Time And Relative Dimensions In Skirts

TARDIS-inspired skirtI finally finished my first project for the Doctor Who sewalong! Here it is, with a little help from my K-9 unit. This skirt took longer than I thought it would, to be honest. It really didn’t help matters that I had one of those weeks earlier this month where I basically didn’t have time to sew a single stitch. But this week, I only have to go to my retail job one day (!), so I should be able to get in a decent amount of sewing!

This is the project I’ve been plotting the longest for the sewalong, actually. It just seemed natural to take inspiration from the TARDIS, because that’s one of the most iconic elements of the show. But I didn’t want to go too literal with it, or any of my projects, so I can get maximum wearability. Aside from my collection of t-shirts, I’m a fan of subtle geekiness in my clothes–definitely inspired by a fandom, but not costume-y so I can incorporate it easily into my everyday wardrobe. Kind of like these two shirts, which were directly influenced by Lord of the Rings (a description of a cloak in the book, and Eowyn’s white dress from the movie, respectively. I borrowed the embroidery motif directly from the latter.) So my thought was, if I used the TARDIS windows as a border on a skirt, the cool people would get it, and those who aren’t in the know would just see “geometric border”. Either way, it works.

IMG_0878And I finally got a way to feature this particular fabric! Pretty neat, right? This denim is metallic silver on the back side, and so I’ve been hoarding it until I could come up with a project that I could play around with using both sides. So when this sewalong came up, I knew it would be perfect! Not quite as perfect as I’d hoped when it came to stashbusting, since I have nearly 3.5 yards left. So I guess I’ll have to make some jeans out of it after all. Or maybe a motorcycle jacket. Hmm…

Oh, and did I mention that it’s stretch denim? That means–you guessed it–it’s bigger on the inside!

IMG_0876The technical details: I modified the Hummingbird skirt from Cake Patterns. The “pink” view, this time. Aside from some fitting tweaks that I made up-front based on the skirt I made during this past summer’s sewalong, here’s what I did…

    1. Straightened out the curve of the pockets, because that made an angle more like a TARDIS roof. (I know, that hip curve looks pretty extreme, right? But that’s how much I had to take out of the green skirt, and it fits, so…)

      2. I turned the back dart into a seam, mainly to facilitate the next step.

        TARDIS skirt backGallifreyan buttons? 3. Rather than a flounce cut on the bias, which would be a disaster in denim, I made a box pleat in the back. After all, a box pleat is perfect for a blue box of a time machine/spaceship, right? (Sorry for the wrinkles, I’d been wearing this for several hours first.)

          4. I did a (mostly) faced hem. I didn’t want to do that to the pleat section and add extra bulk, so that section got a normal hem. I also reverse appliqued on the faced hem section to make those TARDIS windows.

            5. I did a centered zipper rather than an invisible one,also because the invisible zipper would probably be a disaster in denim.

              6. I made the waistband using the wrong side of the fabric, so I could tie in the silver on the border better. Though I’m not sure how often this part will be seen, since a) I don’t really have any shirts that work with a high-waisted skirt and b) I’m also not really convinced I can rock that look. Maybe it’s because the only option I could find for today’s styling of the waistband was a plain black tee, but it might be a little over-emphasizing on my hips. Anyway.

              Yes, I also left the basting in, because I was too lazy to rip it out at the end. Sue me.

                7. I also added a second (non-functional) button, because I didn’t like the asymmetry of how the functional one sat above the zipper. Incidentally, these buttons were the closest thing I could find in the store to Gallifreyan writing.
                IMG_0875One more “guts” picture, this time to show off the lining fabric. It’s not quite as vivid as I intended, because I seem to have a problem with figuring out which way to cut a pocket piece and end up having the right side showing on the outside, unless you’re looking directly in the pocket. I had the same problem with the recent Thurlows, so hopefully I’ll figure it out before the next several pairs. But I actually hand-dyed and batiked that fabric myself, many years ago. I got this idea in my head that I wanted a star-covered ceiling, and my parents wouldn’t let me paint the ceiling, so I dyed several yards of muslin and hung it up on my ceiling with thumbtacks instead. Then they became curtains in front of my broken-sliding-door closet a few years later, and actually feature as a backdrop for many of my early blog posts. Like this one. Since I have a different closet now with an actual door, I don’t need that, anymore, but there’s no reason to let several yards of perfectly good hand-dyed fabric go to waste, right? The batik job is honestly way too wonky for me to even think about making a dress out of it. Batiking even basic asterisk-like stars with straight lines was a lot harder than I’d thought.  (Thus all the dots.) But this will probably end up being a lot of inner waistbands and pockets.

                I’m quite proud of this, overall. Particularly since I altered a flat pattern and it pretty much did what I wanted it to!

                Next up: I’ll give you the same preview I put on Twitter/Instagram the other day. More coming soon.

                17 thoughts on “Time And Relative Dimensions In Skirts

                1. Pingback: Lessons learned from Me-Made May, part 2 – sew adagio

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