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Knit skirt Chapter 3: full waist and tummy adjustment

6 May, 2017

This is the real joy of sewing: garments that fit, rather than close enough. Is usually make dresses and tops, so I'm familiar with what I need to do, but the bottom half is fairly uncharted for me.

I've cut out size 16 of B6655. The pattern says it has a waist circumference of 31.5″. To fit a body waist measurement of 30″. Firstly, I prefer my waist bands snugger than that anyway. That will just fall down to where my body is 31.5″. Which is the next problem. Because no part of my body has a circumference of 31.5″.

My waist measurement is 35″. But that's not the whole story. My back waist is quite small, so the gaping waistbands on shop bought trousers tell me. But two children and a love of chocolate mean my front waist is a bit bigger. I like measuring an existing skirt that fits to find what measurement would be best. I don't have a knit skirt at the moment, so I used the tip from Iconic Patterns again and pinned my fabric around my waist. 33″ it is then.

I'm a little nervous that with stabilising etc that might be too snug. It's 2″ negative ease. I might make bigger seam allowances as an insurance policy.

I'm going to leave the back alone. It has a centre back seam I can take in if necessary. My measurement (33) take the pattern circumference (31.5) gives me 1.5″. So I want to add 3/4″ to my front pattern piece. I also need to add. More fabric in the front between my waist and hips. I found this fab tutorial by Maria Denmark on the By Hand London blog that I used to do this.

It's probably best to go and look at that tutorial, because I tried to make a short cut by tissue fitting rather than making a muslin. And of course, why try a new technique on a straight skirt when you can do it on one with interesting design seams that have the shaping in them. I got around this by pinning the bits together and working as if they were one. All my changes happened on the central piece.

The step where you slash across the front and just see where it falls doesn't quite work when you are holding a bit of tissue paper up against yourself, and I got cross with it and decided that what I've done will do, but I'm not sure if it will fit. I carried on anyway. I might have enough fabric for a take 2.

That slash that opens up to the waist you see up there, I closed to leave an additional 3/4″ at the waist seam, that's the extra I worked out I need earlier. Closing in the slash made my piece not quite flat, but it's knit so I don't think it will matter. If it were a wider wedge, or woven fabric, I'd make it a dart.

And then transferred all those changes to the lining and facing pieces. Finally ready to cut out! This is why nothing is a quick pattern for me.

Woo, the postman has just arrived with the thread to finish my woodland stroll cape. I'll be back later.


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