Pineapples and Sunshine (and adventures in fabric flow)

I’ve had this pineapple fabric from Girl Charlee for a long time. Girl Charlee is a great retailer of affordable knit fabrics, and I love their “Girl Charlee exclusives” for adult dresses. If you’ve never ordered from Girl Charlee before and want to give them a try, it would be great if you could use my referral link so we both get a discount! I wanted to make a half circle skirt with this fabric as part of a dress. For the bodice, I used my muslin of my self-drafted raglan pattern, which could afford a few changes but is still totally wearable.

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For some reason, I got it in my head that I wanted the skirt to be cut from one piece. This meant that I couldn’t make the waist opening wide enough as a complete half circle and still have a long enough skirt. Instead, I cut the opening as an oval. As a result, the fabric flow is more lopsided than even a normal one-piece half circle skirt would be.

half circle idea
The shape I cut out. Grainline at center front.

In a normal half circle skirt, cut as a single piece with a back seam, the grainline would run along the center front, the crossgrain would run along the center back, and the bias would be equally distributed along the sides, leading to a pretty nice drape. The fact that the back featured the crossgrain while the front featured the grainline would mean the back has a little less flow than the front, but not enough to make it really unbalanced. However, because of the way I did it, the bias was forced more toward the front, making it even more lopsided. The back just kinda hung there, while the front had a ton of fabric folds. I was also unhappy with how loose the back was at my waist, so I decided to shirr the back waist. This helped both the fit and the flow, as the back now has more fabric folds and looks like it has a better drape. The final product turned out ok, but I don’t intend to do an oval shaped waist again. I’ll stick with two separate pieces.

The font has a continuous placket (again following the Melly Sews tutorial) with snaps for nursing access. It came out a little wonky this time – maybe I’ll fix it later. It seems like a Henley placket works better for knits containing spandex than the continuous placket does, at least for me.


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