I am not the one to give up on a project. Once I start something, I am determined to finish it, no matter how many times I use my seam ripper, no matter how many needles I break, no matter how many consecutive nights I sit on my table turn the sewing machine on and start sewing the same seam over and over.
I bought the pattern for the Named Clothing Pulmu Skirt about a year and a half ago. At that point, I was going through a phase of really hating PDF patterns, the assembling, the sticking and then the tracing and finding a way to store them afterwards. Do I roll them? Do I fold them? Do I cut them up? So, I started working on it as soon as I got it out of the envelope that came through the post. I had seen the below look and the Pulmu Skirt was in my eyes the perfect candidate for recreating it.
And I got pretty close with this wool crepe version, the look of which I loved. The problems though started once I began sewing the lining. Whatever I did, once I attached the lining around the vents the main fabric would pull up. I tried everything and in the end, I just decided I couldn’t fix it. The ladies at Named Clothing were most helpful and they advised that part of the problem might have been the fluidity of the fabric I was using and I agreed. However, as this was a project for a specific occasion, I ran out of time at this stage and the skirt was moved to my UFO pile, where it still lives to this day.
Despite the fact that I already had a semi-failure with the skirt, I decided to give it another go, this time in an Irish linen, much stiffer than usual linen. As I only wanted the skirt, I didn’t bother at all with the lining (which wasn’t necessary anyway) and instead finished the raw edges by binding the seams with bias tape. You can see the result here
Almost a year later, I decided to go back to it as part of my make nine list, because I simply couldn’t stomach the Pulmu failure. While pregnant, I made this tent dress which was worn only once more except for taking the blog post pictures. There seemed to be enough fabric to make a skirt but not enough for this particular one. As I love colour blocking, I thought I’d use the dress fabric for the back and the front and some plain black cotton sateen for the side panels and I think the result is great.
Filled with determination, I spent a few nights, inserting and re-inserting the lining and the outcome was always the same as the first time I sewed the skirt, FAILURE. I don’t know what the problem is, I am probably doing something wrong, because the pattern is very well drafted. Perhaps, it’s the fact that I had to shorten the skirt quite a bit, as my height is nowhere near to a tall Finnish lady, haha! I don’t know what it was, but whatever it was, it tipped me over the edge. I was literally standing with it over the bin ready to send it to hell, when I had a revelation.
I loved the shape of the skirt and the fabric too much to throw it away, so I cut out the part of the skirt from the vents below and replaced it with a gathered piece made from the contrasting fabric,
For me the way it turned out is perfect. I don’t know if it feels a bit out there, personally I find it very cool and unique. I guess I’m also not one for quiet clothes, I like them when they are at least delightfully peculiar, so it’s true to my aesthetic and style. (too much project runway, I tell you)
Needless to say that this was my last attempt at sewing the Pulmu skirt. I will consider this as one more of the make nine list ‘done’ and get on with the next project.
And you, at what stage do you say enough is enough with a handmade project that isn’t behaving?