The Jade skirt by Paprika Patterns

by - 17:29

Before this virus officially became a pandemic, and before the true seriousness and gravity of the situation hit home here in the UK, I applied for a call from Paprika Patterns to help sew up the Jade skirt for re-release. The pattern was having it's sizing extended and it's tutorial upgraded.

I figured a skirt wouldn't be too hard to fit to me. Well, it seemed simpler than fitting to my odd shaped upper torso anyway. I didn't want to make a mistake in my good fabric, so I decided to try it out with just the lining pieces first. The front lining is designed to be slightly higher one side than the other, so I evened out the bottom hem on paper before cutting anything out.

The Jade skirt is designed for knits with stability, ideally Ponte de Roma jersey. I literally had one piece for my final skirt, so I used some french terry that I was kindly gifted by Olumis Fabric for the lining trial. It's much stretchier than ponte fabric, but it would have to do.

I measure into a size 4 for hips, and size 6 for waist. I know my waist is much larger size wise than my hips, and I accept that (sometimes!). Grading out from hips to waist is a fairly easy thing to do, and for my trial I graded evenly from 4 to 6 on both the front and back pieces. I lined up the side seams of my two paper pieces to ensure that they were the same length before cutting out, which they were.

It actually ended up being a bit large on the waist (like I said, the fabric for my trial was much stretchier than intended), so I altered it to be more of a grading from 4 to 5 at the top of the skirt. I then took in the waistband to be a 5 at the bottom, and 6 at the top. It was still a bit too big, so I took the back in to be more a size 5.

Because the pattern is designed to be fully lined, I made the following alterations to my trial version: I hemmed the bottom edge by turning up 3/4" (yes, I did lose length) and I overlocked the two edges of the waistband directly to the top of the skirt (like you would with a band on a t-shirt neckline).

The skirt generally fitted me, but I was still getting pull/drag lines around my stomach, which implied it was too tight, despite not actually fitting me snugly. I posted in the Paprika Patterns group, and Lisa suggested the same, that the front was too small, which was producing the drag lines.

So, for my final version I used a straight size 6 front piece, and a size 4 back piece. This would give me the extra fabric I needed over my stomach at the front, but hopefully stop the gaping/bagginess at the back.

I have to say, it was a gamble! I bought a remnant of viscose blend ponte fabric from Lamazi Fabrics, which was 77cm. I bought it before before being accepted onto the pattern update, and I didn't check fabric requirements at all. I just incorrectly assumed that nearly 80cm would be plenty for a skirt. I totally didn't take into account the amount of fabric needed for the origami folded front part. It worked out I had just enough length for the mini skirt version, so that's what I made!

The pattern is easy to follow, and the accompanying videos make light work of the tricky bits, so the folding of the front piece, and joining the made up front and back pieces together for a super neat finish. This produces a skirt with no visible seams, that feels solid and worthy of the time it took to make! As the skirt is fully lined, I had to find something in my stash to line it with. The pattern suggests using a very similar stretch fabric to the outer, which was a problem, as I only had jersey or french terry to hand. I found a large scrap of pale blue french terry left over from making the kids zip up hoodies several years ago, but no matter how I positioned the pattern pieces, I couldn't get a full lining out of it. So I improvised, and split the back into two, one half pink, one half blue. You can just see my lining peeking out in this picture.

A mini skirt is not something I have worn for many, many years. I will reach 40 this year, and I've been feeling frumpy and old in my existing clothes, so went a bit daring and changed up my style! I think I need to work on my tummy a bit to feel properly happy wearing this skirt, but I will wear it!!

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*Disclaimer: My floral french terry was kindly gifted to me in return for photos from Olumis Fabrics.*

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