"A gathered skirt is just about the most useful skirt you could have . . . it's becoming . . . it mixes with all your blouses and sweaters . . . A beginner should make it in about four hours. As you get more experienced, it will take even less time." - VoNBBS
This skirt took me, um, longer than four hours. In fact, my husband turned to me last night and said, "Are you still working on that?" The reason for this was two-fold: 1) I kept messing up. And 2) I was really really good about following the directions. I basted by hand! I made gathering stitches by hand! And - you're not going to believe this - I overcasted all the seam allowances by hand. It was terrible. It took forever.
Here's a view of the inside:
The gathering was the part that kept tripping me up. Seriously, if you're going to gather with taffeta and then baste it to a waistband, I really recommend doing all the basting by hand. Seriously. I basted it to the waistband (the first time) by machine, and it was a sorry sight. The gathers were all uneven and crazy-looking. I had to rip it all out and redo it by hand.
But anyway. This skirt is extremely fun to wear. Because of the stiffness of the taffeta, it stands out as though I were wearing a crinoline.
Besides using a different fabric than the one recommended, I also did my usual alteration of shortening from tea length to knee length. Also, for once I actually had to make a vintage pattern smaller instead of larger. Doris was a wee bit more voluptuous than I, so I took 3 inches out of the waistband pattern piece by slashing and overlapping. I left the skirt piece the same size since it was just going to get gathered anyway.
One thing I've been doing with my VoNBBS projects is to use the same color seam binding on all my hems. This has gotten me to think of the garments as part of an integrated collection. I like it.
Here are inside views of three of the garments, so you can see the seam binding:
VoNBBS closed the instructions for this pattern with the following directives:
"Press skirt on wrong side. Now, turn to right side and - quick! - freshen your makeup, slip into a sweater or blouse - then, your skirt - and show the world what you made - and at such a saving!"Thanks, VoNBBS! Next up is the "bonus project" from the book - the backless halter dress featured on the pattern envelope above.