Monday, December 9, 2013

By Hand London Charlotte - Tropical Style!

Two posts in one week! Well, I'm home with a nasty cold/sinus infection so I'm catching up on posting garments I've had photographed for a while but haven't written the post for. Michael has moved the desktop computer into our bedroom so I can watch DVDs in bed, so I'm currently flat on my back blogging.

My new job allows me to wear pretty much whatever I like (yay for Academia!). I wouldn't wear jeans, but I can definitely move from being strictly corporate - which I love! This move away from corporate did mean however I needed a few pieces to wear to work. I decided to try the By Hand London Charlotte Skirt.


The fabric is a tropical print cotton sateen from Clegs. Pretty cool!


I made a size 6 and started with a muslin in some cheap sateen I got from Spotlight ages ago. I am going to be very honest here and say I found the pattern to be very difficult. Like Amy, I had a weird pouchy area at about the groin level. I had to essentially create a massive dart going across the front and back from side seam to side seam to remove the excess fabric.

I also had to significantly lengthen the darts and move them so I didn't have pouchy-ness going on. I added a back vent - but kind of stuffed this up and had to sew it on, meaning I didn't have enough of a vent. Ah well. I can walk fine in it and no one can tell so it is okay.


Finally, I didn't remove any length from the pattern - I guess I am tall enough for the By Hand London draft!


So - what do you think? I like my skirt but I must admit I found the fit baffling. I'm used to making adjustments to patterns but the weird pouchy thing at the groin level flummoxed me. I really like the pencil skirt look - can anyone recommend another good pencil skirt pattern?

22 comments:

  1. What a pity about the pattern ~ added pouchiness we can all do without! Keep hunting for another pattern as this style definitely suits you ... and just love that fabric ... J

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    1. Thanks Judith - the fabric is pretty fab!

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  2. I really like the skirt, but it sounds as though you need a different pattern. Try a Lekala free one - they have a simple straight skirt pattern, and you can get it to your measurements. Might be worth a try!

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    1. Definitely worth a try - thanks Lara!

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  3. Wow a pencil skirt has to be the easiest pattern to adjust and fit - I'm astounded by the pouchiness too - how odd! I highly recommend vintage patterns for pencil skirts. They sit nice and high on the waist, the size is easy to purchase because you go by your waist measurement. There's only about 1" ease on a 50's pattern and there are HUNDREDS of them out there for about $10!

    I can't imagine you'd have to alter them to get rid of pouchiness - I usually add a bit to the hips because I dont wear a corset like they did back in the day, so the waist to hip ratio is lower (??) on me.
    And I usually take heaps off the length but thats cos I'm short.

    Anyways - def give the 50s and early 60s pencil skirt patterns a go. Lookie!
    https://www.etsy.com/listing/170433224/1950s-pencil-skirt-pattern

    https://www.etsy.com/listing/124345892/mccalls-5082-1950s-pencil-skirt-pattern

    https://www.etsy.com/listing/96147479/50s-mccall-8258-one-piece-slim-pencil

    :-D

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  4. I like your dress. Not sure what the pouching is from.

    My pencil skirt draft was using a instructions from Studio faro.
    http://www.studiofaro.com/resources-and-downloads/pattern-making-worksheets-downloads

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    1. Thank you - I'm going to check that out tomorrow.

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  5. I love the skirt - that's a great print. But the pouching thing sounds frustrating. I haven't tried a By Hand pattern yet, but the Anna dress is high on my list.

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    1. I have actually made the Anna - need to photograph it. It required mods but not as badly as the Charlotte.

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  6. Burdastyle Jenny Skirt is ace! You just have to add about 3" to length to hit below the knee. Your tropical skirt is lurvely, good to know about pouch issues.

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    1. I have that pattern somewhere! Thanks for the reminder! X

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  7. Oh I adore that fabric!!!! I have made the Charlotte but I took it in on the sides a lot. I've got the Anna but haven't felt in the mood to make it up so am looking forward to your post on that.

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  8. It's a terrific fabric and the skirt looks absolutely fine in the photos (lovely photos too BTW) - but the fit issues you're describing sound really weird! I find pencil skirts a bit hard to fit though I've had a bit of success using double darts in the front.

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  9. I've been a lurker but I must comment-this skirt looks fabulous on you! It's a great combination of fabric and pattern and you wear it very well.

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  10. Your skirt looks great Rachel. Have you had that issue with other pencil skirt patterns? I've heard a few people mention the same problem, and I have my own issues with pencil skirts. For such a simple project they can be really difficult to fit well!

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  11. In my skirt pattern collection my favourite straight skirt is Burda 8680 - I made it in a heavy (almost denim weight) fabric and I'm very happy with the comfort factor and somehow the fly-zip at the front worked really well. (I HATE putting in zips, but this one went in just fine!)

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  12. this skirt looks so pretty on you! I love it!
    And what's so funny: I too made a BHL pattern with exactly the same fabric. I made the Victoria blazer with it.
    So what's to say? Obviously I love your fabric! :)

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  13. Pencil skirts really suit you! This fabric is wicked too. The before amount of fun without being too much. I love it!

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  14. What a shame Rachel....the pencil skirts you made ages ago (downloaded from Burda if I remember correctly) did not have that problem ...perhaps it is a drafting issue. It might be helpful to compare the patterns. I have used Burda 8155 many times for myself and M - you do need to draft a better pleat for it however.

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