Pattern testing Florence skirt by Sinclair Patterns

Hi sewing friends! This week I am bringing to you yet another pattern I had a enjoyment of testing, however this time it was was a Sinclair Patterns. This was my first time not only testing one of their patterns but it was also the very first time I had a pleasure of sewing a pattern from their broad collection. It is always fascinating to me how every business is unique and a little bit different in their approach.

Similar to SBCC Patterns, Sinclair Pattern target not only regular height people, but also people of a petite frame! This (as you may know) is something I always look for, because it make the whole process of fitting the garment so much simpler! So an a day I sew the call for pattern testers on Instagram I instantly knew I had to apply. The process to test the pattern for Sinclair Patterns looks exactly the same as for any other company I tested previously, but their time line is so much shorter. Normally I would have 2-3 weeks to sew a pattern, take photos and write a feedback. Sinclair Patterns however gives you about 9 days to do it all. It was not a problem for this particular project, but I can imagine it could be more difficult if a pattern is more complex.

Oxana, who runs the Sinclair Patterns company uses a closed Facebook group during pattern testing process, where we could past our in progress photos and ask any questions or share a feedback. This was very helpful and it was nice to see how everyone is getting on with their makes.

Let’s have a look on what I’ve been sewing!…

The pattern

Florence skirt comprises of 8 panels that give it a close fit at the waist and is semi fitted and flared at hips and hem respectively. There is an option to make a front button placket or you can skip the placket and go for a plain front with a side zipper. There are also two lengths variations: knee length and calf length.

I tested the knee length version with a button placket and apart from shortening the hem by 6 cm I did not make any other adjustments to the pattern pieces.

Fabric choice

The pattern is designed for light and medium weight woven fabric and I made mine from light chambray denim I purchased few months ago from myfabrics.co.uk for £8.45 a meter. At the time I wanted to make a casual trousers for end of a summer, but I never came around to doing it. I had 1.5 meter of this fabric and it was a perfect amount. You will definitely need more if you planning to make one out of directional print.

Overall the fabric was easy to handle, sew and press, but during the fitting process I realized that it have a tendency of stretching a little, in a similar manner that some linens do so I ended up having a little bit too much easy at the waist.

Sewing the pattern

The pattern is pretty straightforward, so it did not take long to sew. The whole process took about 2.5 hours, including making 8 button holes and hand stitching all buttons.

The pattern instruction is very detailed and it takes you through every step including recommended seam finish using a French seam method. As this is my preferred method I was happy to oblige.

After realising that my fabric stretched slightly, even after stay stitching waist edge and being careful I decided to take in 1 cm from each side seam plus inserted an elastic inside the waistband starting and ending on the second front panel. This worked absolutely fine and now it provides more comfort and flexibility during wear.

Final thoughts

Although there is nothing wrong with the pattern, I am not sure it is something I would like to wear. I like that it is easy to pair it with many different styles of tops, but even that does not convince me. I am glad I made it though, because it was a new experience and I am again one step closer to understanding what I like and what I do not like.

Have a great week!

Monika xxx

Sewing Erin Skirt, why did I wait so long???

Hi sewing friends!

Do you ever procrastinate from completing a certain project? If you do, how long does it take you? I had my eyes on making Erin skirt from Sew Over It eBook ” My capsule wardrobe. City break” for some time now….over a year if I’m honest! I had the fabric cut out in January, but only now took my time to sew it up! Don’t ask my why? Hell, I tell you anyway! But first let me introduce the pattern.

The pattern

Photo: Sew Over It

The Erin skirt pattern is a take on a classic denim skirt with a button front placket, deep pockets and waist darts at the back. It is shaped similar to a pencil skirt, so it is slightly close fitting.  It comes in two lengths: mini or below the knee, and it suppose to sit at your natural waist….anyway….back to my story!

The journey of making my Erin skirt started over a year ago, when I used a leftover of some brown stretch denim from my old project to make a toile. I am new to wearing skirts, which probably is the biggest factor here for delaying this make so long, but what made things even worst is how awful that toile ended up! I wanted to make a short version of the skirt and based on my waist and hip measurements I cut out a size 18 and graded it out to a size 20 at the waist, hence had to adjust pockets and waistband to ensure everything matched as it should. After sewing the skirt I had realized that it had way too much ease at the waist and I looked hideous in it, so as you do I put it away at the deepest end of my closet…but as you see the story didn’t end there. I reversed all pattern alternations and cut out a straight size 18, but this time made a midi length by extending the hem by 7 cm. I put aside fabric pieces and waited another 8 months to even consider completing the project…

IT was only because of #swapsharesew challenge that I consider giving this pattern a go one last time! You might know if you read the other post that Erin skirt was one of three patterns chosen by me to enter in a challenge. After my sewing friend @katiebrownless chose for me to make the Bonnie dress I decided to make the skirt anyway. The fabric was already cut out so it is not like I could use it for anything else, right?

Fabric choice

I knew the best option for this pattern and my comfort would be to get a type of a stretch denim fabric so I went and purchased 1 meter of Lady McElroy Indigo stretch Barkweave denim from Minerva Crafts for £10.99 a meter. I wanted to try a slightly better quality fabric and thought that would be a good choice. I washed the fabric right away to see if there will be any noticeable changes in color shade or any leaks, but I must say the material looks exactly the same after a wash. This is great, because in the past I was disappointed while working with cheap fabrics.

For my pocket linings I used some scrap of cotton fabric to reduce volume of a side seam. Plus it is always fun to add something to your garment that only you know is there.

Sewing

I sewn this skirt in one sitting and it only took 3 hours. I had to change thread on couple of occasions, because I was using a Gutermann top stitching tread on my pockets, placket and hem to see how my machine would handle it and if I like the look. I admit I really like it, and will most probably be using this thread in a future. The pattern instructions are simple to follow and the only difficult or scary bit would be as always…the buttonholes! I had to make 7 and it went like a dream. My machine does not disappoint me! Thank you Janome! I used some jean buttons, because I like the classic look and I bough bunch of them while making Cleo dungaree last year.

Final thoughts

This is a successful and happy make, that I am grateful for completing. It surprises me that I can pair it up with so many different tops and sweaters from my closet, which is an indicator of my slow development of personal style and growing me made wardrobe. Something I am extremely happy about! I can understand why so many people consider this skirt a staple in their closet and it is definitely an all season appropriate garment.

Do you wear skirts? If yes, what is your favorite pattern?

See you next time!

Monika xxx