For my December project I chose a simple pencil skirt, because after two children my body has changed somewhat and it was time to do all the fitting changes again and redraft the pattern I usually use so I decided to give 12/2013 #118 a try instead:
And as we all know sometimes it's the simplest patterns that take the most effort to work! I spent all day Saturday making a muslin and tweaking the fit. I think I got it about 90% right - but with a fitted garment like a pencil skirt I prefer to wear it a few times before making any other changes to make sure it's wearable because there's a danger that you can overfit it and have it looking perfect while standing still for photographs but can't actually walk in it!
Indoor photographs today I'm afraid - I spent five minutes outside taking photos before I wilted in the extreme heatwave we're currently having and had to retreat inside. Of course those outdoor photos that I suffered for so much were no good because I had two children getting in the photo, running into me with their scooters and bumping the tripod. Those fashion bloggers with their photographer boyfriends and ample, uninterrupted time to take photos in beautiful locations have no idea of how much real life can get in your way sometime!
The fabric is a beautiful cream textured cotton with a floral print that came from the dark recesses of the stash, so deep in fact that I've completely forgotten where or when I acquired it. All I know is that I have about 5 metres of it, and it's quite narrow which suggests that it's a vintage fabric because not many come in those widths anymore. The texture is a raised narrow chevron pattern which obviously it was cool before it's time given the obsession with chevron prints in recent years.
This somewhat unusual fabric choice for me was inspired by an image I pinned on Pinterest a while back:
|original image from mango-watermelon-love.tumblr.com|
There's not much to say about this pattern since it's just a simple straight skirt and it was really easy to sew, but fiddly to fit. For my future self the changes I made to the pattern were:
- I traced a size 38, and took out 1.5cm from the centre front along the fold line;
- I didn't add the suggested 4cm hem allowance, took a further 5cm of length off and still have a 5cm hem to get it to sit at knee length. This skirt is extraordinarily long on me.
- Moved the front darts towards the centre by 4cm as the pattern has them drafted too close to the sides for my shape, and shortened the front dart by 3cm. I still need to work on this because there is a bit of puffiness at the front under those darts, but this could be because I wear my skirts lower on my hips under the waistline;
- I took out a wedge shape in the centre back seam under the zipper to get a closer fit and made a vented opening instead of a split in the centre back seam - I find the mitred vent to be a more professional and durable finish that just a split. I think I achieved a pretty good fit in the back (I just need to stand up a little straighter!).
- The pattern uses a long narrow rectangle folded in half for a waistband but instead I drafted one with a slight curve that is in three pieces sewn together at the side seams, and instead of folding it in half I made a facing for it from the same fabric. This type of waistband is better suited to my swayback.
So overall there's not much exciting about this pattern. If you already have a pencil skirt TNT pattern then carry on, but if you don't then this is a good a starting point as any because pretty much any pattern will need fitting changes.
But the other good thing about this project is that I can finally demonstrate to my husband the point of Pinterest - he's always asking me why I bother pinning images!
Thanks for all your comments on the cotton sateen issue - I'm glad I'm not the only one that feels that way about it and I hope I've helped alert those of you that haven't used it yet what to expect. Badmomgoodmom made a good point about fabric quality being the key to how it wears, unfortunately you can't tell that until you've already bought and washed the fabric! I don't think I've ever seen Robert Kaufman fabric for sale here in Australia, but I certainly shall keep my eyes open for it now - fabric purchasing purely for the purpose of scientific testing you see!