Simplicity 6746 Feather Maxi Skirt

Continuing on with my maxi endeavours I pulled out this pattern from my stash, it’s from the 70’s. I can’t remember where it came from and is only in single size, mind you a lot smaller than what I wear. I had to enlarge the pattern amongst other alterations but I think, actually I know, I like the style of this skirt better than my self drafted one and will probably become my go to from now on, with a few touch ups of course.

simplicity 6746

The fabric is a boutique poly print (100% polyester), a bargain buy at $3/m and judging at the fabric it may be due to the fault on the border which didn’t affect my cutting layout whatsoever. It is quite sheer and of course being a light colour it required some lining. I use white pongee lining (100% polyester) from my stash but unfortunately in the sunlight is still sheer and requires a slip underneath for modesty. This is a four gored skirt pattern, a real fabric hog actually. I didn’t want to break up the feather repeats with a seam so cut my front piece on the fold and following the straight grain.

Fabric

My measurements were about 20cm larger than the pattern so had to enlarge both front and back by 10cm (5cm at each side at the waist and hip) and then straightened out with a curved ruler. In the end my pattern pieces didn’t fit the width of the fabric so I slimmed the skirt by about 17cm in total at the hem but as you can see it still has lots of movement and is quite flowy.

simplicity 6746 front 2

           simplicity 6746 frontsimplicity 6746 front 3

I constructed the skirt using french seams because of the sheerness of the fabric and eliminated pockets for this reason too but next time will definitely add them in. I also used a french seam at the centre back using this tutorial from Handmade by Carolyn when putting in my 7 inch white invisible zipper. The lining was cut narrower than the fashion fabric and finished off with a straight stitch and neatened with the serger. The lining is slightly too narrow however to take large strides when walking so I will probably need to go back and open up the side seams to create some splits.

I attached the waistband last and used the width of the pattern piece provided and extended the length to my measurements and to create a fairly big overlapping waistband at the back to include a trouser hook and eye. I hand stitch the waistband from the inside. The fashion fabric was too big when putting the skirt together so I added in two back darts to compensate and they aren’t very visible anyway. One would think perhaps they were part of the plan if they didn’t know any different.

simplicity 6746 zip and darts

 simplicity 6746 lining

The lining was attached by machine at the zip for a neat finish and I added some small pleats at both the front and back to allow for ease. The skirt was hemmed using a narrow rolled hem. I’m happy with how this has turned out and worn it twice already but as I mentioned I would love to add pockets and perhaps take out some width at the hips next time.

simplicity 6746 side

             simplicity 6746 skirt width simplicity 6746 back 2

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Royal Blue Self-Drafted Maxi Skirt

I have been wearing lots of maxi dresses of late but wanted some maxi skirts because dresses sometimes make me feel BLAH as minimal thought goes into getting ready in the mornings! Although that can be a godsend on busy days. At least with separates you can make it interesting and change a look more easily.

After confessing on my last few posts that I don’t like to draft patterns, surprise! I drafted a maxi skirt pattern. My theory was that I couldn’t go too wrong. The fabric I used was royal blue premium faille (100% polyester). For some reason I bought the same fabric on two separate occasions and can’t remember exactly why. Oops should have straightened myself up!!

royal blue maxi front 4

              royal maxi skirt side royal maxi skirt back 2

I followed this tutorial by Melissa Esplin to make my basic pattern.

maxi-skirt-woven-01

http://melissaesplin.com/2013/01/sewing-chiffon-maxi-skirt/

I added the usual 5/8 inch seam allowances and allowed 3/4 inch ease at the waistline. My waistband was the length of my waist with an additional 2 inches and 5/8 seam allowances at both ends and a width of 3 inches. Ideally next time I will cut it so there is a front and back waistband to allow for curvature of the body rather than one long strip, not sure why I didn’t just do that to start with.

I measured down from my waist to hip and added 2 3/4 inch ease here along with my hip measurement and 5/8 seam allowance (not shown in diagram). I did a fare amount of research when calculating the amount of ease and looked at the Big 4 ease charts but ended up with this summary for myself and I normally tend to wear more fitted or semi-fitted clothing:

  • Bodice: 1 1/2″ – 2″ wearing ease at bust
  • Dress: 3/4″ – 1″ wearing ease at waistline
  • Skirts and Pants: 1/2″ -3/4″ wearing ease at waistline
  • All garments: 2″ – 2 3/4″ wearing ease at hips

I just estimated the length of the skirt and that’s why it turned out a bit shorter than I would have liked but I did the length plus 2 inches and drew a vertical and angled line as shown. My pattern piece wasn’t quite as curved at the hem as is shown but I think it was something like an additional 15 inches of flare (in addition to the hip/4) at the hem which was the length of the line from the left vertical to right angled line.

royal blue maxi skirt width

Essentially you can use this formula for flare/fullness:

  • slight flare: 1.5 x hip measurement
  • medium flare: 2 x hip measurement
  • very flared: 3 x hip measurement

I decided to add a back seam zipper as I think with this fabric I may have got some buckling at the side seam. I used an 8 inch (20 cm) royal blue invisible zip for the closure. I first attached my waistband to the skirt and then installed the zip such the zip went up to the top of the waistband. Originally I was planning on adding a hook and eye but didn’t leave enough room in the end. The waistband facing was turned under on the inside and hand stitched down.

I finished all seams with french seams including the back seam using the tutorial from Handmade by Carolyn. I did however first serge the back seam of both pieces so that the edges under the zipper tape were secure and neat. I also added a 1 inch wide strip of interfacing to both back centre pieces where the zip was inserted to provide extra support. It does show on one side though and therefore isn’t as pretty on the inside as I would have liked.

I didn’t line my skirt but would probably wear a slip underneath because it may be slightly sheer in the sunlight. I probably should have let the skirt hang for a few days before doing the rolled hem but I was eager to finish it after having made a number of kids projects in a row to self-imposed deadlines.

This project is really a quick make and goes with many of my orphan tops.  I wish it was maybe an inch or two longer and I MIGHT play around with adding darts to the back next time to get a better fit and in seam pockets, which would possibly make it the perfect maxi skirt. Not to mention that it fits in perfectly with my SWAP 2015.