I don’t need no stinkin’ pattern

Once I realized the skirt from Vogue 1072 (hereafter referred to as the “maternity skirt”) was not going to work out, I came up with a new plan for the polka dot fabric. I knew exactly what sort of skirt I wanted to make: A six-gore A-line just like the Simplicity 3688 skirt I recently made, only with a contour waistband.

I had no luck finding what I wanted in the catalogs of the “Big 4” pattern companies — Simplicity, Vogue, Butterick and McCall’s. I was left with no alternative but to draft my own pattern, which I’ve never done before.

But I did it — and, I am amazed to say, it worked.

Using Simplicity 3688 as a guide (OK, so I did need a pattern), I drew the proposed waistband seamline on the skirt pattern pieces, then overlapped those pattern pieces at the side seams to create the correct shape to trace for my two-piece contour waistband. Then I traced skirt pattern pieces that excluded the areas that became the contour waistband. The skirt will open at the left side with an invisible zipper. It took three tries for me to properly account for all the seam allowances. But once the pattern pieces were drafted, I cut out the two waistband and six skirt pieces and sewed them together to check the fit at the waist and the fit of the skirt to the waistband. (I only cut the skirt pieces about 10 inches long because I didn’t need to check the length.) Fortunately, I was able to cut all the pieces from the two muslins I made for the maternity skirt.

And I’m happy and a little surprised to report that it all works just as planned.

In addition to changing the waistband to a contour, I wanted to make this skirt a little longer than the original 25 inch length. I still have the muslin I did for 3688, so I pinned some extra length to the hem and trimmed it to 30 inches to check the length. It looks perfect.

Next, I’ll trace off skirt pieces with the extra length added and some extra waistband pieces. This way I’ll have a full set of pattern pieces for the long version and the short version that I can file away in envelopes. Then I will have the first two patterns I created just for me.

I’m excited to have a custom pattern for a skirt I designed, as simple as it is. I can see sewing it up with tweed and wool for the winter and linen and eyelet for the summer. I’m hoping this will be the first of many patterns I draft for myself. It’s satisfying to know I am no longer limited to what clothing stores or pattern companies are offering. This is what garment sewing is all about.

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2 thoughts on “I don’t need no stinkin’ pattern

  1. Corinne August 8, 2011 at 6:46 am Reply

    Bravo! Isn’t wonderful to be able to do this? To take something simple and style it and fabricate it to your needs. Can’t wait to see the finished product.

    Like

    • Jeanne Marie August 8, 2011 at 7:06 pm Reply

      It IS exciting. When I get really ambitious, I’ll do this same thing with a pair of pants. Now that’s scary!

      Like

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