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Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Pattern Review - Imagine Gnats: Alder Skirt {for women}

I am pretty excited about my skirt - so excited that here is a picture of it in need of a pressing!

I love the front of my Alder Skirt - I mean - REALLY LOVE IT!
Allie at IndieSew had some great things to say about the pattern, and I went with her recommendations and her review as my guidance - I made sure my fabric had some stretch, and I fit the skirt to my waist measurement, focusing on my Hip measurement for the pattern.
I also spent a great deal of time figuring out which version had the lay-flat pockets instead of the berry-collecting pockets.
On page 4 under "Cutting out Pattern Pieces" there is a note that
View B is the Flat Pocket Option.

My version needed a major alteration to the back of the garment (so great that I eliminated the elastic waist and sized it down significantly).  I am thrilled with the front of the skirt - I need to make it again to consider the back as designed and evaluate whether as-designed it is a skirt for me.

<UPDATE: What I did: Honestly I wouldn't recommend doing what I did: I chopped 6 inches out of the middle on grain-line from hem to waistband (as close as I dared to the darts) and then added two more darts and a center-back seam). - I think I am going to whip the skirt up in a quilting cotton (one of the recommended fabrics) and give it another go before I publish the review to PR.>

 I found that it was difficult to find pattern reviews for this item online, so I am offering some suggestions to encourage an approach to the project that will produce success.


Overall this pattern is nicely packaged - the cover is attractive and colourful, the pages and font are nice (but a darker colour would have been appreciated, it is a little faint on the page).  This pattern needs a line drawing - I have searched and cannot find one;  there are very few rear-shot images of the skirt.

"2-22" (but actually comparable to extended sizing)

from the pattern package

I am used to the garment measurements being available - and they aren't here. The sizing runs very Large.  I am a 35 waist and 54 hip, I am used to making adjustments - But I feel like the size chart is closer to the garment measurements on this chart.  I normally sew an 18 or 20 and I started with a 16 on this chart, and needed to alter down the back significantly.
The sizing is not reflective of what I am used to seeing. If we review the upper range of sizing and compare to the W sizing from Simplicity:
In the end, I recommend you mark your desired waistline and hip line on the pattern and measure, measure, measure.

Quality of Instruction

The instructions are clear, have good graphics - I didn't run into any vague directions - excellent.


The pattern is well laid out, has nice colour features and markings are well drafted.  I wasn't able to activate layers, but the pattern would lend itself to this.
Lengthen/Shorten, grainlines, and key body measurements should be added. 

Further Recommendations

  1. Have your Ruler ready when laying out the pattern - you will need to draw-in the lengthen/shorten lines,
  2. Be prepared to measure yourself and the pattern - you will need to add your own hipline and waistline to the pattern, so prepare for that as well - and note that the garment is meant to sit low - on the hips. 
  3. Take your time and consider the pockets and the front design elements, and take time to ensure you have selected the correct pattern pieces for your desired project.
  4. The back - I found that there was an issue with the garment back - the gathering is extreme - consider your wasit to hip and consider adding additional or enlarging the dart.  Ideally the waist band at it's fullest extension should pull up over your hips - and no more - I found that there was far too much fabric and the gathering was awkward and not flattering for a small waist (especially a curvy figure with an high hip:waist ratio) (I suspect I will size down the back and leave the front where I already sized down).
  5. Start with a lighter fabric that can take the gathering at the waistband well.

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