Leftovers: Vogue 1247 skirt

Vogue 1247

I always seem to overestimate how much fabric I need for any project and end up with a piece left over that’s too big to throw away but too small to do a lot with. The skirt from Vogue 1247 (sadly now out of print)  is a great use for such leftovers. I got this one out of a 70cm length of 150cm wide grey denim left over from my Burda 115 12/2009 trousers. Come to think of it, exactly the same thing happened with the leftovers from my previous version of those trousers. The denim was from Truro Fabrics but is now sold out.

Here’s the line art. I have never made the top, but the pattern is worth tracking down for the skirt alone. It is a simple style but beautifully implemented. Most importantly, it has pockets! And they are not an afterthought but an integral part of the design. Incidentally I’ve just noticed that the line art of the back view has a mistake. The zip doesn’t actually run to the top of the waistband. Instead the waistband has an underlap and closes with a hook and bar. The zip stops just below it as you’d expect.

Vogue 1247 line art

The original skirt pattern is seriously short. My version is lengthened by something like six inches. Admittedly I’m pretty tall but I don’t normally have to add length below the waist on any Vogue pattern. The original also has next-to-no ease. If you’re making this, check the finished garment measurements before picking a size; I found I needed to go one bigger than I usually do.

The original skirt has seams finished with bias binding throughout. It’s a beautiful effect but very time consuming to do. It’s much quicker to line the skirt than bind all the seams and in fact I prefer it lined. The first time I made this pattern I did the bound seams but that version of the skirt sticks to my tights and rides up. The lined versions don’t. This one’s lined with a large scrap of black satin lining I had left over from another project. I think it might be The Lining Company’s acetate/viscose satin.

I also used the lining fabric for the front pocket bags. The back pocket bags were cut out of the denim. The original pattern has the back pocket bag pieces cut in one with the skirt yoke but I cut them separately to save fabric. I also interfaced the front yoke just above the pockets to try to avoid any sagging and it seems to have worked.

Vogue 1247

I added some yellow topstitching to this version of the skirt. It’s just about visible in the photos. The grey denim needs the extra interest. I topstitched the yoke seam on the panels before inserting the zip or sewing the side seams so I had to be very careful about matching the topstitching lines up afterwards. Later I realized that I could have done it the other way around, sewing one continuous line of topstitching around the yoke starting and finishing at the centre back zip after I’d put the skirt together completely. This would probably have been easier to do. The eye is drawn to the topstitching and not the seamlines so it also would have disguised any failure to match the seamlines precisely at the side seams and centre back.

Vogue 1247

I expect I’ll make another version of this pattern any time I have a suitable leftover piece of fabric. The pockets are nicely roomy, it’s comfortable to wear, and if you skip the seam binding it’s a pretty fast sew.

Vogue 1247

Notes:

 

  • Vilene H250 interfacing on waistband, zip seam allowances, and front yoke above pockets. It was probably too heavy for the zip allowances.
  • YKK invisible zip, somewhat longer than the original pattern called for
  • Size 90 denim needle for main seams
  • Size 100 denim needle and Gutermann 968 denim gold top-stitch thread for top-stitching
  • Single row of topstitching on yoke seam and hem. Double row on side seams. None on waistband because it’s such a high waisted style it’s not visible

 

Courrèges alike

Vogue 1335 and 1247 front

I never intended this top and skirt to be worn as a set, but I think they work together and produce a sort of 60s effect – maybe a bit Courrèges? My first thought when I looked in the mirror was ‘oh dear this is Jackie Kennedy goes into space’. I therefore decided against wearing big sunglasses for the pictures.

They’re both made from mystery silver sweater knit which I bought on Goldhawk Road some time in 2014. The new garment in this post is the skirt. I had 4m of the fabric and I made two fairly fabric hungry tops out of it, but there was just enough left after that to make the very practical skirt from Vogue 1247.

The top in the pictures dates is based on Vogue 1335 and the details are here. The other top I made is Burda 109-10-2015.

Vogue 1335 and 1247 front with pockets

This top is quite long, which makes the skirt pockets less useful than they might otherwise be when worn together.

Vogue 1247 silver front

The pockets on this implementation of the skirt can sag a bit when you put things in them. The pattern was not intended for knits. The pockets on my woven version behave much better than this. I probably should have done something to stabilize the top edge when I made the knit one.

Vogue 1335/1247 back

Despite being made in a knit this skirt still needed a zip because it’s lined in a woven – a heavy black polyester satin lining fabric which was also left over from another project. The original design isn’t meant to be lined but it’s very easy to do: cut out the skirt fronts and backs again in lining (folding the pocket bag extensions out of the way) and sew them up with tucks instead of darts, leaving a gap in the top of the centre back seam for the zip opening. I then machined the lining opening edges to the zip opening edges on the skirt shell, and then basted the shell and lining together around the top before adding the waistband. This gives a nice neat finish without any hand sewing required around the zip. I did hand sew the shell hem though; the fabric is actually a very fine silver and black stripe and a machined hem would have looked a bit odd as it would have cut across the stripes.

Vogue 1335/1247 side

Despite the woven lining the skirt is quite drapey and shapeless in the knit. Very different from the woven version! The top in the pictures has more body than the skirt because every piece on that is interfaced.

Vogue 1247 silver side

The only thing I interfaced on the skirt was the waistband. If I was doing this over again I’d definitely interface the whole skirt but it’s perfectly wearable as it is. I made it a month or two ago and it’s been in fairly regular rotation for work. I normally wear it with the black polo neck jumper in the picture above which is an old make loosely based on Burda 122-04-2011.

Thanks as ever to my husband for taking the pictures!

Vogue 1247/1335

Beautiful on the inside – Vogue 1247

Vogue 1247 front view

This pattern is Vogue 1247; a Rachel Comey design that’s been on my mental to-sew list for a while. I’ve seen so many great versions of this made up that I expected Vogue would be selling the pattern forever, so it was a big surprise to see it in the “out of print” section on Sew Direct recently. Here’s the line art.

Vogue 1247 line art

I hastily bought a copy before it became completely unavailable, only to discover that it calls for finishing all the seams in the skirt with bias binding. At first I thought I’d ignore such fiddly nonsense and overlock the seam allowances instead, but then I noticed the right angle internal corners between the pockets! Attempting to feed those through the overlocker sounded like a recipe for disaster, so I reluctantly dug out a roll of black cotton bias binding and set to binding seams. I couldn’t even use my faithful binding foot as it doesn’t work well on sharp corners. I did manage to save myself one bit of extra work by cutting the waistband edge on the selvedge of the fabric so at least I didn’t have to bind that edge. And it does look really nice inside if you don’t look too closely at the corners.

Vogue 1247 insides

This skirt is seriously short. I added five inches to the length and made a one inch hem instead of the two inch one in the pattern. I’m tall, admittedly, but I wouldn’t want it any shorter than it is. I also think this one is a bit more true to size than some Vogue patterns; there’s not a lot of ease built in. If like me you’re in the habit of always going down a size in Vogue without really thinking about it then make an exception for this one. Luckily I checked the finished garment measurements before cutting; I ended up making my true size for once.

Vogue 1247 back view

I really like this pattern. Unusually for me I’d worn the finished object quite a few times before taking photos. The pockets are huge and it’s very comfortable to wear despite having a high waist. I can cycle in it (with thick tights or leggings underneath) too. And for once I’m pretty sure I will make it again because I’ve already cut another one out.

Notes and changes:

  • About a metre of heavy weight green/brown cotton twill; the same fabric I used for my Burda 115-12-2009 trousers
  • Size 90 denim needle
  • Black cotton bias binding for seams
  • 8″ invisible zip
  • Skirt hook
  • Vilene F220 interfacing for waistband
  • Added 5″ to length, made 1″ hem
  • Added hanging loops in black poly satin ribbon
  • Top-stitched hem

Vogue 1247 sitting

Silver skirt: Vogue 2607

Thanks for all your suggestions about what to wear with my silver Guy Laroche jacket! I think a little black dress might be the way to go. By contrast the skirt half of the suit is ridiculously easy to wear. It goes really well with a black t-shirt and ankle boots. For once the pictures are of an outfit I wore all day. I’ll admit I usually get out the impractical shoes and put on some extra makeup for blog photos, but not these. Also, nothing has been pressed.

Vogue 2607 skirt front view

Here’s the envelope art. I don’t know how useful any notes on sizing will be as it’s long out of print, but this one comes up unusually small. I normally have to go down a size from the correct one for my measurements in Vogue to get a garment that looks and feels right. After measuring the (lack of) ease on 2607 I cut my true size and even then both the jacket and skirt came up very close fitting.

Vogue 2607 envelope art

I added in-seam pockets as you can see below. The hem is also very visible in this picture. The original pattern has something like a 1.75″ hem allowance but as the skirt is very flared this makes it very difficult to get a smooth even hem. I reduced the hem allowance to an inch and overlocked the raw edge to draw it in as much as I could before top-stitching it. No way was I hand-sewing that much hem on such an unforgiving fabric. (The fabric is a silver metallic twill from Truro Fabrics; it’s very shiny and stitches do not exactly sink into it.)

Vogue 2607 skirt front view

The back view on this is unusual. The technical drawing doesn’t show it but the skirt hangs in a slightly strange way; the centre back seam sticks out at the hem. I presume it’s to do with the way the grain is arranged. I’m not sure if I like the effect or not, but I can’t see it when I’m wearing the skirt so I tend to forget about it. The only other thing to say about the back view is that I swapped the centred zip for a lapped one. I always use Kathleen Fasanella‘s lapped zip method. There’s a certain amount of faffing with the pattern required to alter the seam allowances for this process, but it’s worth it because the zip goes in neatly first time.

Vogue 2607 skirt back view

Unlike the jacket I have worn this a lot. By the time I got around to getting pictures it had already been washed at least once. Funny how these things work out.

Paprika Patterns’ Jade Skirt

Jade skirt front view

This is the Jade skirt from Paprika Patterns. I made it a couple of weeks ago but getting photos has been surprisingly difficult! But before I go on a disclosure: I was given the pattern for free to review, although I paid for my own printing and fabric. I agreed to review it because it’s something I’d definitely have made if it had turned up in Burda or Vogue…but somehow I can’t imagine Vogue producing this.

Jade is a PDF pattern. You get both large format and tiled versions in the package. I used the large format one as there’s a copy shop around the corner from my work, so I can’t say how easy it is to assemble. I have assembled precisely one (very simple) tiled PDF pattern and intend never to repeat the experience!

One interesting feature of this pattern that I wish every pattern house would copy: it has a version number. If an updated version should ever be released it will be possible to tell which one you currently have and if you should go and download an update.

There are two views to choose from: a mini and a longer length which has one extra pair of pleats. You can also optionally add an exposed zip. I am 5’10” and made the longer view without the zip. This is a good length on me; I certainly wouldn’t want it shorter. The pleats make the front pattern piece tricky to alter for length. There’s an explanation of how to lengthen it on the Paprika Patterns site, but I think the inclusion of the two views is a helpful feature that would allow most people to avoid doing that; you can easily fine-tune the length by altering the side seams to adjust exactly where the skirt sits on the waist.

I made no adjustments to the pattern pieces at all, just cut the closest size to my measurements. It’s a knit skirt with negative ease so needs no serious fitting. The instructions helpfully mention adjusting the side seams just before you attach the waistband, and I think I ended up taking them in at the top at that point.

Jade skirt side view

This is a quick make. I sewed it up in an evening and most of the time was spent on the pleats. The construction for the pleats involves first carefully pinning them all in place, and then sewing them down to an underlayer one by one. This often involved removing and replacing pins. It leads to a pleasingly solid front panel with the underlayer keeping the pleats nicely in place, but I found the pinning and unpinning a time-consuming process. If I make this again I shall try pinning and then sewing each pleat in turn as I’ve an idea I might find that easier than pinning the lot at once; also I’d probably drop fewer pins on the carpet. Another thing I’d do if tackling it that way is mark the pleat placement lines on the underlayer fabric. They’re not on the underlayer pattern piece as given, and I certainly managed without them, but I think having them might have made the folding go faster. However this was fun to make despite all that, and the instructions are very clear and detailed. There are also lots of useful extra hints on the website. I’d have had no problem tackling this as a beginner.

I used the same fabric for the shell and lining: a viscose-lycra jersey from Tissu Fabrics. This is medium weight and pretty stretchy. It needs to be: as you can see from the side view, this is a clingy design! The fabric doesn’t have as much recovery as would be ideal for this style and I found the waistband tended to grow during wear, so I’ve added elastic to mine to help with that. I’ve bought this fabric a couple of times now and been very happy with it, but I’ve had feedback from a reader that when she bought the same one she received something rather different from the fabric I’ve got. Mine has a big difference between wrong and right sides for example, and hers does not. So I guess that link may no longer be for the exact same fabric I’m showing here. Pity – it’s so hard to source fabric online at all, and knits are even more difficult.

Jade back view

Here’s a back view. My hem tends to rise up a tiny bit in the middle although it appears to have been sewn straight; I guess I probably should have made the next size up at the hips.

This is an unusual but easy to sew design with really great instructions and support; it’s reminiscent of some of the Pattern Magic styles but far more accessible. I wish it had been around when I was first starting out with knits.