Monday, September 14, 2015

Wrap Skirt

It may have been the worst pattern I’ve ever seen, but it is one of my favorite skirts.

That’s the summary on the wrap skirt I made; my first fully-Bungalow project.  I don’t remember if there was one on display, or just the picture on the pattern envelope, but whatever I saw looked cute and I went for it.

The wrap skirt is reversible.  My goal was to make it something that would go with most of my blouses so that when I’d come home from work, I could take off my suit and have a house skirt to throw on over my slip instead of changing my whole outfit.

I chose black with medium-sized white polka-dots for one side and then looked around the store for another fabric for the reverse.  I found a fun print with lions and India-looking circles and leaves.  I thought the fabric was grey with black leaves (like it looks in the picture).  It certainly looked that way in the store light, but when I got to Mommy’s, I discovered it’s actually beige with blue leaves.  Blue and beige don’t really go with black and white.  I tried to remedy this by picking a sash fabric that goes with both.  I chose light grey and white chevrons, which I fear instead goes with neither side, but whatever.  It works well enough.

wrap skirt pieces

no seam allowances The “pattern” was a sheet of paper with two parts of a trapezoid printed on top of each other.  You can’t even cut them out separately and tape them together!  You’re  supposed to trace each seam size part onto freezer paper and then tape the freezer paper together.  On top of that, this pattern was designed by a quilter.  That trapezoid doesn’t include any seam allowances!  And, the instructions tell you to stitch half-inch seams.  What nonsense is this?!  I could have – should have – skipped buying the pattern and just drawn my own trapezoids on the fabric with chalk.

wrap skirt Ceci n’set pas une pattern

Being a garment sewer, I gave my skirt proper 5/8” seams when I made the skirt.  I also had to lengthen it several inches as the “tea length” version barely came to my knees.  Apparently this quilter is also quite short.  She may also be a little on the chunky side as this “one-size-fit-most” pattern gets just small enough for my waist when the ties are pulled as tight as they go, and at 5/9” and 165, I’m not exactly tiny

Crazy pattern and instructions aside, the resulting skirt is quite cute.  I don’t quite wear it the way it’s designed. The ties are super long so that the ends of your bow hang down almost to the bottom of the skirt.  I prefer to wrap the ties all the way around my waist.  That helps keep the skirt up.


wrap skirt in Canada (3)

Monday, September 7, 2015

Adventures Con Ivory: Costa Rica

IMG_0103 They say Costa Rica is beautiful, and it is.  But what they don’t tell you is the most beautiful part of Costa Rica cannot be seen.  From the moment you step your first foot outside, it is there.  Wrapping you, swirling around you from your ankles to your neck.  The thick air.  Draping over you, like a smooth cotton sheet, gliding over your shoulder and slowly dropping to the floor, brushing over every nerve, making even the tiniest hairs dance, warm as it touches you and cool as it glides away.  Neither hot, nor cold.  Dancing past you, over you, around you, tip-toeing across your back, whispering in your ear, sliding down your hair and tossing it free.

Sure, the scenery is gorgeous, too.  Tall palm trees reaching high into the sky.  Green fronds rippling before the stars, seeming to touch the tips of fluffy clouds whispering by.  Bushy trees with their wide leaves and squat, spread canopies of cover. 
Bromeliads peppering the ground, popping up among a group of ferns or grasses, piercing orange, hungry bromeliads.  Banana trees, mango trees, papaya trees, fruits hanging low on heavy branches, plump and waiting for the last days of ripening.  Birds soaring, perched on tree branches, spray-painting the sidewalk an unmistakable white.  Green feathers that disappear into the magic decor that is “green season.”  Black feathers, glistening like oil in beads of water splashed down their backs.  Tiny birds of the most royal blue.  And the chirps and peeps and the squawks.  Oh, the squawks!
Or the people, the welcoming, sweet, pleasant people, who seem only to know happy, at least to strangers, and are considerate and courteous enough to somehow make a pattern of wild, narrow roads with few traffic signals work.  Who greet you cheerily with a “Buenos Dias” or “Buenos Aires.”  Who smile patiently as you try to mutter through very broken Spanish and who respond to ever “gracious” with an enthusiastic “mucho gusto!”  These things are all wonderful, too.

But, to be still, to just be, wrapped in that blanket of air, is the most beautiful part of all.