Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Cleo Skirt

So yesterday I was looking at this skirt in my hideous yellow bed sheet and decided it's time to make the skirt in the fabric I had chosen.

My selected fabric is Hoodie's Collection "Alien Friends" for Timeless Treasures Fabrics. If you know me in real life, you'll know I wear a lot of dark colours. Black and white, not so much though. The print is a little kindy which is how I like it... Also, I have 2 meters worth of it. I didn't use all 2 meters. There's quite a fair amount left.

Anyway, I was committed to finishing it last night so I worked on the skirt on and off in between doing the laundry, watching Korean drama and cooking dinner.

Before I talked about sewing the skirt let me tell you why I don't like to make clothes. It's the patterns. If it's a pdf, you have to print and tape together a nightmarish number of pages. If it's a paper pattern, I hate the tissue paper it comes in. Never stays flat.

For the Cleo Skirt, by Made By Rae by the way, the pdf had 42 pages. I only printed the patterns which came to 32 pages. The page number on the pdf does not correspond to the page number on the pattern. So if you're printing by the page number, watch out. For pattern page 9 to 29, after trying to tape the pieces together, I realised my patterns couldn't match up. So I reprinted a few pieces. Still not matching up. In the end, I took out all the tape and taped backwards, i.e. starting from right to left instead of left to right. Guess what? It matched except for the very first piece which could never match due to dunno what. By then I was exhausted. It took me 2 nights to tape all the pieces together. Later when I looked at the patterns carefully, I realised they were mostly rectangles except for the pocket area. I kinda wished the dimensions of the rectangles were provided for people like me. Then I wouldn't have to waste so much paper and ink.

I made the muslin in March and I chose size M. I thought that was the correct size for moi based on the measurements provided but when I tried it on, it was too large. Anyway, the correct size for me is XS. Believe me, I've never won anything sized XS before so I was not taking any chances. I modified my muslin waistband to XS and it fitted me. I guess American XS is not the same as Singapore XS.

Cleo Skirt is not difficult to sew. It's quite basic. In fact, when I attended sewing school millions of years ago, the very first skirt I had to draft and sew was a Cleo Skirt - sew two rectangular pieces of fabric together and install elastic to cinch the waist. But of course, Cleo Skirt has 2 very nice pockets which were the reasons I wanted to make the skirt. When I buy skirts, I always look for pockets but they usually don't come with pockets or with very bad pockets.

I have been practicing on my serger and by some fluke, I accidentally turned some knob and my serger cuts 1/8" off when I serge which is exactly how I want it. Sometimes the Universe is on my side...

This photo doesn't do the serging justice. I serged everything. Honestly, sewing with a serger is such a luxury. Hubs said the inside of the skirt looks very professional.

I sewed view A minus the contrast hem. I think I may have lengthened the hemline. My final skirt length is about 19".

I used Birch shirring elastic which worked but they were a bitch to remove. Of course I could leave them behind but...

The pattern calls for a 1.25" wide elastic. I went to Spotlight to get some and there were 3 kinds of elastic - loom, braided and knitted. Loom cost an arm and a leg. Knitted was the cheapest so I bought some. When I installed the elastic in the skirt, it kept twisting up no matter what I did. It was so frustrating. Finally, I used the very cheap 1" wide elastic I already have in my stash. Worked perfectly. Sometimes...

Other than the hemline, the only other alteration I made was to widen and deepen the pocket. Otherwise, I followed the pattern.

Just now before hubs went to work, he took some pics of me in the skirt. Want to see?

Is it over?
It's over!

Overall, the skirt is all right. Beginner skills, easy to sew. Design wise, due to all the gathers in front plus it sits at the waist, I feel (imho) it's not suitable for women with big tummy. I don't exactly have a huge tummy but I already feel quite conscious I'll look pregnant. The back for me is the opposite - a bit too flat. Remember when I made the muslin I made it for size M and when I corrected the waistband to XS, I did not modify the muslin body to XS because I was lazy. Actually if I had made this skirt using XS Waistband but M Back, it might have turned out more balanced. I also like my skirts to have a bit of curve swooping down from the side. But sewing two rectangles together isn't going to get you any curves. Will I make another Cleo skirt? Nah, one is enough. But I will make another skirt with pockets, that's for sure.

p.s. I'm tanned because I had just been to the pool to swim and it was hot, hot, hot.


Tammy said...

Jane your skirt looks great. I'm glad you mentioned the printable patterns, I think if I am going to make clothes, I will order a printed pattern for sure, or bring the .pdf to the print shop to have it all done one-piece.
And those pattern sizes are crazy. I always have to make a different size than I do when I get ready-to-wear.

Jane said...

I love the skirt and the pattern! I have been wanting to sew my own simple tops and skirts for such a long time but never gotten around to it.

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