Bea got a sewing machine for her birthday, way back in September, and apart from a quick test-run she hasn’t touched it since. It’s not her fault though – a sewing machine, as I have learned from my own experience, really needs to be out all the time, so that one can sit down and just get on with it when the sewing muse strikes. Poor Bea has asked me to set it up for her many, many times over the last six months, but her timing was always a little off – either just as I was about to shout “Supper!” up the stairs, or suggest that it was time for pyjamas and bed.
Anyway, over the Easter holidays she finally got the timing right – an hour or so after a boozy Sunday lunch – and we cleared a space in the room that was once my office, and is now everyone’s office, and she made herself a skirt (the black one) under my rather fuzzy guidance. The design, if you can call it that, is very simple: take a width of fabric a little longer than you want your finished skirt to be. Fold it over so that the two sides meet and sew them together to create a tube. Hem this at the bottom, and then, at the top, do the same but leave a gap of two or three inches through which to feed the elastic. All in all it took about half an hour. Remarkable when you consider that Bea is a novice and my sewing skills are limited. I am queen of slapdash though, and anyone with slightly perfectionist tendencies would probably take longer.
Martha demanded a skirt as well, so I ran up the second one on my machine. Both are made with curtain fabric from Ikea, not the obvious choice for a skirt with a gathered waist (getting the elastic in was somewhat trying), but what it lacks in drape it makes up for in whatever the opposite of drape is – stiffness, sticky-outness? Something like that. And of course a skirt that sticks out when standing still, as well as when twirling around, is pretty much perfect when you are a ten-year-old girl (or eight, in Martha’s case).
PS pockets were added as an afterthought, and would have worked better if we’d put them on before doing any of the other sewing.