Wednesday, 13 May 2015

The Kelly Moss mash up skirt

This skirt has been a long time in the making!  Back in 2013 the Kelly Skirt pattern by Megan Nielson was one of the first sewing patterns I bought.  I had seen a lot of versions of this skirt on the web and loved all of them.  The fabric is a lovely rich navy blue corduroy (the photos don't really do the colour justice) bought from Coventry Indoor Market.  This is what the skirt looked like when I first made it:

The original Kelly Skirt

 Nice huh? However....

I made the skirt without incident.  I liked the way it looked flat, and I even liked the way it looked on, sort of.  I just didn't feel comfortable wearing it.  Such a shame!  I think it might have been something to do with the amount of fabric it used, or the way the pleats fell, but I felt like I was wearing a bell!  It probably didn't help that the fabric I used was quite heavy, without much drape.

I tried playing around with the proportions to remove some of the excess fabric.  I tried reducing the size of the pleats, taking in the side seams, taking wedges out of the waistband, but the shape of the skirt really didn't work if you took the extra fabric away, so eventually my poor Kelly skirt was left to languish on the UFO pile.  

In the end the thought occurred to me that I could remake the skirt completely using the Moss skirt pattern, so out came the seam ripper.  I cut the back skirt panels pretty much as the Moss skirts pieces, although I kept the old hemline.   I also cut a yoke and sewed up according to the Moss instructions.  

I didn't cut much off the front pieces as I didn't want to lose the pockets and I needed a bit of ease to prevent the buttons straining.  I couldn't keep the deep inverted box pleats at the front though because the poofiness just wasn't working for me.  Instead I folded out a couple of inches either side of the buttonband and sewed it down.  

I kept a small pleat on each side, near the pocket to add interest and keep some of the spirit of the original design, but the front of the skirt is fairly flat which I think is more flattering on my body type.

Here's what the skirt looks like flat now, compared to the original Kelly Skirt:

Original Kelly Skirt                                               Kelly/Moss mash up skirt

I didn't take as much care with the insides as I have with other skirts.  I wasn't prepared to invest the time since I wasn't sure whether the skirt would end up wearable, so the pockets are just pinked and I cheated flat felling the back seams - I trimmed the seams, zigzag stitched them together and then sewed them down flat with a parallel line of straight stitch.  It may fray a little but it's sufficient.   I tried doing the same to the side seams but it was distorting the hang of the skirt so I ripped it out and bound them instead as they would have frayed badly otherwise.  I hummed and hawed a bit about the hem as I wanted to increase the length from what it had been on the Kelly Skirt.   A double turned hem would not have worked due to all the folded out excess creating bulk, so I bound the bottom edge and turned up once.  

I love the way the buttons and buttonband look.   I don't have any other button up skirts in my wardrobe and it's nice to have a change from the flyfront design.

It's not perfect.  There's definitely something not quite right about the side seams from the point where the pockets end, and the finishing inside is less than perfect, but I think it's eminently more wearable now.  This is a silhouette that I am going with a lot at the moment (as evidenced by my MMM'15 pictures!) but I think that's ok.  It's tricky to branch out when you sew for yourself as you don't always know whether that 'new shape' is going to suit you until you've already invested a lot of hours into making it, and then it's pretty discouraging to find that it doesn't look how you hoped.  Quite different from shopping trips when you can try on a stack of clothes and still leave without buying a thing.  I'm getting better at understanding what styles work for me, and how to fit to my shape - just what sewing should be about!

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