Thursday, 27 March 2014

Pattern matching: Box pleat skirt (GBSB)

Like all of us sewing addicts out there, I absolutely love the Great British Sewing Bee - it was watching the Sewing Bee last year that really made me realise that I could make clothes and how easy it was to actually get the most out of my sewing machine.  I happened to be in Tesco the other evening, and thought I would just take a quick trip to their books section to see if they had the latest sewing bee book in stock.  I really liked last years book, but there was quite a lot of hassle involved in printing off the pattern pieces, cutting them out, sticking them all together etc - let's be honest, I basically lost the will part way through!

This year, though, the book comes with printed pattern pieces that you just have to trace over. Even the simple element of having the pattern pre-printed is a massive bonus, and encouraged me to buy it, even though I still have patterns to make from last years book...!

The first project on pattern week was a box pleat skirt. Typically, I'm not all that into pleated skirts, but they looked so cute, I was really tempted, and decided that when I went looking for skirt patterns, that would be what I would be on the look-out for. When I saw that it was in the book, I just couldn't resist.

I've learned my lesson about pattern sizing - don't just look at the sizes and say 'Oh, I'm usually at 10, so I'll be a 10 in this'. That is definitely the way to end up with a garment which only a skinny teenager or a doll could wear! So, I did a measure - and then, a few hours later, once I came out of my fit of depression - I cut out significantly larger size. In mitigation, the other issue is that this skirt is clearly a high waisted skirt on the model. Again, I know my own shape, and I just don't like high waisted skirts - the curse of being a wee shorty! So I bit the bullet, and decided I would have it lower on the waist and make it in the larger size.

As you'll see, I actually made the effort to do things proper sewing bee style, and even pinned my pattern pieces to the fabric!

This pattern was really so easy to make up, but my idea was that I would really make the effort, like those on the show, to properly pattern match. Thus far in my sewing life, I've usually used floral or plain fabrics, which have needed limited matching, but I found this amazing orange gingham in Calico for £2.50 for 2m, and couldn't resist. It was the perfect fabric for pattern matching - a really obvious pattern, and not expensive enough to be devastated if it all goes horribly wrong...!

Throughout, the key thing was really to pattern match in as many places as possible.  So, I matched the lines of the pattern in my pleats, here.

I also matched it on the side seams, to ensure that the lines flowed round the skirt.  The final area to match was the waistband. This was probably the most challenging area.  Due to the size of the pleats and the pattern, the waistband wasn't going to match all the way round. However, I (somehow) managed to make the front band match perfectly, so that the matching only went off on the back of the skirt. I'm going to consider that a will see the back anyway, I hope!

Getting the lines in the right place was one thing, and I was pretty chuffed with myself, until I noticed...

In case you haven't worked it out...I had somehow managed to switch colours, so that although the lines were matching, the colours were off! Oops! I was glad I noticed that before I actually started sewing - I'd really have been annoyed if I'd made that mistake, after so much pattern matching effort.

All sewn up...and I think that is definitely a pattern matching success!

1 comment:

  1. Lovely tutorial Rebekah, and I'm glad you made the comment about sizing, I'm a size 8 but a 16 in this :-(. I was so excited when I saw you where from Belfast and then instantly disappointed when I saw you'd moved. Looking forward to following your blog (I'm very new to sewing). This is my crafty blog x