Paprika Patterns Jade Skirt - The Pinterest Skirt!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Quite a while ago I found an ADORABLE diagonally pleated knit skirt on Pinterest.  I promptly pinned it, quickly scanned the instructions online which I deemed it too complicated for my tiny head, and continued to pine for it from a distance.
(Picture sourced from Pinterest)
Lucky for me, Lisa turned this highly pinned skirt into her first released pattern via new indie company Paprika Patterns.

The Jade Skirt pattern is available for a price that YOU determine, including free.  I believe Lisa originally planned to have this available as a free pattern, but the project evolved and turned into a company and her sole employment.  I love to support indie pattern makers so I was happy to pay for the pattern.  I'm also happy to share the word, because I have a major crush on this skirt.  It's completely adorable, enviable, comfortable (knits = secret pajamas!), and did I mention - COMPLETELY ADORABLE.

I recently had a day off work that I planned to ~SEW~ all day long.  A glorious day to look forward to!  Since this is the initial release for Paprika Patterns, the pattern does not come in the full size range that it will be available for in the future.  I have lost a significant amount of weight, but I was still on the cusp of the size range:

Size Chart (Inches)


Good thing I'm a renegade seamstress, because I recklessly slashed and spread the pattern and added my necessary additional inches.

So, funny story.  I added about two inches to the overall width of the skirt.  As I was fitting the skirt on myself, I had to take out about the same amount that I had added.

Funnier story.  I finished the skirt within an afternoon, and had a haircut scheduled in the evening.  It was so cute and adorable and comfortable that of course I wore my new me made skirt to my appointment.  I gushed to my stylist about how I spent all day sewing this adorable skirt and we fawned over the adorableness of the skirt.
After my appointment my stylist and I were walking to the register.  Suddenly I feel a sort of constriction around my ankles, as if I had left the bathroom forgetting my undies around my ankles.  Except instead of my undies, it was my skirt!  We both got quite a laugh out of my wardrobe malfunction, luckily I was wearing some heavy duty tights due to our chilly weather.
Obviously I need to take it in even more.  My knit, although fairly stable, probably also has a fair amount of stretch which contributes to how the size feels.  Anyhoo.  The construction of the skirt seems complicated, but there is a video on the Paprika Patterns website to assist.  The pattern also includes a scaled down version to practice.  After watching the video and using the practice sheet, it really isn't that complicated.  I used color coordinated pins when constructing my actual skirt to indicate my folds.  The skirt is fully lined, so all raw edges are neatly concealed and contained.  The pattern prompts a mid-construction fitting to ensure a nice fit.  (Note, if you plan on wearing tights with the skirt, you may want to also wear tights while fitting to avoid any similar wardrobe malfunctions. Learn from my mistakes.)  I cannot say enough how adorable this skirt is.  I felt so sassy and put together when I wore it.  I can't wait to wear the hell out of this skirt, as soon as I take in the waist a bit!

Simplicity 1459 - The One With The Perfect, Gorgeous Shirtdress

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

You guys. I'm seriously impressed with myself! My construction is getting pretty damn good. See: Simplicity 1459.
I came across this pattern through the lovely Tanya Maile. I've always loved shirtdresses and have long quested for one that fit and flattered me. No such luck. This is why I sew. Combine the perfect pattern with the perfect fabric and you've got the perfect dress! I instantly knew I wanted to make this dress in a royal blue cotton sateen. This would make my eyes like POW! Enter, this gorgeous and perfect fabric:
(Now unavailable on Also, this is the true color. It's awfully hard to photograph.)
I found this on and it was exactly what I was looking for. The planets aligned and this dress was destined to beautifully grace my body. When I received my package I was even more thrilled. It has just the right amount of stretch and the color is incredible. Plus, tonal dots! Even more perfect.

Then... Life happened. I bought the pattern and fabric for my birthday, in August. In September I worked on my Princess Peach costume. Apparently it took the whole month. I was cautious because being the same brand, I was worried about picking the size of the garment. I finally got around to tracing the pattern and making a muslin. I didn't realize the sleeves had darts at the elbows, but I gave it a shot. The bodice fit fine, but the sleeves were way too tight. So I used sleeves from another pattern instead, since I didn't care about the elbow darts anyway.

One thing I hate doing is gathering, and the skirt requires lots of gathering. Luckily from my Princess Peach costume I had already practiced my work around! I think I picked up the tip from Gertie, but I sew a long and wide zig zag over a bit of string. I happen to have a ball of string in my stash! This trick is miraculous. Gathering is so much faster and honestly I think it actually does a better job too. Just pull the string when you're ready to gather, and blamo! You've got lovely gathers.
I was also quite impressed with how the collar turned out. My tips aren't perfect, but the collar as a whole looks pretty good. I worried the collar would overwhelm my small frame, but I didn't make any changes to it and I think it looks good. I hand picked the lapped zipper and am in love with how beautiful yet camouflaged the zipper is.
Sorry for the flash!
My biggest issue with the dress is the buttonholes. First though, yay for my first (non-bound) buttonholes on a garment! Go me! Anyway, I'm pretty sure I marked their placement correctly per the pattern but it seems they could be in better locations. I also would shorten the bodice a bit because the weight of the skirt brings it a bit low on me. I meant to use hem tape when finishing the skirt, but it seemed sooooo fiddley so I just pinked the edge and did a catch stitch hem. I like that better anyway.
All in all, I'm very proud of this dress and I'm totally in love with it. I wore it with my petticoat made last year. I'm ecstatic with how this dress turned out!