* Built By Wendy Skirt

Posted on November 21st, 2006 by maitreya. Filed under Crafty Review, Sewing/Fabric Crafts.

After my last improvised attempt at a skirt, it became clear that I should try one from a pattern. Enter Sew U, the Built By Wendy book that you have no doubt seen elsewhere in blogland. I really really like the book. It is a perfect combination of complicated and simple, by which I mean that the instructions are easy to follow and well written, but the techniques range to the more complex. I felt like I was really learning to sew how you *should* sew, not some oversimplified way that was bound to disappoint in the construction. This is in contrast to how I felt about the Sew Fast Sew Easy book, which also has a skirt pattern that I have never made because it seemed so lame (and that was before they turned so evil).

Anyway, back to the skirt. It only took one night, and it has everything: nice zipper, darts, finished seams, facing, little button-loop to close the top of the zipper, everything. The fabric is a slightly stretchy, thin wale cordoruy that I got on sale at Reprodepot. The instructions were really good at every step. The book is organized with a kind of abbreviated 1 page recipe for each item (skirt, pants, and shirt), and more detailed information about particular steps and techniques organized in chapters, plus a bunch of reference information on sewing machines, patterns, fabrics, etc. I like this because I could flip to the long description for steps that I wanted more info about, but the big picture was all in one place. Also, as I learn the steps, I won’t need the long directions. Incidentally, I use the same system in writing my lab protocols. :) The only place where I felt the book had insufficient instructions was how to undersew, which I’d never seen before but is the magic that keeps the facing folded over just so. It fits great, and I am confident it will survive the washing machine.

I also feel like I actually learned something about sewing. I now understand facings, and what ease is, and all these little things that seemed kind of mysterious before. I already have the fabric for the cute shirt I’m going to try next. Thanks Wendy!


10 Responses to “Built By Wendy Skirt”

  1. pendlerpiken Says:

    Congratulations! I love my Sew U book, too :) Gorgeous fabric, btw.

  2. Nancy Says:

    omg! adoreable. i very much want that book, and now i want it even more!

  3. julie Says:

    love the houndstooth!! and it’s corduroy? rockin!

    yeah, i’ve really enjoyed the SewU book too–you’re right, you really do feel like you’re actually learning to sew, not just making one isolated project.

  4. Kristin Says:

    cute skirt, amazing it took so short a time.
    I just happened across your blog after posting some pinecones of my own. I guess it’s that time of year, OR the universal brain, anyway your pinecones look lovely! (if you feel like looking at mine, they are moontea.blogspot)

  5. amy k. Says:

    looks awesome!! I really like this book too. I use it even when I am using other patterns, as a reference and to try differnt alterations-

    not ready to try the pants yet-yikes.do I really want to be that in touch with my own butt size? I don’t think so.

  6. futuregirl Says:

    I’m going to have to check out that book. I like the way you describe the projects being organized. It’s super smart to have a one page project with the details elsewhere.

    And you skirt looks great! I’m always intimidated by the idea of sewing clothes. I’d love to be able to make them, but I don’t want them to look homemade. That skirt looks very professional.

  7. Blair Says:

    This is such a cute skirt! You have convinced me that I probably do need to get this book. I keep looking at it and putting it back in favor of a different book whenever I’m browsing. I love you description of the book, and think something that is the perfect combo of easy and challenging would be good for me. Learning proper sewing wouldn’t hurt either.

  8. Regina Says:

    yes, very cute skirt. That book is definitely on my list of most wanted!

  9. erin scissorhands Says:

    oh, i definitely have to check this book out!

  10. Laurie Says:

    It’s so exciting to see the word “undersew” in this post becasue IT’S THE ONLY REFERENCE I CAN FIND ON THE WEB! Could someone please explain what this means? I’m in the middle of making a halloween costume and I can’t figure out what this means. Become famous – post a page on the wikipedia. But please, email me the details!!!

    lauriekl at hotmail dot com


  • maitreya[@]craftlog[.]org

books I’m in


  • Mosaic Squares Blanket | Purl Soho

  • Dijon Brussels Sprout Grilled Cheese - A Cozy Kitchen

  • Super-Tasty One-Pot Squash Soup – Not Eating Out in New York

  • Follow Me on Pinterest




creative commons

craftlog is under a Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial license. That means that you are all welcome to take and repost my photos, replicate my projects, remix my ideas, whatever you want as long as you give attribution (a link is fine) and it's noncommercial. Thanks!