Recently, I took on the challenge of testing a new pattern being developed by a sewing blogger I follow, SewDIY. She needed volunteers who could test out her wrap skirt pattern and give her feedback by a set deadline. In return, she would give her testers a copy of the finished pattern for free. I'm definitely interested in free patterns and thought the wrap skirt would be a nice addition to my work-wear options. I volunteered to sew a size 14 and was selected to be a part of the testing team. I had just wrapped up some smaller projects and was ready to focus on this project. I went to one of my favorite Seattle fabric spots for garments, District Fabric, and got a woven linen with a decidedly tweedy look (above) and a blue cotton shirting fabric to line the skirt. The top fabric in the pile is a lovely green buffalo check that I couldn't resist and have plans to make a pop-over Archer some time this spring. I really liked my fabric choices and was also happy not to have spend much more than $20 on the project, in case the fit didn't really work out.
Luckily, I didn't have anything to worry about. The pattern sewed up nicely, with great instructions for adding a lining. The fit was perfect (I did sew a muslin to test it out, just in case) but I have to get used to wearing the skirt at my natural waist instead of below my belly button, where most of my clothing sits. I chose a simple button closure and the mini length (really just slightly above the knee) with about 2 inches added on to accomodate my longer legs (pattern is modeled on a 5'6" frame). I sewed a straight size 14 since it matched my waist and hips perfectly. The linen was okay to sew with, but I should have serged all the raw edges since I noticed some unraveling at the waist band when I was finshing up. That will probably shorten the life-span of the skirt, so lesson learned. I'm also going to have to be very lady-like when wearing this skirt, the wrap crosses underneath at an angle, so it would be easy to expose oneself accidentally.
I love the button and snap closure (easy enough to take in or let out the skirt as needed) but the pattern does offer a tie closure as well as a D-ring option. I was thinking a nice floral print with a tied waist might be next in line when I try the pattern again. All in all, the project took about 10 hours with the muslin, cutting and sewing. The skirt can be finished more quickly on a machine, or more painstakingly by hand if desired.
Here is the finished project. I'm going to relocate the button so that the skirt sits higher at the waist, which will be more flattering. I accidentally sewed the skirt with the wrap backwards from the pattern, but the two front pieces are symmetrical, so that wasn't a problem. Excited to have something new to wear to work this week, just as the spring weather is poking its head out over here.