Finished projects

Simplicity 1109: How I Love Thee

Until now I have made numerous skirts – pencil, knit, swooshy, embarassing – but they all have fallen short of what really suited me. You’d think with the millions of skirt patterns out there, at least one would work for me, right?

Well, my search has ended! Simplicity 1109, a simple pleated skirt, has done the trick.

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The fitted waist and flared skirt work well for my shape and it’s sooooo comfortable. I used a linen blend fabric I bought from Joann’s when I was trying to force myself to have more solid fabrics in my stash. I am so glad I did because this skirt goes with everything.

I thought by using a fabric with linen in it, it would wrinkle like crazy. I guess the joys of having a blend is that’s not the case at all! I’ve worn this several times already and it has required no pressing, even out of the dryer! AND those pleats stay crisp! Is this fabric bewitched?

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Needless to say, the linen blend was super easy to sew. The pattern is also an “easy” pattern, so you would think with an easy-to-sew fabric and an easy-to-sew pattern, I would have no issues, right?

HAHAHAHAHAHA!!! I wish I was lying, but I did not have an easy time with this project. How long have I been sewing? Over 5 years? I successfully made jeans, but a simple pleated skirt almost drove me crazy.

The first problem I had was making the waistband a little small. I measured myself and measured the pattern pieces, thinking I had it all figured out with a size 12 (my waist has grown to about 32 inches). When I sewed the waistband together, I realized the end pieces barely touched when I wrapped it around myself, leaving no room for zipper insertion. HAHA WHAT?! Impossible! But I don’t like muffin-topping if I can help it, so I added another inch and a half to each waist end piece.

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Adding fabric to the waistband also meant the pleats had to be adjusted. Let me tell you about my second problem – spazzing out on the pleats.

I brought this project to my Sit and Sew group on a Friday night after a long week of work, thinking it was the perfect “easy” project to bust out in a night. Well, my Friday post-work brain doesn’t function too well and determining which way to pleat the pleats confused the heck out of me. My sewing guru, Dana, jumped in and helped me figure out what I was doing wrong. I continued on my way and then it was time to pack up and go home.

The next morning, I was determined to finish this thing, so I got started right away. I wasn’t sure about those pleats still, so I ended up ripping out whatever progress I had made the night before and started over. I got those pleats right, finally, but then the too-small waistband situation came up. SOOOOO I had to rip out my second (or third?) attempt at pleats and add about 1/4 inch to each pleat so the skirt would match up with my waistband.

WELL THANK THE LAWD! THAT DID IT!

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Pay no attention to the side seam and pleat not matching up…

So this seems like a boring ol’ pleated skirt, but there is one design element I love… the exposed zipper!

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I was nervous about the zipper at first because I had never done an exposed zipper before, but oh man is it easy! I followed the directions on the pattern and after my very first try, I got it right. Now I want to insert exposed zippers on ALL THE THINGS.

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I decided to keep it low-key on this zipper and have it blend into my fabric as best as possible. But I can totally see this skirt in a fun print with a wacky-colored zipper IN YOUR FACE.

Usually I categorize my clothes into either work clothes or weekend clothes, but not for this skirt! I love how I can wear it for both work and play. It looks good with a lot of my graphic T-shirts for the weekend as well as business casual-appropriate tops for the week.

I think that requires a victory twirl!

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I think this might be a new go-to pattern for me. Of course I’ll go up a size next time… unless I miraculously lose a little weight. I guess I better keep on twirling.

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Have you discovered any new go-to patterns for yourself? If so, what are they?

-RED

 

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20 thoughts on “Simplicity 1109: How I Love Thee

  1. I have this pattern waiting to make up and I’m definitely going to give it a go – it looks great. I’ll make sure I get the sizing right to avoid the traumatic pleating scenario! I hadn’t realised the pattern had an exposed zipper and I will give that a try. I abandoned the one in my Brumby skirt because that went all kinds of wrong but that was a different kind of exposed insertion (that actually sounds quite painful) which I think is probably more tricky. I have a sparkly gold zip I picked up a while back which would be fun for this skirt.

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    1. Yes, give it a try for sure! The zipper is different than most exposed ones… you basically just fold the seam allowance back on the fabric and slap the zipper right on top (after applying the bottom of the zip right sides together with the fabric, of course). That sparkly gold zip sounds amazing! Good luck!

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  2. Nice work, and welcome to the joy of an exposed zip! All fun, great function, no fuss! Whoop!!
    I am yet to find my go to skirt pattern. Probably because I am trying to make *all* the pants!

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    1. Thanks! A go-to pants pattern would be awesome! I need to branch out and try to find one. I only have that one pair of Gingers under my belt! What pants pattern is your fave?

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      1. Hmmm I’m in a solid experimentation phase so I feel it would be unfair to play favourites currently. I just made the Paper Cut Patterns Guise Trousers and they are working well, still would make a few tweaks for next time but a solid start. Making the Named Alpi Chinos next. I have high hopes! Watch this space. My actual go to is a newspaper pattern I made from a pair of palazzo pants a friend gave me years ago. They have been used in a multitude of ways!

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  3. Nailed it! It’s remarkable how simple things sometimes take a ton of time. Even so, a linen skirt in summer is worth its weight in gold, and a linen blend? Magic, people. All the breeze, none of the wrinkle! It’s been a while since I’ve found a go to pattern no doubt due to a combo of pregnancy and just generally messing around in the sewing room. I guess the last one was an Ottobre skinny jeans pattern maybe 1.5 yrs ago. Love that one.

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    1. I want to buy all the linen blends now! I have a pretty turquoise one I want to turn into a dress, so we’ll see how that goes. Go-to patterns are the best, right? If I didn’t have to try out the fit 1000 times during construction, I would have a lot more clothes and posts to share.

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  4. I’m a sucker for a pleated skirt. Your pleats really do look nice and crisp and give just enough volume. So cute! I hear you on the need for more solids. I need more solid shirts! I pick patterns for my skirts so I need more solid tops to go with them. The patterns are so hard to resist though! Nice job on working through the aggravation!

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