Woeful in Wool Novelty

Novelty Knit Skirt

Do you see that face?  That is the face of a girl who thinks she has the perfect outfit planned for the day, and therefore left a scant thirty minutes to shoot pictures AND get dressed to go out the door to pound the NY audition pavement, and who just saw the view-screen of her Canon in broad daylight and realized SHE WAS ALL KINDS OF WRONG.

On this particular Tuesday, I was destined to play a high powered attorney and a CFO. Separately.  Although the first character probably could have played both, she had the stones for it.  I sewed this skirt last week, with this specific kind of role in mind.  Ruggy, I piped proudly, this is going to be my basic black skirt for more conservative auditions!

Obviously Ruggy had his doubts.  What, doesn’t shiny animal print wool scream conservative to you either?  AT LEAST IT’S BLACK.  And duh, I wasn’t going to wear the scandalous lace top (originally a dress, made from Mood LA’s magical remnants box) with it.

Novelty Knit Skirt

I adore this wool.  (similar here.)  It was meant to be binding for my boucle jacket.  Can you imagine hiding this beauty on seams?  I couldn’t either, so I didn’t.  It sewed up beautifully, with no seam finishing needed– the edges are razor sharp cuts that wouldn’t even think of fraying.  Wonderful.  But, the inky hue and the late night hours were my downfall.  Glances in poorly lit mirrors took their toll on my eyesight, as I fitted and over fitted this four gore skirt from Burda 11/2008 to within an inch of its life.  3/8s of an inch, to be exact: after my OCD pinching and pulling, I trimmed the seams down to industry standard and corrected my pattern, patting myself gleefully on the back for such exemplary sewist behavior.

Novelty Knit Skirt

Yeeeeaaaaaahhhh.  Can you say too tight?  How ’bout DRAGLINES?

Novelty Knit Skirt

The booty is, shockingly, the least offensive area.

Why do we obsess over the perfect fit of handmade garments?  Maybe that’s not the right question.  Why do we go past the point of a perfect fit, and into crazytown?  This skirt was slightly loose at first.  An inch or two of ease wasn’t going to kill me, but from the looks of those saran wrap wrinkles you would have thought ease was coming for me with a butcher’s knife.  I will indeed be unpicking every seam from this, restitching at 1/4 inch (I do not trust 1/8 inch on mount crackatoa) and, just for kicks, why don’t I reinsert that invisible zipper at the seam allowance rather than 5/8s.  Did I say exemplary behavior?  Yeah.  I figured one seam at 5/8s wouldn’t make that much of a difference.

You may laugh now.  I applaud you if you’ve been able to hold it in this long.

Novelty Knit Skirt

You know what? The armsyce on that top needs some therapy too.

This skirt did not see the light of day today (at least not street level light) but I did see my friend from the hardware store next door peering down in confusion at me.  He always wishes me good luck on my auditions.  He even offered to let me take shots behind the register.

Ah, from such lofty visions of high powered attorneys…

Do you over fit?  And do you think some serious unpicking might save this jammy?  Because I’m in love with it.  Le.  Sigh. I would love your constructive criticism on how to salvage this!

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Comments


  • Erica B
    February 13, 2013

    You look incredible! Your ensemble looks amazing! As sewers/sewists/seamstresses, we tend to overthink and over fit. Unless your clothes are pasted on, you’ll have “movement lines”. Nobody pays any attention to that stuff but us! IMO, your skirt and top both look perfect.

  • oonaballoona
    February 13, 2013

    what if i get movement lines when standing still using all my power to suck everything in? that first pic is me squeezing tight trying not to breathe!!! HA!

    thank you, though. i do love the skirt. i just have to find a way to make it move-able. 🙂

  • Ginger
    February 13, 2013

    HAHAHA! This really doesn’t look bad at all! I’m a chronic over-fitter… for some reason I get all wound up and go down this terrible rabbithole, like, ICANGETRIDOFEVERYSINGLEWRINKLEIFIJUSTKEEPPINNING!!!!!!!!!!!

    • oonaballoona
      February 15, 2013

      ITSLIKEYOURINMYNEAD

      • oonaballoona
        February 15, 2013

        that should read head. mead would’ve worked nicely, too.

  • Lori
    February 13, 2013

    I think your skirt and top looks amazing. You are so right we tend to analyze and over fit. Also, the fit changes after we wear something for a bit and the garment stretches just a bit. Whatever you decide it is one fabulous outfit. Good luck with your audition.

    • oonaballoona
      February 15, 2013

      thanks lori! i think there’s no chance of this sucker stretchng out, which i like, once i get it breathable!

  • Carolyn
    February 13, 2013

    Erica said it perfectly! Yes, you could have stood to have a little more ease in the front of the skirt, not the back cause that is working it, but it’s not offensive at all! Learning not to overfit is as much an artform as learning how to fit! Personally I think you look awesome BUT seriously no lawyer or banker would wear that outfit to work! *LOL*

    • oonaballoona
      February 15, 2013

      i’m going at the front this long weekend… you should see how i dress when i hae to play “hoochie mama” :))

  • Susan
    February 13, 2013

    If anyone had a body for ‘over fitting’ it is you! For me there seems to be a thin line between a little loose and over fitted, alas I’ve crossed it too many times. Are we perfectionists at heart ?

    • oonaballoona
      February 15, 2013

      ah, thank you susan!! i think we must be perfectionists, otherwise, we’d just buy our clothing, right?

  • Amanda S.
    February 13, 2013

    I overfit on pants muslins. Which is why I never make pants. One of these days… Once you get it to your liking, this skirt is sure to be a wardrobe staple!

    • oonaballoona
      February 15, 2013

      thank you amanda, i believe it will, i just can’t give up on it…. and i would loooooove to see a pair of you-made pants…

  • KristiEllKay
    February 13, 2013

    Hahahaha! I’m still so new at sewing that a) I’m so excited to have made ACTUAL PEOPLE CLOTHES and b) everything still fits better than RTW, so I seriously underfit. Hoping to get better at it, but I don’t think I’m a perfectionist enough to go down Ginger’s rabbithole haha =D

    • oonaballoona
      February 15, 2013

      i LOVE that. the stage of trumpeting to everyone within earshot that YOU MADE THIS!!! oh wait. i still do that… erm… 🙂

  • Melinda G
    February 13, 2013

    Wow, this fabric is T-rific and you look great! I agree with the other comments that you can let out the front seams a teeny bit but leave the rear seam alone! Maybe on the East Coast where the women dress so conservatively, an attorney or a banker would not wear that skirt. Other areas of the country like a lot more color so a black with that finish would be fine. Ready-to-wear does not fit as well as your skirt does. (The top looks great – leave the armsyce alone!) Can you sit in it?

    • oonaballoona
      February 15, 2013

      i never would have thought of east coasters as more formal, but now that i think about it, you’re absolutely right!!

      i can indeed sit in it, but the sheer horror of a glance down would probably knock me over into a prone position.

  • Lynn
    February 13, 2013

    It is easy to get over enthusiastic with fitting. I agree this could use a smidge more room if you were hoping to walk and sit and maybe even eat a meal. I agree with your plan to let out what you can, if that is not enough and you have some fabric left over, you can alway insert a strip at the side seams. Only you would know it wasn’t always that way. No one would question it. My trick for not over doing the fitting is to pin what I think needs to be removed and then add back at least 1/4″ when I reset the seams. So if I think something needs to be taken in one inch, I sew 3/4″ out. Then I try it on without cutting off the seam allowances and move! Really move! Sit, squat, bend over, etc. you might find that what you thought was too loose is actually comfortable and making it tighter would only make the garment bind.

    • Ginger
      February 15, 2013

      That’s a great idea! I’ll have to try that next time. 🙂

      • oonaballoona
        February 15, 2013

        seriously great idea, and probably a great diagnosis of my problem: i TAKE AWAY another 1/4 on areas i’ve pinned out. not…so…bright.

    • anne jewell
      February 28, 2013

      lynne, that is genius! i must remember that! it will save so much ripping out!

  • Karen
    February 13, 2013

    I agree with inserting a strip at the sideseam if you can’t get enough ease out of what’s left of the seam allowances. Does the fabric stretch at all? If not, a strip of spandex down the sides could be really cute and comfy.

    • Lynn
      February 13, 2013

      Oooh, I like the idea of contrast. . . Maybe a leather strip would be really stylish!

    • oonaballoona
      February 15, 2013

      zero stretch! i have some bias strips of faux leather…

  • Amy
    February 13, 2013

    I’m in a spiral of over-fitting right now. So, I feel you. If you really can’t wear the skirt as is (though at least in the photos it looks pretty great!) and the seams will unpick, then have at it. Patiently, of course!

    • oonaballoona
      February 15, 2013

      i don’t know HOW you’re doing all that fitting on those pants, amy. i would have set fire to them by now.

      • Amy
        February 19, 2013

        That would be a sight for my neighbors!

  • Charlotte
    February 14, 2013

    Oh, I think it looks absolutely fantastic. Then again, I come from an environment with very, erm, liberal fitting standards. “If you can sit, it fits.” Your perfectionism is beyond admirable, though.

    • oonaballoona
      February 15, 2013

      ha! i should show you the seam allowance on the zioper, that might change your mind 🙂 it was the last step and i was perfectioned OUT.

  • Cathie @ fastening tape
    February 18, 2013

    That is such a beautiful, beautiful dress. I wouldn’t change a thing. It looks perfect.

    • oonaballoona
      February 18, 2013

      oh, thank you cathie…but…i must confess to you, i just spent an hour taking the seams apart! i decided to check this post before bedtime. i promise she will be renewed!

  • Sarah Gunn
    February 20, 2013

    Don’t change a thing Oonaballoona! It’s wiggle perfect.

  • LaSandra WIse
    February 24, 2013

    I love the outfit..I think it looks amazing.