This right here is view B of Butterick 6102, just scraping it in for Jungle January.

I’ve had this sateen from Spotlight for ages now – I saw it while I was trying not to buy fabric (an ongoing struggle) and I just kept on thinking about it so eventually I went back and got some. I think maybe I got 3m of it, given that I just barely scraped this pattern out of it. I was always intending to make it into a skirt like this – A line, big pleats, yoke. But I was intending to draft it myself. However, I have yet to follow through on my intention to finish my craftsy skirt drafting class before January is up.

I seem to be having a little burst of sewing mojo, and I was sitting there last night, wanting to sew something, with nothing on the cards. I was thinking about my SWAP plans (have I mentioned that I am doing this yet?) and also just about what my wardrobe actually needs. And more skirts was the answer – I want to make some tops but I don’t wear the ones I have because I don’t have enough skirts that fit me and that I like. I wasn’t up for drafting right that minute, and waiting till I got around to the drafting was causing a hitch in my plans. I didn’t want to sew something less practical and necessary for my wardrobe. So I thought ‘I bet I have a skirt pattern like that’.

I actually don’t have a huge number of skirt patterns, on the principle that most skirts are variations on a theme so why buy multiple copies of the same thing? Especially when it’s easy enough to hack a skirt pattern if you have a shape that fits you, to make a pleated skirt out of an A-line, etc. But I bought B6102 in a sale because the line drawing shows a nice basic with a good shape, and not just some ‘attached pleated rectangle to yoke’ business. I’m not paying $5 for that rubbish. Nope. But this one has an A-line shape, with three big pleats front and back – or four, depending on which view you sew. Last night I was a bit hesitant because the cover is a bit… well. Frumpy and/or school girl

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Those drawing ladies know it, too. They know. You don’t have to tell them, thanks.

I could only find a couple of examples of this skirt made up. But I believe in line drawings. And muslins. So I whipped up a quick muslin and I was sold. I cut it out last night and today I spent some time putting it together. The pattern is listed as a ‘fast and easy’ and it certainly was easy, but it took me something like three and a half hours, cutting not included, because I took the time to put it together properly. I also underlined it.

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Sorry about the crappy night time photo, but hopefully you can still see the details. I wanted to line the skirt but wasn’t sure how to navigate the pleats and the side seams and the zip, so I simply underlined it, by basting the lining onto the top of the skirt and letting it hang loose below. The lining is cut to the view A length, which is pretty short – just on knee length for me, unhemmed. If I made view A I’d want to add a couple inches.

I didn’t sew down the pleats, either, which did add some time because it meant more basting and wrangling than if I had sewn them shut as per the pattern. I did this on my muslin and didn’t like the look of them for this version but I would like to try it for a future version.

I also skipped the construction order and put the back together, with yoke and facing, did the same with the front, and then sewed the side seams last. I think I am going to start doing this as often as possible, because of the ease of adjusting. I dealt with the facing by folding over and sewing the seam allowance on the bottom, and then top stitching from the front. I thought about top stitching in light green or aqua but stuck with white, in the end.

I promise the hem is not uneven, I just stand wonky a lot.

These photos are a bit variable, because we took them at the end of our regular evening walk. It was a bit windy and bright, so I didn’t get as many good ones to chose from as usual. Also, S very kindly took them, but he was feeling a bit unwell so was not as open to direction as he sometimes is. The closeups, for instance, are all from his head-height and give me slight vertigo because of the angle:

But hey, I am not complaining. He is very helpful and supportive and I am grateful for the photo assistance. I couldn’t help resist showing you some scenery, though:

We live in a very beautiful place.

There’s a hawk in that photo, too. Here’s a close up

ANYWAY. Skirt. My waist is 102cm any way I measure it, which is outside of the size range of this pattern. but I know from bitter experience that if I make a skirt to my actual size, it basically falls off my hips. My theory is that there’s a couple of inches that are very smooshable. So I made up a size 22 muslin, which is Waist 94cm, Hips 117cm (and also the size indicated by my full bust measurement of 112cm). The muslin was slightly too big, so for the final version I made a size 22 front, and a size 20 back with a 1cm wedge taken from the centre seam, tapering to nothing, for my swayback. I’m REALLY happy with the final fit. Feels very secure at my waist without being constricting, even when I sit.

The pattern calls for a regular zipper, but I didn’t have any the right length and colour and also I’m crap at them so I just did an invisible zipper, although I sewed a bit close to the teeth so it takes some finagling to do up and that makes me worried it’ll jam or break eventually. I need to put a hook and eye in but I didn’t have one big enough so I’ll pick one up tomorrow.

It gapes up the top above the zip but every single photo has it covered by my shirt so I guess that’s not a problem!

Speaking of the shirt, I also made that today. Yet another Kirsten Kimono tee, out of ‘performance knit’ from spotters. This is expensive for a spotlight fabric – something like $24 a metre – but is the good stuff. It’s what I make my bike shorts out of, and it holds up well. I didn’t realise that I hadn’t put the ‘take a wedge out of the front for cheater FBA’ adjustment on the actual pattern (I have now), so the front gaped a bit. To compensate I pulled the binding very tight at the front, so it bunches, but I’d rather that than gaping.

One of my more flattering angles. I guess this is how S sees me all the time… gosh.

I have enough of this fabric to make another one if it annoys me too much, as well as some other, thinner, white knit that needs something doing with it. Binding is a 2″ binding in the usual way. I added 1cm to the shoulders – next time I might leave it off the back, as I find the shoulder seam migrates to the front. I serged the seams because I had white thread in my machine already so why not? I cut the sleeves with an extra 1.5cm, with the theory that a larger turnover might make for a less wibbly hem. That appears to have been true, it’s much neater than my last few. Hems are just sewn with a zigzag.

The hem on the skirt is a bit shorter than as per pattern, because I didn’t have quite enough to cut it out to length. So I’d say it’s maybe 1.5″ shorter? Hem is just serged and turned up an inch. I really like the length, though. I am so pleased with this pattern – I found it to be really well drafted. I can’t speak to the instructions because I skipped them beyond peering at the photos for suggested construction order but it goes together like any skirt, and the pattern markings are clear what to do with the pleats etc. I really like the way the pleat in the centre back seam is drafted around the zipper. Very clever. There’s another view with a different arrangement of pleats, and I’d like to give that a whirl.

I’m very glad I was too lazy to draft my own skirt! This one’s a winner.

 

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8 thoughts on “And now, for the jungle itself.

    1. Thank you! I have had a little burst of activity. Trying to take advantage of it as it lasts, I can already feel it waning… it’s gorgeous down here. I take it for granted sometimes, nice to remind myself!

  1. Ack, so much to catch up on! I need to get a reader. I have to admit that I need the prompt of an email coming to me to direct me to blogs else I forget. 🙂 I’m very a-technological.

    This IS a winner. You have a great eye for colour and matching to pattern. This is a very successful skirt, which one wouldn’t think from the cover of the pattern. I love the pleat treatment. Very very cool. And yes, you live in a gorgeous place. It’s so odd to see the red and blue in contrast to everything here which is white white white with snow at the moment!! 🙂 I have to admit that I’m a winter girl, so it’s all good, but having some of those lovely beaches would be great from time to time.

    The lining treatment is an interesting question. I have a skirt planned for my SWAP that is part of a suit. I chose a fairly lightweight linen, so I definitely want to underline it (for the jacket and the skirt, although I might even interface the whole jacket interior). I was wondering about underlining the skirt (although also basting to the bottom). In any case I would always line a skirt anyhow, meaning that I would have prepared the lining as the skirt bottom and then basted it onto the top before adding the waistband. I guess it depends on how much volume you want and/or if you want the lining to be “as one with the skirt”. Thinking to do…I really like the lining colour here. Such a cheerful project!

    1. I really like how underlining makes a skirt sit. I think I might be a convert. Plus I get easily irritated by things flapping around/being disarranged, so underlining and catching in the side seams gives almost every benefit of a lining PLUS not flapping around at all. I do admit to not being very professional in my approach to linings – almost everything I learnt to sew on omitted them, but I do think they just make garments sit much nicer and have a longer life, and a more prominent place in my wardrobe. So I have retro-fitted them without knowing what I am doing, really. I’ll add that to the list of sewing skills I should learn how to do properly, even if I don’t so it ‘properly’ all the time – more tools in the toolbox is always good!

      And I love a sneaky bright or fun coloured lining! I bought a fair bit of this colour but only enough for one more skirt, I think. Might go back and get more. Lining is something I do stock up on when it’s on sale. I always use it and never regret having too much, only regret not having it!

    2. Also I use inoreader which I find works ok, because otherwise I will just totally forget about blogs. I need them all kept somewhere! I like that you can ‘read all’ and just read solidly through new blog posts (I did this last night) like a custom made website for you! Not an ad… I just get overwhelmed if everything isn’t in one spot! I do prefer to read on a computer – as opposed to my phone, which I do use but if I’m reading on the desktop I will click over so people get views on their site and also it’s much easier to comment that way.

Whadya reckon?

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