April 3, 2014

Ladies Skater Skirt

Last night Pattern Emporium released a fabulous pattern called the Ladies Skater Skirt. I was lucky enough to pattern test for this one (I have been watching for the release date of this for some time now) so here is a quick review on it. You should really just go straight ahead and buy it if you haven't done so by now because it is excellent. I am aware that I say that about a few patterns, but I make way more things than I actually put on my blog, and only the patterns I really like make the cut for the blog. This one blew me away.

This pattern is loaded with variations, so you are not just getting one pattern, you are actually getting several. There are variations for an elastic waist, a back centered zip, a semi-exposed back centered zip, a front zipper, a button front (my favourite) and a set with suspenders, including great instructions on making your own suspenders. You can also make any of the skirts with hidden pockets, no pockets, or semi exposed pockets, so it is a pattern you will use over and over again to create totally different looks.

I have made a couple of these so far and have several more planned. I'm pretty sure its going to be in my wardrobe for years and years. For my first skirt I used a lightweight cotton that I picked up on the clearance rack at spotlight for a brilliant price (makes up for all those times you get totally ripped off on a fabric you don't really love). I tend to always do my first run of a pattern, especially for ladies, in a cheaper fabric that I won't cry about if I don't like the end result. I was pleasantly suprised with this one because it was just so fabulous right from the word go.

Sewing for women can be a little fiddly, an item can look dreadful or excellent by varying things as simple as length, darts etc. Fitting for the body it is sewn for is really important for women, which is why I don't like to sew for women that I can't do a fitting on. I can honestly say though, that for this pattern there was absolutley no fiddling or alerations necessary and the fit was perfect.

The skirt comes in two different lengths, this is the shorter length and whilst I am not hugely tall, at 173cm, I am taller than average, and I do have long limbs. Most things I have to add length to so that it is not too short for a women my age (yes I do believe some lengths should not be worn over the age of 25). This shorter length is perfect, and would be a perfect knee length for someone shorter, and can easily be adjusted for the teenage daughter who wants to show more leg (if you are game enough, I'm pretty sure Scott will have Zoe dressed in maxi skirts when she's a teenager).

The second skirt I sewed was the zipper front skirt. I do love zippers and the way they can be used to create detail or add a bit more of a grown up edge to a piece of clothing. Zippers at the front can be tricky though, the front of the body is a harder place to add a zipper to than the back because you have to get the fit right. Whilst I wouldn't recommend this variation to anyone who has never put in a zipper before, the instructions are soooo good that anyone who has inserted a few zippers before would be able to do this. 

For this skirt I used a Jubilee cotton lawn from MissMatatabi's etsy store. I am pretty much obsessed with this shop at the moment and if money was no object I would buy almost everything in her shop. This cotton lawn does feel different to other lawns I've sewed with, it is almost like a crisp shirting material.

The fabric also has a nice drape to it, which is why this skirt doesn't look quite as full as my other one. It is a top quality fabric, wearing it compared to cheaper cottons feels a little like sleeping on sheets with a really high thread count versus the cheapies at kmart. I've already ordered more fabric for another skirt. The link is here for anyone who wants some of this amazing fabric.

Anyway, back to the skater skirt. The lady behind Pattern Emporium has years and years of experience in sewing, construction and pattern making. When you buy this pattern, you are not simply buying the pattern pieces with some quick instructions on how you put it together, like with so many other patterns. It is kind of like buying a pattern and a sewing master class in one. The instructions are amazing and will improve your sewing dramatically (unless of course you are already a master seamstress). I love learning new and better ways to do things and I learnt quite a few from this pattern, and I have only made two of the variations. These are things that will improve my finish on future sewing projects and not just this skirt pattern, so I really do think it is incredible value for money. And if you've ever wondered how people possibly get to the point where they can alter pattern to the point that they look totally different, it is through buying patterns with instructions like this. I can't wait to do the button front one.

The pattern is sized from very small (yes it would fit your super thin teenage daughter) to quite large. It goes off your waist measurement, rather than some garment industry standard set size (which fits no one anyway), so it is easy to get a good fit first time around. It is suitable for a HUGE range of fabrics - cottons are great for beginners, but this would also be divine in a lightweight wool for winter, a nice knit for the elastic waist version, a rayon for something that just falls beautifully off the hips, or evening fabrics, like satin, lace and chiffon. And I love it that you don't have to cut and make loads of seams because so many of my stash fabrics are big prints, and they look way better sewn up in patterns that don't cut into their beautiful patterns over and over again. This skirt will flatter all different shapes and sizes.

Join the pattern Emporium Sewing circle on facebook to see all the beautiful skirts being made (it will inspire you) and remember the discount code for release day is active until this evening Australian Eastern Standard time (well Qld time but close enough seeing as we all go back to the same timezone this weekend anyway). You are nuts not to buy this pattern....
My pattern review over at sewing.patternreview.com can be found here
Love your work Kate McAuley! Can't wait to see what you come up with next.


1 comment :

  1. Lovely skirts and choice of fabrics! Thanks for the review.