Saturday, 24 January 2015

Self drafted pencil skirt

I recently stated that I hoped pattern drafting would feature more this year. Well, there's nothing like starting as you mean to go on! Here's my first completely self drafted item. I drafted my cocktail dress on a course but this was completed without any guidance from a teacher. 

Self drafted pencil skirt

I decided to start simply and tackle the pencil skirt that I wanted to create from the leftover fabric from my jewel jacket. Buoyed by the strong support for it, I pulled out Metric Pattern Cutting by Winifred Aldrich to create my skirt block. I was given the book about six months ago but it's the first time I've really looked at it. I've seen this book referenced quite a lot recently and it seems a good one to start your pattern drafting journey. 

The block was quite quick to create. I think it took me about 90 minutes with a quick toile to check the fit. Thankfully it fitted very well and I didn't need to make any alterations. 

Self drafted pencil skirt

This pattern is a very simple one. It is essentially the block with a waistband and a vent. Keeping it simple was a good idea as it not only led to a quick win, therefore boosting my drafting confidence, but also gave me the classic style pencil skirt for the office that I had been wanting. I adore the shape of pencil skirts but struggled with RTW ones as fabric pools around my narrow hips. It feels great to have a one that fits very well. 

Self drafted pencil skirt

The waistband was easy to draft. I traced off the top 5cm from the front and back blocks with the darts closed, creating three pieces that join together. Tracing from the top of the block ensured that the skirt sat at my natural waistline. Adding the vent to the shell was also fairly simple. I extended the hem line of the back block out by about 3cm and then drew a line up to where I wanted the vent to stop, allowing for a 45 degree line to join them. 

Self drafted pencil skirt back

I wanted to try a new technique and decided to create a lined vent. I used this tutorial by Sunni to draft the lining. I didn't get this quite right as there is some bulk at the top of the vent. It doesn't add strain to the seam line and I can sit comfortably so I'm not too bothered. I worried about using an invisible zip as I thought the fabric might be too thick but it has worked ok.


Self drafted pencil skirt inside

While it isn't perfect, I love this skirt. This is mainly because it fits so well. It is also extremely comfortable when I'm sitting which is a major bonus. The one thing I would change is my choice of lining fabric which I picked up at the Fancy Silk Store in Birmingham. While it is soft, has a good drape and is quite easy to handle, it is also incredibly static and sticks to my tights a little thus moving the vent into an odd shape at times. Annoying as static is, it won't stop me wearing this skirt and I suspect it will be in rotation fairly frequently but I will need to find some more tops to wear with it - it's a wardrobe orphan at the moment. I'll have to make sure I prioritise the tops over the other skirt ideas that are circulating in my mind now.  

21 comments:

  1. I absolutely love the fabric you used for your skirt and, like you said, the fit looks great on you! I think pencil skirts are a sewist's best friend, as I know so many people who have problems buying them because they don't fit into RTW proportions - personally, I have the opposite problem to you, as my waist is much narrower than my hips and so fabric pools there instead!

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    1. Thanks, Rachel. Sewing is so empowering when it comes to fit - no more pooling fabric!

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  2. Lovely skirt! Kudos on sticking to your plan. I'm looking forward to seeing what drafting eye-candy you have in store for us...
    I was thinking about my stash recently, and I realised that one of my biggest mistakes is that I never seem to get excited about lining fabrics despite their being essential for many sewing projects. It is easy to splurge on the shell and then I tend to be stingy when it comes to lining... No more! I am determined to find a good source this year and step up my lining game a bit.

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    1. Lining is so important yet I find it difficult to get really good fabric for it. I need to change my thought process and spend more on lining than I currently do. I'm certain it will make a difference.

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  3. Skirt looks great - I bet you'll make many more because it really does look like the perfect work skirt. I love the fabric too - really subtle colours. Happy sewing this weekend!

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    1. Thank you. I tempted to go for a basic grey or black next - goes with everything!

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  4. I love this - can't believe you drafted it yourself! Well done! I must find a copy of this book

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    1. Thanks! I'm pleased with how it turned out. The book is worth hunting for - makes your first step into drafting much easier than it could be.

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  5. I love this - can't believe you drafted it yourself! Well done! I must find a copy of this book

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  6. Well! What a start to the year Claire, a beautiful skirt and self drafted, you must be so pleased. I love it. Btw you can try passing a metal coat hanger through the skirt to mop up static before you put it on - it works sometimes.

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    1. Ooh, thanks for the tip! I'll definitely try that.

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  7. Gorgeous fabric and an excellent pencil skirt. I think we've all been told a lie that A lines are universally flattering...they're great, but I think pencils are more flattering than they get credit for being. So cute with the boots!

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    1. Thanks. I agree that pencil skirts tend to be more flattering and hope more feature in my plans.

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  8. It looks fantastic for a first attempt at self drafting! Well done. I've heard great things about that book too - one for next year's Xmas list, maybe! :)

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    1. Thanks, Helen. I'm happy with how it came out.

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  9. It looks great Claire! It fits you so nicely - you must be really pleased with your first solo drafting project!

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    1. Thanks, Ruth. Definitely happy and looking forward to trying more drafting!

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  10. Ooo! Your skirt is lovely. I have that drafting book too (I bought myself it after christmas because I stupidly forgot to ask Santa for it!), and it's very good. I'm in a bit of a drafting funk at the minute, because my self-drafted sleeves are refusing to fit properly. I may have to have strong words with them! Good luck with your future drafting, and I shall look forward to reading about it.

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    1. Thanks, Lynne. I can imagine sleeves are tricky and I hope strong words work for you!

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  11. Claire, this skirt looks fantastic. Shame about the lining, but as you say, it's not going to stop you wearing it :) Great fabric too. I look forward to seeing what you do next with your pattern drafting :)

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    1. Thank you! I adore the fabric which is the main reason the lining won't stop me wearing it loads. Stay tuned for the next instalment of drafting.

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