If you've been reading my blog for any length of time, you shouldn't be too surprised to learn that I have sewn yet another skirt.
What can I say? I like the versatility of skirts - I can wear them with a sweater set, or with a blouse, or even with a tee and toss a jacket on to complete the look.
And this one is divine. I'm loving the asymmetrical shaped yoke combined with the inverted pleat and the tapered silhouette. Then of course there is the raised back waistline that ends in a peak at the center back above the waistline.
At this point, I'm undecided on that design element of this skirt. Personally, I rarely wear tops tucked into my skirts any longer, and when I do I almost always have a jacket or cardigan sweater on also. However, I figured I'd sew it as designed, wear it and then decide whether or not to redo the waistline.
This particular skirt is still in progress. You'll see why I put it aside soon enough. In the meantime I'm eager to share the the pattern with you as I think it's a keeper.
The pattern, Vogue 8518, is for three tapered, lined skirts. They have an asymmetrical shaped yoke at the front with princess seams on the back yoke, with a raised back and back zipper closing. A and B have a front inverted pleat on the left side and C has a center back slit.
Fabric, yardage and size
I had a lovely gray wool blend with a tiny pinstripe in my stash that I have held on to for years and years and years knowing it would eventually return to the forefront of fashion.
I cut out view B, originally in a 14 tapering to a 16. I used less than the 1-3/8 yards of 60" wide fabric that is called for. That even took into account that I needed to be conscious of matching the stripes.
The yoke is constructed separately from the bottom portion of the skirt. The yoke is shaped in front with two darts while the shaping in the back is provided by the princess seaming. The front portion consists of three pieces - a left front, a right front and a separate piece for the inverted pleat.
In order to ensure a nice sharp point where the skirt and yoke meet, as well as match the stripes, I pinned the yoke and skirt together and then hand basted in place. After checking the stripes I machine basted over my hand stitches. It took just a fraction of additional time, but was worth it.
At this point I tried the skirt on and realized it was too large. I've mentioned before that I've dropped a few pounds over the past five months. I guess I just don't trust the numbers on the tape measure because I keep cutting out the size I used to use rather than the one that coincides with my measurements.
And that's what I get for not making a muslin ... you'd think I'd know better by now.
Since I had no helper in the sewing studio - and Sophia and Abby don't count as they mostly chew up patterns and take naps - I haphazardly pinned the skirt together along the back side and chalk marked how much I needed to remove.
Next, I removed the yoke from the skirt so I could take the center back in along the princess seams. Perhaps I should have distributed evenly through out, but that front point looked so good that I didn't want to mess with it.
After resewing the back yoke to the skirt I sewed in the back zipper. But, I should have waited and moved onto the lining portion. That's because of the raised center back. I had to remove the zipper and sew it again once the lining had been added.
I admit it, I like a pattern that includes the lining pieces and instructions. That way I don't have to bother figuring it out for myself.
Now if this skirt had been unlined I would have added the lining differently the directions. I would have sewn the lining yoke and lower skirt pieces together then added it in as one piece to the inside of the skirt.
But that is not how you're instructed to add the lining for this skirt. The bottom portion of the lining is sewn to the skirt portion of the yoke. So essentially you have the bottom skirt as well as the lining attached to the skirt yoke. Then the yoke lining is sewn along the waistline and slip stitched in place.
After finishing the waistline with the lining, the zipper is added. Since I had no idea how to add my usual invisible zipper with this back yoke construction, I went ahead and sewed in a regular zipper.
I didn't bother to check the length of the skirt before I cut it out. Instead, I looked at the pretty fashion drawings on the cover. Deciding that I wanted something at my knee, not above it, I choose view B ( the red one on the envelope). Silly me, relying on drawings for accuracy. Now, at 5'5" I'm not exactly tall, but I'm not considered short either - just one of those boring in the middle average types. I'll need to remove about 4" from my skirt to get the look I was going for.
Now that I've sewn one of these skirts, I'm definitely going to sew more - probably minus the raised back waistline. Perhaps with piping to accent the design lines, perhaps with a contrast fabric in pleat. It's got a nice shape with enough design detail to keep it from being boringly simply.
I was wondering - how does Vogue decide upon their pattern ratings? I wouldn't have rated this Easy. Not that it wasn't easy, because in a sense it was. There are few pattern pieces to work with and not a lot of difficult fitting challenges. But when I think Easy, I think of new sewers and I suspect some of them might have difficulty with both the yoke points, the center back points and the zipper insertion.
And one final word, let me warn you that you might want to mark the right and wrong sides of your lining or you could end up with a lining that looks like this - the reason I put the skirt away for the day.