- Juniper Skirt by Mood Fabrics
- McCalls 6402
Okay, I know it’s already 2023, but I did happen to finish my last skirt just under the wire on December 31st, so I’m counting this as part of 2022.
This is the story of a fabric that I just couldn’t tame and multiple bad pattern choices. We start back earlier this year when I scored this rather unusual looking fabric with a designed I just loved. I knew I had to make a skirt out of it, but I just couldn’t quite figure out the style that would work for it. The fabric felt a bit stiff, until I washed it and realized it had more of a flowy quality than I first realized. To this day I have no idea what this fabric is – I bought it at a discount off a remnant table. I’m thinking it’s probably a type of polyester. I would never have predicted how hard it would be to sew with. Despite the fabric being somewhat thin, it was still difficult to get a needle through. I opted for a microtex needle in my machine, which worked well enough.
When I first saw the Juniper Skirt pattern from Mood Fabrics, I thought I had found the perfect match. I just needed to get some lining, but what do you use for lining when you have no idea what the main fabric even is? I decided on some black rayon twill that I could easily order online. I figured it was also synthetic material, so shrinking wouldn’t be an issue. All in all this seems to be the only correct choice I made as this did make a good lining which gave the skirt the right amount of structure. This was the first time using a free pattern from Mood Fabrics – they seem to make a lot of good ones and I had been curious to try one of them out. The directions on the website seemed easy enough to follow with detailed photos, however there were a few times I felt lost or that the directions were not complete. Where I think I went wrong is when I had to sandwich the overskirt between the front and back panels. I thought I had figured it all out, but somehow the skirt just didn’t line up right and to this day I’m not even sure why it’s off. I just know I’m unable to wear it as it is just crooked. It was one of my most disappointing moments in sewing history as I thought the style with the front flap seemed to fit with what I had pictured for this skirt. I was so baffled as to where it all went wrong, that I opted not to try again even though I had enough fabric for a second skirt. I was afraid it was the fault of the pattern and I would just end up wasting more fabric.
The one thing I liked about this pattern was there was no hem – the lining was cut a little shorter than the actual skirt and then you sew the lining to the bottom of the skirt. When the lining is lifted towards the waistband, the main skirt gets folded over, which creates a clean finish with no hemming required. I liked this look so much I decided that whatever pattern I chose for my next attempt, would use this method instead of a traditional hem.
I didn’t want to give up on this skirt, so I was on the lookout for another pattern. One with maybe a similar style. I found the McCalls pattern in my stash and thought it had potential. I had wanted to make view E as I thought that front drape would look similar to what I had in mind for this fabric. However the more I looked into it, I could not figure out a way to line the skirt with that pattern. It would take skills I do not have in order to hack it to create the hemline I wanted. So then I looked at view A. This version was lined and so I could attempt my lining trick with the hem. And I figured that maybe the diagonal panel design might actually look cool with this geometric type design. For some reason I had some trouble understanding this pattern as well and the pieces didn’t really line up the way I think they should have. The results were…well the only good think I can say about the skirt is that it fits me. It tends to bunch up a bit when I move, so I’m not sure it will work as a wearable skirt. At least not one that I will want to wear often. I did end up getting the hem I wanted with this, however I do wonder if my changes to the pattern is another reason why this skirt doesn’t fall correctly. On a good note, it is one of the only skirts I’ve made where the waist is the right size and tapers in appropriately, so maybe I am getting better at something from this exercise.
In conclusion, my second skirt ended up being better, but I still didn’t get what I wanted out of this fabric. And I’m not sure if the problem lay with the fabric, which I admit was more difficult to work with than I first thought, or the patterns themselves. The confusion I had is probably on me – my lack of experience with sewing may be a main factor in why I couldn’t get these right. It doesn’t feel great to end this year on a failure (or at least a non-success), but I guess that’s life sometimes.
2022 is over, but I probably will still attempt some do-over projects in this coming year, since I love improving on stuff I’ve already made. I am still mulling over what my focus for this year will be and I think I have something so stay tuned! This past year has mostly been pretty triumphant with my sewing projects and I am looking forward to continued success into the next year. Happy New Year to my readers and hope to see you in 2023!