Tartan skirts

Remember this?

It’s polyester tartan fabric I bought in Glasgow to make a knockoff of a Yohji Yamamoto dress I saw years ago. I can’t really remember what the original looked like, but my plan is to morph the bodice of Vogue 8143 (line art below) and a full skirt from some other pattern.

I had originally been thinking of using the skirt from the new Vogue 8701 but yesterday I realised that I already own Vogue 8633 which comes with an option for a very full skirt. Here’s the line art

Vogue 8633 view d and e line art

Now I’m just wondering how to lay the pattern pieces out on the fabric.

There is a seam down the centre front of the skirt although the line art doesn’t show it. The skirt is a full circle skirt made from four identical pieces. The pattern piece has the straight grain line running parallel to the centre front and centre back seams.

I wonder if it’s advisable to try to cut the front out on a fold to avoid having to match the pattern on the centre front seam. I have quite a lot of fabric to play with (it was cheap!) but clearly not enough to cut an enormous circle skirt out twice.

I think it makes sense for the centre front of the skirt to be on the straight grain of the fabric regardless of whether there’s a seam or not. That way the skirt will contrast with the bias cut bodice. However I’ve been Googling for pictures of tartan circle skirts and most of the ones I have found don’t work like that. They have a centre front seam but cut so that the fabric is on the bias at the seam. I did find one picture where the grain was positioned the way I’m intending and it didn’t look obviously wrong, but I wonder if there’s something I’m missing here. Insights most welcome!

4 thoughts on “Tartan skirts

  1. I can’t really help you too much either. Like you said, all the RTW plaid skirts I’ve seen are as you said. Good luck and can’t wait to see the final outcome!

  2. I can’t imagine why you couldn’t cut the front on the fold. I’m guessing the back, which is identical, has to have a seam to accommodate a zipper and they just didn’t want to print another pattern piece for the front. If you do cut on the fold, don’t forget to remove the center front seam allowance first!

  3. Browsing through one of my old dressmaking books I came across a chapter dedicated to circle skirts. It advises that if the two seams are to be at the centre-front and back, the fabric should be soft and heavy so that it falls well over the hips. Maybe the answer to your question has something to do with how the fabric falls? It also advises to let the skirt hang before hemming it and make a small hem so it does not pull on the garment, but you already know that I’m sure! Good luck with it, I’ll be following you!

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