Friday, 23 March 2012

Wool pencil skirt

Another skirt sewn several months ago...

Pattern description

Self-drafted pencil skirt with a curved yoke and back godet.

Fabric used

A purple, slightly felted wool (boiled wool?) bought cheaply from A1 Fabrics on Goldhawk Road in London as it was the end of a bolt. This was actually bought with the intention of making it into a pencil skirt - hurrah for actually getting round to making the things I plan! The yoke is faced with one of my many quilting cottons, and the skirt lined in an acetate.

Did it look like the sketch/idea when you were done?

Sort of... In my mind the back godet looked a bit softer, in reality it tends to stick out in a rather triangular fashion. Although I like the shape of the skirt, the thickness of this wool means it's ended up rather bulky. You can see this on the photo at the top of the page, although it's a bit exaggerated as Wilma has a very oddly shaped waist.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?

I'm really pleased with the shape of the yokes, but the godet didn't quite end up looking like I'd intended. I think also it could maybe do with being a bit longer, and then wearing it with heels, I think this would have helped counteract the bulkiness.

Drafting details

A fairly simple draft. The waistline was lowered by around 1.5cm and the yoke drawn in. The darts were folded out to give a shaped yoke, and the very small amount of dart left on the skirt portion was left to ease in. The side seams were pegged and the centre back seam shaped inwards under the buttocks, but after sewing I actually ended up shaping all these seams in more. The centre back seam is shaped out from the top of the godet to allow it some space - I think maybe this could have been more, which may have helped avoid the sticky-out triangle effect godet that I ended up with. The godet itself is a sector of a circle, originally about a quarter, but reduced to around a sixth after seeing it sewn in place.

Construction details

The yokes are stabilised with silk organza and faced with a quilting cotton to help minimise bulk. Seams in the wool are finished simply by pinking as it wasn't particularly ravelly, and this again helped minimise bulk, and helped eliminate seam allowance show-through. I used a regular zipper, inserted as a centred zipper and hand-picked, as I thought the wool might be rather bulky to allow a neat insertion of an invisible zipper, but as you can see it didn't exactly end up neat or subtle. I didn't really know what to do with the lining under the godet, so I just left a slit in the lining at the bottom of the lower centre back to allow for movement. The skirt is hemmed by hand. Looking at the skirt more closely whilst taking photos I realised I need to do a bit more pressing - the seam between the yoke and skirt needs to be pressed flatter. This would also push up the fabric in the yoke, to help stop the yoke facing poking out at the waistline.

Would you sew it again?

Hmm, I like the shape of the yoke, but I would need to work out what to do with the godet before sewing it again. I think if I do sew it again, it will definitely be in a much less bulky fabric.


To be honest, I was slightly disappointed how this skirt ended up. Having had the wool for a while, and really loving the colour, I am slightly sad that this has ended up as something that I've only worn once or twice. Also, having gained a little weight recently, this is now rather tight (you can see the creases in the lining in the photo above from wearing it where it's a bit tight across my hips), and it's also getting a little warm to wear it. I think I'm going to give the yoke a good press to try and flatten the bulk, and give it another go wearing it before it gets too warm again.

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