I promised to talk a little bit more about this skirt, which I volunteered to test sew for Kim.
Really, it has so many problems. But I learned how to do ruffles, and the bottom ruffle is actually pretty good. The top and middle ruffles were sewn on in what I was calling "ruffle sandwiches." So, the middle ruffle was gathered and pinned to the top of the middle skirt piece, then the bottom of the top piece was pinned, and you sew through all three layers at once. With the top ruffle, the sandwich included the waistband. I think if you look very closely you can see an extra bit of stitching below the waistband, over the ruffle, on the left of the skirt. The waistband shifted while I was sewing the sandwich, and I didn't catch the folded-under edge on the inside. The elastic doesn't sit quite perfectly either, because of the waistband shifting. And the ruffles are a little crooked in spots.
So what did I learn? Ruffles aren't that hard, but I'm probably fine with one ruffle on a skirt, and no sandwiches. This is the first time I used an attached waistband instead of just creating a casing, and I think it's more trouble than it's worth for a little girl's skirt, especially when ruffle sandwiches are involved. (But now I've done it.) I think my feedback helped the pattern designer; I hope so anyway. I know she made some changes based on everybody's feedback. (You can buy the final version of this pattern here.)
It's definitely the most involved skirt I've ever made for my daughter, and it's her favorite color, and the imperfections aren't going to be visible on a moving three-year-old. (Also, my thread color matches really well. That was smart.) Speaking of thread, this pattern used so much. I'm not sure why I'm so thread stingy; it's pretty inexpensive, even if my machine only likes Mettler and will puke thread if I try anything else. I hate running out in the middle of a project though, and having to stop and wind another bobbin. Between the basting stitches for the ruffles and all the edges that needed zig-zagging...it's a good thing I stopped and bought an extra spool of orange thread! (I might be thread-insecure because I can only find Mettler at one local shop, and it's not open on Sundays or Mondays...)
Final verdict? Achingly cute skirt, imperfections and all. I did two new things (the ruffles and the waistband), and I like confronting something that intimidates me. Now, ruffles will be a choice, not something I avoid because I think they're too hard. I can now take any simple skirt and put a ruffle on it. (I knew I could.) And what fun to get to test out a pattern for someone--it was complete impulse to offer, but I'm glad I did.
Is there something crafty-wise that's intimidating you? What would happen if you tried it anyway?
Linking up with the brave and creative folks here.