I had an absolute pleasure of being a pattern tester for Frances of Muffin Head Patterns. Frances came up with a easy versatile skirt pattern that is rather easy to put together. I believe the pattern is now available on her Etsy shop so feel free to head on over and give it a try! This was my first time being a pattern tester and let me tell ya, I loved it! It is a great opportunity to try out new patterns, learn techniques, share knowledge and meet new people.
Frankie skirt is a very simple A-line skirt. Although the pattern is marked for intermediate sewer, I think a beginner can still tackle it. The skirt has pockets, which can be omitted, zipper and a waistband with a button closure. The skirt has no darts, it is gathered to fit the waistband and it can also be lined. Although the pattern is marked for intermediate sewer, I think a beginner can still tackle it if they chose the version without pockets. The instructions are geared for someone with sewing knowledge though, so that is the only part that may be challenging for a beginner.
I did not have any issues with printing the PDF pattern and putting it together. It came together seamlessly. I do tend to get impatient with putting together PDF patterns and I absolutely hate cutting them… such a drag! But ever since I noticed a handy industrial paper cutter in our printing room at work, things got a lot easier! I stayed late one night and got all my stash of printed patterns cropped… bye-bye scissors! Now I just need to figure out an easy way to glue them together…
This is the first Frankie skirt I’ve made and I completely followed instructions. Other than making the skirt shorter, and grading to fit the pattern to my body there are no modifications to it. My measurements put me into size 3 at the waist and size 5 at the hips. Even though the skirt is gathered and normally your hip measurement would not matter much with a gathered skirt, this particular skirt is not very full. If I would have stayed at size 3 throughout I feel like my hips may have been too tight. I am happy I graded my size 3 waist to size 5 at the hip.
Grading this skirt was very easy! The PDF patter is layered, so you can print out only the sizes you need, to save ink, paper and just overall make it easier and less confusing for yourself. I printed both size 3 and 5 on the same page, and then connected the two lines from size 3 waist to size 5 hip with my French curve. Keep in mind that if you are doing this, you will also need to alter your pocket piece slightly to match a new side seam line as it will be more curved. I used size 5 pocket piece that I traced onto medical paper, laid on top of my new graded skirt piece, and traced a new side seam line onto it that way.
I will do some minor modifications in the future though. I do not like having a button on my waistband. I prefer to attach my waistband to the skirt prior to sewing the seam with the zipper, be is center back seam or side seam. Essentially you have one long skirt piece that is not a circle yet at that point. I then attach the zipper to the skirt and the waistband at the same time, so the zipper continues on from the skirt to the waist band. This eliminates the need for button closure on the waistband. You do have to have your waistband in two pieces though, but I find it is minor inconvenience. I also think it looks a little bit cleaner and more professional. Although getting the seam on the waistband to align on both sides of the zipper may be tricky, but it is a good skill to practice anyways. Colette has a great tutorial on how to attach the waistband this way on her website.
I am also thinking of may be trying to widen the skirt just a little bit at the hem, while keeping the waist the same. I like gathered skirts, but I hate how if you gather a rectangle it creates bulk at the waist. I am thinking of trying to spread out this pattern to play with the fullness of the skirt.
If you like gathered skirts, if you are a beginner or just like easy skirts I definitely recommend this pattern. It is easy, it fits and it provides for ample opportunities for modifications which successfully moves it into tried and true patterns category. I will be trying it again!