My aqua pleated skirt

I’ve been talking about making this skirt for months now – I really liked it when it first appeared in the September 2010 issue of La Mia Boutique (#26), and then I thought I’d make it this winter, but my chosen fabric seemed too summery… But finally, its day has come and I’ve made it a reality!

It’s hard to see in the magazine photo, but there are pockets integrated into two of those pleats, too, which I really like!

And then someone on Pattern Review was asking for a pattern suggestion to knockoff this Karen Millen skirt, and I realised that my LMB pattern was really very fashionable indeed!

My pattern has more pleats, plus the added pockets, so I think it’s a better design, but I still appreciate seeing similar clothes in high end RTW, especially if I already liked the design anyway!

I usually make a size 44 in La Mia Boutique, but considering that most of my LMB patterns have been for knits, I thought it wise to size up to a 46 for this just in case, and I’m pleased I did. It’s a touch roomy in the waist, but the fit is perfect throughout the hips, bum, and thighs, and I wouldn’t want to have gone any smaller.

I made this in a totally lovely aqua stretch cotton sateen from, and I definitely need the stretch at the hem when I walk. This was my first time sewing with cotton sateen and I love it! It’s not a fabric I usually see in the UK, but I’ve got a length of the same stuff in cherry red I bought at the same time as this, but now I’m pining for some black stretch to make some really wonderful trousers, too.

One feature I love about this pattern is that the the hip yoke/pocket pieces meet at the centre front so your gut doesn’t distort the pleats! Great thinking, LMB! I do this all the time with trousers and jeans to improve the overall line and fit, but it’s not something I’d think to do on a skirt. And to be honest, if I’d really wanted some flattening, I’d have underlined or interfaced the hip/yoke pocket piece so it didn’t stretch…

One thing you’ll notice in my photos is that my pleats are mirror-image to the tech drawing, oops. My bad for having the right side of the fabric facing down instead of upwards when I cut it out. But the way the pleats were marked on the pattern piece, I thought I was dong it correctly and it was only during construction that I realised I had visualised it wrong. But I’m not too bothered about this – I do think the arrangements of the pleats makes the skirt appear off-balanced, though, just by virtue of the fact that more pleats are facing one way than another. It’s correct to the pattern, but just slightly visually “off”. I’m not really bothered by this, either!

The back is quite plain, with just two darts and a centre back invisible zipper. Can you have a “coffin back” on a skirt?

in other news…

My version of the new Donna Karan Vogue pattern is going well. The top is almost entirely done (I just have to sew on the snaps at the back of the collar) and then make the skirt. But here’s a sneak preview on Susan, anyway:

The skirt looks aeons easier than the top (only one seam, plus a hem and elasticated waist!), so I might take an evening to try and document and diagram some improvements to the top’s pattern instructions before I jump in on it… There’s quite a bit of information that’s missing or misleading in the tech drawing, and I think the pattern pieces could be vastly improved by some seam intersection numbers, but it’ll take some quality analytical thinking time on my part to document it properly. So please bear with me!

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