Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Imperial Purple Skirt - Simplicity 2152

Pattern: Simplicity 2152 c. 2011

Pattern Description: Misses' six-panel A-line skirt in three lengths with visible front pockets and deep contour waistband. Design by Karen Z.

Pattern Sizing: Size R5 (14-22), I first cut out a 16 as it matched my waist and hip measurements but later recut the same pieces as a size 14.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing it? Yes, it did.

Were the instructions easy to follow? Yes, very much.
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I loved the a-line shape and the large banded pockets.

Fabric Used: 1 3/4 yards 54" linen in Potent Purple (50% Poly, 50% Rayon) from Joann Fabrics, 5/8 yard Denyse Schmidt's Flea Market Fancy Medallion print in Green, matching thread, Coats & Clark 7" zipper in Fuchsia #35A, and Pellon Easy-Knit fusible interfacing.

Pattern Alterations or any design changes you made: Despite knowing about the excess ease in Big 4 patterns I still cut out a 16 instead of taking time to measure the flat pattern. When it turned out huge I took it apart and recut the pieces to a size 14.

Close up of pocket exterior

I chose to make view E but with the length measurement of view C. I came across this cool article on how to choose the right skirt length for your body and it makes perfect sense. Thanks TarHeel Mom! Despite this I still had to alter the hem on the back because my b**ty made it noticeably shorter.

Pocket interior
When it came to the pockets, I didn't like that there would be exposed edges left inside. I cut the pocket piece again in some Flea Market Fancy cotton and sewed it right sides together with the existing pocket encasing the pocket bands and then turned the whole thing inside-out. This resulted in a fully encased pocket without any raw edges. The colorful fabric is also a special hidden treat.

As I was sewing in the zipper I realized I had made a mistake. I had pinked the seam allowances on all my seams including the ones on the front opening. This meant there was not enough seam allowance to attach the zip correctly. I had to use black seam binding and a strip of red bias from another project to extend the seams. (Yeah, I don't care what it looks like from the inside as long as it works and lasts.*) Luckily, it turned out great and I was able to get really close to the zipper teeth on this lapped zipper.
Lapped zipper is too noticeable because of bulky yoke/skirt seam.
OKAY...but even after fixing that (and wearing the skirt to work twice) I realized I still wasn't happy with the zipper. I had my doubts when I did it the first time according to the directions and I should have gone with my instincts. By completely finishing the yoke/waistband/facing and then inserting the zipper, you end up sewing though too many layers of skirt and interfacing and end up with a bulky lapped zipper. I should have either attached the zipper first then folded down the facing and slip stitched to the zipper or attached it as a centered zipper in the first place. So, the option was pick, pick, pick…or leave it as is. I chose to leave it. I sewed a sturdy snap to the closure and am content with my final skirt.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? Yes, I will. I highly recommend this pattern. I can definitely see it made in corduroy or with piping, or made in a stripe and changing the direction on some or all of the separate sections; waistband, pockets, or center band.

Conclusion: I was intrigued by this skirt above by One Avian Daemon on Pinterest and then found this near identical Simplicity pattern. I loved the placement of the pockets. Luckily, I had some suitable stash fabric to make this pattern. However, I wish I had used contrasting thread for the topstitching or piping because you can barely see the pockets. Also, because of the shortcuts I took with this no one will get to examine this skirt very closely!

My biggest suggestion is to change the construction order and sew in the zipper after attaching the yoke waistband in order to eliminate stitching through so many fabric layers.

Images: my own photos, Simplicity Patterns, One Avian Daemon

* Another reason why I don't use invisible zippers. Seriously, why bother if you can't depend on them?


KimP said...

Amen on the invisible zipper situation. I haven't figured out a way to consistently insert them with good results.

Your skirt is really cute. I didn't even give this pattern a second look until I saw your version. REALLY love what you did with the pockets.

This skirt will take you right into fall - I can see you wearing it with a chunky sweater and boots!

Anonymous said...

I love your skirt! And pockets?! A huge bonus! Can't go wrong with pockets. I often find that the pattern guide has me install the zipper too late in the construction of a garment. But I don't seem to think about it until it is too late. Hence why my seam ripper is my best friend and most used tool in my basket. Great job! Fits you well!

Gail said...

Even with those little things that are bothering you, I think this is super pretty and I'm glad you're wearing it anyway! I love the color, and it's SO flattering on you!

Anonymous said...

I think it came out great and you're right the Simplicity pattern does look like One Avian Daemon's skirt. I love the piping on it, you could definitely add it to yours or to the next one.

The Slapdash Sewist said...

I love this skirt! The saturated purple is such a great color and the pockets are the perfect detail. I'm impressed with your seam-allowance-extending ingenuity!

Anonymous said...

Oh wow this is a really cool pattern. I reckon you should give it another go in denim (the non stretch variety) and the lines (twill?) on the denim will make the pockets more obvious all well!