Thursday, 29 May 2008

BWOF 01-08-109 Pencil skirt

Now, I am a hippy girl. And by that I don’t mean peace love and mung beans – I’m far too uptight for that! I do mean that I have child bearing hips, a low-slung behind and jodhpur thighs. Not to be self critical, it’s not that bad, but it is a reality.

Current thinking (for example Trinny and Susannah) would probably slap me about the head if I even thought about wearing a pencil skirt, but this was not always the case. If you go back to the early 90’s, most people believed that tapered skirts were slimming on bottom heavy figures. Even a recent BWOF (sorry can’t remember which one off hand) stated that ‘pencil skirts look better on those with a bit more figure’. Ha, I love that ‘a bit more figure’. It reminds me of a newspaper article from the Edwardian period that I read about fashion which made suggestions for ladies with ‘an abundance of figure’ how polite.

But I digress. All this got me thinking that I might try a pencil skirt. A style that I haven’t worn since I was about 17 years old and a size 8-10 (that’s Australian sizes, I think it’s a 2-4 in the US) ie a long time ago. If my experiment works it might just get me out of the rut I’ve been in with clothes. This pattern really got my imagination going, even though I worried that the panel lines angling the way they do might make me look ENORMOUS, but it seemed to be such a nice construction challenge that I’d just go for it and see what happened.

This is the result:

Please ignore the strange hip lump on the back photo - it's one of the dials on my dummy. I am hoping to convince my fella to take a pic of me wearing the skirt but it could be a little while before it happens!

I’m pretty happy with this overall. The only alteration I made to the pattern was to lengthen it by 7cm. As usual there were a couple of issues, but seriously tiny ones that didn’t spoil my enjoyment of making the skirt at all.

1. According to my measurements I am a 42 in burda sizes. In fact one of the key selling points of this pattern for me is that I was a consistent size from waist to hips – not usually the case at all! In practice I had to take a truckload off the side seams. Like 2cm off each side, front and back from the waist down to mid thigh. Luckily this was really easy to do and I’d rather take in than have to let out. Next time I think I’ll cut a 40.

2. The pockets don’t lie flat at all and I get a slightly strange belly look. I followed the (quirky) directions which weren’t hard at all but I think next time I’d ignore the part where you sew the top of the pocket from the top to the top marking(!) essentially joining the pocket and facing to the side front panel of the skirt but down the pocket opening edge for a little bit. I’d rather have the opportunity to correct the lie of the pocket in fittings a bit further down the construction path. I can live with this though – especially now I’ve joined a gym and will very soon have abs of steel (lol).

3. The 12 cm zip is a touch too short for the opening. I managed to get away with it, but next time I would buy a 15cm zip and shorten it.

4. This is just a note on construction. I didn't follow the instructions for hemming the back vents. Threads #137 FINALLY got to Australia (we have to wait so long and pay so much but it's worth it! I am still waiting for the March BWOF to show up in the shops :( but I digress again). I followed the Threads instructions to mitre the corners. I was super easy and looks great, vent hems can often look bulky and amateurish, but the mitre give a really professional finish.

Actually that’s all I can think of. Everything else was really smooth and I love the way the skirt looks. I’ve never bothered much with BWOF patterns as I am essentially lazy and I always figured I may as well draft my own patterns rather than trace off, then add seam allowance. I am now converted, it hardly took any time and the result is way more stylish than most of the skirts the big 4 put out. I have a pair of BWOF pants cut out too, so they are next up. I cut these in a 42 as well, but I think it will be okay.


Kristy said...

I love your skirt, you got such a neat finish on the mitre hem. I think you and I have the same body shape, so I can't wait to see this skirt on you, but I'm sure it will look great, and hey rules are meant to be bent, ignored, and wilfully broken!

Waiting for the BWOF magazines drives me nuts too - everyone else in blogland is making great things from the magazines that won't be here for another two months....

Josie said...

Hi Kristy, Thanks for your feedback. Here are some pictures as promised. I've been checking out your blog too. Love your suits, I will have to try really hard to break out of the black/brown/grey habit!