This is probably my zillionth version of Simplicity 9193. I should have stopped already - there are often fitting issues, and belly issues, and swayback issues and often it takes a few trips back to the sewing machine after finishing it to re-seam or take in darts, or reattach waist facings.
Not this time. This might be the most perfect and excellent version of Simplicity 9193 EVER.
I'm not too sure what happened this time to make it fit so well. Actually, I do know. And I need to write this down so I can keep doing it. I cut it as usual, doing my usual grading of smaller waist and larger hips. But this time I took a little extra time to concentrate on my main problem area - my swayback. My swayback has gotten worse over the last few months thanks to a stubborn lower back injury, and I now have some extra spine twisting and scoliosis possibly picked up over the last 20 years of questionable posture. So it has become very apparent to me lately that working on this fit issue is vital.
This pattern comes with four darts at the back and two at the front. When I tried it on after first sewing the side seams, I had a 3 inch gap (THREE!) between the waistband of the skirt and my back. So I took the side seams in a little more at the wait line (this is the one thing I hate doing - the difference between my waist and hip measurements is quite pronounced, but the last thing you want in a side seam is to have an almost 45 degree seam line between the two locations - it just looks jagged and ugly).
Once the side seams were fixed as smoothly as possible, I took to the back dart, I took the line of each dart in by another 1/4 inch, angling directly to the original bottom point of the dart to allow for my wider hips. This means 1/2 inch for each dart, and 2 inches in total for the back area.
Ohh booty shot!
I'm pretty pleased with the fit now! And it goes to show that taking a little extra time is totally worth it. My sewing friends have been proving this by example for ages now, and it's taken me this long (and 23 years) to pay attention.
I still have issues with the front of the skirt dropping, but this is again all due to my swayback and belly. Learn to live with it, I say. Also I don't usually wear my shirt tucked in (except for work, and with a belt) and this look was just for the photos so you could see the fit. Normally I'm all casual and sloppy like this.
A note about the pockets - this skirt pattern doesn't have them. I experimented with square tennis style pockets on my green corduroy skirt, but I forget about nap (sheesh) and also the pocket edge stretched on the bias when I was sewing it down. This time I remembered the nap (sheesh!) and also used the miracle that is WonderTape. I gently fingerpressed it down, used the WonderTape and some pins, stitched it, and voilà we have ourselves a winning front pocket ready to be sewn onto the front of the skirt!
I pressed the front dart towards the middle of the skirt because of the pocket getting in the way, but it seems to work just fine.
I wore my skirt all day yesterday - it was my birthday so it was a busy day which included breakfast, morning tea with my quilting friends, a bit of a ferret around a sewing-themed garage sale, a visit to Hustle and Scout with Jen, and then dinner and a concert with my husband and another friend. At the interval I was standing talking with some people with my hands in my pockets, and I felt some stitches pop. Eek! Turns out it was only the top-stitching for the grosgrain facing I usually do, but it reminded me that pockets = extra stress on the stitching = must double top-stitch.
What's next? I'm thinking a SnapDragon skirt by Tenterhook Patterns in some gorgeous African wax print cotton I bought myself for my birthday, but I'll have to wait a few days for the fabric to arrive.
Pattern: Simplicity 9193 (out of print)
Fabric: Denim cordoruy from Remnant Warehouse in Sydney. Purchased in March 2011.
Adjustments: I sewed up the side splits, used a Mokuba grosgrain facing, and added self-drafted pockets.