I recently acquired a gorgeous chocolate brown faux leather from Emma One Sock. In searching my pattern stash, I found that I did not have a pattern to showcase the fabric, so I looked outside and came across this one:
I love the panels in this skirt. I ordered the pattern directly from Silhouette and it arrived within 10 days, all the way from Dallas, Texas. Not wanting to cut into my faux leather, I decided to use a denim that has been hanging around for a year, waiting for me to master the fit of the Sewaholic Thurlow (I wanted a trouser jean). That muslin (the third) is still sitting in my closet and my fabric stash is not getting any smaller. I ran out of factory cotton and have been using up fabrics I have no patience for anymore as fitting garments. The denim I used has no stretch and worked well for this pattern.
There are only three pattern pieces: the yoke and two lower panels. This is an 8 gore skirt, with three pieces per gore. As a result, there are 24 pieces to cut! Despite the number of pieces, this goes together very quickly, as the sewing can be streamlined.
I sewed everything in pairs: the eight pairs of lower panels, the 8 yokes to the lower panels, and the gores in pairs, with one pair containing the concealed zipper. Then the pairs were paired again to make groups of four, and then again to make the final group of eight. The first muslin was huge! I went by the finished garment measurements, which is how Silhouette has you choose your size. There is a further recommendation in the pattern itself to use the waist measurement, as the hip has a lot of ease. I followed these recommendations after checking a finished skirt, but it was enormous! I measured the yoke pattern (remembering to multiply by 8 after subtracting the seam allowances) and dropped two sizes, simply remarking my muslin pieces. It was a little big still, but not enough to drop further in size. There are too many seams to alter all 8 panels, so I decided to take a wider seam allowance on the two side seams. It was also long: the pattern has 1cm (3/8 inch) seam and hem allowances, but I made the hem 2,5cm (one inch), which is my preferred hem on a skirt.
After altering the yoke and hem lines on the pattern, I set to work on the skirt. Not in the faux leather yet. I had 2,75m (3 yards)of the denim, so I used it again. I wanted to master the construction, especially as I was adding topstitching to the mix!
The construction took a bit longer with the addition of the topstitching step, but, again, I streamlined it as much as I could. It got tricky once the panels were being joined and there were more thread changes than I would have liked. But, I ended up with this:
Usually, I dislike skirts and pants without waistbands, but it works for this shape. The pattern suggests fold over elastic for finishing the waist, but I had none. I ended up using Petersham ribbon that I had, which was not a colour match.
Another unusual thing for me, I did not line the skirt. It is a casual skirt in denim and is just not necessary. I may line the faux leather, however.
I used navy jean thread for the topstitching. I was just not brave enough to use a contrasting colour, after previous topstitching disasters! I used a 100/16 denim needle for all of the construction, which worked beautifully.
For comparison, here is the muslin, which I did not topstitch. Although I used matching thread, there is a huge difference in the definition of the panels.
My goal is to complete my faux leather version of this skirt before school starts. I just need to practice seaming and topstitching on a sample of the fabric. I may also need a roller foot, something I will look into tomorrow. Wish me luck!