I have been so unbelievably busy this week….seriously have not had time to even dabble in blog reading…or, check this out for just how busy …Gertie’s new book arrived & I have only had time to leaf through the pages – once – no reading time – at all! So lots of catching up to do….but not this weekend as I’m off to London for a girls’ reunion. What a whirl! In sewing land I have a few matters to catch up on & nearly have a revitalised reorganised sewing room to show off also (it’s paradise!)
Anyway, enough excuses, let’s get onto the interesting stuff. The Victory Patterns Madeleine skirt
– it has something of a “je ne sais quoi” about it ….
I made this a couple of weeks ago and have worn it a couple of times now. It is very comfy, with a slightly high waist, that I made the effort to get fitting just right – it just took a few tryings on. But back to the beginning …before I get carried away ….I made it out of some super cheap polyester blend fabric that looks like a Bedford cord & has quite an amazing drape. I bought the end of a roll, so had not opportunity to get any more, but was originally intending to use it to make a wearable muslin of the Thurlow trousers. But there wasn’t enough! I was stumped, prevaricated much longer than usual debating whether to use it for Thurlow shorts, whether to use my other expensive fabric (silk/ wool blend) to make Thurlow shorts before trialling with cheaper fabric …& then what did I do? Well, printed out Victory Patterns Madeleine of course! Completely off track…..nice fitting modern trousers transformed into a full characterful skirt that harks back to days gone by & has numerous style connotations in my book….but I will spare you for now.
Before I started I saw that this pattern has been developed for the average 5’6” + lady & therefore I shortened the paper pattern first (very unlike me to take this into account before slicing through my fabric!) I shortened it by about 3”, having tried it against my body to check I wasn’t making a boo boo. For the rest of the sizing I tried as I went along (see, I’m learning!) & tweaked here & there to get a good fit, since there is a real danger that full skirts will look awful if too big & emphasize all the wrong places! Took quite a lot off the waist & hips from the size I thought I would be, but am pleased with the fit & it seems comfy [note to self - incorporate fitting into my method & don't worry if that sometimes means I'm sewing in my undies!]
Now Madeleine is a really pretty pattern with braces (or suspenders depending from where you hark ) & amazingly eye grabbing & elbow reaching patch pockets (and they are – I can nearly get my whole arm in them!)
The pockets are a dominant feature & are constructed first. Sensibly they are lined & then top stitched (or triple stitched in my case) & then attached to the skirt pieces. I lined mine with some of that ever present navy polka dot fabric that was used for my Cambie dress & scalloped shorts. What I learnt from using these two fabrics together this way was that next time I could consider interfacing the fashion fabric to stabilise it, as with its wonderful drape came less wonderful skewing properties which were highlighted when using a very stable lining fabric.
This skirt came together really quickly, but if I am honest I didn’t really read the instructions provided. I did look at the waistband attaching section, as there are often new things to learn from others’ techniques. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to work out if the directed method was the same as my usual way – so just did it my way ( attached waistband before finishing waistband’s vertical edges & finally sewing down facing). If you can sew a skirt with a zip and waistband, then you can easily sew this wonderful skirt.
The braces are fun! But completely removable. Lots of buttonholes for adjustment as necessary. & I may move my front buttons across slightly towards the centre to run down my boobage as opposed to rustling them from their sides. Look! Navy anchor sailor buttons! Thanks Ginger, these lovelies are adding a nautical flair :-) And pink glitter babies on the inside.
There’s some nice top stitching details on this skirt that I took full advantage of – & it was a boon for sewing up the hem (lots of hem to get around!) But I used triple stitching on the pockets’ fancy detail. However, there is something that I don’t like about sewing on this type of fabric – the ridges in the Bedford cord sometimes get pulled out of line by the direction of stitching & didn’t have such a perfect top stitching finish, in my opinion….
As I said I’ve worn it a couple of times now. It looks lovely with my pink ellie violet blouse (but I did feel a bit school-girl chic was going on there). It’s super flippy, twirly & swishy …
But it is already in the wash having attracted food splashes from the weekend’s BBQ. Do you find that you have certain items of clothing that you can bank on will always get spilled on/ splashed/ bleached on first day of wearing?
Looking forward to getting back into more regular blogging & time spent soaking up all your inspirations…but for now au revoir & enjoy your weekend