finished objects · Sewing

FO: Tulip skirt

Pattern: Simplicity 2413, View A

Fabric: Stretch cotton sateen from Joanns (the Riviera collection,) about 2.5 yards

Notes: Obviously I made a fabric change.  Spring weather has arrived here, and I was anxious to make a spring skirt!  I didn’t have anything suitable, so I bought this stretch sateen at Joanns for 40% off.  It was really nice to work with, except for being slightly difficult to cut.  I used my walking foot and a stretch needle to get the most even results on the stretchy fabric.

I was really curious to make a tulip skirt – I like the slightly retro shape, and it’s easier to wear that its cousin the bubble skirt.  This version has what’s called a “paper bag waist” – thanks to Amanda for reminding me what that was called, and reminding me that I loved this style when I saw it on Project Runway.  It’s easy to wear because it softens the waistline – it is somewhat high waisted, but you are belting a bit lower.

I thought the skirt was well drafted, and I had no issues with it other than the usual sizing down from the crazy ease in Simplicity patterns.  My measurements make me a size 12 from the waist down, but I made an 8.  I could have gotten away with a 6 I think, because of the stretch fabric.  So my advice is to pin the pleats on the tissue and measure before deciding on a size (the pattern does not include any useful finished measurements, such as the waist.)  I have a pet peeve about this – I understand that different people want differing amounts of ease, but it does stand to reason that they bought the pattern because of the envelope photo, and want a size that will give them that effect.  So why list a size that will give you a huge skirt?  Won’t that just make people say “Simplicity patterns don’t fit me?”

The instructions were ok I guess, but I did follow a different order.  The pattern called for installing the zipper first, and doing the pleats nearly last.  I reversed that, and was able to construct 90% of the skirt, including the bottom band, flat.  I think it was easier that way.  I also did my pockets differently, and in the end only installed the one on the side without the zipper.   It looks fine that way.

I did make the bottom band, which is optional.  Without the band, the skirt is quite a bit shorter, as it tends to poof out more without the weight.  It was too short for my taste, and I want to be able to wear this to work.  Overall I am very pleased with the skirt – it was dead simple to make, and surprisingly grown-up, even in the crazy print.  I think it could look quite dressy in a more sedate fabric.  It’s trendy, but not too much for me (and you know I am not about trends, so that’s good!)