Thursday, 5 December 2013

Completed: Papercut La Sylphide Skirt

Well, I did it. I managed to turn another simple skirt project into a mess of overthinking, haha! Why, that's my specialty!
That said, I feel all my overthinking really helped me achieve a good result.

So maybe it wasn't overthinking. Wait, am I overthinking about whether I overthink?? Ahem!

This is the La Sylphide skirt from indie pattern company Papercut. It has a dress, a peplum blouse, and a skirt.
The basic line art doesn't do the pattern justice.
Here's the dress view which I totally didn't make, but want to.

I made this as part of the La Sylphide Sewalong on the Papercut Patterns blog. I went for the skirt view, obviously. I couldn't find a single person online who'd actually made this view; everyone is making the dress (and for good reason, it's gorgeous, duh!). I'm sure fellow skirt-sewers are out there somewhere. I made it in a lightweight cotton lawn. I want to make it again in a different type of fabric for another look!


What I really like about this pattern is the contoured waistband. Many skirt styles have a straight waistband that sits at the natural waist. For example, my Hollyburn, circle skirt, and gored skirt. Straight waistbands are everywhere.

I'm pretty short waisted, so I feel like waistbands can visually eat up my waist length and make me look even shorter on top. So since this sits just below the waist, I theorised it might give a better proportion, while still leaving me able to wear cute cropped cardigans and tucked-in tops!


What's the verdict?
Hmm, it definitely gives me a longer torso, but then maybe it accentuates how wide I am in the hips?? (I think this might be in my head). What do you think of the proportions? Opinions please!!

My attempt at a comparison.
Now, I gave this waistband the same treatment I gave the wide yoke waistband I fitted for my New Look 6594.
Come to think of it, I probably could have dug out those pattern pieces and compared them as a starting point. Whoops!
Anyway, I put it on, I slashed, I hacked, I made another waistband to test again, rinse and repeat.

This took me from this:
Top: slashed up toile. Middle: original waistband. Bottom: slashed up pattern!
to this:
It looks CRAZY right? The original is on the bottom.
As you can see, mine is a LOT curvier. I guess being pear shaped, I increase outwards from the waist a lot faster than the model this pattern is designed for. And my belly isn't very flat either, so it needs more curvature at the front as well.
Another thing I did was move the notch which matches to the skirt side seam. I just put my fingers where I felt was my natural middle at the side of my waistband, marked it, and that was my new notch.

This shows the fit before and after.
It took quite a while to get it satisfactory- I actually tested my waistband prototypes by wearing them around the house. If it felt even the slightest bit restricting it had to be changed! I just can't stand restrictive clothing- there's nothing worse than a nagging waistband constantly reminding you of the existence of your stomach. It's like it's whispering "hey...saggy guts, HEY!!" lol! And that's just awful.

I ended up fitting it on the loose side, because I wanted to have insurance for times I'm feeling a bit bloaty or when I'm lounging around all saggy-like (haha). So it sits slightly below the waist, but can ride up if it needs to. Ahh, sweet comfort. I'll never compromise you for fashion. Except when it comes to shoes.
I'm hoping I can reuse this waistband a bunch now I've got it fitting me...

After completely messing up the waistband pattern, obviously it wouldn't match the skirt. So I walked the two pattern pieces along the seamline and added to the skirt pattern pieces at the side seams, so the two seamlines would be the same length. I hope that makes sense!

Pretty full skirt. You know what that means....
Compulsory twirling pic. That's just how it is okay?
I get carried away with stupid poses when I'm alone with the tripod. Haha!
Oh and can I just say this pattern drove me a bit nuts? When I first traced it, I was looking at how the notches lined up and could not figure out for the LIFE of me why the waistband was 2cm longer than the skirt back at the seamline. I checked and rechecked until I was going crazy. I never did figure it out.
And you know what? When I altered the skirt to fit the waistband, I did it my way, and it totally lined up in construction, so either the pattern's wrong, or I live in crazy town (the latter IS possible).

After all that waistband malarkey, a relatively simple alteration was lengthening the skirt. I just noted how long my Hollyburn was, since I know that's an approved skirt length on me! And because La Sylphide sits below the waist, I then subtracted the length of the contour waistband (2"). Do be warned, this pattern is designed to be short, so if you don't like flashing leg, you'll probably want to lengthen it too! My altered skirt pieces were about 20" long I believe. Oh yes, and I added another button because of that extra length.

When I cut it out, I realised my fabric wasn't wide enough to cut the skirt on the fold for the back piece, so I had to create a centre back seam. No big deal!
I also ended up creating a side seam in the waistband when I cut it out, though it wasn't really necessary- I was totally just being stingy with my fabric! (The remnants of this cotton could be useful for so many things, right?? Fun facings, stuffed toys...)

Boring back view with the poofy cardigan is quite unflattering....
Sewing this was a relatively smooth process, well, actually there was a fair amount of mistakes, I suppose, haha! But I'm not letting them bother me as much as I used to! I breathed a sigh of relief when my buttonholes didn't explode. These are my first "proper" garment buttonholes! (The ones on my Hollyburn skirt are just for the decorative buttons so they totally don't count).
It occurs to me that since I won't be undoing any buttons except for the top three to get the skirt on and off, that I could be sneaky/lazy and not make the buttonholes for the rest of the skirt next time (just sew fake-out buttons). I'm just not sure if that would feel right though. I'd know. I'd KNOW!!


Buttons!
Check out my zig zagged centre back seam. I'd had a fight with my new overlocker that day. Haha.
Some parts of the construction had me scratching my head so I had to change the instructions and do it my way.
I had some problems with the placket instructions. Since it probably isn't that interesting to people who haven't used the pattern, I kept my blathering about this in my review on Pattern Review so I don't have to bore you with it here :)

I don't know, maybe I just didn't understand the instructions, but hey, my way worked for me in the end. Too bad, since indies have a great reputation for their instructions and service, but when I emailed Papercut with my problems, I got no help. Bummer.

Oh yeah, and I thought I'd shoehorn my new Renfrew into this post since it doesn't deserve its own post (I've already made so many!). I used the puff sleeve I modded in this version but did the short sleeve view. The awesome thing about this Renfrew is that it's made from the remnants of the fabric from my Tiramisu dress so it's like a freebee! Woo! I did have to lay out my pieces like a NINJA to get them to fit though. It took forever, but it's worth it for a freebeeeeeee!


Back looks much nicer without the poofy cardigan over top.
It's amazing how the different fabrics change the look of the sleeve- these are much more perky compared to the soft drapey sleeves I got in my last version.
Speaking of Renfrews, after I made my boatneck version, I promised I'd update the post with more information on how I did it, because Erin from Miss Crayola Creepy promised me she'd love me forever if I did. And now I've done it. Hear that Erin? I remembered! Forever!! Mwahahaha! I look forward to seeing your boatneck Renfrew soon ;)

Hmm, I've written an incredibly long-winded post it seems. lol! Well, that's that for my first Papercut make. It wasn't a smooth ride, but I hope to make another La Sylphide in the future. I'm sure it'll be much easier next time! :)  ...right??


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