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!