Stuart Skirt

So, tonight The Great British Sewing Bee reaches its final, only 3 weeks after the show’s start.  4 episodes!  We wait decades for a show like and that’s all we get.  How apologetic!  Did the commissioning team have doubts that anybody would watch?!  Oh, how I wish I’d been on that commissioning team.  I’d have demanded that the show based its format on the worst excesses of the Roman Empire – think Gladiatorial  Combat – with an exit policy straight out of the song Hotel California, i.e. you can never leave.  If it’d been up to me, those contestants would be sewing for our viewing pleasure forever unless a self-sacrificing member of the audience volunteered to step in and proved a like-for-like replacement.  So, for example, a handsome amateur tailor of Matrix-style costumes could take the place of Mark, a fellow-blogger could replace Tilly and as for the lovely Stuart, he’d only be allowed to leave if some kind of sewing equivalent of Paul Hollywood could be found. 

But enough of my sick fantasies.

Daughter and I had the idea to design this skirt after the Tulip Pocket Embellishment made by Stuart in Episode 2.  I was curious to see how long it would take: as somebody who’s thinking about sewing professionally, I try to keep in mind how long a project takes so should I get a commission, I’d know to charge more than the minimum wage. 

Here’s the breakdown of the Skulls as Pockets applique, a total of 1 hour 40m not including the making of the skirt.

Design of skulls: 10 mins

Making and attaching the skulls: 1 hour

Sewing the ric rac bodies on skirt:  30 mins

I did also spend some extra minutes looking for bits, blaming the kids for taking my stuff, coaxing Blogstalker off my work and lint-rolling the residual hairs….

After I finished, daughter immediately named this her “Funnybones Skirt”.  And then I remembered that the skeletons in the book had a dog.  How brilliant it would have been to have the skelly dog on the back of the skirt!?  But that’s the sort of idea you get when you have the benefit of time.  As Ann said, “I like having time to think.” 

I made the pattern for the A-Line skirt by first making a Basic Skirt Block and then adapting it.  I’ve been asked if the formula can be used for a child’s skirt and having now tried it, I’d say yes, but it helps if there’s a real difference in waist and hip measurements otherwise the skirt will be more of a tube and will slide off!  The other thing to bear in mind is that the dart has to be shortened: here I made it 7cm.  One advantage of sewing a girl’s A-Line skirt is that it’s so quick: this one is lined and it took an hour!