Sunday, 24 February 2013

A skirt that is too small and obscenely short

Oh yes, that is what I made.  My parents bought me a place on a basic dressmaking course at All Things Crafty and I went along a couple of weeks ago, no idea what to expect.  Well, OK, clearly I realised it would involve a sewing machine and the making of a skirt, but I didn't think I'd be able to do it.

There were 10 of in the class and our sewing skills ranged from nothing to ... well, to me!  We all made the same skirt using different sizes of the pattern.  I used the size 16 pattern as the other 14s had already been taken and as we were only making a muslin, it didn't really matter.


We started with a lesson on how to put in a covered zipper.  It was a new technique to me and it's a brilliant one!  I'll be trying to shoe-horn this into bag projects in the future.  See how neat it is above on my unironed fabric?


And it works!  After that we moved onto the skirt pattern.  We had the instructions and she let us get on with it, helping where needed so we could all work at our own pace.  Mine turned out to be pretty speedy.  I finished early and was the first person to have finished a skirt in that workshop!  Top of the class makes a NICE change.




I hung it in my window so you could see the construction.  This is the front.  I sewed the two darts, apart from that, the front is a one-piece construction.  The waistband is far to small for my liking, but as the skirt is too small (a size 16!  Please let that be a sizing mistake!!) it doesn't really matter.


The back is made of two pieces with the zip in between.  I hadn't noticed that the pieces were mirror images and so mine features a very nice dart on the outside of the skirt.  Design decision!


I loved making this skirt and amazed myself that I could do it.  I really wanted to make a skirt when I got home, but checking the skirt patterns in books and magazines that I have, none of the sizing was right, they just didn't do skirts wide enough for my hips.  Now, I'm no stick insect, but neither am I obese.  I am overweight, but at 5 foot 1, I'm not a plus size and I don't think I'm larger than the majority of other women - what are these pattern writers thinking??  You're only allowed to make clothes if you're slim and straight up and down?

I got on the internet and found some books that I thought could help.  One of them is amazing, I'll tell you more about it when I've had a go, but let's just say I didn't think pattern making was that achievable...


15 comments:

Stitched Together said...

Welcome to the truth of sizing in dressmaking patterns. Basically as the average size of people increased so did the dressmaking patterns, but ready to wear stuck with smaller sizes because it make people feel better about their size, plus it was around the "average" for women of the day. You need to buy pattern sizes according to your measurements and not what "size" you think you are, because your assumption will be invariably be wrong. It's a scary thing at the beginning but you begin to get your head around it when you make something that fits you!

Shirley said...

Well done with the skirt making it gives you a real boast when you find you can do something you think you can't. I like some of the styles of the 40/50 but women seemed to be much slimmer then.

JoJo said...

I don't think there would've been enough fabric to cover my fat arse. lol Great job though!

Sarah said...

I read somewhere that standard pattern sizes for the major publishers were standardised just after WWII, which means that a. they haven't been updated since then and b. women were even skinnier then than they normally would have been due to rationing. I'm an NZ size 6 in ready to wear, but normally a 16 in dressmaking!

Sandra :) said...

I'm with JoJo, lol! I think you should make ALL clothing with an outside dart - it'll become a worldwide sensation - even Poshy Spice will start wearing hers on the outside! :D

moira said...

thanks for the heads up on the workshops. sizes are a pain- i'm amply boobied and it's so difficult!

Jane Galley said...

Well done for taking the plunge, I'd love to make clothes, but getting them to fit always seems to be an issue

Pam @Threading My Way said...

If your skirt is obscenely short, then it'd be just right for the 70s, or perhaps a tad long. I'm not surprised that you made it easily, Wendy. Until recent years, I'd only ever sewn covered zips or invisible zips and I've often wondered why bag patterns didn't incorporate the covered zips. It's really, really hard to get the sizing right in store bought patterns.

Ali Hogg said...

hi wendy, Im very impressed with what you made.....it looks perfect - I have no dressmaking skills whatsoever. Thanks also for your recent comment on my blog, Ali

Kerry Wilkinson said...

Stitched Together has it spot on and I was about to leave a similar comment. I normally buy size 8 or 10 in the shops but when making a dress I had about a 12 bust, 14 waist and 16 hips (I am a total pear) so I had to make loads of adjustments to my pattern. Totally forgotten how to do all that now hever, including the covered zip thing....

JennyPennyPoppy said...

Your skirt looks great! I have hardly any sewing machine skills and reading a pattern and making a skirt with a zipper and darts would be beyond me. Too bad that it doesn't fit though. Even bought cloth sizing is bizarre at times. One place I'll fit into something and another place with the same size I'll be too small or too large. Doesn't make any sense at all. Good luck though in finding a pattern though!

Highland Monkey's said...

Well done on your first skirt and finishing first! The zip detail is brilliant. Like others have said go for measurments rather than the size.

Jillayne said...

Nicely done anyway - I truly don't care for sewing clothes but there is something so darn fun about zippers.
I hope you have better luck with your new book and look forward to seeing some more "design decisions" in teh future!

made by ChrissieD said...

These patterns are a nightmare - I look forward to hearing how you go on :)

Celtic Thistle said...

Sounds like the dressmaking was a doddle but the sizing wasn't! I thought that making your own clothes was supposed to make getting the size right easier not harder!

Thanks for linking up to New to Me in 2013, you have been trying out lots of new things this month.