Wednesday, August 23, 2017

August 23, 2017    -      The Williamstown Skirt

I recently finished a skirt made with the Williamstown Skirt pattern by Gail Patrice Design.  I saw the skirt pattern at a Gail Patrice event sponsored by the Lansing Chapter of the American Sewing Guild (ASG) in June this year.   The event was a hands-on embellishment class.  It was an excellent class because Gail is a great teacher.  She made sure each of us finished a technique before she proceeded to the next one.  I left there with several techniques I want to try on some of my garments.  So far, I haven’t had to time to attempt any of them. 

Gail showed us many samples of her garments including the Williamstown Skirt.  I was intrigued with the skirt because I liked the different shaped gores that comprised the skirt.  I purchased the pattern and decided I would make the skirt before I tried some of the embellishment techniques I learned.  The very next month I found the perfect fabric for the skirt at the ASG meeting.  It was a beautiful piece of lime green linen-look fabric that would drape well for a gored skirt.  And it was on the FREE table!  What a find!  Thank you Colleen Bofysil for contributing that fabric to the free table!

I couldn’t wait to start cutting the pieces of the pattern.  The pattern consisted of 10 pieces and each piece had to be cut individually on a single layer of fabric.  I don’t know why, but I cut out the size extra-large pieces.  I thought I took my measurements before cutting.  If I did, I did not read the numbers correctly.  After I sewed the 10 gores together, I found the skirt was huge on me.  It was also too long.  I was able to get the skirt to fit me in the hips by taking much larger side seams.

Next I worked on making the skirt shorter.  The Guide Sheet included a section on how to do this.  It suggested sewing together a piece of one inch elastic that fits your waist.  Then you can pull up the skirt to the desire length through the elastic circle to make sure the bottom of the skirt is even all around, and mark where the top of the elastic is with chalk.  If you can’t mark the back by yourself, you may need to enlist the help of a friend or family member.   Quite frankly, I wasn’t sure this would work for me because the skirt was so much longer than the length I wear.  In fact, it almost touched the floor.  But I liked this skirt and I was determined to get it to fit me, so I gave the method a try.  I started by cutting off 4 ½ inches off the top of the skirt.  Then I put on the skirt with the fitting elastic and pulled the skirt up to the length desired.  I was not able to mark the top of the elastic by myself.  So, I called my neighbor, Linda McCoy, and she marked the skirt for me.   After the skirt was marked, I cut off another 2 inches from the top. 

It is always a good idea to read through a pattern before using if the first time.  I did this, but I did not read it thoroughly.  The pattern does not list the two lining pieces in the “Pattern Pieces” section of the guide sheet.  So, I wrongly assumed there were no lining pieces until I got to Step 10 which read: “Stitch the CF, CB and side seams of lining.”  The light bulb went on for me.  If I had read the pattern thoroughly, I would have cut the lining first and Step 10 would have been Step 1 for me.  So my advice to anyone who tries this pattern is to cut the lining first.  After you fit the lining, you will know which size skirt to cut.  I know it would have been easier for me to fit this skirt if I had done just that. 

I love the pattern and it is easy to sew the pieces together.  The instructions are clear and easy to understand.  I wish the lining pieces were listed in the “Pattern Pieces” section of the guide sheet,  but I accept blame for not reading through the pattern instructions thoroughly.  Gail does include her email address at the end of the guide sheet for questions or comments.  All things considered, I love the skirt and I plan to use the pattern again.

A picture of the skirt is shown below.  

Unfortunately, the seams don't show up in this photo or in the photo of the pattern envelope.  This would be a good pattern to do some decorative stitching on the seams.  Maybe next time!

Good luck with your sewing projects.