Monday, 5 August 2013

A Pencil Skirt

The hotel where I work has undergone a change of ownership.  This has come with a promotion, a ton more hours, and the need to dress more professionally.  I have a very small professional wardrobe, so I've tried to buckle down and get to building one.  And the shirt dress has moved to the back burner for a little bit.  I'm honestly not sure if this is a bad thing, or blessing in disguise.

I've discovered that there are actually a lot of different sources on the internet for free patterns.  I plan to do another post about those soon.  In the mean time, here is one I've found: Kasia 6012 by BurdaStyle.  First of all, it's a free download.  I can't possibly argue with that.  Second, the super cute hip yokes will let me sneak in a little bit of colour into the black and white dress code.

At the moment I'm working on the muslin.  After two constructions and 4 or 5 rounds of marking it up, I think I've got it.   I'll start by saying I had lovely pictures to go with this posts, and when I came to write I discovered my camera has eaten them... And of course, I'd just finished taking the muslin apart.

I had to size up a bit based on my hip measurement and I knew from the chart I wanted to add about an inch in length.  So, I traced the pattern and made those two changes before making my first muslin.

When I was adding hip width, I noticed that the pattern didn't seem to have any real shaping for the waist.  I couldn't find any hip point, nor did the pattern appear to narrow.  You can see what I mean in their pattern diagrams here.  I decided to trust the pattern and assume it was built in somewhere and I just couldn't see it.

It turns out, trusting the pattern was the wrong call.  I came out with a muslin that fit fairly well around my hips, but had a solid 6" extra fabric at the waist.  Knowing the difference between my waist and hip measurement, that means there is some shaping.  However, even if I hadn't added width for the hip I don't think it would have been enough.  The other issue I had was the that distance between the waist and the hip (which I found by looking at where the yokes fell) was about an inch too long.

I pinned both of these issues out.  I took the inch vertically in the front pieces and back as well as both yokes.  For the width, I determined a hip point and then took from the two side seams and center back, fading to nothing at the hip.

This time it was a lot closer.  Now that it was sitting properly at my waist, it was pretty easy to see I needed to take out a little bit more.  I pinch out another two inches along the side and back seems and am now pretty happy with the fit.  I didn't bother adjusting the waistband for the last time.  Having taken out some width on them before, creating an awkward seem allowance down the center, I knew that taking any more wouldn't really work.

I can barely tell which line I want to use... 
So, I do need to draft the waistband but that's a lot easier to do on paper in my opinion.  I also want to trace out my final muslin-pattern.  I know a lot of people just use their muslin pieces, and I think I would usually as well.  My issues is that there are a few tucks and bumps in the pieces from how I took them in.  Generally I think the final muslin doesn't have all of those.  But, since I didn't cut new ones, just refashioned the first, it's unnecessarily mucked up.

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