Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Mini Wardrobe Pieces 3 & 4: The Skirts!

This is my attempt at a proper post about drafting my pencil skirt using Kenneth King's The Skirts CD-book.

At some point last summer I decided to sew a pencil skirt and went on the hunt for my pre-baby self-drafted skirt pattern. I had spent a lot of time on it and really achieved a great fit.  But I couldn't find the pattern anywhere. During pregnancy a lot of moving and reorganizing happened as we made space for Taco. I spent a lot of time looking, but in the end concluded that I must have tossed the block and patterns, thinking that they would probably never fit again, even though the skirts I made from them still do. Sigh.

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So, I went through the process of carefully measuring and re-drafting, with Taco helping. Naturally, moments after cutting fabric for a wearable muslin I found the original pattern. Go figure. And the patterns are virtually identical, aside from Taco's creative scribbles on the new one.

Anyway, the wearable muslin - the turquoise skirt in the photo above - really has never been particularly wearable, and not for any fitting issues. It's a bit of a fabric fail.  The stretch cotton sateen I used is unbelievably clingy and afflicted with a terminal case of static cling.  Seriously, it sticks. I've tried a slip, tights, no tights... it's a clingy mess. But the actual fit was fine. So, when I was doing my mini-wardrobe, I sewed up two skirts - one in suiting and one with a faux leather front just for fun.

Faux leather skirt!

I honestly think that drafting your own basics is a great way to get a perfect fit.  And a skirt is a great place to start, since they are the easiest garment to draft - no worries about fitting your shoulders or crotch or other tricky areas. Kenneth King's method is solid and has good fitting tips sprinkled in for good measure (eg: for those with a 10" or more waist-hip difference, he recommends twin darts, which really improved the fit for me.)  I did more of a comprehensive review when I first used his method in 2013 - here.

I haven't 100% nailed the fit with these first two skirts. I was a little sloppy transferring changes back to my flat pattern, but I think I am almost there.  And now that I have a good working pencil skirt, I may actually go back and draft a straight skirt too, since the pencil skirt is supposed to be a bit more slinky and curvy.

One of my planned uses for this pattern is already in the works. If you saw my IG feed, you know I am working on a sheath dress. Rather than reinventing the wheel, I used this skirt pattern as the bottom, adjusting the dart placement to line up with the bodice darts.  Here is a sneak peek of the back waist area with invisible zipper, if you didn't see it on IG.

Oh! One last thing. So, the faux leather that I used for this project is what was left over after the peplum top I made a few years ago. Remember that project?  Well, you will be pleased to know that I still have that top and it goes great with the faux leather skirt. I haven't actually had an occasion to wear the two together, but the next time I have a reason to don as much faux leather as possible, I'm ready!

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