18 August 2010

Another New Skirt: M5523

I've had this pattern in my stash for quite some time. It's been worked in and out of the sewing queue for a while and I finally decided to sit down and make it. I made it for my second entry to the Natural Fibers Contest on PR.

I made an unlined version of view B (the one with the pleated inset) out of a 100% wool gabardine. This was a really nice fabric. The weight of this piece was perfect for pants, a structured jacket, or skirt. But, there is a disadvantage of which I was not aware. This stuff does NOT press well at all. After I had fussed with it for a couple of days, I read in Betzina's More Fabric Savvy that wool gabardine is a great wrinkle resister. No shit, lady. It's also a great iron resister! I had to use a lot of steam, mist, and a clapper at least twice per seam and the pleats just to get a decent press.

Its still got some wrinkly areas that need addressing. I'll take it to my dry cleaners and let them have at it. I am so over pressing this darn thing. =)

Fitting and Alterations:
For the first time in a long time, I did not make a muslin. I just went for it! When I say I am the muslin queen, I really mean it. I make a muslin for everything. Not this time. Having considered the finished garment measurements (43.5"), I cut a size 16.

I made two alterations. First, I shortened the pattern by 2". The finished length is 23" and on the model, it looks like the hem comes to her knees. In comparing other skirts that I have, I found that 2o - 21" is a good length for my height.

Next, I made the trunk-junk alteration. Since the back princess seams, I had to alter each piece separately. The alteration is similar to that of inserting a wedge at the center back seam. I spread the center back panel 1.25" across the entire piece. Then, I spread the side back panel 1.25", tapering to nothing at the side seam. This alteration is an absolute must for me to keep the hem level.

I basted the side seams to check fit. I found that the skirt fit well in the waist, but was a bit wide from mid thigh to the hem. So, I increased the seam allowance to 0.75" from that point down. I like this much better.


Instead of using a lapped zipper, I inserted an invisible zipper. I love invisible zippers, but my last two insertions have not been as good as previous ones. Hmf. What's up with that?

I sewed and then serged the seam allowances together. I tried to finish the seam allowances separately, but my serger did not enjoy working on a single layer of gabardine. I had a mess of skipped stitches and loopers not covering the edge. It was a hot mess. I began to think the repair shop did some bad to my serger. Nope. It was definitely the fabric. I had no problem serging the seam allowances together or serging the edge of the interfaced facing. Everything else was an epic fail! To finish the hem, I used an overcast stitch on my sewing machine and topstitched in place.

In all, I am quite satisfied with this skirt. I am sure this skirt will get a lot of wear this fall and winter. I will definitely try other versions of the pattern as well.



  1. I love that pattern and your skirt. I think it is a must sew for me this fall.

  2. The skirt loks great and the fit is great!

  3. I love the skirt. I also have to alter my patterns about 1.5" to keep the hem level.

  4. The skirt fits beautifully and I really like the whole ensemble. Great eye! Damn, can you sew girl!


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