I had a really lovely day today making a skirt for Mz G. She worked. I sewed. Occasionally we might have gabbed a wee bit.
A year or so she picked up this lovely fabric in a market in Côte d’ Ivoire and has been holding onto it ever since. It’s wax print 100% cotton (Hitarget 092330). It’s a medium weight, firm yet soft to touch (if that makes sense) fabric, but with time and use softens up.
Just in case, I had Mz G. soak the fabric in water and vinegar to help set the colours, before giving it a pre wash and tumble try. It came out pretty much exactly as it went in, no running or shrinking.
Last week we met up to talk about patterns and she immediately gravitated to Simplicity 2451 version B.
I really love this pattern and have made versions D & C for myself several times – it works great with babycord , and version A for my mother-in-law. I find it a really flattering cut, it’s easy to sew (fitting, cutting of fabric and sewing took 8 hrs today).
We decided to alter it slightly so the yoke would be just below her belly button, instead of just above it. This required about an extra inch on each side, give or take. When I have lowered the yoke for myself in the past, I generally have just made the yoke a few sizes bigger or just drastically reduced the seam allowance in the side. But this time I decided to try something a bit different and added the extra space in the centre. I.e. the front yoke and front centre skirt are cut on the fold, so I placed my pattern piece about 1” front the fold edge. For the back yoke and back centre skirt, I added about 2” to the centre back. The extra inch is there is just for leeway.
This resulted in a perfect fit at the top of the yoke. It sat perfectly just under her belly button, and looked great. However underneath the yoke in the front, just inside the princess seams joining the front and side pieces, didn’t look right. There was just a bit too much fabric. I hummed. And hawed. Then I had an idea.
I unpicked about 2” of the seam that joined the front yoke to the front skirt just above the princess seams. I then sewed in an angle, like I was making a dart on the princess seam. It wasn’t big; I maybe took in 1cm at the top and tapered down for 4”. I then rejoined the skirt to the yoke, there was a little bit of gathering/puckering of the yoke but it’s barely noticeable. Without regard for her modesty or the neighbours’ sensitivities I had her whip her trousers off again and this time the skirt hung just right. I’m quite pleased with myself for this sneaky little move.I think what I’d do next time is add some width to the top of the yoke but not the bottom. Maybe. I’m not sure.
I’m really pleased with how it turned out and so was Mz G.
Because the fabric is still quite firm the bottom looks quite ‘flippy’.
Although I couldn’t match the print exactly at the seams, I think it actually looks better this way. I love how at the front the large floral arangement is slightly to the side and because of the seam placement, extended.
Nothing like a bit of a whirly gig.