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Sharon Bill Music Tutor & Author

Fancied a New Skirt ...

Eat your heart out Great British Sewing Bee! I fancied I needed a new skirt. Three hours later - voila! A cosy evening dressmaking whilst listening to "Lord of the Rings" audio book (unabridged, of course!)

I only use the electric sewing machine to zig-zag the seams, not having an overlocker it's the best I can do to neaten the edges. After that I use my favourite hand sewing machine - I've had it since I was eight years old. It's such a more relaxing and tactile way to sew, and it means I can still hear my audio book as I stitch away. I also prefer the tension of the stitches, especially for the top stitching and the hem.

To be absolutely correct you should use a special invisible zipper foot when using a nylon invisible zip. I don't have one (not that one would fit my hand machine) but I managed a decent enough finish - although Patrick and May might have some constructive criticism. One thing I did do that they never did on The Great British Sewing Bee is neaten the seams. It really bothers me that none of the garments had properly finished edges inside. I know that time was of the essence, but I still managed to finish this in under three hours, and the skirt is tidy on the inside as well as the outside. I realise that I didn't bother matching the pattern at the seams. This was because I wanted economy to be a priority - I'm saving the rest of the fabric to make a tote bag with. This skirt project was just a 'quickie' for everyday use.

All in all the skirt cost me £2.50. This was just the price of the fabric. I already had the pattern and the zip, so other than the price of the material it just cost me my time - which was no hardship.