For Christmas my husband gave me Winifred Aldrich’s ‘Metric Pattern Cutting For Women’s Wear’. (Fantastic! How did he know?!) I made the ‘Natural Waist’ Basic Skirt Block from Part One: Form Cutting. The fit is really good. The only adjustment needed was not to curve out 0.5cm from waist to hip but to keep the line almost straight. Also I narrowed the side-to-hem by 3.5cm rather than the 2.5cm suggested for the pencil skirt adjustment.
But a skirt this narrow has to give, or else there’d be hobbling, which is why there’s interesting stuff at the back… I transferred the outer of the two back darts to a diagonal line on the centre back seam in a process outlined a year ago (the Simple Dart Throw post). I cut away a section and inserted a fish tail which is made up of a quarter-circle shape folded twice, concertina style. It took a bit of playing around to get the half-decent result I’d hoped for (ok, so there was a bit of bodging!).
Next time I’ll do the sewing in a different order, with the dart done last, the side seam first and the horizontal seam second at which point the two back pieces are joined at the centre back.
I need to give some thought to materials. For this first draft, I used some wool from the stash. I’d love to redo this in chambray – or anything you may suggest tha would mean the folds fall nicely. But what about the hem? A pencil skirt looks best with a deep hem allowance, yet the fishtail extension needs a very small seam allowance (here I kind of graded from 2cm to 1cm as you can see below in the inside out picture).
Or, can you see this in a combination of fabric?! Denim and jersey or something that doesn’t need hemming? I wonder if it’d matter that both the wrong and the right sides of the fabric show in the folds. Let me know what you’d do.
What a treat to have a bit of sunshine these last few days (even if it’s cold), not least because the colours in everything stand out. I think I’m being ‘courted’ by some robins because every time I approach the back windows, two or three appear on the fences, puffing out their russety chests!
I took these pictures after a quick run in the sun (and shower) so excuse the ratty hair. Because this skirt definitely deserves dedicated styling to pull off a femme fatale look. Which I’m not sure is my thing, but imagine pairing this with seamed stockings and killer heels. You’d be known by the trail of dead!