Monday, June 18, 2012

Twirly patchwork skirt

So I actually made this skirt before the blouse I showed Friday and realized after I wrote up the blog post on the shirt that I actually have been doing a lot (for me) of clothes sewing in the last couple of months.  First the Easter dress, then the top, and now this skirt in addition to the baptism gown for Anna.  Pretty weird.  I think I'm done for a while though, I'm going to go back to focusing on my quilts.

Anyway, my mom got a skirt pattern at a quilt show a while back and we planned to make it together.  I tried to find an online reference for the pattern but came up empty.  The envelope says Park Slope Pattern Company, Woodstock, Pattern #20.  If anyone has any information on it, let me know.

The body of the skirt is pieced in a patchwork/strip sort of style, and called for a bunch of different fabrics.  We went with light weight rayon prints since they drape so nicely.  We purchased most of the fabrics on a family vacation to Hawaii in 2010.  They're not really Hawaiian fabrics in any way, but we've found a couple of large fabric stores there and so always seem to fabric shop.  I've only been to Hawaii twice, but the first time I bought fabric for my curtains and a bunch of Hawaiian prints for my Eye on the Ocean quilt and the second time I went we bought the fabrics for this skirt.  Weird thing to do on vacation, but not for us I guess!

I have to say that the majority of the work on this skirt was done by my mom.  She spent days lining up and cutting out ALL the billions of pieces, no small feat given that the pieces were large and they were all cut out of slippery rayon.  She finished her skirt (sewn on the serger) and then I think she was feeling pretty done with the whole project.  She brought me my bag of skirt pieces and the serger and a couple of weeks ago I sewed it all together.  It assembled pretty easily since all the pieces were cut out already (thanks mom!).  I'm really grateful to have had the serger which did wonders for preventing raveling.

It's designed to be a sort of one-size-fits-all kind of pattern.  Since it's a wrap skirt it overlaps on itself and the instructions say (more or less) to make yourself a waistband that fits and then gather (or not) the skirt to fit in the waistband.  I'd tried on my mom's finished one and was kind of worried that I wouldn't have enough "skirt" to get all the way around me as I'm quite a bit larger than she is.  The pattern has a spot where you can add on more fabric if you need it.  Although I thought I would need to add on, I figured I'd wait until I got the rest put together before deciding.  I'm so glad I did!  I guess my mom must have gathered hers quite a bit to fit into her small waistband, because I had a ton (!) of skirt.  Given how much fabric this took, I guess that's not surprising.

Anyway, here's the finished skirt from the front.

I like that it's very flowy, and I love the colors we picked and the look of the patchwork, but there were a few things about it that bugged me. It's designed to be longer in back than in front, which is ok in theory, but in the back it was really too long.  I almost tripped over it when I tried it on.  Even more bothersome than that was that it felt like the volume of fabric was not evenly distributed around my person.  I'm not sure how to describe it, but there were areas, for example right in the back, where it felt like there was a bunch of fabric while in other areas there was less.  I know it's designed to be assymmetrical, but I wasn't too crazy about how it felt.  I wasn't sure how to solve the problem, but I decided to go ahead and cut a bunch of length off the back.  That helped quite a bit, and now I don't notice the volume issue.

It's really comfortable and twirly!