First skirt

Velvet skirt garden

This skirt is the first thing I ever sewed for my children (well, ‘child’ singular, as it was back then – does that feel like a long time ago now!). I was pregnant, and I think nesting instinct kicked in as a kind of mega sewing drive! With a desperation born of knowing that I’d be doing no sewing at all once baby was born, I enrolled on a sewing course with a friend (that I never finished as I got too big and uncomfortable) and zipped my way through as many projects as I could, beginning with the standard cushion that we all made, and working my way through a wash bag and these baby booties to end up staring at the luscious photos in Emma Hardy’s ‘Making Children’s Clothes’.

I think I’ve mentioned before how smitten I am with this book. The photography and fabrics lure me in each time and, despite some small difficulties with the instructions and the fact that the sizing runs a little large, I’m still a fan. The Corduroy Skirt project is easy enough for a beginner, and is cute and pretty with its ribbon bow and dainty pocket. I’d make the pocket bigger next time though, as it’s too small for the kinds of things kids normally want to (mis)appropriate. Like, say, toy trains. (Yes, that’s the Bee trying very hard to put her beloved Puffer Pete in there. Ooh she looks young – look at those chubby cheeks!).

Velvet skirt pocket

I couldn’t quite figure out when to sew the bottom of the skirt up into a hem (steps 7 & 8) – looking back, I think sewing the ribbon on in step 8 is supposed to catch the back of the flowery fabric, but that’s too many layers to go wrong for me! I just sewed the hem at the end of step 7, and then used the ribbon to hide the sewing line – same result, just less fiddly! I used a raspberry velvet I found in Ikea, and although it shed pink fluff everywhere while sewing, it’s lasted quite well. There are a few bald patches starting to appear where the waistband is gathered – but they don’t look that bad, really.

That’s been the one upside to the projects in this book coming out so large: they sure do last a loooong time! This skirt has been worn by the Bee for more than two years, with just one letting out of the elastic. That’s time for a *lot* of ice-cream…

Velvet skirt ice cream

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