After the megasort: salvaging a length of fabric which had spent untold years under the stairs. I wanted a long skirt for winter lolling, but had no pattern, so I made something up. The first scrunch of the shears is a nerve-racking sound at the best of times.
Elasticate the waist? but no elastic. Of course a fitted waist is neater and often more comfortable so I re-designed, but no zipper either. Then again, zippers make nasty noises: chalk squeaking on blackboards is nothing to it. Dredging around in the past, a memory stirred: the placket.
I was nine when I made my first and last placket, and I was baffled by both the construction and the purpose, as I sewed awkwardly (and bloodily) away under my teacher’s despairing eye. However, trying not to think but to visualise, I made a prototype, tweaking and fiddling and trying to remember the trick of turning the corner at the end of the slit.
Preparing to insert the real thing required all the food groups, plus drugs, stimulants and fluids. Not to mention chocolate. Thus fortified, I jigged the placket in quite neatly in the end, unlike the facings, which were awkward as I had changed my mind so much when cutting the skirt, and had run out of fabric to cut a second set.
The buttonholes are the letdown. My technique was never great, and with this soft fraying fabric I made a pig’s breakfast. But they are disguised slightly under the buttons.
Surprisingly, the skirt fits and feels friendly. Pity I can never tell Mrs Walsby that she didn’t waste all her time.