Monday, October 17, 2011

New Look 6981 Pleated Skirt

Egads! I'm using a modern pattern. A big change for me since as of recently I've been sewing using vintage patterns. I really don't have anything against modern patterns. For some reason I have had very bad experiences regarding fit when it comes to modern patterns. I follow the recommendations for sizing on the pattern and I still get a bad fit. Especially when it comes to skirts. I think its because I have a two size difference between my hips and my waist so it makes fitting really difficult. Especially when it comes to dresses and skirts that have waistbands. Of course I finished my skirt way before I saw this post on the Selfish Seamstress's blog regarding full waist adjustments. Just might try that on my next version of this skirt. Onward to the review.

Pattern Review (The Pros): The pattern was very easy and only required four pattern pieces: a waistband (front and back pieces) and a skirt (front and back pieces). This was also my first time putting in a side zipper (required for the pattern), but it was pretty easy to do. I decided to put the side zipper in using the prickstitched lapped zipper tutorial from A Fashionable Stitch's blog. A bit time consuming, but the end product looks great.

The Cons: I didn't really have any gripes about the pattern, but it lacked any instructions on fitting a waistband that was two sizes bigger than the skirt piece. *Being sarcastic* Because every person on earth conforms to the standard measurement that are used to make patterns so they don't need to add instructions like that.

Did it come out like the pattern picture? Yes, except I added some black pipping.

Do you need to make adjustments? Yes. According to the pattern my hip measurement place me between a size 14 and 16, but the waist measurement placed me closer to a size 18. Not wanting to have a huge unflattering skirt that looked it would swallow me up. I made a size 14 skirt with a size 16 waistband. Sadly this would not fit on my waist comfortably (I blame motherhood for my waist line), but the skirt width was perfect for me. I ended up having to recut the waistband as a size 18 and readjusted the width of the pleats to fit on the new waistband. In the future I might cut a size 16 waistband and do a full waist adjustment as detailed on the Selfish Seamstress's blog.

Pattern Level: Beginner to intermediate. A beginner might have problems when it comes to hemming the skirt. Pleated skirts are notoriously hard to alter. At least for me. I suggest making sure the length is where you want it before you cut out the skirt, because its harder to make sure its even once its attached to the waistband.

What could I have done better? Other than doing a full waist adjustment on the waistband I would do a better job sewing my piping. You can see where I sewed too close to the piping. I would also choose a heavier fabric because the quilting cotton seems to lightweight and tends to puff out.

Would you sew this pattern again? Yes, I really like pleated skirts so I am determined to make this skirt pattern work for me.

Pattern: New Look 6981 purchased from Joann.

Fabric: Quilting cotton from Joann.

Techniques: Prickstitched lapped zipper, piping, pleats and bias tape.