Skirt failure (or should that be sewist failure?)

Yes, this is a UFO (un-finished object), crumpled up, in the corner, in disgrace.

This should have been an easy project. I was using a pattern I had made a few years ago.

The fabric had stretch, so fitting should be even easier, but I was using a pattern I had used before so fitting was not going to be an issue anyway. In fact I was wearing the first version of that pattern when I was constructing this new version. The first version still fitted me perfectly. How could the fit  be an issue?

Oh the danger of presumption!

“Measure twice, cut once”. I wish I had even measured once…

I tried on the almost-finished skirt to check the length.

It was way too tight through the hips and thighs. Lots narrower than the first version of this pattern that I had just removed. Unwearable tightness.

Could I let it out? This style has no side seam and the front has curved seams that I had already trimmed, clipped and top stitched. Beautifully. Only the centre back seam (with the zip already nicely inserted) could be changed.

I still didn’t think about the wisdom of measuring. I just went ahead and unpicked and then re inserted the invisible zip. This gave me about 1 cm extra width though the hips and thighs but still not enough to make it wearable. Unless I lose some weight. I don’t like having clothes that can only be worn when I lose weight.

So what went wrong here??? I was still wearing the first version. The fabric in the first version was tightly woven and the skirt was not stretched out of shape.

Was there something wrong with my paper version of the pattern?


I wish I had looked at my traced off pattern more closely before I had got this far! I had written ‘add extra to centre back seam’ on it in messy small writing.

So I am cross at myself for at least five reasons-

  • for not reading my pattern properly
  • for not noting how much to add to the centre back seam
  • for not retracing the pattern in the right size
  • for not checking the measurements of the pattern before cutting
  • for wasting a beautiful piece of fabric gifted to me by a good friend.

8 thoughts on “Skirt failure (or should that be sewist failure?)

    1. very sad – but rest assured, your wadder will have plenty of friends should it find its way to my wadderland.

  1. If its any consolation I am sure everyone who has sewn more than a few garments and traced off or altered patterns have made garments with similar outcomes, even though it is sad and irritating, I guess the best you could do is see if you can remake the skirt for your daughter? Or could you colour block the panels together and add additional seamlines to give you the extra room you need? Maybe some black or another colour like red or teal inserted somewhere..the side seams maybe? Is there any way this could become a design opportunity?

  2. Not sure what your skirt style is so this may not work, but have you considered putting two panels either side of centre back? If you make it wide enough, say from back dart to back dart, then it won’t look like a fix but a design element! Take out the back darts and incorporate this fitting into the panel seams and place your zip at centre back. If you have enough fabric then a little kick pleat at the back would really look great! McCalls5523 is a bit like this only it has one panel at the back with a side zip.

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