How can I improve this skirt?

So after my last post where I told you I made a skirt but it didn’t fit, The Perfect Nose (sorry, I don’t know your “real” name ;-)) commented that it would be useful if I showed a photograph of myself wearing the skirt so people could advise me on how to improve it for a better fit. I roped Gman into photographing me (which may explain the strange angle that makes me seem very broad shouldered ;-)) and here I am, from the front, the side & the back:

skirt from the front
skirt from the side
skirt from the back

I think my problem with is it is that it is not only A shaped from side to side, but also from front to back (does that make any sense?!) I don’t like the way the material sort of sticks out in the middle at the front. Maybe it’s just my pot belly, or the fact that my bum is so flat?!

But if any of you experienced garment-sewing folks can see a way to remedy it to make it look right, your advice would be very much appreciated šŸ™‚

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27 thoughts on “How can I improve this skirt?

  1. Hey–I used to sew for myself, and while my body shape is different than yours, it looks like one of two things might be the issue at hand: there is too much fabric (even for a-line) bec/ it appears too big on your frame (especially in the profile where it looks too puffy on stomach) OR the fabric doesn’t have the right texture/body for this pattern. If it is a stiff fabric, it is probably holding the shape and not falling against your body or draping as it should. I love the pattern–very easy to make. It might be worth taking it in at the side seams or trying it again with another fabric. LOVE the print with the black tank!

    • vivjm says:

      I think you could be right on both counts. The fabric is not very drapey – it is very stiff & just not very good quality – but I did love the print! I made the size to fit my waist, and it does fit there quite snugly, but is big everywhere else, so maybe I need to change the shape a little.

      • Keep sewin’ and practicin.’ It is so worth it. I’m cleaning out my sewing room over the holidays so I can get back to it myself. Miss quilting and making odds ‘n ends for gifts and such.

      • vivjm says:

        Oh yes, I will keep on at it!! I *will* get to grips with this :-). Just wish I’d paid more attention when I was younger. My grandmother, who died just 3 years ago (the same year I took up sewing) was an expert seamstress, and my mum used to make a lot of our clothes when we were younger. Still, I like to think it’s never to late to learn!

      • Never, ever too late too learn. . .anything!

  2. Liz Adams says:

    I think it needs to be a fraction shorter. It hits your leg at a less flattering place than if it touched the back of your knee. I’d pin it up and try the idea before cutting, though!

  3. whitneymakes says:

    I think the biggest problem is that the fabric isn’t draping properly. A-line skirts are miracle workers for curvy girls, but this is making you look wide where you aren’t. Looks like its sitting right above your hips, so I would try fitting it to your natural waist to see if the shape is better for you there.

  4. Hi Viv

    This is KK. I used to work for a fabric store, sell women’s clothes and I still make things for myself.

    You are so petite, that this skirt simply overwhelms you. It may make more sense to turn it into a straight skirt. You have two things that you have to contend with: 1. the fabric’s background is white – it will make things look bigger; 2. the pattern on the fabric is large, same problem. You may also want to bring the hem up to above the knee a little – it will make your legs look longer.

  5. hahaha what a sweetheart for taking the pics! I agree with the comments above on the sizing. It looks very big for you (everywhere). I don’t recall off the top of my head what pattern you’ve used but the big four just seem to incorporate sh+tloads of ease for no particular reason (which is why I rarely sew from them). What I would suggest is to get a RTW or self made skirt that fits you well and lay it on top of the pattern. Then fold/ cut etc the pattern to match it. The best (and most permanent way) of dealing with this, ofcourse, would be to draft a sloper (skirt slopers are easy, Google/youtube it or check on burdastyle-I’ve also put up a lot of Friday Freebies with pattern drafting instructions so you can just search for Friday Freebies on my blog) and place that over the pattern you’re using. Best of luck.

    • vivjm says:

      It *is* a bit big everywhere, except for my waist – it seems that, at least in Butterick patterns, my hips are a size smaller than my waist? I am off to look up skirt slopers and check out some of your tutorials too.
      Thanks ever so much for popping back & letting me know what you thought!

  6. cerrine says:

    Hmm.. I actually like it! The color & pattern is super cute! I’d probably just trim a bit off the ends and make it just a touch shorter. It turned out wonderfully otherwise though!

  7. Liz Adams says:

    I have a sudden afterthought: if this fabric was never laundered, chances are it has a lot of sizing in it, which will make it stiffer and less drapy. Try laundering the skirt, press, and see how it looks before you plunge in to make alterations. Also clothes usually fit better after a few wearings, since the fabric tends to mold to the body. Just a thought.

    • vivjm says:

      I did launder the material before I started as it happens (quite rare for me ;-)) and it’s still stiff!! The skirt does drape a bit better since giving it a really good steam press though, so maybe a further wash will help!

  8. NatashaMay says:

    I like it. šŸ™‚ And as I have no idea about sewing I cannot help you. šŸ™‚

  9. Andria says:

    I agree with Natasha! I like it, and I have no advice for changing it! You look great.

  10. oanh says:

    Hi! Thanks for visiting me! All the above suggestions are great.
    Do you have a pinning friend handy? I have pinned many an alteration on myself and sisters! The joys of being a shorty pants.

    Here’s what I would try
    – the zipper is at the back, yes? So don’t bother with trying to take in at the back. It only appears like you have side seams, so I’d just work with these to take in. If it’s puffing out at the stomach and back, don’t take in darts – leave them.
    Put the skirt on inside out, raise the waist a little and pin close to your hips all the way down. Try this before taking the hem up!
    Baste stitch and see if you like the look better. If yes, sew; if no, unstitch baste stitches, re-pin and repeat.

    This is easier with someone around to pin and comment!

    Many of my RTW clothes fit in the waist but are too large in the hips…

  11. […] How can I improve this skirt? […]

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