What do you look for in a pattern?
Me? I want strong clean lines: a style that I can wear now and look reasonably modern, but not so fashionable that it will look dated in in two years' time. I want it to fit out of the packet without making a gazillion alterations.
I want strong pattern paper. Clear instructions. Nice illustrations. A bit of indie street cred helps too.
So... here is my first making of the Kelly skirt by Megan Neilsen. It fulfils all of my criteria above. I will make at least three of these, if not ten.
So why am I a bit... resentful?
I'll tell you why: this "design" is very VERY simple. Think rectangles. That's all it is. Four rectangles of fabric: back, two fronts and a waistband. The end. OK, there are some pleats, I'll give you that. And curved pockets.
But does that justify what I paid for it?
Um... yes... and no. Because I accept that I paid a premium for the beautiful presentation: that heavy easily-traced pattern paper, the lovely little instruction booklet. That neat envelope with the velcro fastener. It represents someone's livelihood. I am supporting their small craft business. That's all absolutely fine by me.
But it could have been a pdf download, or even just a diagram on the web. Because it is so very VERY simple.
There - I've got that off my chest! Now on to the project:
Pattern: Kelly Skirt by Megan Nielsen. 18 Australian Dollars plus shipping.
Fabric: One yard of heart rainbows cotton jersey from Girl Charlee ($5.25 plus shipping - worth it if you buy 3 yards!) and perhaps 50cm of polycotton from the stash (Crafter's Ceilidh swop).
Buttons: 8 cream vintage buttons found on ebay for about £1.60.
I made size "extra small" and it fits me well. The pleats are a good width, adding plenty of shape to the skirt in this size. I will be interested to see how it looks on a bigger gal, because the proportions don't change as the size increases.
The instructions are great for a beginner.
However, I made a mistake. It might help someone else to know that you MUST NOT sew down the tops of your pockets until AFTER you make the pleats. I stitched across them automatically, because I have always done that before, and then couldn't get the pleats to work as the pocket flaps were in the way of the fold. I must have wasted an hour re-drafting the pleats (yeah, I know) with much cursing, before I realised that the solution was simple.
After all that kerfuffle, my waistband was too short - I think I stretched the top edge of the skirt with all my unpicking and re-pleating - tsk! But with some careful light gathering, I got it to match up. Just as well, as I had no fabric left.
On its own, it was far too lightweight, so I lined it with some woven polycotton I had in the stash. Rather that trying to pleat the lining, I laid the pleated skirt onto my fabric and cut round it, so it has the same basic curve and the advantage of a bias cut. I attached it to the waistband at the same time as the main skirt and folded it into the button plackets at the fronts.
|Almost a puffball...|
Despite the fact that I made a mountain out of a molehill by lining it, I am pretty much in love with this skirt!
Yes, I will wear it til it falls apart. I might have to buy it a new pair of shoes and make it some plain coloured tees and a black cardigan.
It will have lots of sisters. I want one in mustard as a matter of urgency. It has the potential to be a major stashbuster if I continue to squeeze a skirt out of a yard, even allowing for pattern-matching!
But would I recommend that you buy this pattern?
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