Here's what it looks like on the pattern envelope:
And here's what it looks like in real life...
Not so fast. First you need to hear the full disclosure and click I Agree: The photos are crap. I don't know if iPhones take crap pics or if I just don't know how to use mine yet, but pls. be warned. I have no energy right now to sew, write about it and to ensure good pictures. Apologies. Oh, and another thing, this is a work in process. The waistband is being held together by pins - it's nowhere close to being done...
Now take a look and listen to the tale:
And that the fuzziness here is to distract you from the boobs part of the dress form. Note: I'm taking this pic from below so the proportions are distorted... Nonetheless, I feel strangely naked.
The part I'd ask you to pay particular attention to is the back of the skirt:
IMPORTANT: The drag lines here are artificial (see para below). Essentially, I've already pressed pleats that don't work, so I'm trying to find new ones that will work. Of course, once the pins are removed and the new line is pressed, the back of the skirt will be flowy like the front of it.
What you see here is my effort to redraw the pleat pressing line because the freakin' skirt pops out at the back like some crazy clown thing at the outer edge of each back pleat. I can't figure out the origin of that fitting weirdness because, on me, it's definitely too big in the hips and through the ass.
Actually, I think I get it. Back pleats are stupid and unnecessary and, to suit my dimensions, these should have been about an inch wider to take about 2 inches out of the back of the skirt. I know my sister has a different shape than me so it's kind of stupid to worry about this in the abstract, given that it might not be relevant on her body (see below), but I feel I have to resolve this issue to whatever extent I can. I don't imagine it will go away simply because her hips and derriere may be slightly broader. Emphasis on may be, given that I'm working from memory. I know, I know...
- The pleats should fall softly. I have them pinned to the skirt on the underside to get a sense of alignment.
- This skirt is a size 14 made in a gorgeous wool suiting (has a fabulous pedigree that one day I'll get around to sharing with you) with a slight bit of crosswise stretch.
- Ordinarily I'd grade this for my particular shape but I'm making this for my sister who has different proportions. What exact proportions I'd love to tell you, but she's yet to advise me. So, as indicated, I'm going from memory. She's just slightly taller, longer-waisted, larger-boned, flatter of stomach but larger of hip and leg. Practically me, but entirely different! I decided not to shave width from the 14, my usual practice, because I'm unsure how that will work for her in the hips and ass.
- Interesting side note: Lest I imagine that there's no apple lurking beneath my hourglass shape, think I've finally figured out that I'm a Big Four size 14 in the waist only but a 12 in the hips/ass and a 10 in the legs. And a 12 in the top, with potential FBA-requirement. That's going to make it much easier to grade from paper next time I cut a pattern, rather than removing 3 inches of fabric from everywhere but the waist.
- In true, Vogue doesn't show any kind of rhyme or reason when it comes to final length, I'll need to slice 4.5 inches (?!) off this to put it just above knee-height for her with a 1-inch hem. That will be its cutest, most youthful length IMO. But it's going to be a bitch given that I've already serged the bottom and the pleats are well ingrained. I think I'm going to have to chalk a new horizontal line with my ruler, go back to the serger, and hope for a steady hand. A wide hem will be too bulky, I think.
Not 2 days ago, I found myself waxing rhapsodic about my love of pleats with my talented friend, the uber designer Stacy Lomman. (No, I don't have any shame.) The lesson here is that you shouldn't brag to actual fashion designers about techniques you love as if you have any experience to speak of. Really, you shouldn't ever talk about enjoying any technique 5 minutes before undertaking it. It's just asking for trouble. Note, however: I really do love pleats. Sewing them is so fun.
- Could I get away with a large hem, even given the pleating, which increases bulk?
- What experience do y'all have of pleats? Has anyone encountered this challenge before? What did you do to resolve it?
- What do you think that can I do to resolve the fall line on me? Yes, I know it isn't my skirt, but old habits... Or, to put a different way:
- Do you think at a certain point, if I keep fussing, the fabric will stop taking new pleat lines and I'll have a wretched mess i.e. in the absence of my fit model, is less more?
- I can barely find any info at all about this skirt. It appears to be really marginal, for some reason. Anyone reading made it? If yes, pls. share your story.