Thursday, 27 September 2012
Pleated skirt, lucky last work wardrobe piece
I like to think that sewing allows me to indulge my creative side, but clearly my creative side is completely subject to my goal setting side.
Having mentally planned a 2 skirt work wardrobe for my daughter, I was unable to let it rest once she had finished work experience, and had to make the second skirt to soothe myself and allow me to move on to anther project. I dare say she will need some work clothes in the future!
My plan for this skirt was inspired by some very cute skirts that my older daughter had tried out in Cue, for which we had bought very expensive jacquard denim in which to try replicating the shape of the skirt. (I notice that there are no skirts with this pleating on the website anymore). I wanted to try this non-pattern sewing out prior to the denim.
My daughter and I auditioned 4 different bottom weight fabrics from the stockpile. I had about 5 yards of cotton twill in grey/green cross woven with deep charcol from Michael's Fabrics - This is from a $7 per yard bundle (+ postage works out to about another $5 per yard), but I suspect it is far more luxurious than the $40 per metre denim as the hand and drape is so beautiful. The twill looks terrific with 3 of the 4 blouse fabrics, and the reverse side of the bolero jacket, leaving us both feeling very clever at our wardrobe building skills.
The skirt is simply constructed - in theory.
I took 2 x a full width of the twill (about 150cm) and sewed the short ends together making an in inseam pocket on the way.
I then cut the back piece in half, inserted a lapped zipper and started draping.
The front and back are first pleated so that 1/2 of the front (or back) waist measurement is brought to meet at each centre front (or back). The remaining outer layer of fabric is then reverse box pleated to fit this measurement, with the pleats meeting at approximately half way between the side and the centre of the front and the back.
This makes the skirt extremely full, with double pleating, making the waist look tiny, particularly when it starts out as the waist of a fit 15 year old with an hourglass figure.
In practice, the tweaking of the pleat positions for a flattering position and to sit smoothly over the derriere and hips took several attemps and a lot of pins. In retrospect, using the full width of the fabric was a mistake, as the inner pleats are too large, extending past the side seams at the back, which made fitting more difficult, although we are happy with the skirt now that it is finished. For my daughter's dimensions, I should have used less width. (The Cue fabric must have been more narrow - as I saw the selvage in the seams during close inspection after my older daughter tried it on)
The waistband is a straight strip, interfaced, and buttoned at the centre back.
You can see here that I overlapped the back outer centre pleats due to the excess fabric.
The hem is machine blind stitch, and seems to show very clearly in the photographs where in real life it is not noticeable. Weird. The fabric has a very slight sheen, so maybe this is the reason?
Having rather a lot of the fabric left, I was considering a pair of trousers to fill out the wardrobe, but fortunately, have no burning urge to sew these in the immediate future. Phew!
Here is the full wardrobe I have sewn for my daughter - she has a RTW black straight skirt to pad this out.
Here is the 5 piece wardrobe I am entering in the Pattern Review mini wardrobe challenge.