Sunday, November 24, 2013

Skirt and Top - aka Useful Basics

This is the skirt I mentioned a couple of weeks ago. It sat on Zillie waiting for its mate, which I finally provided today. I made the skirt (KS3287) many times before, but in a larger size. This was one of those times I'm glad I traced the pattern, because I ended up needing to trace again but 2 sizes down. I love this skirt for the flippy shape but easy knit wear and construction. I will probably still be making this skirt when I'm 80.  :-) This one is from a yard (less, really) of turquoise Sophia knit purchased from a couple of months ago. Sophia wears like iron.

The top is the Hot Patterns Metroplitan Tie Me Down top, made from a ITY knit purchased to go with the solid Sophia. It's another I've made before and another I needed to retrace smaller. (Not complaining.) HP's sizing is consistent, I think, after having made a number of them but the actual sizing definitely doesn't match the measurements given on the back of the envelope. I made a straight 14 (no alterations) but per the envelope should use at least an 18. That's a GI-normous amount of ease. So, what I'm saying is ignore the envelope and use your tape measure on the pattern pieces themselves. And your common sense. And heed HP's advice to muslin if you're still unsure. This sizing is good news for those at the upper end of the HP measurement chart but probably not so good for the smallest ladies if the smaller sizes have similar ease. (I can't speak to the men's patterns.)

The patterns.

The shoulders are gathered into the seam and also shirred with 3 rows of elastic cord. The cap sleeves are gathered to the armhole at the top. Sorry for the blurry pic. :-(

The back waist, is also shirred with one row of elastic cording which provides nice but subtle shaping.

I used my cording foot and a narrow zig zag stitch. The cording foot holds the cord in place perfectly so there's no worry about stitching through the cord. You only have to keep your eyes on your sewing path. (These pics are from a years-ago project and part of a PR review here, in which you'll find more shirring details if you're curious.)

This is how much elastic cord I had left over. Whew!

The HP pattern calls for facings to hold the tie in place and finish the neck edge. I used the facings on my previous make of the top and they were fine, since they are shaped and get sewn into the sleeves which eliminates facing floppage, but I really like to eliminate facings whenever possible. For this make, I "stole" the brilliant instructions from Jalie's Scarf Collar top. You can download the instructions as a PDF from Jalie here.

Is it me, or does anyone else think the model in the solid knit is either Tasia from Sewaholic or her long-lost twin sister?

The infamous Jalie "burrito" but using the HP instead. Hard to believe a whole top plus ties are in there, right?

The only pattern modification I made to the HP was to widen the bottom of the ties and point them. While I don't have the too-big first make anymore, I did make a note on the pattern that the ties as drafted were on the skimpy side. I'm glad I widened them. I like the added width much better.

I'm not sure if I'm wearing this outfit tomorrow, but when I do, I'll get a pic of me in it.


  1. Oh yes, Debbie, HP definitely has HUGE amounts of ease even in smaller sizes. I removed 6 inches from the side seams of a blouse once.

  2. Great skirt and top. Love the flippy end of the skirt. Thanks for the info on the HP top. I have the pattern and will keep it in mind.

  3. Thanks for the HP review. I've contemplated making a purchase from them but I'm still not sure. I love the Sophia doubke knit - awesome fabric. Congrats on going down two sizes!

  4. Love that "flippy skirt" and the top matches well. Look forward to seeing you modelling this outfit.

  5. Love your outfit especially the skirt.The colours are beautiful and will look beautiful on you.

  6. Nice colour combo and cute outfit.

  7. Love the combo, the shirring on the top is beautiful, thanks for sharing how you did it.

  8. I agree that several of those flippy Kwik Sew skirts are lifetime classics. I'm always recommending them to friends who are starting to sew again for flattering shapes and easy construction....only now I think many of my favorites are OOP and only on Ebay. Hooray for tracing them!


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