Sewing Project Finished!

Last Friday’s Just a Moment was the beginnings of a sewing project. I haven’t used my sewing machine in years and it has been even longer since I did anything more than simple mending with it. We’re talking decades here! And I have never taken an existing item and copied it, making my own pattern. But that is just what I did, with a lot of written instructions and long-distance hand-holding by my friend Carol (thank you!).

I started with my favorite blue jeans skirt, which I have worn so often that it is beginning to show extreme signs of wear and tear. I have looked and looked for a replacement, but been unable to find one. And then inspiration hit! I could use the skirt as a pattern and recreate it!

Here’s how it went:

blue jeans skirt

Favorite Skirt

sewing instructions

Emailed instructions from Carol, plus skirt measurements and layouts

skirt material


first two layers

First two layers joined

three layers

Three layers joined

four layers

Four layers joined

hemmed with lace

Hem with lace

finished skirt

Waistband in and finished!

I felt so brave attempting this, since I never considered myself very good at sewing and even less good at using patterns. I wonder if the difference is that with this project I had the finished product in front of me and I didn’t have to “visualize” how the pattern + material equation was going to work out. Now I am excited with the possibilities! I can sew!

Actually, I am crediting this inspiration for this whole project to my grandmother, Mabel Esther Austin Gibson. Early in July I was asked by a distant Austin relative to write a short essay about my grandmother. One of the things I remembered about Grammy was what a great seamstress she was. And then I had a revelation (one of several I had while writing the essay)! I realized Grammy was probably not a great seamstress from day one … what I saw was the result of years (decades!) of necessity, effort and practice. Surely I could “channel” some of her creativity and skill and effort and begin my journey towards becoming at least a good seamstress.

So, thank you, Grammy, on your 105th Birthday, for continuing to inspire me!

Mabel Esther Austin Gibson


  1. Roberta

    Beautiful skirt and story too.

  2. Cee Gee

    Congratulations! Your work is beautiful!

  3. Missus Wookie

    I like all of this – the photos showing progress and learning, the finished project (and you can now do more versions in different colours and weights woot!), the story, the realisation you can channel that creativity and inspire people in turn.

  4. Carol

    The only thing missing is a picture of you *wearing* this skirt. It came out really well and looks like it will be great fun to wear. I’m so glad I could help and that it was a good experience. There are many more sewing adventures ahead of you – and you always know where to find me. 🙂

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