Friday, May 15, 2009

Ride 'em Cowgirl!

I'm filing this one under Live and Learn.

K's Spring Concert was last night and she needed an Outfit.

The Rules were: The top had to be white. The bottom had to be Dark Blue or Black (and could have red accents) but Not Jeans. (K also wanted something she could wear for the Fourth of July.) The Kindergarten and Pre-K were to wear Cowboy Hats if they could obtain such.

I looked first at K's wardrobe and found a pair of dark blue stretch pants and an old white t-shirt. No good. I looked at Target and found a soft white smocked blouse. Good. A short black skort. No good. Tight black lacy leggings. No good. K does have a cowboy hat with red trim. Good.

I checked my fabric stash. Many Fourth-of-July novelty prints but nothing suitable. Feeling fairly certain that the local fabric stores would turn up with nothing, I took a ride out to Jo Ann Fabrics. Looked at linen, denim, silk charmeuse, flannel, homespun, gingham, calico, muslin, organic cotton -- back to the linen, which was soft and in a lovely blue, bought 3/4 of a yard of it along with some bandanna print ribbon, an actual bandanna and some black non-roll elastic, and headed home.

I washed, dried and ironed the linen. Started the Lazy Days skirt pattern and worked slowly and carefully. Noticed that the linen was not 45" wide as called for in the pattern, but 60" wide, but didn't worry about it too much -- figured that the skirt would just be fuller. Oh, how wrong I was! When I threaded the elastic through the waistband, I saw that the extra fabric caused there to be less gathering, not more. So I cut the elastic smaller and sewed it back together. And in my haste I cut it too small. So I cut the elastic apart. And in my haste to remove it, I pulled the elastic all the way into the waistband, rendering it extremely difficult to retrieve.

At this point I began to have serious doubts about whether a 5-year-old would even consider a linen skirt to be acceptable Fouth-of-July or Cowgirl attire. I rooted through my stash again and and found some blue starry quilting cotton, not really of clothing quality by my standards but it would do for a cowgirl costume. I began working on the Lazy Days skirt again, slowly and carefully. All the way to edge-stitching the bandanna ribbon to the hem of the skirt.

Satisfied, I began to iron the finished product. And the ribbon began to fray and pull away from the skirt! Oh no! Nasty cheap craft store ribbon! I couldn't cut the ribbon hem off of the skirt and try again with different trim, because the skirt was already as short as I was willing to make it. I looked through my notions bin (a total disaster area!) for some narrow red trim to sew over the edges of the cheap ribbon. I found some rick-rack and some grosgrain ribbon that would work. Not stopping to think, I pinned the rick-rack on, ran it through the machine, and did the same with the grosgrain. The end result was both sloppy and silly-looking. The trims didn't quite match in color, and why hadn't I thought to use the grosgrain twice, which would have given a more polished look? I was really disappointed. But time was running out. It would have to do.

Unless -- I took my loop turner and pushed it through the waistband of the linen skirt, hoping to catch the elastic with its hook. Instead I poked a hole through the fabric. Done! I ironed the starry skirt and hung it up on a hook to wait for K.

The verdict? "It's weird, Mama."

Could be worse!

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1 comment:

  1. I think it looks great - when I saw the photos on your Picasa album I was impressed with the outfit, and I had no idea of the tribulations you had gone through with the skirt. Looks like everything worked out quite well, IMHO...