Saturday, February 21, 2009

BWOF 01-2009-132 It's a Wrap!

From the plus update section of the January issue: Narrow skirt with shaped waistband, tasteful jeans-style top stitching and kick pleat.

Now I wouldn't have looked at this skirt twice, and actually, I didn't, except the technical drawing caught my eye. The magazine photos just don't show off this skirt very well at all.

It's actually a very nice skirt with great lines, interesting details, and a shape that I thought would work for me. Plus, it looked like it would be fun- just enough detail to hold my interest, but not so difficult that I would get frustrated; yet not so easy that I would get bored.
The pattern is offered in sizes 46 through 52. I traced the 46 and made a muslin from the unadjusted pieces. This is the first "fitted" skirt I've made from BWOF (well, the first one since about 1991, and that's too long ago to count) and I wasn't sure how it would fit. Turns out, the fit was great from the hip down. The waist, however, was a little too big. No problem. The design is simple enough that I was able to "sculpt" the waist area to fit me. I took it in a little bit at a time and kept trying it on until I was satisfied with the fit, and then I transferred the adjustments to the pattern pieces. I ended up taking in about 1/2" at the side seams, tapering to nothing about 3" below the waist seam, and about 3/16" at the top of the side back seams, tapering to nothing about 3" down. In total, I removed about 2 and 3/4". My pattern is already trimmed, but here is a pic of the muslin pieces so you can see what I did:
The side:

The side back:

As you can see, the back yoke is one piece from the CB to the side, so my adjustment at the side back made it neccessary to remove a little bit of width from this piece. I just slashed and overlapped.

I love the way the top edge of the yoke sits right at my natural waist. This is the most comfortable, and I think, most flattering look for me. But since this skirt doesn't have an actual wastband, but a yoke, I think you could make it to sit lower on the hip if you wanted to. You'd just have to pin fit it until you got it how you liked it.

I used this really cool dark denim with magenta weft that I've had in my stash for several years. I've been saving it for something special and I just decided it was time to use it. I almost used the wrong side of this fabric as the right side. I love the pink! (Ihave quite a bit left, though, so I may still do it!) I used a pink and purple "marble" quilting cotton for the waist facings and the pocket linings, mainly to reduce bulk.

The denim isn't super heavy, but come on, it's denim! I also thought the cotton facings added a little bit of interest. No one will ever see it but me, but I like knowing it's there.
One of my favorite things about this skirt is all of the top stitched detail. It's definately jeans-styled, but you'd never know it from the black on black skirt pictured in the magazine.

I decided to go with contrasting top stitching, so I chose magenta all purpose cotton thread. I love the look. The magenta picks up the purplish pink tinge to the denim, plus, it's just different. The only drawback is that I used regular Coats and Clark thread for the construction and I had to change the thread often to do the top stitching. It got a little tedious. (I'd love to solve this little problem by getting a second machine!)
The curved top stitching at the bottom of the pocket area is purely decorative. It is sewn onto the side front pieces only, before the pockets are assembled. I made a template from the pattern piece and then used a chalk marker to draw it onto the fabric. Then I sewed right on the marked line.

The button placket on the yoke is also strictly decorative. You can see that the facing piece inside is all one piece. The skirt closes with an invisible zipper at the center back.

I ended up hemming this a little long. It's rather close fitting and I just felt that close fitting and short on a woman my age would be, well... a little too much. Or not enough, depending on how you look at it. Besides, I pinned up the hem at several lengths and looked in the mirror and this is where I liked it best. It's kind of funny, but the tchnical drawing had me thinking that this would be a much shorter skirt than it turned out to be. The magazine photos, such as they are, are much more accurate in terms of length.

The instructions for this skirt were okay. BWOF has a reputation for having confusing instructions, but I think the lack of illustrations is the real problem. At least it is for me. I felt that the instructions for the vents were confusing, but only because I couldn't picture what I was supposed to do. I'm sure with a good diagram it would have made perfect sense. In any case, I used my experience from making vents on other projects and my intuition as to what seemed to be the right thing to do, and I got them done.

I decided to leave off the belt loops. I almost never wear a belt, and I didn't think the skirt needed them, so I just ignored them. I'm sure they would have been easy to add if I'd chosen to do so.

I am extremely pleased with this skirt. I highly recommend it if you like this kind of casual look. You could dress it up quite a bit with a different fabric. The all black skirt pictured in the magazine isn't as flashy, but it still has lots of detail and looks like a great piece for the office or for church.I imagine you could make a really nice skirt out of khaki or even white twill for summer. Hmmm... I already have the pattern adjusted to fit me- I might just make another one myself!

Stay tuned for progress on the other skirt from this issue, BWOF 01-2009-113. Also, Simplicity 2798 is coming along and I should have photos to show soon!


Anonymous said...

So cute and it looks great on you. The topstitching is beautiful.

Julia said...

I love it. The magenta stitching is perfect and I love the fabric that you used for the facing and pocket linings etc... It looks great on you. I would probably look like a... a... a I... don't know what in a cute straight skirt like that.

angie.a said...

FABULOUS skirt. Vavavaoom! :D I love the denim, you should definitely do something else with the pink side out!

Of course your perfect topstitching is the icing.

Amy Bailes said...

You look great! Love the skirt and the top-stitching.

Shannon said...

I'm so impressed. You should have a boutique. The skirt IS very flattering!

Dawn said...

Wow! Your topstitching is perfect as are your buttonholes. I'm very impressed. It's perfect!

tgillock said...

What cute accents you put on this! Oh how I wish you were my neighbor to teach me so much! I love it!! You look great!

Meg said...

Not only have you done a fabulous job sewing this skirt, it looks great on you too.

S Sews said...

I didn't look at that skirt twice - until I saw your version. It's lovely and the topstitching is perfect!

Gretchen the Household Deity said...

That looks fantastic! Your topstitching is completely perfect and the construction is exquisite. I'm impressed.

Mary Nanna said...

I can't get over how straight your top stitching is! Great job!

Lori said...

Amazing skirt, your topstitching is so perfect.

Opal said...

Very nice... The pink topstitching looks great.....

MyAwesomeOliveShoots said...

Work it girl! I would buy that skirt if I saw it at a store. So stinkin' pretty!