I had the opportunity to test another fabulous Straight Stitch Designs pattern. I will be honest, I was pretty on the fence about this one. I almost didn’t respond to the tester call because my first thought was, “ that will look awful on me.” However, I have been trying to move out of my comfort zone and try new things and so I went ahead and said yes, and I am so glad I did.
To be very honest, I made a lot of stupid mistakes with this one. My very first take on it, I found some awesome fabric at walmart, that was labeled, “ remanant of unknown fabric content.” So I have no idea what it is, but it definetly contains some polyester. I felt like it would make an awesome ballet type skirt, which would look great paired with black leggings and a black bodysuit (which I do not actually have, but I do have a Megan Nielsen Rowan cut out, so maybe in the future.). The second it came off the sewing machine, I thought it was perfect. My daughter was standing next to me and she exclaimed, “Oh Mommy, I love that skirt! However, once I put it on, I felt like it had a lot of leg exposure and I wouldn’t feel very comfortable in it without leggings on. So, I was pretty disappointed. However, it did completely make my ballerina vision a reality, and it actually works pretty great over leggings. I think that showing a little more leg probably works out.
One of the reasons I thought this wouldn’t be a very flattering skirt, was because I have a pretty long torso and then I have a belly, and things that add bulk right at the belly are generally not very flattering, because they accentuate my widest point. So, I attributed the fact that my skirt met at a pretty high point to those factors
THEN. Then the other tester photos started rolling in and something occurred to me, maybe I cut out the wrong size! So, I went back and I totally had cut one size smaller than I actually should have based off of measurements. (It should be noted at this point, that the nature of this pattern is very forgiving and so there is a lot of flexibility about sizing. Take my experience as a case in point.) Truthfully if I wasn’t testing a particular size I probably would have sided up one more, but that would probably have been a mistake. This pattern really does have a lot of give. Even so, I began to wonder what the “right” size would look like.
I cut out try two. For my second try I used some double gauze that I have had for a long time. I was very worried that it would be too sheer so I stole an idea from another tester and added a lining. Have you ever cut double gauze? It was terribly shifty and one of the perks to this pattern is it only has three pieces. But the two pieces that make up the skirt body are very large and they were larger than my largest cutting mat, ( I cut out patterns with a rotary cutter) so I had to shift it around during cutting, and on my first try, that shift went very smoothly, but it did not go so smoothly with the double gauze. Then once I started sewing and I gathered the top of the skirt, I over gathered and it was way too short for my waist band, so I let it out some, but then I just kinda gave up and went with it. I added the lining in with the skirt and I tried it on. It also hits pretty high, but maybe not as high as my first try, but it also didn’t overlap very far. This is definetly due to the fact the waistband was like 4’ too short. So, I haven’t put the buttons on yet, because I am thinking I might take the waistband off and try again. However, I am a big fan of the double gauze on, it floats around and makes me feel kinda princess-ey. For the lining, I just cut a second set of body pieces and then cut off like 4 inches off the bottom and serged the edges. I put it with the skirt main and matched the middle seam. Like so:
I took some pictures while twirling around to try to give you an idea of the floatyness, but it was difficult to capture, you might have to take my word for it.
So, I decided I needed to quit playing around and find a sure bet for success on this pattern. For my third and final (for now) try, I used a dotted chambray from Hobby Lobby. I cut the correct size with my scissors to advoid any shifting mishaps and I used my gathering foot, with a basting stitch and the tension heightened just by one. This time — perfection!
My initial instinct was to style this with another SSD pattern, the Bryant dolman tee, which is one of my all time favorite patterns. ( I am also wearing a black Bryant dolman with the purple skirt.) I felt like the knot kept the siluette while keeping my waist definition. I love this look! This is probably going to be my go to combo.
However, I also thought that maybe an oversized tee would look cute too, so I styled it with a white Skorn tee and my favorite red sneaks. And I also love this look.
While it took me a very long time to get there, this pattern is actually love. It is a pretty quick sew, with a very clean finish. I mean check out that inside center seam!
(Just don’t look too close at my top stitching. ) The waist band addition is a technique I had never used before, but I like it a lot. By the third one, it went together like a breeze. I think that Kimberly is going to do a video tortorial on just attaching the waistband for anyone who gets to that step and gets hung up. Which will make this an even easier pattern. I think that this is a great pattern for spring, but you can totally through on leggings and wear it in winter or fall too. The Madrona pattern released today, so go and grab yours now! .