Friday, June 7, 2019

Pattern Review - Wander Skirt by Gentle Clothing

I realize that it's been ages since I wrote my last review of a pattern, but this seemed like a good one to write about.  So, here are my thoughts on the Wander Skirt by Karen LePage of Gentle Clothing (Instagram: @gentleclothing).

In the interest of full disclosure, Karen and I are friends.  We were introduced by a mutual friend after Karen moved to the Pacific Northwest.  I received a copy of the pattern from Karen after I had expressed interest in making it.  She did not ask me to write a review or anything of that sort in exchange for the pattern.  This review is based on my honest experience with making the pattern.

Now that I got that out of the way, are you ready to hear what I think about it?  GOOD!  Let's go!

I wouldn't really consider myself a garment sewist.  I've made a few pieces, but mostly I find something that I like and then I make it a few times as I've done with my favorite t-shirt pattern, favorite cardigan, and PJ shorts/pants.  I can literally count the number of skirts that I own on one hand (and not even get through all of my fingers), so this pattern was pretty out of the box for me.  I've had issues with wrap-style items being a little scary when a slight breeze happens, but Karen showed me how this skirt was different in terms of overlap.  She was right (and I even experienced some pretty substantial wind while wearing the skirt, so I can personally attest to it).

The first thing that caught my eye about the pattern (when I saw pictures on Instagram) was that it can be made with a variety of different fabrics.  Some of the fabrics mentioned as suitable for making the skirt include: cotton lawn, quilting cotton, linen, and denim.  Perfect!  Right after I saw how cute it was, I read that it was reversible!  YES!  That's even better!  I decided to use fabrics from the Observatory collection by Alison Glass for Andover Fabrics for the main and contrast.  The fabrics in the collection are created by hand using the batik process, but they don't feel like most batiks (which is probably why I like them).  Just to mix it up a little, I decided to make the waistband/tie out of my favorite print from Alison's Adorn collection.  The one that I selected is a cotton lawn.

Fabrics are from Observatory by Alison Glass for Andover Fabrics
With fabrics in mind, I moved into selecting a size - not my favorite part of any pattern.  There are 11 sizes included, so it is designed to work for lots of bodies.  The pattern also gives some tips on selecting sizes, fitting tips, and options for variations including length modifications and widening the waistband (p.s. I did not make any modifications on mine).  Perfect.  I picked one and off I went to trace my pattern onto Swedish tracing paper while my fabrics were in the washing machine.  Don't forget this step (if your fabrics can be laundered) because fabric will often shrink, so it would be a real bummer to make a finished garment then wash it and have it not fit in the end.

I found the instructions on laying out the pattern pieces to be easy to follow.  I can never seem to remember which color is which (right or wrong side) on garment pattern illustrations, but thankfully, the pieces were labeled in the illustrations.  YAY!  After I got all of the pieces cut, I interfaced the waistband/tie (because it recommends to do so when you're using a lightweight fabric) using Palmer Pletsch PerfectFuse Interfacing in Sheer weight to give the lawn a bit of body and to try to minimize the wrinkling.

Construction of the skirt was straight forward (and it's made using a straight stitch on a sewing machine - no serger required).  The only tricky part was trying to figure out exactly where I needed to create the pass-through hole for the tie, but once I wrapped the skirt around my body, I understood where it needed to go.  To be honest, the pattern illustration was spot on.  I just got a little paranoid that I would put it in the wrong spot.

I love the topstitching along the bottom edge in 40wt Aurifil colors 2692 and 1200
With that crisis averted, I finished my skirt.  I washed it and packed it before I left for a trip to Kansas City where I wore it, and then I wore it a few days later with the reverse side out!  Yes!  I really did.  Here are a couple of less than ideal pictures that I snapped in my hotel room (the cardigan is Universal Standard for J.Crew if you're wondering):

I wore it first with the purple (contrast) side out to a trunk show 
Then I wore it with the black (main) side out  a few days later
A better pic of my completed skirt where you can see the colors.  40wt Aurifil in color 2630 was used for the waistband/tie
This pattern is very well written.  Karen's years of sewing and pattern writing expertise are evident.  She's made this skirt a ton of times.  She's worn this a ton of times.  She's taught this pattern as a class a ton of times.  I do believe it really is suitable for a person for a confident beginner sewist or even a quilter (who has sewn for years but never made garments)!  LOL.

So, I've made the skirt.  I've worn it.  It's a skirt, and I liked it (yeah, for real).  I think I'll even make another one...or two.  Would I change anything on the next one?  I think the only thing I may change the next time I make it is to make the waistband/tie a little bit longer so I can have a longer bow, but that's it.  It's not an issue with the skirt.  It's just personal preference.  It was super windy on the second day that I wore the skirt, but it did not let me down.  Everything under the skirt stayed under the skirt (and aren't we all thankful for that?)!  I even sat cross-legged on the floor while wearing my Wander Skirt without any exposure/incidents/issues (take your pick of word).  YES!  YES!  YES!  I'm a happy camper.  :)

There's only one thing that I wish it had...pockets.  :). Maybe that's a suggestion for a future pattern!