Ah, my first draft. There’s nothing fancy about it, but it fits, well mostly. I really overestimated my waist and I need to take this in quite a bit at the waist. It’s just as well since drab olive is not my favorite. I figured this was a safe fabric to test out this pattern on though since I got it for all of 97 cents for the whole yard and a half it is. What I do like about this skirt is that it hangs on my hips and drops straight down from there and fits my curves in a way that makes me feel feminine, but not immodest or matronly. I’ve never been able to get this from any skirt I’ve owned and I’ve been disappointed with my own attempts to sew from patterns where skirts are concerned. I know this needs further tweaking, but things are looking up.
Self-Drafted Princess seamed skirt
What I learned:
1. Fit where the fullness is going on: I have wide hips–most of that is bone, but part of that is a more rounded backside. I can add width across my hipline all day long, but at the end of things, my bum is still going to rob fabric from the widest part of my side seams and things will be tight across my backside. Bizarre, right? That’s what I thought. I fundamentally don’t like sewing darts in skirts, so I innocently thought when I was drafting to just try princess seams instead. I had no idea I’d stumbled across pure gold where fitting my backside is concerned…those seams let me put in a little bit of extra width across my seat at the center back without distorting anything, and their gentle curves just work better on my body. The result is a nice smooth curve that skims my own curves. When I’ve tried to fit simple plain front and back skirts that only have side seams, I end up every time looking like I’m wearing a potato sack. Cynthia Guffey kept saying at the Sewing Expo–“You can’t fit curves with a straight line.” I’ve been thinking about this a lot and it makes a lot of sense–my fluff is not on my sides (actually my hip bones stick out a bit)–it’s at center back, so adding to the side seams covers the fluff, but it doesn’t conform to its shape. So I need a curve where I’m curvy. I need to take in the skirt at my waist some more, but otherwise it fits really well.
2. The only way to become less scared of zippers is to sew them: I decided no more fear of zippers here. They are useful closures and I plum need to deal with them. I started with the zipper so it could be nice and flat and unfussy when I was installing it. I sewed and serged my seam, changing to a basting stitch where I wanted my zipper to be. I basted in a little fabric loop towards the top of the seam to reduce stress on the zipper and because I fundamentally hate hook and eyes. I used steam a seam to position my zipper perfectly under the basted section of the seam, ran a chalk line exactly where I wanted to topstitch the zipper in place and topstitched away. I took care of the top of the zipper by sewing it into my facings which worked out really well. Tada!:
I’m pretty surprised at how this whole project was a lot less overwhelming than I thought it was going to be. As for my waist, I shall save this skirt for my postpartum thicker waist the next time around. Version 2 will fit better I am sure.