At last we have a starfish skirt! This is the tulip skirt from Sew Over It featured in Simply Sewing magazine and I love it – and so does Doris!
The free pattern accompanied Issue 5 of the magazine and the instructions have been divided into three instalments. My lack of patience meant that I pressed on regardless.
There are only four pieces to the pattern : front, back, one piece waistband and a pocket. You may remember that I made a toile which resulted in me raising the pockets by 2.5 inches because I couldn’t reach them! There are darts at the back and two large pleats on each side at the front which create the tulip shape. I chose the shorter of the two lengths but realised at the toile stage that this would be way too short and so I added a couple of inches.
The instructions were easy to follow and the skirt came together really quickly. I’ve never really gone in for pattern matching before but because this was such a big bold pattern I decided that I needed to make an effort to avoid it looking messy at the back. I’m not sure of the ‘official’ way to do this so I just cut out the left hand back piece, individually pressed under the seam allowance and then lay it on the remaining fabric, lining up the large starfish. I then measured across ⅝” to the left, i.e. under the already cut piece, for the other seam allowance, marked this on the fabric and removed the cut piece. I then reversed the pattern piece, matched up with the markings and cut out the right side.
I’m quite pleased with the result for a first attempt, the large starfish match pretty well across the concealed zip, although the smaller ones are ‘pointless’ in a couple of places. The zip also went in quite neatly.
I wanted to line the skirt to help support the ‘tulipness’ of the skirt and used a crisp, spotty lawn that I’ve used before and always seems to appear on the remnants table in C & H Fabrics. As before I used Tilly‘s instructions for inserting a lining with a concealed zip which works like a dream and gives a really lovely finish.
I particularly like the pleats at the front, perfect for helping to conceal any sticking out in the tummy area!
The problem came when I arrived at the hemming stage. I can only think that I must be an odd shape but the hem dipped down a substantial amount at the front and I just couldn’t get it right. Cue a visit to my mother to stand on a stool and rotate while she pinned and my sister offered helpful comments.
Finally it was level but this involved a variance of more than an inch from front to back! I then had to unpick and re-sew part of the hem on the lining, which I had already done in line with Tilly’s instructions, as it was poking out at the front. I finished the hem with bias binding.
I think it was all worth it.
I do have a confession though. I was so keen to get started on this skirt that I didn’t wash the fabric first and I just know it is going to shrink – which will be a problem as it is a perfect fit. I can’t bear to think about it but given that I am the sort of person who can’t wear anything white for more than about five minutes without getting it dirty I could have a problem on my hands. I may have to resort to dry cleaning, which I really don’t like, and keep the skirt for special occasions.