11 January 2019

The Dilemna of the Straight Skirt.

Ok has anyone else playing along gone totally off script before they started? 

It is not just me, right? 

When I started planning for SWAP, I decided to just use the sewing plan from last year.  It was a bit on the boring side but it followed the EF concept of classic basics.  The fact I didn't finish sewing the wardrobe plan the last time should have told me something.  The fact that I wasn't excited to just get sewing should have told me something.  For fun  (and because I didn't feel like cleaning the sewing room) I spent several days watching Silhouette Pattern sewing videos.   Watching those videos really made me rethink my plan.

Case in point: the Pencil Skirt

EF uses a pencil skirt as her basic 8 skirt.  I actually don't wear pencil skirts--they are too restricting for my life and job as an elementary school teacher.  I wear clothing that is neat but allows me to move--skorts, maxi skirts, gypsy skirts.  I have made many pencil skirts over the years that got dusty and ignored.  Even if EF sticks it in her wardrobe plan, I am not going to wear it. 

The bottom line is that if I want a skirt in my wardrobe, I need to find a pattern that works for me that I would make many different ways in many different fabrics. Enter Silhouettes 18 gore skirt. 

I would never have even looked at that pattern without watching the skirt episode, mostly because the photo on the pattern has the wrong combination of proportions (long skirt with a short jacket, not a long jacket) and that pattern illustration does nothing for me. I hate most of the pattern illustrations and photos from Silhouette patterns. I don't think they do justice to the patterns in any way.  But after watching the videos, I realized this skirt pattern is fitted around the hips and flared at the bottom and I would absolutely wear this skirt. I actually need a nice basic black skirt suitable to wear as choir blacks.

So, (and yes, this is totally off script for SWAP) I went into the sewing cave and rejigged my 8 gore skirt pattern from Jalie in order to create an 18 gore skirt pattern with a shape similar to Michelle's one piece skirt. My first mock up was a size disaster: eighteen gores fit my daughter's friend who is a size 24.  Since the skirt looked amazing on her I just finished it and gave it to her.  My second try was better and hubbie actually commented positively. 

Step one: pattern down.

I decided to make a double layered skirt variation using black stretch lace on the top layer and rayon poly-lycra for the under-layer. It would totally work with lots of garments in my wardrobe including my current choir blacks.

Yeah, no.  The 18 gore skirt pattern is a a fabric hog. It takes four or five times the pattern length (there is only one pattern piece) and even though the fabric resource closet is overflowing, I didn't have enough fabric. 

Plan, version two: change the gore size from 18 gores to 9 gores (something she shows in the video).  That was successful.   My black skirt is comfortable and lovely.  I have plans for at least five more from the sewing resource cave.  And the experience reinforced why I didn't finish last year's SWAP sewing: the plan did not work for me.  


Alison said...

I love the idea of a two layer gored skirt, as you describe it, Sounds both elegant and comfortable. The whole point of SWAP is to have clothing that works with our own lives. I love the concepts of Eileen Fisher, and The Vivienne Files, but that isn't my lifestyle, so I take the underlying metaconcept and try and translate into my own life. I really look forward to seeing where you go with your SWAP this year!

SewRuthie said...

Echoing what Alison said. Sew what works for your lifestyle and personal preferences.
I have concluded that whilst I very occasionally wear a dress or skirt I am primarily a trousers/pants person (and they are not jeans) but I think my SWAP might end up with a dark dress and maybe a skirt which makes a suit with a jacket, but otherwise yoga pants and softly tailored trousers.