Dotty Philippa

This is a tale of two halves, of highs and lows, of my epic stupidity… Who would have thought a cute little skirt could cause such drama? 

  
Before I get into my tale of woe, a small disclaimer: I’m friends with Kat, who owns/operates/designs for Muse Patterns. However, I paid for this pattern with my own pennies, and I’ll do my best to provide an unbiased account of sewing it up. 

  
I was super excited when Muse Patterns released the Philippa Dress, I had been looking for a simple princess seamed sheath dress with pockets incorporated into the bottom of the princess lines so that I could copy a RTW dress I had seen. I couldn’t find anything that had the pockets I was looking for, so I was on the verge of modifying a princess seamed sheath to use the pockets from the Xerea dress when Kat anounced her latest release. It was pretty much exactly what I was after (minus sleeves, but thats a much easier addition than what I thought I was going to have to do!), so I snapped it up. 

  

Now, eagle eyed readers will have noticed that this is not, in fact, a dress. One thing I really appreciate about Muse Patterns is the variety of options incorperated into their patterns, similar to what you get from a big 4 pattern. I had a short length of this lovely soft Japanese corduroy, so I thought I’d try the skirt first, rather than making a somewhat unseasonal dress. It has the same cool pockets and seaming on the back as the dress, but with a lapped zipper and a narrow straight waistband.

  

  

The front half of the skirt came together easily. I used a small scrap of black lining for the pocket bag to decrease bulk, and decided that I couldn’t even come close to pattern matching across the side panels with the amount of fabric I had which made cutting easy. Unfortunately, I had a moment of complete reading comprehension failure when I was looking over the instructions, and I sewed everything together with a 1.5cm seam allowance. When I held it up, I thought the front looked very small. Looking back at the instructions, I realised that there was a 1cm seam allowance and a 1.5cm hem allowance. I was so annoyed with myself! I was able to let the vertical seams out by 5mm each, but the horizontal and angled seams in the pockets were going to be a total bastard to fix, so I just left them. I was careful to sew the back panels so that the angled seams were also at 1.5cm, so that they matched the pocket angle at the side seams. Then I was extra careful to sew the side seams together at 1cm!
  

Unfortunately, being soft corduroy, the initial seam lines (which I had pressed and steamed) were still very visible along the front of the skirt. I spent some time steaming them without letting the iron touch the pile, and then I rubbed it gently with my fingernail to fluff the pile back up again. It worked up to a point, but the lines are still a bit visible. 

I also chose to use an invisible zip rather than a lapped zip, as I didn’t have any standard zippers! Other than that, I followed the pattern as written.
  

I thought this skirt was going to be a bit of a disaster at the half way point, and I was so cross with myself for wasting this fabric, but I actually love the end result. The corduroy creases like nothing on earth though! I ironed it just before taking these pictures, but sitting down for 2 minutes and walking around the house caused the creases across the front and in the back…I’ll just need to embrace the slightly rumpled look. I have to say that I don’t think I gave either pattern or fabric the attention or got the result they deserved, but at least I got a wearable skirt in the end. I’m excited to make the dress up in a cute spotty chambray, hopefully I’ll remember to check the seam allowances next time!

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18 thoughts on “Dotty Philippa

  1. Your skirt is superb and suits you very well Kirsten. In fact you are looking so fine girl! As an aside, I see you guys are getting our David Jones department store over there soon ;Q

    1. Thanks Lesley, I’ve been feeling a bit meh lately (I blame winter) so thats nice to hear! Yup, Wellington will have David Jones and Top Shop by the end of the year, with H&M and Zara to follow…won’t be any reason to to to Aus for shopping soon!

  2. I feel like whenever I sew a pattern for the first time I always forget how to read at some point in the process! I think that is why I generally make two of the same thing in quick succession– it gives me a chance to redeem myself! I think your skirt turned out to be really pretty! The fabric is so great and it’s got such cool style lines! I hadn’t seen this pattern before. I can’t wait to see the dress you have planned!

    1. I was so annoyed with myself, I’m usually so thorough with instructions! Making two is always a good plan. I’m looking forward to making the dress, but it’s about half way down the queue at this point!

  3. Why is it that patterns that look simple are the one’s that are hard work?! One of life’s great mysteries! Your skirt looks fav, and I love the spotty fabric.

  4. Oh man! I definitely made that seam allowance mistake before – I hate when that happens! You did wind up with a great skirt though, so I’m glad not all was lost.

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