My sister and her family also had a major move this summer, and her first grade daughter left Catholic school for public school. During back-to school shopping, my sister lamented the fashions available to my niece in terms of age-appropriateness, quality and styles. I offered to make her some skirts and dresses, and this skirt is the first of these. This is my “fitting”skirt, since I’m working off measurements not a live person. I mailed it today – I hope she likes it and it fits!
This pattern has been out for awhile (2005), so I know it’s well-reviewed, but here’s my spin:
Pattern Description: A-line skirt, above knee, with lined yoke and flounces (I did view D, minus the flower).
Fabric Used: A fantastic, and amazing stretch pink denim from Gorgeous Fabrics, that looks better in person than in photos. Great drape, very lightweight, and easy to sew. I’m glad there was something leftover for me (insert selfish grin here). It drapes far better than the picture shows, which is simply a hanger photo/not on the body. Hopefully I can update this post with her wearing the skirt.
Machines & Tools Used: my trusty Threadbanger 12 from Janome, various feet … zipper, edge stitching, overcast, and my seam roll.
Needles/Notions Used: Stretch Needle size 11. The striped grosgrain ribbon is from MJ Trim.
Tips Used During Construction: Claire Schaeffer’s Fabric Sewing Guide for the narrow machine stitched hem.
How were the instructions: So, so. I followed them mostly, except for the narrow hem, when I deferred to Schaeffer’s book. When I do this again, I will trust my own instincts and change things up a bit so I can get a more professional result, especially the zipper. One important note: the directions say to ease the skirt/flounce, but the yoke was the longer piece, so the easing was the other way around. I basted/staystitched the edges early on to prevent stretching, so I’m pretty sure it’s the pattern.
Did it look like the photo?: yes
Construction Notes: This skirt is basically two overlapping circle skirts attached to a yoke, with a back zipper. Even though the fabric is light weight, you are doubling the fabric at the yoke when attaching the zipper, so using the instructions to insert the zipper will result in a “homemade” look – a bit bulky and not terribly attractive.
Interestingly, the skirt yoke is not interfaced, which I think is a mistake. As I was stitching it together it just sort of hit me that I want to interface it next time to help with wrinkles and body. The yoke is lined/faced with self-fabric, but I used some of the hot pink batiste I had leftover from the Pucci dress to reduce bulk, but I think a light weight interfacing would have helped prevent some of the wrinkling you see in the picture.
The pattern goes together easily and well, with the exception of the instructions regarding easing the skirt to the yoke.
Challenges/What I learned: I had never done a circle skirt before, so that was new. Took forever to machine stitch, carefully, the two narrow hems and then add the ribbon (another two rows of stitching). I’d never attached ribbon in this fashion before, and I was semi-successful in stretching and shrinking the grosgrain to match the curve of the skirt. I think a bias-cut ribbon would have been easier, or apply a binding. And I’m learning to trust myself and do things differently than Vogue/McCalls/Butterick would suggest.
Would you do it again?: Sure, if my niece likes it!
(and yes, progress is slow but steady on the Ralph Rucci)