Contemporary Skirts

Flat-lining and fitting… (Vogue 2811)

9/10/2014:  I find the fit vastly improved if I slide the skirt down on my hips. It’s supposed to sit one inch below the waist, but it looks better 2-3 inches lower (note the models also do this). I’m also long-waisted so this definitely helps. It also makes the skirt mid-knee now, but the unfortunate bulkiness at the front, right at the prize, still remains.

Still working on basics to fill out some gaps in my wardrobe.  This time, I made an a-line skirt in an off-black linen, which I obtained from Marcy Tilton (still available).  I feel very confident making skirts, so this was about three things:  I’d never done a fly-front, more practice edge-stitching, and the chance to do a fun flat line.

Alice and Olivia
Alice and Olivia

I chose a new (to me) pattern:  Alice and Olivia’s Vogue 2811 (out of print) mid-knee, below waist, a-line skirt.  First, I knew without a doubt that this was not mid-knee!  I added four inches to the hemline, and it’s still two inches above my knee.  Second, I’ve gained weight with the move (stress-eating anyone?), so I cut out a 14 instead of my usual 12.  My measurements suggested I should cut a 16, but I’m glad I didn’t, because the 14 was perfect in some ways, but roomy in others.  More on that later.  I did decide to eliminate the back pockets, and only do minimal edge stitching – this pattern is edge and top stitched.

So, why flat-line*, underline, line at all, a summer linen skirt?   Well, this linen was a little coarse, and you could see light through it.  I still remember pictures of Princess Diana during her engagement of when she stood in the light in a skirt without a slip – oh the scandal.  I’m not a prude, but transparency around my hips and thighs doesn’t work for me.

Still, flat lining (and underlining) has its benefits.  It helps keep linen from wrinkling as much, gives more body to the fabric, and can help prevent seating. Oh, and flat lining allows for a very neat, clean interior:

Center back seam at waist, showing flat-lining.
Center back seam at waist, showing flat-lining.

Here, I used a black and white floral batiste I picked up from Gorgeous Fabrics years ago.  I had made something from  it then, and set aside the rest.  I like it here!

Construction was pretty easy – the only thing I was worried about was the zipper fly – and the instructions were super-easy to follow.  No problem.  Feel like I can tackle it again.

Fitting.  Where I made my big mistake was failing to fit as I sewed.  I know better.  I saw the printed pattern measurement (including ease) for the hip and felt pretty confident the 14 was the way to go.  I was less confident about the waist.  The skirt sits about 1 inch below the waist, so no final girth measurement on the pattern – and I neglected to measure.  Shame on me!  (I was concerned it would be too tight) First the pix:

Back gap!
Back gap! And my mid-section in front looks bulky.
Gap with shirt tucked.
A different view of the back gap, with shirt tucked.

A few things: first the back gap. As you can see in both pictures, The contour waistband does not lie flat, but in fact gaps.  I thought tucking it in would hide it, but the fit is off.  Second, I don’t like the way the front lies on the body (the right side of the first of these two photos).  It looks bulky and a little to big.  If I pull the skirt down to let the back fit lower and better on the hip, the front looks worse (the zipper seems too long).  The skirt sits a bit large on me, but otherwise the fit is okay on me – I didn’t realize how big a difference going to the 14 from 12 would be.

If I hadn’t been in such a zone, I would have stopped to fit as I went, which would have alerted me to these issues.  Too confident in my sewing abilities (and this was fun and easy to make) to stop and work on my weak fitting abilities.  Any suggestions on fixing the fit (particularly the front, which you can see a bit of in the first photo)?  I will make this skirt again though not for a while.

One thing I lost with the move – my brilliant and sweet neighbor.  She would offer such wonderful advice, especially on fitting.  Oh, and she often took pictures, so I can’t always get a finished view on me anymore.

Ambitious sewing agenda ahead, another basic, attempt to finish the white linen top to go with this skirt, and then Wrapapalooza!

* flatlining is a great technique with skirts, because generally the seam lines are mostly straight.  You sew the lining fabric to the fashion fabric, right sides together with a 1/4 inch seam, turn inside out and stitch in the ditch. You do this for vertical seams only, and you must allow for the turn of the cloth and covering the raw edges.  Here, I added 1/2 an inch to each vertical seam.

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