty epic fails as well!

So, in the interests of disclosure, I shall now share a disaster story... but, one with a happy ending!

Imagine the scenario: after months of making nothing but baby & toddler clothes and bags, it was time to treat myself to a post-bump skirt. Flicking through my list of saved projects, I came across this fab 'paper bag skirt' tutorial from the wonderful  Very Purple Person. Here my friends, is what the skirt should look like:
Paper bag skirt from A Very Purple Person
Pretty cool, right? And even better, it's super simple to make. So, off I go to the fabric shop, tra la la to choose my fabric. But here, is the moment it all goes wrong.... enboldened by sunshine and the prospect of non-maternity wear, I become inexplicably drawn to a very loud, very large, floral print on a heavy cotton twill. 'Perfect' the misguided voice in my baby-addled head says. Oh dear, oh very very dear. 

Here is the not so cool result... 

I suppose technically it worked - the tutorial is great, and yes, it did result in a functioning skirt. But, the picture doesn't quite convey the amazing power that this skirt-beast had to suck all the air out of the room and focus the attention on nothing other than itself!  Some months later, it's amazingly obvious where it all went wrong: 
  • Firstly, the fabric was way to heavy for the project which meant it felt bulky and on the verge of falling down - even with the belt. 'Unwieldly' is not an ideal property of skirtage.  
  • Secondly, and perhaps most importantly, I momentarily forgot that, unlike the lovely Novita (aka Very Purple Person), I am not a petite Indonesian style-goddess. Novita uses the width of the fabric as the length of the skirt, but on me, this ended up slightly higher than mid-thigh length, which was a bit awkward when combined with the fullness of this skirt - I felt in constant danger of accidentally exposing derriere. Also, all that bulkiness at the waist made my not so hourglass shape look even more tree-trunk like.
I would still love to make this skirt again, but in a lightweight cotton or silk, with more muted tones and more length (and maybe matching 'saftety' bloomers for extra security!).

So now for the happy ending.... turn a bad skirt upside down, trim a bit off the width,  use it to create a pinafore bib and straps, and hey presto, you have a very full and twirly pinafore dress - perfect for a twirl-loving 3 year old. 

I am pleased to say that dress and owner are now living happily ever after. 


  1. Thought I'd already done a comment? Maybe not!

    Love the little girl - oh yes and her dress! The bright colours are perfect...

    About the skirt - well for a certain occasion it might be fun, but I can see how you might not pull it out of the wardrobe so often after that first outing. I'm sure the little girl will get much more fun from the reincarnation. Delightful!

  2. Oh, I don't think it looks that bad.you have the figure to pull it off.
    I've not long binned all my maternity clothes - burn the leggings!!! I can't wait to make myself a nice summer skirt with a proper waist band that's not elastic!
    I think when you have been in maternity clothes for sooo long you just want something a bit different, not your usual style. I know i made some terrible fashion mistakes after having my first daughter three years ago, including dying my hair bright red!!



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