1970s | Modern Patterns | Skirts

Acid green prairie skirt

January 30, 2012

My life has been a whirlwind of calico scraps lately.

I was flipping through eBay recently and saw a pattern that included this skirt, which is just freakin’ adorable.  However, the back of the pattern packet showed that it was just a tube with a flounce at the bottom and an elastic waistband at the top.  Now, I am all for easy skirts, but tube skirts are, I think, a little too easy for the wearer’s own good.  The problem is that you end up with the same amount of fabric at both ends, so you have it trying to both look OK bunched up around your waist and look dramatic sweeping around your shins.

Not humanly possible.

With just a little more effort, I could make a skirt with the same easy elastic waist and same basic look, only cut in an A-line so I’d have less fabric wadded up over my hips and more fabric swinging gaily over my amazing new red cowgirl boots.  This, folks, is what we call a win-win.

The pattern I used for this is sort of not a pattern.  Well, it is a pattern, but it’s one I made myself by hacking up a commercial pattern that didn’t work out very well.  Long story, not very interesting.  I’m even a big enough sewing dork to have given my homemade patterns a “company name”.  We’re Diamond Patterns, partly because it sounds like something a 1930’s pattern company would have called itself and partly because I like to name stuff after my dog.  I haven’t gotten crazy enough yet to design packet illustrations but I can totally picture what they would look like if I did (I’d go for a minimalist look, á la New York or early Advance, with streamlined lettering).

Anyway, this one is–try not to laugh too hard–Diamond 2.  Diamond 1 is an assortment of pocket patterns, to be added to other patterns as needed.

I got this awful-but-awesome poison-green calico on eBay.  I love it but I freely admit that it’s a color with which a lot of things should not be done.  Things like making it into a whole dress.  A skirt seemed like a good compromise: I could enjoy it but not be known as the girl in the bile-colored frock.

Diamond 2

The basic skirt is a plain, covers-the-knees, A-line or semicircle. This one is the regular skirt body shortened, and with a flounce added.  (Actually, I just added the flounce at first, but it came out too long so I added the tucks later to shorten it).

The camera angle is a bit off: I’m a little taller than I look here and the skirt is not really that wide.  But you get the idea.

Flickr set here.

  1. Diamond Patterns! I do something similar, except that I pretend to have my own cooking show with proprietary recipes and such! It’s so funny to find out that other people do this kind of thing.

    I really like this skirt. Those pintucks above the lace are impressive!


  2. Garnet: I bet a lot of people do it and just don’t admit it. Maybe they’ll admit it now! Ha ha! Hey, life is more fun when you have a lively imagination, isn’t it? And he secret to tucks is to mark the fabric well and not to try to make the tucks too wide. Narrower is easier and will come out neater. These are 1″ fabric total (so the tuck comes out 1/2 inch). That’s about as much as will work on a curve; they would have been easier narrower but the scale would have been weird and I’d have had to make a zillion of them.

    Mideva: No belt yet. I need to do a good peasant blouse first. I think the belt would look weird with a henley.

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