on Monday (Nov 19),
we will look at the available pattern choices (thanks for your suggestions) and briefly discuss the basics of the skirt drafting process. I will also blog about the tools and notions I use for pattern-drafting. The new Flickr discussion threads are already up, so you can ask questions and make suggestions.
on Tuesday (Nov 20),
as a teaser for the hands-on work, we will take measurements and make preliminary calculations for the drafting. This will be the only 'homework' for this week, so our US participants can relax and enjoy Thanksgiving.
on Wednesday - for the rest of the week,
- only pleasant activities involved! We will start looking for pencil skirts with unusual details (whatever you think fits into this category - it's your creative process!). The idea is to train our eye and to go beyond limited options offered by commercial patterns.
Now, let's move to
QUESTION & ANSWER
What exactly will we do?
In the first part of the Draft & Sew Along (before the New Year), we will draft a skirt sloper and then make design adjustments for a pencil skirt with princess lines and a flounce, similar to our Burberry inspiration skirt. In the second part (January), we will sew the skirt.
Is it too late to join the Sew-Along?
It is never too late. However, if you want to do it as a part of the group join as early as possible so you can participate in discussion and, if needed, ask for help.
Do I need to have a blog?
No, absolutely not. But do register at Flickr to participate in discussions and upload pictures.
I don't think the skirt style will work for me, but I want to follow the drafting. Is it possible?
You can draft the sloper only, or the pencil skirt, as you like. And, why not making a trial garment - maybe the style suits you after all? If not, drop the flounce and make a princess seam pencil skirt!
Will we make a trial garment?
Yes, we will! We want to draft a fail-proof skirt sloper, so a trial garment is the way to go. Why draft a custom pattern otherwise?
What fabric do you recommend for this skirt?
We will discuss fabric choices in detail after we finish the muslin. Tweed is my favorite. Further choices include herringbone or small-scale houndstooth, for example. Make sure the fabric is not too heavy. The flounce is made of two layers of fabric, and at the seam, you will have even four (graded) layers. We will also underline the wool with silk organza, so, before you commit try all these layers together.
Gabardine? Yes, but be prepared to spend more time at the ironing board than at the sewing machine. Gabardine is not easy to press and it takes a lot of patience to get the seams look polished.
Check out wool satin. Also not easy to handle (yet easier than gabardine), prone to snagging (no seam ripping!), but very-very dressy! Beautiful fabric if you like the subtle sheen.
If you have a good men's fabric store around, check out their suiting fabrics (pricey!). You will most likely have a limited color choice, but the quality will often be amazing. One of the fabrics worth looking at as well is worsted flannel (as opposed to woolen flannel). Whatever fabric you will be drawn to, make sure it has a compact weave and smooth face.
By the way, if you don't have a swatch book by now, start collecting swatches, note composition, origin, price and the store for future reference. I am sure you will visit a store or two before we are ready to cut, so that may be something to consider.
How much fabric shall I buy?
A knee-length pencil skirt with princess seams will require about a 0.90 cm (1 yd) fabric, 150 cm (60") wide for hips up to 120cm (47"). For a wider hip circumference you will need to double the length.
Attention! This doesn't include the flounce, which will require additional length and needs to be calculated based on your final pencil skirt pattern. I would suggest, purchase the fabric after you fitted the muslin (with the flounce). If you are impatient, get some swatches.
Here, I hope I answered all questions. If not, please post a comment, or go to our Flickr discussion board. Enjoy!