Sunday, July 22, 2012

I made a skirt

Yay! I did it! I made a skirt!
It is cute, it fits and it hasn’t fallen apart in the wash. 
And most importantly little P loves it.
Honestly she does.
It's just post-nap blues.

While I was on a roll I made a mini version for Tiger too. He’s man enough to pull it off.
I have to admit I am a complete technophobe and am a little bit frightened of my sewing machine. I bought it five years ago and I haven’t touched it until now. It spent four years under the bed in the guest room then another year relegated to the garage.

I waited for a visit from my mum (who is a fantastic sewer) then armed with cups of tea we finally took the machine out of its box, got it threaded up and good to go.
Thanks mum.

For my first project I wanted something really easy: no zips, no buttonholes, no pleats or darts or tucks. I settled on a simple cotton skirt with an elasticated waistband. My mum couldn't stick around, so I got much needed help and inspiration from these fantastic tutorials; Dana at Made has a really clear and detailed simple skirt tutorial and at Oliver + S there are instructions for a pretty ribbon trimmed lazy days skirt.

Literally all you need is a rectangle of fabric, some elastic, the ability to sew in a straightish line and you’re away. There is just one seam down the back, a simple waistband and a hem along the bottom and that's it. I used a Japanese cotton of Red Riding Hood and the Three Bears. I think they got their fairytales a little confused.
I was all set to do zigzag stitch along the raw edge of my hem to prevent fraying but for some reason it kept rucking up. I looked it up and it’s called tunnelling. Apparently my tension may have been to blame.
I settled on pinking the seam edges instead. Well just on one side as I very cunningly incorporated the selvedge (woven finished edge) into my seam.
I admit I did mess up on the length. I think I used too much fabric on the waistband, so the skirt ended up a little short. 
But I remedied it by adding some broderie anglaise to the bottom. Phewee!
My stitching was a little wonky, the waistband a tad bulky and for some reason I found it almost impossible to breathe and sew at the same time, but all in all I am ridiculously proud of myself. And the highest accolade little P refers to it as her "princess skirt".

Monday, July 16, 2012


Hello there and welcome to my blog, Umi Sushi makes. It’s going to be all about making things that are cute, cool, fun and hopefully useful. I've decided that it’s time to stop buying overpriced junk for myself, my kids and the house and start making things myself. 

To kick off I am going to crack open that sewing machine gathering dust and cobwebs in the garage and tackle a few sewing projects. If you are an experienced sewer, DIYer, photographer, gardener, cook etc, I wholeheartedly welcome your expert advice and opinion. If you are a complete novice like me, I hope you’ll be inspired to make something too.

Umi x