Thursday, June 24, 2010

Project flop: Butterick 5285 full skirt

This one is all my fault: I was bad and made up Butterick 5285 in a navy cotton sateen when the pattern calls for lightweight fabrics.





After putting this together, I found out why the pattern calls for lightweight fabrics: significant gathering is required, and the (admittedly) thick cotton sateen made the skirt blousy to the extreme.  I spent an evening ripping the skirt apart, took 6 inches (3 inches each side) off the back, and stiched it back together.  The result is still craziness:



At first I thought (more likely, tried to convince myself) that the front was cute, but it is nuts, too:



I wanted it to be this Louis Vuitton:



But it turned out this Louis Vuitton...:

Images from style.com

Not good.

I would really like a full skirt for summer, and I adore the shape of this skirt.  While the pattern is very easy to work with, I think it has an inherent flaw: it would require a really lightweight fabric, but it doesn't call for a lining, so the skirt would be see-through.  Lining the skirt might make it too thick for the gathers.

I have Simplicity 2413 in my pattern stash, and I may sew the full skirt in that pattern.  But for now, the poor navy sateen is in a pile on the sewing room/guest room floor....

28 comments:

K.Line said...

I don't think it's bad at all! It may not be your prize piece (I mean, you've done some great things), but it's totally wearable. The drape is very nice! I'd do a thick hem (shorten the length slightly at any rate) and wear it with an adorable kitten heel or slides. And good on you for experimenting. Try to think of all you've learned from this - though when I'm at that stage, it's all I can do to keep from throwing things! :-)

PS: when you perfect the pattern, you have to tell us about which one you use because I totally covet that Vuitton skirt and I've been dreaming of making one like that since the day I started sewing.

Gertie said...

It may also be that you prefer a circle skirt style as opposed to a dirndl? That LV you show is a full circle skirt - it doesn't have any gathering. I wear a dirndl every now and then, but it definitely adds bulk to the hips. Something to think about when you're looking for your perfect skirt pattern. :)

Gertie said...

Also, for what it's worth: I love that second LV. It's a circle skirt too! Just on a more voluptuous lady I think.

AfricaLiving said...

Sadness, though I don't think the front is actually that bad! try pleating instead of gathers? This month's Lucky Mag has a similar skirt featured in the staffer personal style profile.

The first Vuitton looks like a bias circle skirt, hence the waves, but who knows...love your blog...

Dana said...

Wait! I think this skirt can be saved! I love this pattern but I used the pleated version (view with white blouse, black skirt). It may not be the designer version you wanted but it will lay much nicer at the waist.

katikando said...

I made this skirt in a light green cotton and it is slightly sheer, so I make sure that I have on my skintone undies on the days I wear it.

Peter said...

OK, that second LV photo totally made me laugh out loud! Not so bad really...

kbenco said...

Lightweight fabric with a petticoat? Sorry, slip?

AllisonC said...

At least it still looks like a Louis Vuitton! Would it be better if you shortened it?? Otherwise at least there is enough fabric there that you can unpick it and turn it into a pencil skirt.

Karin said...

How frustrating! It doesn't look too bad to me, but I do understand what it feels like when things don't turn out the way you were expecting.

Eugenia said...

I really do think it looks nice. I think if you wear it with a neat, close fitted top to offset some of the skirt's fullnes it will look good. I suspect that some of the reason you don't like it is because you were expecting it to look like something else. I would hem it and wear it, then if you decide that it really isn't right you should try pleating it.

Maria said...

Hi, seems like some commenters had the same idea as I did :) But the first thing that came to mind when I saw that one picture you really liked with the plaid skirt, was: this is not a gather, this is a circle skirt.
Like the fabric you picket though. And to be honest, I didn't mind your first version either :)

Lisette said...

I actually really like it. It isn't what you wanted, true, but that's ok. Stick it with a cute peasant blouse and sweater and you're good to go.

The Slapdash Sewist said...

When I line a really gathered skirt, I pleat the lining rather than gather it and it works wonders to reduce the bulk. I should have tried harder to get the pleats to show in this photo, but here is a demo: http://www.flickr.com/photos/7573004@N06/4456478589/in/set-72157623552817883/

Anonymous said...

You'll get away with wearing the navy cotton sateen skirt with a longer fitted jacket worn over it. If you like that look, that is. Some years ago I made Vogue 2727, out of print now, a Donna Karan skirt with long jacket, and found that I could only wear the skirt with the longer jacket - and I'd made it in a print to co-ordinate with several cropped jackets as well. Just didn't work with the shorter jacket length but looked great with the longer one.

BTW, the skirt in V2727 has some very interesting deep asymmetrical pleats that may be worth considering as an alternative to the gathered waist. They still give a 'pouffy' look but the bulk at the waist is reduced. The LV skirt you love is a full circle flare, which I love too but can't wear. I feel they need to have some length to work and I'm too short to carry it off. But i don't think you'll get the look with a pleated or gathered skirt, so it may be worth trying a full circle flare.

I'm really enjoying your sewing blog. Very inspiring. I've been sewing for years but you've inspired me to take it more seriously and to take care in planning and finishing each project. My work is much more couture now. So thanks.

Antonia

Carolyn said...

Hey! A lot of commenters said the same thing I was going to; that plaid skirt is a circle skirt. You don't need a pattern for this; cut out a full circle of fabric (or join together two semicircles if your fabric isn't wide enough) and cut out a circle in the middle with the same circumference as your waist. Cut down one side on the grain to insert a zip, add a waistband onto the central circle edge and you have a circle skirt with no gathering!
A dirndl (which is kind of what your've got) is a rectangle, gathered along one long edge into a waistband. If you want to reduce some of the gathered bulk at the waist of this skirt, you can recut your skirt pieces to be narrower at the waist and tapering out to to a fuller hemline; achieving an A-line skirt.

Carolyn said...

Oh, I also meant to add that three of the illustrations at top look to be pleated into the waistband not gathered. Doing this automatically reduces bulk at the waistline too, and results in a more "sporty" looking skirt

Sassy Lassies Vintage Life said...

I've tagged you in the game of 8 Questions. I hope you will share with us on your blog.

1) What outfit from a movie would you love to re-create?

2) Tell us about your sewing spot/room. What is your favorite thing about it?

3) Where did you learn to sew? Who taught you?

4) If you could have dinner with one person from the past, who would it be?

5) What/Who inspires you?

6) What will always make you laugh?

7) What is your favorite flavor of ice cream?

8) What is something you would like us to know about you that you have never shared on your blog?

Elaine said...

BWA HA HA! The LV pics are great!

I get that you don't like it, but I think it can really work as it, as long as you wear tight fitting tops to show that you have a shape.

Three fixes:
1. bubble skirt. I know they are on their way right out the door, but exaggerating the shape might make it crazy interesting.
2. smock the top. You could do a crazy smock where you just pick at the top of the gather's right under the waist band and then pick up stitches between each stitch underneath. It could look bananas, but it might work with that big exposed zipper. You could use some different colored threads and get a really cool pattern. However, if the material is really thick, you could also end up looking like your under a blanket.
3. pleat it. rip off the waist band, pleat, sew down the pleats.

piccola samurai said...

I love the skirt! Hem it at your knees and wear it with some cute flats and thigh tops and you'll look gorgeous! When I was working in fashion, my boos used to wear full skirts like this and she was always looking so classy! Plus, the colour is just perfect!!!!

Valerie said...

I've been there with the wrong fabric choice. Yes it is too heavy for the effect you want...but...you can still either go with the fullness, shortening it and wearing it with a leotard-type top...or totally recut it into another style. Or put it away while you mull it over...
Love your blog.

Dei said...

It is disappointing when what you create isn't in line with what you envisioned. All the same, it looks far nicer than you give yourself credit for. Sateen is such a nice fabric to work with that you're creative enough to use it for something else...maybe a pencil skirt.

Rūta said...

I think it still looks good!

Carly said...

I think it's fixable! And yes, that first LV skirt is a circle skirt, it has a curved waist so there are no gathers but lots of fullness. You can find lots of patterns like that and they are pretty easy! I say, do pleating, or a dropped waistband on this one and try again with a circle skirt pattern. Great site! I just found you, keep up the good work!

Ali said...

I totally know how frustrating it is when you put all your work into something and it doesn't match the vision you have in your head. Grrr. That said, I totally think it's fixable and I'd love to see your renewed version. I'd recommend pleats as well, given my recent pleated skirt adventure. I'm a bit scared of the circle skirt, to be honest. I once added a flounce to a straight skirt, and goodness, I couldn't manage that circle hem.

Good luck!

Angela said...

Ooo... I like the skirt, too! However, if you're not that happy with I think a few tweaks here and there would make it work. I like the pleating idea as well as shortening it. I hope you don't hate it too much to just completely throw it out. :)

Anonymous said...

Throw the skirt - you can do better - don't butter yourself up ...I have thrown away tons of stuff - Sewing is an art form - if you don't feel fabulous...not good result. Fantastic new collection from L V - try Vogue Wardrobe V2958 - Full circle skirt fitted boned bodice with shaped cups - the jacket has a soft collar, it is shorter than LV and compliments the skirt better. You need a stiffer fabric to keep the structure. Have a peek at Erica Bunker! Love your blog!

Lilli said...

Oh! I think it looks fabulous! I made this exact skirt out of heavy navy blue cotton, but mocked up a placket and put some red heart pockets on it:
http://frocksandfroufrou.com/2010/07/diy-queen-of-hearts/