Saturday, December 12, 2015

An Exercise in Origami - Jade Skirt

First things first: this is a review of a pattern that I have received for free, with the express intent that I blog about it.

I made these two cute Jasper skirts back in spring. The pattern is by Lisa from Paprika Patterns, and back in February she was extending her size range (it now goes up to a waist/hip measurement of 105/128 cm // 41.5/50.5 in) and looking for reviewers for the new sizes. I loved the look of the skirt, the folds look so cool! So I was very happy to be chosen.

I actually started making the pattern up right away, but made a couple of mistakes when chosing and cutting my fabric, which made the process of getting the folds in place really tedious and frustrating. Since I suspected that my fabric choice was at fault (the folding process does look rather effortless in this video tutorial), I wanted to try a second time to give an unbiased review. And it did work a lot easier the second time round! But then life intervened and I never managed to remember to make some decent outfit pics, so now it's December.

But: I managed to time this review with Lisa's new pattern release: the Zircon sweater and dress, and her patterns are 20% off until tomorrow! Just in case you're interested.
Pattern & Instructions:

It's a PDF pattern and I had no particular problems with assembling it. My version didn't yet come with layered sizes, not sure about the current version. (The Jasper sweater/dress has them and they're so cool!) The instructions are very thorough and easy to follow, and for the slightly more difficult bits, there's a reference to the tutorials on her blog (like the video above). Some bits are rather fiddly (like the folds and the final putting-together of the side seams), so I'd recomment at least some experience with sewing knit fabrics.
Sizing & Fit: 

Sizes go from 1 to 10, which covers everything from a 24.5 in/62 cm waist to a 41.5 in/ 105 cm waist, though I do think that there is some room depending on your fabric. I made size 6 according to my hip size, and as my fabrics were stretchier than recommended, had to take both of them in a couple of centimeters. The instructions include a final fit before adding the waistband, which I think is a fantastic way to get the fit that you're looking for!

Things to keep in mind: 

1. I was actually a bit surprised both at how much fabric was needed and how long construction took for this skirt. But if you think about it, it's fully lined and the folds take up quite a bit of fabric, as well as construction time. The waistband is curved for a better fit, which also takes up a bit more fabric. So really, I could have forseen that. ;-)

2. The very silly mistake I made with my first version was that I used a rather drapey rayon jersey, and cut out the front on the cross grain. I know, whyever would I do that??!? It was one of those fabrics where the white shows through when you stretch it horizontally, but not when you stretch it vertically, so I wanted the stretch to be vertical. As it's a knit, this threw off the drape so badly that it took me ages to get the folds in place. I had to use a myrad of pins *and* press them into place.

Despite my initial problems during construction, I like my two skirts quite a lot and I've worn them regularly during spring, early summer and autumn. Knit skirts just can't be beat in the fit-and-comfort aspect! It's not as quick a project as I thought, but I'm planning on making another version or two, maybe in a heavier fabric for the colder season. :-)

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