Thursday, April 2, 2009

BWOF 09-2007-116, Tulip Skirt


I figured I should review this January project while it's still cold somewhere! It's not warm in DC--you still have to wear a jacket--but it is definitely Spring! The air is softer and we keep having gentle rain and when the sun finally comes out it really is warm. I am so happy about this.

When BWOF first published this project in September 2007 I was not sold on the tulip shape. However, over the course of a year they wore me down. When I was contemplating what to make out of the olive wool plaid I got from Joann in December I knew I didn't just want a straight skirt, but neither did I want a pleated skirt (not that I had enough fabric), and I'm kind of off A-line skirts right now. Then I thought of this pattern and decided it was perfect.

Because my wool is rather thick and coarse (it is wool, but still Joann quality) I left off the hip pockets because they would have been way too bulky. I would keep them in a lighter fabric, such as a crinkle satin--again BWOF has influenced me! When I first started getting the magazine I thought their obsession with crinkle satin was ridiculous, because satin isn't my style and then crinkle satin? and then satin for day? But it has insinuated itself into my brain and now it seems like a sort of reasonable fabric.

Original Waistband Plaids are totally obnoxious to cut and sew, as we all know. When I originally cut this out I cut the waistband in the same direction as the skirt. I matched the plaids at the sides of front and back because the front has pleats and the back has darts, so the plaids were only going to be able to match at the sides or the center but not both. I wasn't overly pleased with the result, and when I saw the pictures I decided it was too awful this way, especially at the back with the two dark lines next to the zipper so clearly offset from the dark lines of the skirt.

BackI ripped off the waistband--a much harder task now that I have a serger--and cut a new one on the cross grain. When (re)finishing the top edge of the skirt I managed to serge through the zipper I had so carefully picked out of the waistband so then I had to rip the zipper out and redo the entire back seam. Ugh! The back plaids do not match up, which is very frustrating, but I was not going to spend any more time messing with this waistband! Despite all my troubles and frustrations, I really like the shape and design of the actual waistband itself. The width is good and it sits right about at natural waist, which is very on trend right now.

My only complaint about this design is that the front double pleat is slightly off center, which is annoying. It's not far enough off center to look intentional (though looking at the BWOF photo it appears that is the design and not my error), but it's just enough off center to be noticeable. So I generally end up wearing the skirt a little crooked, with the CB zip to the right of my spine instead of at actual CB.

All this after the pleat gave me so much trouble! The large center front pleat on this is two pleats, and the directions were needlessly complicated. Basically, you pinch out the large pleat and fold it to the left, and then take about half of that and fold it to the right (at least this is the conclusion I reached, and the pleat appears to be correct). The BWOF directions first have you do the smaller pleat and then the larger and I just could *not* figure out how they worked together.

But that's minor and overall I think this is a fantastic skirt, and it's very comfortable and easy to wear.

All photos are here (I am having weird issues with flickr not always showing all of them but they are there) and the pattern review is here.


Rachel said...

I LOVE that skirt. It looks great with the pink cardigan, too. Where did you get those boots? Those are fantastic!!!

Anonymous said...

It's a cute skirt on you, and nicely done with the plaid. An interesting real life take off something I wanted to see (but could never pull off like you have). Great job on it!

Claire S. said...

I like the look of the tulip skirts, but don't know if they'd look good on me. Maybe it's time to just try one.

Yours looks great on you, I like the plaid and the crosswise line of waistband.

Adelaide B said...

I love plaid. I'm afraid of it, but I love it none-the-less. This length is also really goof on you. I thought I liked the longer stuff better, but I was wrong.

Sew4Fun said...

Love your skirt. The plaids looked matched enough to me. :) I like your comment too about plaids being totally obnoxious to cut and sew. That they are!

gwensews said...

Cute skirt! Interestingm, the construction problems. Looks like you worked them out without help from the goddess of directions!

LOVE's Sewing said...

Great skirt! I saw that material at Joann's in November and thought it was gorgeous! You really need to see it in person to appreciate the color. I too am sewing at tulip skirk V8328. Check out my blog and tell me what you think? I could use some advice from a great seamstress such as yourself!

Lory said...

It's pretty! You did awesome with it, kudos. :) Plaids are hard to match, yours look great.

Uta said...

I really like that skirt; I also think it's a great shape and length on you. Love the pink cardigan and boots look!

Vicki said...

Cute :))

Sherril said...

What a fantastic and thoughtful article on dressing the pear. Since I'm not a pair, I kinda lost interest about half way, but if I was a pair, I'd be thanking you for your generosity and knowledge.

badmomgoodmom said...

I, too, am a pear and I couldn't agree with you more about the a-line. If I wore RTW, a-line would be my only choice because nothing else off the rack would fit both a 26" waist and 39" hips. But a-line makes my legs look even shorter. It is not a good look.

That's why I sew. I can wear all but the most extreme styles as long as they fit. In fact, I think one of my most flattering looks is a simple slim skirt with angled front pockets.

I made half a dozen straight skirts with darts and/or pleats to fit my measurements. I posted a few pix here:

No one would ever guess my hips and thighs were larger than average. The skirt fabric doesn't strain at my thighs and I have room to walk and breath.