I gave up and started something else

A couple of weeks ago it was Kids Clothes Week. You may have seen the fairytale trousers I upcycled for my toddler. I really pleased with them; I haven’t actually altered them at all (I thought I would have to make the rise longer but it turns out that they fit better than they did the first time we tried them!)

Next I wanted to make two simple skirts for my daughters, like this:

The Sewing Book - pink girls skirt

[Unfortunately that’s not my skirt – it’s the one in Alison Smith’s The Sewing Book]

I’m ashamed to admit: these simple skirts defeated me. I can hardly believe that I struggled to make something so simple!

Using some skirts that fit my daughters, I cut out the pieces from a pink duvet cover that my granny gave me to use as fabric. I thought I would be all clever working like a little production line; I French seamed both skirts in turn…

French seam on girls pink skirt

… and hand stitched an invisible hem on both. (These photos are of the bigger skirt.) So I was left with two bands to work with.

pink girls skirt

Then I started the decorative work on the smallest skirt. I made the adorable tucks, which are pressed up and down in turn – I love the effect.

Then I hand embroidered the flowers.

embroidered flower - pink girls skirt

And then I had a sudden moment of realisation. Have you noticed my mistake? I had not taken into account the fact that I should have cut the fabric longer to accommodate the tucks. So the skirt had lost a lot of it’s length. My daughter is nearly 2, not newborn. What a stupid mistake!! I just wasn’t thinking! I must have been tired on the cutting-out evening. Lesson learned!

I didn’t even take photos because I was so distraught! But I can tell you that the new skirt was not as high in length as the ready-made one I was using as a guide. And of course I wanted to add an elasticated waistband, I would have needed another inch or so at the top. It was a good few inches to short!

So I cut out another few inches of fabric (luckily I had PLENTY) and stitched it on the top. Then I folded it over and sewed to make the waistband. This is where I’m at now, and I’ve shoved it to the side, along with the other “skirt” – or rather, a band with pretty embroidery a neat hem. The skirt still came up to short. I was fed up, I rushed it, and it all went wrong.

how small is this skirt

I wasted so much time doing the tucks and embroidery – which, typically, was all so neat!!

skirt gone wrong

Well, I’m going to forget about that, now.

I’ve moved on to something else. Actually – two things, to be precise.

You may have seen in my Sunday Sevens post at the weekend I started the needlework purse that I was given for my birthday.


And I have started making a ‘Sew Simple’ Ruby Dress – the one that came free with Love Sewing magazine a few months ago. I’m making it in this fabulous spotty cotton.

Blue polka dot cotton - ruby dress

I hope to complete it by this weekend so that I can wear it out on my first child-free night away for some time!

Wish me luck and no stupid mistakes with this one…

Beth x


25 thoughts on “I gave up and started something else

  1. Pingback: 2015 Sewing Goals [6 Month Check] | After Dark Sewing

  2. The skirt looks lovely, My daughter is quite tall and she often falls in love with skirts that are too short so we just add wide cotton lace or a fabric band. Aren’t those silly mistakes just so annoying. I’m afraid I’m often guilty of rushing and making mistakes! I’m sure the skirts will look lovely when finished. X

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Looking forward to seeing your Ruby Dress. Whilst I love the patterns in Love Sewing. I sometimes think they could be photographed better. They never look as though they quite fit right. Maybe they are using a different model to the one it was fitted on. The reader’s garment always look better fitted.
    Make sure you send your photo in of your completed dress to Love Sewing. It always tickle me when I see mine in print.
    Enjoy your night off!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve almost finished the dress now, I’ve just got to hem it!
      I totally agree with you there, I think it’s the wiggle dress that I think looks particularly awful in the magazine! And I think it’s the last issue that has a denim skirt in that looks horrendous!!
      My Brigitte dress was printed in Issue 2 which took me by surprise, it was a rubbish photo though! I will hopefully send a good one of my Ruby if it turns out well 🙂 Thank you!


  4. Oh that is too bad! And the skirts look so lovely too. I’m glad you shared this because I’ve been having a couple project fails of my own and it’s good to know that sometimes other people’s projects don’t go the way they planned either 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks… Yeah I hope I can use it for something else like some clever sewing bloggers have suggested 🙂 In theory the ideas are good but it’ll depend if I’m in a good sewing mood and things work out for me or not…


  5. You are having a productive week! I’m really looking forward to seeing the finished purse and Ruby dress!
    Have you got any floral fabric you could add to the bottom of skirt maybe? Or a wide cotton lace trim perhaps? I think it looks really pretty, especially with your hand embroidered flowers!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Beth I am so excited about your ruby it will be beautiful such gorgeous fabric. The skirt is so pretty such a shame it is still too short, could you adapt it and make a kind of 20’s drop waist dress? Seems a shame that you made all that effort and it looks soo pretty to be too short!

    Liked by 1 person

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