I'll admit, I was kind of "meh" about the latest offering from Colette Patterns. A gathered, button-front skirt? An awkward-looking pleated skirt? For $16? Meh.
But of course, the more I thought about it, the more the button-front skirt appealed to me. I have several pins on Pinterest of similar skirts. In fact, earlier this year I wanted to make a similar skirt. So, why all the hating on a pattern that was almost exactly what I wanted just a few months ago? I'm not sure, really.
Well, anyway, two weeks ago, I got a wild notion of making this skirt (Version 1). I stopped by Made Sewing Studio to pick up the pattern. Then I took a trip to The Quilting Loft for the chambray. The chambray is lovely. It's from Robert Kaufman, part of the Interweave Chambray collection that popped up around August. I got it in Mustard (width = 44"). It's the perfect shade of mustard for my skin tone. I already had the buttons in my stash.
I was so very excited about this skirt. Very, very excited.
The pattern is cut on the cross-grain, which means this skirt is a lot fuller than it appears. I wish I had taken heed before I started cutting. I got the exact amount of fabric required. It wasn't quite enough. I had to cut the waistband on the straight grain to fit it in. After everything was cut out, I had just enough to make some bias tape for the hem.
The instructions for the Zinnia were good, but not great. There was some confusion when it came to attaching the waistband. It's not the standard way you see in just about every skirt pattern on the planet. It's not exactly hard to do but the instructions were seriously lacking in diagrams--the only one made absolutely no sense in conjunction with the written instructions. Again, I was able to figure it out and I did like the result. But still, beginner patterns aren't supposed to confuse intermediate to experienced sewists.
I've read other reviews that stated the waist band was too short (perhaps it's only for the pleated versions). I did not have this problem with Version 1. I made a size 16 in the waist but graded down to a 14 for the rest of the skirt. I ended up hacking off two or three inches (can't remember which) from the hem. It looked too matronly otherwise.
During the sewing process, I was quite content with this pattern. All my skirt fantasies would soon be realized and in a color that I had hunted down for years. Side note: I did not realize how hard it would be to find fabric in shades of mustard. Anyway, after all my sewing was done, I tried on my skirt.
|Looks cute, doesn't it? Lies. All lies.|
I fucking hated it. No, for real, hated it. Like could not stand to see it on my body.
The chambray is lightweight but has a crispness to it. The gathers did not like this, and even with pressing (it was pressed until I crumpled it and threw on the floor for a week), did not flatter my mid-section at all. It actually adds a few pounds. I can't wear long cardigans with it. All my cardigans are long. It seems like you can only buy them in two forms: long enough to cover your ass or cropped just enough to reach the bra line. When I wear a cardigan with this skirt, it bunches up in the back and causes the dreaded "shelf booty".
|Oh mustard skirt, how you mock me.|
I tried it on with other shirts and pullover sweaters to no avail. This skirt just does not look good on me.
I was beyond pissed. This skirt cost me around $45 (pattern + fabric). That's not cheap for something that I absolutely cannot stand to wear. Wadders be damned. I don't understand why it didn't work as I have made plenty dresses with gathered skirts. Argh.
Well, you live, you learn. And if you carry any weight in your midsection, you might want to skip this one (or use a very lightweight fabric) or try Version 2 with the pleats. I won't be trying any other version of this skirt. Once has been quite enough.
I'm fighting the urge to cut it up and make something else with the fabric. But I think I'll just shove it into my closet for a while and revisit it in a couple of months.