Shelburne Falls Skirt and Simplicity Patterns

We’ve recently taken delivery of several Simplicity patterns and thought it would be really useful to give you an idea of how the patterns look once made.  We’ll be showcasing patterns over the coming weeks with images of the finished product and a review of the pattern.  I’d like to introduce our very own pattern reviewer, Caroline Williams.  Caroline will be taking you through the pattern and giving hints and tips on each project, her attention to detail is exceptional, so I know you’re in good hands! Our first pattern is Simplicity1917 which is a mid to long length skirt, we used Shelburne Falls, a gorgeous vintage inspired collection by Denyse Schmidt.  Now, over to Caroline for the review..

skirt fence 3

  skirt close up 1

 Simplicity 1917 Pattern Review

This is a fantastic skirt pattern which is quick to sew and very stylish.  The drawings and photograph on the pattern cover don’t do it justice!  There are several options for different lengths, or to sew different panels in different fabrics.  All views are pleated both front and back, and fasten on the wearer’s left with a side zip. I made up View B in size 12, although the pattern is for an unlined skirt, I chose to line it with a lightweight cotton to add a little more weight and structure to the skirt.  The pattern is very versatile and will make for many different looks depending on what fabric you use.  It works really well in quilting weight cotton since the structure of the fabric holds the pleats well.  However, it would be equally lovely in a lightweight cotton for a floaty feel, and would even work well as a winter skirt made up in a lightweight wool or tweed fabric. The skirt was quick and easy to sew, and would be a perfect project for a beginner or someone wishing to brush up on rusty dressmaking skills.  The instructions were clear and easy to follow with very good explanatory drawings. Here are a few guidance points which might be helpful:

  • The fabric requirements on the envelope are generous.  View B size 12 calls for 2 ¼ yards (203cm) of 45” wide fabric, but I cut it from only 167cm (despite adding 5cm length to the skirt, and with a little extra allowed for pattern matching).
  • If you wish to add a lining, simply cut an a-line pattern piece a little shorter than the main skirt, and without pleats (as these would add unwanted bulk).  Make up the skirt lining leaving the top 8” of one side seam unsewn (for the zip opening) and then insert it inside the main skirt, wrong sides together.  Then sew the skirt and lining together around the top edge within the seam allowance, stopping 3cm from each side (so the lining can be folded back to insert the zip).  Continue as normal to attach the waistband and insert the zip, and then fold under the rough edges of the lining and handstitch them down along the zip opening.  The lining should be hemmed separately to the main skirt.
  • Step 6 on the pattern asks you to edge finish the lower edge of the waistband facing.  I chose not to do this, and instead folded under the rough edge at step 9, stitching it down from the right side.  This results in a neat finish on the inside of the skirt, but wouldn’t work with a thicker fabric as the extra fold would add bulk.  Here you could follow the pattern instructions to finish the facing edge, or you could choose to finish the rough edge with some bias binding which looks really professional and gives you the chance to add a bit of contrasting colour if you wish (it will be unseen when worn).
  • I chose not to understitch the facing (step 8).  Instead I edgestitched through the waistband and facing at step 9, catching the folded under rough edge of the facing as I went.  This was in place of “stitching in the ditch” of the waistband seam as per step 9.  The result is that you see a line of edgestitching around the waistband but I like the visual interest of this, and it also makes for a stronger waistband, especially if it is also supporting a lining.  I then pressed the waistband before adding a second row of edgestitching around the top edge.  As well as adding a different “look” I find this method of attaching a waistband easier as stitching in the ditch isn’t always easy when you have pleats to contend with!
  • I chose to use a concealed zip in place of a regular zip (and inserted it accordingly rather than as per the pattern).  I think it makes for a smoother finish to the skirt, especially since the opening is at the side and you don’t necessarily want to see a flap covering a zip there.
  • I chose to slipstitch the hem by hand rather than machining it (step 13).  It takes a little time but the finish looks great.

 

This entry was posted on Tuesday, July 16th, 2013 at 13:53 and is filed under Miscellaneous. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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