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I am a mother, a grandmother, and a teacher. But whatever happens in my life, I keep sewing. I have worked as a political communicator and now as a teacher in my formal life. I have also written extensively on sewing. I have been a frequent contributor and contributing editor of Threads magazine and the Australian magazine Dressmaking with Stitches. My book Sew.. the garment-making book of knowledge was published in May 2018 and is available for pre-order from Amazon



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Thursday, September 16, 2010

Vogue 8672

Last weekend I made this skirt Vogue 8672, the cover shot view. I have already made the plain seamed  skirt with the button tabs at the waist.  The midriff shot was done by someone feeding a baby acting on instructions to "shoot the stomach", which is about what he did. But hopefully my first attempt at remote control self-photography and the detail shots will be helpful.

Back to the skirt.

I will be straight about this view. I totally expected it to be a wadder and to hit the top of my not-to-wear list. Let's face it, I am not thin, a woman of a certain age, and I had three babies and the last one was a C-section. Sometimes my belly feels more like a companion than a body part if you know what I mean. I figured that shirring across my stomach was going to be a disaster but because I love fashion I decided to sew against my common sense.

That was a good call.

My overall description of this skirt is of a sleek fitted skirt with a raised waist (about 2"above the natural waist).  You need to know that and interface the facing accordingly, I used a stiffish woven skirt collar weight sew-in - much more support always than a fusible. 

The shirring across one side of the front panel is actually modest, I hope my picture shows that, and if you use a drapable fabric, I used a RPL, a rayon gabardine with some stretch, it will work. If there was much stiffness to the fabric however, IMO this pattern would not work, in a wool flannel or gab there would definitely be some unattractive bunching. Fabric choice 
is key, gather it with your fingers to check this out before you cut.

I also found that since this skirt is fairly fitted, the front panel pulls the shaped facing at the waist out of shape. I went back and sewed some stay tape to the front panel seams from the hip to waist and this returned some structure and stability to the front. You really need to do this I think, a fabric that is soft enough to drape well for the gathers doesn't have enough shape to hold the seam lines without the reinforcement the stay tape adds.

The other construction change I made was to do the back kick pleat on a fold, described in an earlier post, rather than the vent. and to line the skirt.

I have to say that the lack of consideration of the need to line this skirt annoyed me. I mean there is no way I wouldn't line a straight winter skirt, particularly one I will wear with tights. A slip would just stick and need to be hauled down every time you stood up, we all know that. To not add lining to the construction order for this skirt is just pattern maker lazy in my view. Of course it is a little tricky to figure out a lining for this gathered front and shaped overlapped waistband.

I just went back to the plain paneled skirt view cut and stitched up a lining from that, and after I had completed the outer skirt totally, as per instructions, slipped the lining up under the waist facing, and hand stitched it to the seam allowance. Of course it got a bit tricky at the front, where the front facings dip and overlap, so for the front panel alone I trimmed the lining down a bit, turned under the raw edge, and hand-stitched that part of the lining directly to the facing. At all other points I did not attempt to sew the lining to the facing, apart from stitching it to the sides of the zipper like you always do, and just tacked the lining to the facing at all major seams.

And I also added some decorative stitches to the lining hem again.

Final verdict. Surprisingly flattering skirt, with a little extra sitting ease always much appreciated in a pencil skirt. Because the shirring is so discrete and controlled I can't think of many figure types who could not wear it and it definitely makes me feel stylish.

Which just goes to show that your better judgement may not always be worth listening to when it comes to fashion. You really have to try it out for yourself, and on yourself.