I'm beginning to love this skirt pattern - as long as I can find the right fabric to make it work. Some time last year I made this first sample and learnt a lot about construction issues with drape patterns. You'll find the original Pattern Puzzle post on the well-suited blog - Pattern Puzzle - Waterfall Jersey Skirt. In this post I'll discuss construction and be looking for solutions to some of the issues.
The making of this pattern started with my Skirt Block Sizes 6-16, that I altered to fit as a stretch skirt block. For all the pattern making instructions you can go direct to the post - Pattern Puzzle - Waterfall Jersey Skirt. I use my pattern cutting method of dart transfer for most of the drape detail in this design.
You can see the finished pattern below. I've used brown paper to show where the extra fabric is located for the gather and drape. I've cut this first sample out of a polyester, two-way stretch jersey that I was lucky enough to find at my local Salvation Army Store. Perfect for those first toiles where you really don't know how they'll turn out. And especially good in a design you'd like to pull over you hips rather than add a zip opening.
Above I've listed the pro's and con's of this first pattern. In detail they are:
- I've replaced the centre front gathers, that sat over the tummy, with a couple of large folds to reduce bulk in that area.
- The contour waistband is behaving badly, especially at the centre back. Either I need a stronger fusible interlining or an alternative waistband finish.
- I also need to lift the front hem to match the hi-lo effect of the hemline in the original design.
- The horizontal gathered drape that sunray's out of the centre front, from under the large vertical tucks, may present a problem in construction. There is a lot of fabric and it will require a special seam finish so as not to ruin the front of the skirt.
The large curve in the top photo is the gathered drape area that joins at the centre front of this design. Run two rows of gathering stitch, either side of the stitching line, and pull it up until the gathered area matches the short section to the right. These four edges all come together at the centre front of this skirt and are hidden under the front vertical drape.
It is this large amount of gathered drape that meets at the centre front: it will need to be sewn together as a lap seam to reduce the amount of bulk under the front drape.
The photos above show the vertical drape at the centre front, covering all the horizontal gathered drape, coming from the back and side seam area of this skirt. You can opt to gather the vertical drape, as in the original design. As soon as you've completed the slightly complex construction of the front of this skirt you can finish it off by:
- Joining the centre back seam.
- Then add the waistband to the skirt. I've included some strong elastic (swimmer elastic) in the top of the contour waistband, to make sure it recovers everytime you pull it over your hips.
- Finally finish off the hemline with either a overstitch or a zig-zag on your domestic machine.
Here are some final thoughts for this new pattern for a jersey drape skirt:
- There is a need to solve the waistband issues in the next sample. I'm going to try a simple folded band to encase a wide elastic.
- I'm very interested to see if I can make this work in a woven fabric. I'll have to grade the skirt sizing up at least one size to even begin. Then add a zip to the centre back seam to get it over my hips.
- And I'm seriously considering having this pattern graded so I can add it to the sewing patterns on my website. What do you think? Is this the kind of pattern you'd like to make for yourself?