Surprise! This skirt was actually made in 2013 as a test of the pattern but I just received the OK from the designer to go ahead and publish my review. 10/14/2014 Update: the pattern is now available here!
Pattern Description: Self-lined knit skirt with contoured waistband and optional back zipper in two lengths, micro-mini, and mid-thigh. Skirt consists of diagonal folds on the front paired with a plain back. I made View B, the longer of the skirts at 19 inches.
Pattern Sizing: Sizes 2-3-4-5 (equivalent to EUR 36-42 or US size 8-14.) I chose size 5, the largest, and the one that matched my measurements.
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing it? Yes
The layered folds.
Were the instructions easy to follow? Yes, they were. All of my problems were because of my choice of fabric.
Step 6 of the very helpful tutorial
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? The pattern was based on the designs in the Drape Drape books, so of course I liked that. In addition, because of the clever lining construction there are no exposed seams on the inside. I love that the photographed tutorial is still available on the Small Things blog. The tutorial will allow the pattern to be used by a larger segment of the population since as a ready-to-wear size 8/10 I was the largest size available.
Fabric Used: A 58/60" polyester 5% Lycra print from Hancock Fabrics, leftover Rayon/Spandex knit in Potent Purple from Jo-Ann Fabrics (lining), thread, and Dritz sports elastic in 1-1/2" and 1/4" widths.
Pattern Alterations or any design changes you made?: Because I was using leftover fabric from another project for the lining, I had to piece the back lining together instead of cutting it on the fold. Because my choice in fabric the construction of my pleats was time-consuming and required that I do a lot of basting, not only under the folds as in the instructions, but also on the folded edges of each tier. Otherwise, my fabric kept wandering out of place. Even so, some lines of basting would have to be removed and redone each time I changed the arrangement.
Preparing to baste folds.
When fitting the side seams, instead of using pins I machine-basted the sides before turning it inside out. Because the skirt is so form fitting, my first fitting using pins was painful. My outside fabric stretched out too much at the waistline and I had to adjust the side seams. I eventually removed almost 2 and a half inches at the top, bringing in the waistline enough that I could just get it over my hips, and widened the seam allowance at the hips and below by 2/8” to the eliminate the obvious “cupping” effect of the skirt. Because of the instability of this fabric, I decided against a zipper and decided to insert wide elastic in the waistband. I did not want it to look like an elastic waistband so I used just enough so it could get over my hips, and then tighten up at the waist, much like the fit on these skirts.
However, in these pictures, I was wearing the skirt with the waistband turned to the inside of the skirt much like a facing
Updated: I decided I preferred elastic in the waist. My skirt waistband ended up being 1 3/4" wide and I could not find that size elastic in the local stores. Therefore, I bought a basic sport elastic (not too stiff) in both 1 1/2" and 1/4" widths. Using a narrow zigzag stitch, I sewed them together flat and it worked! If you try this, make sure that the two elastics you use have the same amount of stretch and recovery.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? I may make this again but in a stable knit. Most of my skirts are A-line and worn to work while this one could go out for cocktails. I recommend the pattern. It produced a unique and flattering skirt. If you choose to use a double knit or an interlock, you could use the zipper option. Both fabrics would also form and hold the pleats better than this jersey. I suggest that if you are using a thin drapey knit you might want to apply spray starch and keep the fabric damp while doing the folding parts.
Lisa's original and my version
Conclusion: What a sassy little skirt, right? Great first pattern from Paprika Patterns and I am curious as to what they have in the pipeline next.