30 minute skirt wearable muslin

I mentioned the 30 minute skirt the other day and I finished a wearable muslin of it yesterday, which has got to be one of my quickest pattern-acquisition-to-finished-object times in a while. I’ve been pondering a white burnout knit from my stash and trying to decide between patterns for it for nearly a week, and I finally got sick of waffling and made something else instead.

I really like how the skirt turned out, even though it is very form-fitting. My total cutting and construction time was probably more than 30 minutes, but if you don’t count the elapsed time while I was waiting for my waistband pieces to dry from the spray starch I used to keep them from curling all over the place, it wasn’t too far off.

I haven’t yet taken pictures (see above re spray starch, and to be honest, this skirt is tight and I’m not sure that the whole internet needs to see pictures of my thighs up close and personal) but here is a quick review if you are considering making it:

Pattern: 30-minute skirt from Make it Perfect. This is a basic pegged pencil skirt designed for knits in sizes XS – XL, with waist and hip sizes printed in the instructions. Quick note about putting the printed sheets together: there’s a lot of overlap not only horizontally but vertically, a lot more than I was used to with Burda and other printed patterns I’ve used. Just make sure to match the dotted lines together, not just the edges of the printing – I did it wrong the first time and then was confused at why the skirt was so long and the side seams didn’t flow evenly.

Alterations: Keep in mind that this skirt is designed to be tight, and has negative ease (about an inch if I measured correctly) so depending on your preferences, the knit you’re using, and your commitment to Spanx you may want to add some width. I added a bit myself because the XL was a little smaller than my measurements. This is not as easy as usual to do because the pattern piece is of a whole front/back – this is nice because you can cut the whole thing out in one shebang, but you can’t just add to the fold to make it wider. I used a navy cotton jersey remnant from my stash, and basically added to the length as much as I could until I ran out of fabric – about a couple inches longer than the pattern piece as drafted. (This resulted in a skirt that was at the top of my knee with no hem at all, as opposed to the bottom-of-the-knee samples shown on the Make It Perfect site, so if you are tall definitely plan to add some length unless you want something ending up higher on the thigh. (I’m 5’9″, for reference.))

Construction: Side seams went together easily. I ended up making about a 1″ tilted waist adjustment in the front, and changed up the waistband construction. The instructions use a wide piece of elastic that shows at the top of the skirt, the idea of which didn’t thrill me. I had a couple scraps of fabric left, enough to fashion a self-fabric waistband sort of like a yoga waistband but not as wide. I think this would be a good option if your fabric has enough recovery to work without elastic. (You could also add elastic inside a waistband.)

Conclusion and notes for future versions: I sound negative about this pattern, maybe, but I actually like it a fair bit. It gives a very current, modern silhouette and it’s easy to put together, a combination which is hard to find. As you might guess from the photos and the pattern shape, it hugs your butt and your thighs, and the more ample you are in those areas, the more it will cling. I sure won’t be wearing it with really short tops but I think it’s OK with something hip-length. Your results will vary a lot depending on the weight of the fabric you use – I’d like to try it in a ponte and see how that looks. As far as alterations for future versions – despite the ease of having one pattern piece for both front and back, I’d probably make one for each so that I can make the back a little wider, raise the waist a little in the back, and lower it in the front.

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