Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Rectangles, Circles and Squares

Welcome to a new weekly post. I have said in the past that I have a passion for people learning to sew. The problem that many run into is making something that will fit. Over the next year, I will be posting something that can be made using either a rectangle, a circle or a square. Most of the posts will be garments, but some will be fun accessories. So to get things started, my first post is a square, a tablecloth actually. Two summers ago I had the opportunity to go to the most enchanting island off the coast of Maine, Monhegan Island. The week was magical. Fifty-six people live on the island on a year round basis. When I first arrived, I knew I had to return. Within a few days, a simple return trip of a week didn't feel like enough, I needed two weeks. By the end of my week, I wanted to experience an entire winter there. In order to call my husband, I had to climb the hill toward the lighthouse where I sat on a rock and made my call. By mid week I realized that I had not seen a television, heard a radio and much less had been on a computer. I told my husband that I had no idea what was going on in the world. Before he could give me a report, I told him that I had no desire to even know. It was while I was on the island that I found the tablecloth "fabric" for this skirt.
To get started, the tablecloth that I purchased measured 58" x 58". I made a yoke from a skirt sloper that fits me, I thought. I assumed that it was fine only to find out that it was a bit too big. Usually good news, right? Well, not this time. I had already sliced the opening in the tablecloth and now the opening was too big. So heed my advice, make sure! The hip measurement of your yoke will be the measurement you will use to cut an opening in the middle of the tablecloth, minus 1" for a 1/2" seam allowance. So if your yoke hip measurement is 37 you will fold the tablecloth into quarters in order to find the mid point. 37 minus 1 is 36. Divide this number by four which in this case will be nine. You will slice the fabric 9" out from center or mid point.

I cut a seam at what would be center back in order to make it easier to install a zipper.
If you do make a mistake like I did, sew seams in what would be the side seams of the skirt portion and then reinstall the yoke.
Unless you make a mistake like I did, this is so very quick and easy to do. Once the zipper is installed,line the yoke and you're finished. There is no hemming since the piece was already finished. This is not a project for a beginner, but it is so quick and easy. I have had people stop me and tell me that my skirt is great. When I tell them that it is a tablecloth, they look puzzled until I grab the sides and hold out the skirt. I especially liked this piece because of the pattern in the fabric and the border print. The skirt flows when I walk. Actually, any square piece of fabric will work.
Good Luck. If you do give this a try, I hope you will enjoy yours as much as I do mine.
I just had to include this picture. In the corner you can see my little dog waiting for me. She's so funny. Sometimes I feel that she thinks we should be attached at the hip.
Make sure and come back tomorrow as I will have something fun to share with you.
Thanks for stopping by.

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  1. I'm also fascinated by patterns composed of geometric pieces. Where is your "Rectangles, Circles, and Squares" series? I can't find a link to it. Fran

  2. Frances, If you haven't gotten the link yet, maybe this will help