Making It Work
Posted on Sunday the 17th February 2019 by Paunett
My name is Anna and I write a sewing blog called paunnet.
I was part of the very first team of the Minerva Crafts Blogger network back in day, and then took a long break from blogging, but I’m back!
My first project back on the Blogger Network is a bittersweet one… or, if you’re more positive than I am, it’s a story about “making it work” (cue the Tim Gunn voice).
As it often happens with my sewing projects, my inspiration came from a pattern first; I saw this pleated skirt pattern in the January 2019 issue of Burdastyle Magazine and I was really intrigued by it. It’s a 1950s vintage pattern. I was especially attracted by the clever and unusual pocket design that I had never seen before. If, like me, you’re very curious about pattern making, please check out this pattern, because these pockets an interesting and beautiful detail.
As recommended fabrics, Burda suggested brocade, and as I really liked what they used in their sample, I just searched in the extensive offerings of Brocade Fabric at Minerva. I really liked this moon print, but In the end I went with a golden floral on a black background.
My goodness, this fabric is so gorgeous! it shines, it’s so rich and elegant! And it’s equally beautiful from the right side as it is from the wrong side.
But… there’s a huge but. I quickly realized this was a pretty terrible choice for the pattern I had in mind, because it’s waaaay too busy for these design lines.
I was lost for a moment, but having all the supplies to make this skirt, I felt that I needed to try it, so I did.
I initially cut a size 38, but after quickly measuring the pieces, I took it in quite a bit at the waist. Burda patterns include so much ease! For a waist size of 70cm, the waistband measured 76cm, which is just too big, at least for me. I also shortened the skirt significantly, because although being described as a midi skirt, the length would have hit me at the ankles, which I don’t like on myself. To make it knee length, I removed a whopping 35 cm. Because I didn’t want to loose all the flare at the bottom, but at the same time, I also wanted a balanced shape, I removed half of the amount from the bottom, and the other half below the hips. I then trued up my seam lines, added seam allowance and proceeded to cut.
This skirt also has deep pleats at center front and center back. I cut the inside of the pleats from the wrong side of the fabric, hoping to add some contrast, but unfortunately it’s barely noticeable.
Construction went pretty fast, although the instructions provided by the magazine confused me more than they helped me, as they usually do.
In the end, this skirt is not ugly but it’s really not what I wanted. First of all, I remembered all of a sudden that I don’t like this pleat design on me, I made myself a very similar skirt a few years ago and hated this look on me, but completely forgot. I really hope at least this project will help me remember this fact.
And the other thing is, this beautiful fabric is much better suited for either super simple designs or very dramatic ones; this skirt just fell in between the two and wasn’t a good match. The details are completely lost in the print and the many seam lines disturb the print, which is kind of unpleasing to look at. I would definitely love to revisit this pattern, but I would remove the pleats and use a fabric in a solid color.
Anyway, because the fabric recommendation for this pattern was intended for the ankle length, I ended up with a lot of spare fabric, so I decided I at least wanted to try and make something I would wear out of it. I drafted a 10 minute above-the-knee length straight skirt, which came together in less than two hours. Ah, the power of instant gratification! Although it’s not the sewing project of a lifetime, it made me feel better about my abilities and patched my pride, not too mention it’s a cute little skirt I’ll wear and cherish out in the world.
For any of those struggling with sewing fails: relax! It happens! Most of the time, you can find a way to fix it, but if you can’t, it’s not the end of the world so don’t be too hard on yourself!
Fingers crossed my next project is going to be a more relaxing one! :)