In the summer of 2010 I was getting ready for a large week-long festival in the Nevada desert where on one of the nights I was to attend a "Unicorn Stampede". As it turned out, the Stampede consisted of two dozen of my camp mates and myself dressing up as unicorns and running around the desert, chanting creepily and terrorizing the other party-goers.
My friend said she would lend me her old unicorn hood, but that I needed to come up with my own outfit that is warm, cute and, most importantly, all white
. Easy! On one of my trips to L.A.'s Fabric District I had bought 2 yards of white faux fur and stashed it for the evential but certain point in the future "when I will learn how to sew." Right. And, since my pants -> skirt+legwarmers upcycle
had worked out to my satisfaction, I thought I'd go for a skirt & leg warmers again and pair them with a white cropped sweater from Goodwill.
Little did I know that slightly stretchy furry fabric with a super slippery satin-like backing was NOT the best choice for a beginner project! Or that it mattered which way you lay the fabric and cutting off the selvedges is bad. Or that sewing without a pattern is NOT generally easier for beginners than following one. Or that you shouldn't use bright pink sharpies to draw your shapes... But ignorance is bliss!
I grabbed an A-line mini, traced it directly onto my fur (with the abovementioned pink sharpie), cut, pinned, (noticing that slippery-backed furry fabric is a pain to keep together and pin!), joined the side seams, hemmed the top and bottom, and SOMEHOW (I don't know how!) also apparently managed to insert an almost invisible zipper without even knowing what that was. Ignorance is bliss because it is the absence of all fear!
To my surprise making the skirt did not take very long. Of course I was just making a costume so I didn't obsess over neatness. And things just worked. So when I got to the leg warmers, which were supposed to just be two rectangles made into long tubes with elastic in the tops, I thought I would be done in 30 mins. Ha. Ha. Ha. Right.
I now know that I got really lucky with the layout for the skirt, but my luck had ran out. I must have cut the rectangles on some sort of semi-bias and it being a cheap fabric it didn't run at right angles anyway. So for the life of me I could not even fold the rectangles so that the 4 corners meet! It took me over an hour just to PIN the darned things into tubes! I was so frustrated by the end, I didn't even care if my seams were straight. Due to my attempts at trimming the fabric so that the corners meet, one of the leg warmers is substantially narrower than the other. But whatever. It was wearable. So I did.
Hooray for not knowing what you're doing, getting super lucky so it works anyway, and then foolishly concluding that therefore sewing is easy!
1. Not using a pattern in my first actual sewing project!
2. Using a super challenging fabric because I didn't know any better.
3. Cutting the pieces at a weird angle to the grain. Not knowing there was such a thing as a grain.
4. Not taking any photos of the process for my future blog :)