I am officially renaming this skirt to Riley August (original nickname was Ellenbee August), because after a very traumatic incident, I will forever associate this skirt with my orange furball, Riley. The skirt process began as normal – no big deal. I found a yard of this very pretty light purple gingham or small checkered fabric for $4.95. I am completely on board sewing together a new skirt for less than $6 (I’m counting the minor cost of the elastic).
I’m a very short girl. Technically, I’m 5 foot and almost 1 inch, but I’ve always rounded down to 5 feet tall because it’s just easier to say and people don’t argue with the 5 feet tall statistic. I’ve always referred myself as the “short cute Korean girl.” Anyway, the normal width of fabric off the bolt is the perfect length for me even when hemming the bottom and fiddling with the waistband area. If the length falls a teeny short, I can always add more fabric, bias tape, or lace.
I opened up the fabric into one big long rectangle and pinned my hem line across the bottom and a casing for elastic on the top. After sewing the hem and the waist casing (my technical term) with a straight stitch, I folded the rectangle fabric in half and made sure the fabric would fit around my fat waist area. Some crafty bloggers cut the fabric in half and sew together the two open sides. Others don’t cut the fabric half and simply sew the one open end.
I decided to just fold the fabric in half and sew the one open end up to the waist casing area. After running 1-inch elastic through the casing, I sewed the two elastic ends together. I would like to point out that I tried to create a casing around the elastic but ultimately failed. Other bloggers made the process look so easy: place the elastic near the top of the skirt and simply fold the fabric over it. After about 10 minutes of wrestling with the fabric and the elastic, I just gave up.
I would also like to point out a little bit of blood was spilled when running the elastic through the casing with a safety pin. When using a safety pin to help guide the elastic, sometimes the pin will pop open and maliciously attack a finger through the fabric. Fortunately, my amazing husband closed the pin and finished running the elastic through the casing while I nursed my poor poor thumb back to health.
After sewing the two elastic ends together, I tried the skirt on to study the hem length, how the fabric fell and bunched, and just the overall look. I was very very very pleased with the results, especially the elastic waist. However, the skirt was a little too big for me. So, I sewed another seam on one side (near the original seam) of the skirt sides and cut off the excess fabric, hoping this tightened the skirt a bit.
I tried the skirt on again, making sure I loved the fit and length. Everything was perfect. I absolutely love love love love love the skirt. All I needed to do was sew the two open casing areas shut. My gigantic furball, Riley, was sleeping on one of the futon, and I sat down on the other end with my skirt, sewing needle, spool of thread, and scissors. After hand sewing the casings closed, I left the remaining thread on the needle and stuck the needle in the spool of thread.
I left the spool of the thread on the skirt and walked away. About one minute later, my husband informed me that Riley was vomiting all over my skirt. My eyes immediately went to the spool of thread and didn’t see the sewing needle. Um, craaaaaaaaaaap! I think the tiny bit of thread left on the needle attracted Riley’s attention, and once he realized the needle wasn’t a toy, he tried to hack it up.
Unfortunately, our efforts failed and Riley swallowed the needle. Craaaaaaaap! I was in hysterics and tears when I called the vet who calmly mentioned my cat wasn’t the first to eat a sewing needle or pin. More than likely, Riley will simply poop out the needle. However, my husband and I needed to keep an eye on him throughout the weekend and bring our furball to the vet on Monday (to avoid an expensive emergency call fee) for an xray.
The xray showed the needle was nowhere near any vital organs (yay!), and Riley would more than likely pass it in the couple of days (whew!). Luckily, he passed it the next morning. Lesson learned: do not leave a sewing needle in the presence of a cat. I knew better than to leave my pin cushions out in the open, but I didn’t think Riley would be interested in a teeny bit of thread left on a sewing needle. I was so very wrong.
I am very very very very grateful that my little Riley is fine, and I learned a valuable lesson. When I looked at the xray, the vet assistant mentioned her family cat from her childhood ate three or four pins and needles and was fine. And some cats live with pins or needles inside them for the rest of their lives. I just breathe a big sigh of relief that my Riley is fine and no major damage was done. And that is why I’m renaming this skirt to Riley August.