A tricky, tricky pattern…. Did it attract your attention when you first saw it? I know many liked it: so urbane and stylish in Vogue’s envelope photo with it’s bias cut wide A-line (not circle) skirt, nipped waist and flounced peplum.
It is offered in size 8 (bust 31.5, waist 24, hip 33.5) to size 22 (bust 44, waist 37, hip 46).
Let me start by saying that this is the hardest post I’ve ever done since I started blogging in 2006. I have taken days to work up my courage. I have had a total Blogger’s Meltdown and been paralyzed with fear.
This is a test. It is not a wearable muslin. Please don’t tell me how to fix this thing.
Just take the facts from this humiliating and public display of raw, un-photoshopped photos and determine if this is really a style that would work for you. Warning: some photos maybe too graphic for delicate sensibilities. Viewer discretion is advised.
First: the skirt is 36″ long from the waist and 98″ in circumference at the hem. That’s a whole lot of skirt for a short person and even a whole lot of skirt for a tall person. It might work for someone who is over 6 foot tall. I am not. I ran up a test of my test to try to get a good length, cutting off 10 inches so it would be long but not too long and decided on this proportion for me:
OK, the length is not bad but look at how the skirt front dips down? That’s because the waist band needs to be tighter to hold the skirt level at the waist. So cut it smaller than you normally would.
Also oddly, there is only one pattern piece for the front and the back. A back piece should be wider than the front by an inch or so as most people are wider across the back.
I only had an RPL (rayon polyester lycra) in a comparably sized plaid and I had plenty of it with no real plans for a serious garment. It is a bit beefier than a woven wool suiting but not by much so it became my “muslin” fabric.
Here’s the skirt:
The plaid on the bias widens the back view…need I say more? It demands a jacket.
Here’s the jacket:
Hmmmm, maybe I can stand to see it from the front???
Oh , no, not so good either…well maybe a quarter turn will do?
Enough with the plaid already!
Not even adding a wide belt would help.
Perhaps done in a more muted plaid like the dark grey shown on the envelope…naw. I don’t think that this jacket and skirt would work well together on anyone shorter than 6 foot tall and really, it’s not a good look for anyone who is over a size 2. Oh wait, it’s not offered in a size 2.
So, to get on with this exploration and to relieve our eyes I’ll try to discuss the jacket while in some brown slacks
that’s a bit of relief from the plaid but, HMMMMM, that peplum sticking out there…
It might lie flatter if made from a fabric with a looser weave but here’s the pattern pieces:
On top of the fact that there’s almost one and a half full circles of fabric over your behind, the jacket instructions and lining pattern piece have you line to the edge so there is an added line of stitching to stiffen those folds.
And the lining shows in the folds (you’re not warned, too bad I didn’t read the whole instruction sheet first!)
Huh? You can’t see that in the photos on the envelope
I even have toyed with the idea of tacking the back folds into place but
what about those sleeves? They look nice and tight in the photo, even the armscye is low enough so as to compensate for the tightness of the sleeve
but the pattern piece does not taper as much as it should to produce such tight sleeves
Refer back up to my jacket photos. I have cut an 18 and taken out an extra inch of width tapering from the elbow dart down to the sleeve hem.
Hmmm. Somehow, it just does not look like the same outfit.
So my dear readers (I hope after these shocking photos I can still call you friends) I am going to close this chapter now. I have mustered up the courage to post this and, if I were a rational person, I’d go on a week long vacation or a major margarita bender, which ever comes easiest, but when it comes to sewing and art, I’m just not that rational.
No loss to me of the fabric and my time is not as precious as it once was. I’ll be all right.
I hope I have saved at least one of you some time, fabric and effort.
sewing hugs to all :)