I've made the mistake twice now of thinking these free patterns are not really my thing, and yet once made up I absolutely love the end result.....goes to show!
This is a very simple skirt, a wardrobe staple if you will, that could be made for any season in almost any fabric...
Its an easy pattern, just a front and back piece and two wasistband facings, with a side zipper and slits/vents - a perfect foundation for lots of couture techniques!
For this first version of the skirt, I used a lightweight linen from Mood and gave it some stability and body by underlining it using a silk organza, I hand picked the zipper and facings and hand sewed the seams and hem using a catch stitch finishing it with a silk crepe de chine lining - not shown.
Believe it or not, I spent longer on my muslin fittings than sewing this from start to finish ...
CUTTING OUT YOUR PATTERN
Find your pattern by clicking on the pattern menu at the top of the screen on the Marfy website, and then once in the sub menu click on the left hand side free patterns option - you wil need to enter a email address if this is your first visit.
Once printed, its always worth checking before you tape that the ruler measurement on the paper is acurate. Apple computers are notorious for altering PDF's. If you do have a issue, try reprinting it using Adobe.
(and to make this a stand alone SAL, I'm going to cut and paste where relevant, from the blouse sew along, so that you don't need to keep referring to other pages, so aplogizes if you've seen this all before!)
For anyone not used to sewing with European patterns, its worth mentioning that the ease included is minimal compared to the big 4.
Marfy patterns are designed to flatter and skim the body, and while there is always more than enough ease for movement and comfort, you will need to plan accordingly if you prefer more.
So how do you pick your size? There are many options depending on your level of experience but I tend to cut based on my waist and hip measurement and alter the remainder of the garment when fitting the muslin...
To find your correct size, click HERE
I cut a size 44 which is the size I order, my waist is a 29" my hips are 36" and from my waist to my knee is 22", I am 5'7" tall.
PREPARING YOUR MUSLIN
I always start by pinning the half paper pattern to either my dress form, or by laying it flat on the table and then I begin to make notes based on my first impressions , normally directly to the paper pattern. Where are the darts, pleats, folds? how does the skirt fit, which piece goes over what, what is the length of the finished garment?
I cross reference as well by using the paper pattern and the illustrations on line and in Marfy's catalogs, this way I miss nothing - I hope!
When I have a rough idea of the garment , I cut out my muslin with at least a 2" seam allowance to help with my first fitting. Try to make your muslin from a non stretch fabric if possible, this will help you to get the most accurate fit possible.....( don't forget Marfy do not include seam allowances with their patterns)
*It is not necessary to cut out your waistband facings for a muslin fitting with this skirt, they can be adjusted after your main pieces are fitted...*
There is also the option of laying your pattern onto pattern paper and adding 5/8" if you know the fit will be close.
If this process if new to you, there are many more details and pictures HERE
When you have machine sewn your lines and added your darts, try your skirt on taking as many pictures as possible from all angles. Its incredibly helpful to be able to study pictures while you stand straight, it really helps highlight fit issues and helps with adjustments.
My front skirt fitted well and the side seams were straight( when the other clothes were removed!) but the back peice was far to tight across my butt and thighs.
After spending some time playing around with the muslin, I evenutally added 1" on either side of the back tapering it to 1/4"below the zipper.
The furthest red stiched line is my final adjustment.
As there is no waistband, it will not fit or feel as snug as a regular skirt would to your waist , so bear that in mind while making adjustments, the very top of your skirt should "sit" on the narrowest part of your waist without feeling tight, you will see drag lines and grain distortion if it is too fitted. The skirt should hang from your waist and hips......the shaping of the seams will keep it in place.
Once my final fitting was completed, I adjusted my back waist facing to reflect the changes in my main back panel.
and then I cut out the muslin following the final fitting lines ready to be used as my final pattern.
On Thursday we will talk about cutting out your fashion fabric along with uses and benefits of interfacings/underlinings.
Marfy suggests: tweed, bouclè, crêpe, cool wool, denim.
I made the yellow one above from a lightweight linen and underlined it with silk organza...I would also suggest lace, silk with a underlining, sateen or jacquard as possibilities. We will cover all these next week in detail.
However, it might be worth making the first one in a cheaper fabric just to make sure its a style that works for you and is comfortable to wear for long periods of time!!...
Fabric: 1.5 to 2 yards depending on width etc
Organza underlining, batiste or similar (to discuss)
7 - 9" zipper (all purpose if possible, we are going to hand sew this in)
Iron on lightweight fusible if prefered for the facing
Hook and eye optional
Again, I would like to take this fairly slow, and allow two weeks in total, so this week, lets focus on fitting and fabric and next week we can cover construction and sewing options.
FEBRUARY 10 Muslin and fitting
FEBRUARY 13 Fashion fabric, underlings, interfacings, thread tracing
FEBRUARY 17 Darts, seams and slit
FEBRUARY 19 Waist facings, zippers, linings and hems
FEBRUARY 21 Pattern alternatives : Slit's to vent, facing to waistband and other variations as well
as methods for hand sewing a lace skirt and using more unusual fabric's like
neoprene, sequins etc
Send me a email if you have questions, as always....
Back Thursday, enjoy your week :-)