Last week I wrote about how I had draped a pegged skirt on the stand at my Morley evening class. After three hours in the studio I came home with an understanding of what a pegged skirt is, but I wasn’t able to make up what I had already prepared.
This post continues the story of a very lively red fabric versus a determined woman, armed with big pins and scissors. That makes it sound exciting. Actually it is a fairly technical post about symmetry and fit.
As you know one of the great advantages of flat pattern cutting (using a paper pattern) is that, as long as you cut, mark and sew fairly accurately, you tend to get a nice, even, balanced, symmetrical look. Conversely of the most frustrating things about the draping process in the round, is getting a symmetrical garment. Of course I tried. I measured, marked and “eye balled”; I held my set square against the pleated, bulky vertical garment, but I was completely floored by my opinionated fabric and the skirt that fought back. Maybe I should have gone for a deliberately asymmetric design (not an accidentally asymmetric one).
Also the skirt was too big. Apart from the symmetry challenge, I also needed to get the size right, and I wanted the pleats to work OK on my figure (rather than the shape of the stand at my evening class. I haven’t gone on about it but she looks like she was on the Titanic). I hoped that by settling the design of the back first I could be certain how much fabric I had to play with. Also because I was draping the whole skirt rather than half as is usual, I just couldn’t control all the cloth, unless I fixed it at certain points. So I pulled out the pleats I had painstakingly stitched last week, and inserted a CB zip on the bias, as I had marked it. I now had a definite CB seam and marked CF. I got out my biggest, meanest pins (seen in the photo below) and I anchored the angry red object to Camilla.
By having the CF and CB sorted and attached to my stand at the right place I felt I now had a chance to create the skirt I wanted.
This picture is nice as you can see what happens to the hip line (yellow). Ignore the blue (left over from my first attempt). The yellow thread at the top left shows what happened to the waist line at the CB.
In this first iteration (above) I had a nice, angular pleat across the derriere. On the stand it looks rather fetching. But when I tacked all the pleats down and tried it on it didn’t work so well. The springy fabric jutted out across the fullest part. Bearing in mind Mrs Mole’s injunction against any drapes that make “your hips/butt look enormous”, I shied away and went for a couple of darts. Yes, I am a coward, and one day I will try something more adventurous, but as I mentioned before I want wearable and relatively flattering. This skirt is big, red and does its best to make the “hips/butt” look somewhat prominent.
Once I had the zip in place I laid out the skirt on my ironing board. At the far end of the board is the zip and the brown selvedge, basically showing the CB is on the bias grain. You can see the CF across the bottom on the photograph and the hipline as a long yellow stitch. The while thread tacking is where the waist line is after the skirt has been draped. The circumference of the waist is currently 60 inches, or 30″ on the folded fabric. The darts and pleats had to reduce the 30 inches to about 14″ (to fit my 27″ waist with an inch of ease). I trace tacked the side seam too, half way between the front and back. To do this I went down from the 15″ point to half way across the hem (the hem is much narrower than the waist).
Then I set to work on the doubled fabric, marking the darts and pleats through the two layers, using tailors tacks, and then I separated the two layers, cut open the tacks and pinned the darts and pleats closed.
A pegged skirt is wide at the hips, narrow at the hem, and flatters tall women with small hips and slim legs. As I am making this skirt for me (with fuller “hips/butt”) I need to make a very careful decision depth of the waist band and the length of the skirt. Any advice?