I’ve been feeling fairly focused (and also starting to feel the time crunch for Costume College) so I completed my skirt mockup for the 1910s suit sew-a-long. I usually don’t mock up skirts but this time I decided to. I probably would have been ok without but it gave me some extra info and a wearable muslin so it was worth doing.
It turns out I’m just beyond the size range of the pattern. Lauren of Wearing History suggests doing a slash and spread but as my measurements would be theoretically be the next line out, I just graded from the largest size for everything except the outer belt. That I did slash as it seemed the easiest way.
I used some sort of maybe denim, maybe not I had gotten at a thrift shop. The fabric feels very 70s to me and based on the other pieces that were in the lot I bought, could easily be from then or the 80s. It worked great for this mockup; somewhat stiff but with a decent drape and not too heavy. It does run like no one’s business on the cross grain though.
The sewing of the placket and the inside belt are the hardest part of the skirt pattern. I figured out the placket pretty quickly but the inside belt was confusing. I didn’t really understand the part about the belt overlaping inside. This lead me to believe that the inside belt somehow hooked independently from the rest of the skirt? I’m still not really sure on that part. I ended up lining up the inside belt flush with placket edges and sewing it down. I used a piece of twill finished with double fold bias tape to make the inside belt. I found that the inside belt at its current height is a little too long for my torso and tends fold up inside due to the sharp flare of my hips. I plan on either making the inside belt shorter or using actual grosgrain which is narrower and that problem should be solved. I may need to also increase the size of the darts to pull the top line smaller. Another solution to the bunching would be to tack the inside belt to the skirt but I believe that kind of defeats the logic of the construction. Also, the gathers in the back are very minimal. I was expecting to manage more fabric.
The outside belt is very cute but fussy. Again, the belt doesn’t completely allow for my hip flair. I ended up tacking it down in several strategic places on the bottom edge of the belt and hand sewed the top edge all the way around. It adds bulk at the waist that I don’t really need. I’m considering omitting this detail in my final skirt.
I was pleased enough with my muslin to completely finish it. It’s a very sloppy piece of sewing that I would never want anyone to see the inside of but it turned out cute enough. Because of my fabric choice and the way I tend to style, the final muslin definitely looks retro or vintage. I highly doubt most people would realize it’s a WWI era skirt. I used two different sets of vintage buttons. I planned on finishing with button holes versus hooks and snaps but my sewing machine decided not to play along this morning and I ended up savaging the button holes, and consequently the look of the placket. I had to place my buttons to cover this up so the buttons ended up being too far over from the edge. Again, something I definitely notice, but most people wont.
After wearing the skirt around this afternoon while running errands, I decided that the topmost part of the skirt (the edge that hits above the natural waist) could be a little bit tighter. The skirt wants to slide down in the back to rest on my hips. I think sewing the side seams on sharper angle, tapering in to the top edge should help. Also, increasing the darts on the inside belt. I don’t really want to make the rest of the skirt smaller as it skims my actual hip quite nicely.
If anyone has more tips or fitting advice for me, feel free to comment below!