Here is my typical M.O. when it comes to DIY projects:
- I see something I like.
- My brain finds a way to twist and contort the truth, allowing me to convince myself that I have the necessary time and skills to take on this project.
- I ignore the receipt from my shopping trip that clearly indicates I just spent more on DIY supplies than I would have spent in buying the finished product.
- I realize I don’t have the necessary time or skills to take on this project, but am not willing to return the supplies I spent too much money on.
- I forge ahead, allowing my children to scavenge the couch for food in order to put the time I don’t have into muddling through the project.
- I am unimpressed with my less-than-stellar results. That is, if I manage to finish.
Why does this happen? Over-ambition? The need to pretend that 25 hours of every day are not already spoken for? A flat refusal to admit I cannot do everything? Maybe a hint of the “I’m doing it because I want to and that is reason enough” selfishness I’m currently pondering?
Whatever the reason, I am *determined* to restrict myself to Smart DIYs. DIYs that are within my scope of skills and available time, and that make sense with my budget and the needs of our family.
Enter: The Simple Skirt
My girls love skirts. Lucky for me, skirts are way easy to make! For a beginning sewer (sewist?), this is a great beginning project. For an intermediate sewist (sewer?), this can easily be embellished and customized. For an advanced sewing sleuth (seamstress?), this is an instant-gratification project that can be whipped up before your preschooler can say, “Mom, my brother is parking all his cars in the air conditioner vent again!”
I’m not going to post any steps here because Dana’s tutorial over at MADE is pretty much perfect. Follow it, and produce simple skirts for your little princesses!
Hancock Fabrics had a blow-out sale over the weekend, so I let each of my daughters choose a fabric to make a skirt. This one chose giant polka dots.
Her skirt started out as the simplest single-layer simple skirt, but I somehow made it too short, so I just added another layer! I like a project that is forgiving. I’m bad at measuring.
Simple skirts: perfect for shuffling about on roller skates with grandpa. [Side Note: I am not responsible for her lack of outfit coordination. I decide what may or may not go in her closet, and after that, she wears what she wants.]
Now, here’s the kicker. (Yes, I said “the kicker.”) Take a look at these girls’ skirts from J. Crew:
Is it just me, or are they not that far off from Dana’s Simple Skirts? Anyone care to guess the price? I’ll just tell you: the blue one is currently $49.50 on the J. Crew web site, and the pink one is on sale for $55! Are they kidding? I mean, I’m sure the fabric is more expensive than the cotton prints I used, but really, $50 for a little girl’s skirt? The skirt she plops down on the grass in? The skirt she uses as a napkin AND a tissue? (I’m working on that one, I promise.) The skirt that goes through potty training?
Each of the skirts I made took about 1/2 a yard of clearance fabric, and I had the thread and elastic in my sewing stash. The grand total for each skirt was about $1.37 and 30 minutes of time. It doesn’t take much fabric (depending on your model’s height), so you might be able to put one together for free from your sewing scraps and notions stash. Even if I bought everything specifically for this project (fabric, elastic, thread), each skirt could easily come in under five dollars.
That is what I mean when I’m looking for a Smart DIY. There are definitely more simple skirts on our to-do list. Thanks, Dana!