This is the first ever ‘commercial’ sewing pattern I’ve used, believe it or not. Up until now I’ve only ever used patterns from independent companies. It wasn’t a conscious choice at all, but I must admit I’ve been a bit frightened to make the transition — people kept telling me commercial patterns are so much harder to follow. However, I’ve finally taken the plunge. In fact, I’ve thrown myself in at the deep end, because I’m entering my finished garment into the Simplicity Star Sewist Blogger Challenge! Eak!
I’m pleased to say that, contrary to what I’ve been told, I found this pattern very easy to follow. I didn’t come across any hurdles at all. Phew! I’m entering under the ‘Best Newcomer’ category, so the pattern I’ve used is Simplicity’s It’s So Easy 2286. It’s a simple gathered skirt designed for beginners. I’m no longer frightened of mainstream patterns. Brilliant!
However, the whole point behind this challenge was that we were encouraged to hack the pattern — the pattern was only supposed to be used as the foundation for a garment. So, let me tell you what I did differently.
As you can see, I used a completely different fabric to what the pattern suggests. I had this slightly mad idea a while back that I wanted to make a Carrie-esque, Sex and the City-inspired tutu. After a quick look at the style of this skirt, I thought, ‘Why not?’ I mean, I can pull off a tutu, right?* So I hunted down some suitable fabric for a tutu. I landed on this apricot dress net/tulle from On Trend Fabrics on Etsy. Since the waistband was straight, I just got some wide satin ribbon and cut it to the required size. For lining, I ended up using cotton instead of the lining fabric I’d originally intended to use. I got the ribbon and cotton from a local craft shop called Dainty Supplies.
I made a slight change to the pattern. I joined the front and back skirt pieces together to make one larger piece. Then I cut that on the fold, so that instead of having two side seams, I just had one seam at the back. I didn’t actually seam any of the tulle pieces. I just overlapped the edges by a few centimetres and let them fall how they wanted to — tutus are supposed to be a bit messy, right? The only layer I did make sure to seam was the lining — of course!
I gathered my skirt differently too, mostly because of my fabric choice. The method I ended up using was painstakingly hand tucking and pinning, and tucking and pinning, and tucking and pinning… All the way around until I ran out of fabric, tacking it all as I went so it didn’t all unravel on me (can you imagine?!). This was, without a doubt, one of the most tedious things I’ve ever done — definitely a job for in front of the TV.
So, wish me luck, everyone! A massive thank you to Simplicity New Look for running the challenge and providing me with a pattern — I’m looking forward to trying some more commercial patterns in the future.
Now I just need to find an excuse to wear my new skirt! I was hoping to have time to get some photos of me wearing it, but it just hasn’t happened. Maybe I’ll sneak them into a future blog post.
* I probably can’t pull off a tutu… We’ll see.