Conifer Coolness

Ok, so I know I said my next post would be about jeans, but, well, I lied :P. With good cause, though – I get to show you a brand new pattern! Seamstress Erin’s Conifer Skirt just hit the blogosphere yesterday, and I got to be part of the pattern testing! (in case you’re curious, she has a pattern testing sign up on her site) I have to admit, when I first got the pattern, I thought it would be one that was fun to sew up but that I probably would never wear it, since it didn’t seem like my style. Boy, was I wrong!! It has actually turned into one of my favorite skirts, so much so that I have fabric set aside for a second one.

For my test version, I used a fabric that was marked at the store as “swimsuit” fabric, but I’m almost positive that it’s actually a polyester Brazil knit, because it doesn’t feel like swimsuit fabric at all. Since I was working off the test version, which only had a raw edge hem option, I decided to walk on the wild side and do a rolled edge hem on my serger for each of the skirt layers. Erin later included a hemmed option in her final version, but I’m actually really happy with how the rolled hem turned out. Depending on your fabric, it might actually turn out better that way!

I constructed a lot of this skirt on my regular machine, and only used the serger for the side seams and a few others. It was a fun adventure to put together, though it did give the slightly dyslexic part of me a workout with the mirrored back and front layers. Just a word of advice – double check before you sew! Erin put in a lot of helpful diagrams (seriously, her instructions are awesome!), but it doesn’t hurt to just take a minute to think about how the finished layer will look before you sew. Ask me how I know :P.

And speaking of diagrams and instructions – I just have to say that I was so impressed with Erin’s response to the testers’ feedback. She clearly took all of my comments seriously, as I saw a lot of them in the final version. I felt like I actually contributed something useful to the process, which made it all the more fulfilling for me.

…oh, did you want to actually see it? Here she is!

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A quick note on sizing – due to the nature of the layers and the shape of the skirt, I would highly recommend not trying to grade between sizes if your waist and hips fall into different sizes on the chart. Just go with your hip size. Since the skirt is intended to sit lower on the waist and the waistband has elastic, it all works out in the end. In the first pattern draft, the only waistband option was the fold-over – here are some pics showing that:

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Again, I didn’t think I would like that type of waistband, since I was afraid it would add unwanted bulk around my middle, but I actually think that I’ll use it again for version 2! Erin did include a regular elastic waistband, though, for those of you who prefer that.

So, all in all, a great pattern! One of the things I really love about Erin’s patterns is that they’re a bit quirky and off-the-beaten-path. This pattern isn’t your typical indie pattern, which, I think, is rather refreshing. It’s a great way to add a splash of fun and pizzazz to your wardrobe without going too crazy (or you could make it totally over-the-top, too!), and perfect for summer. Congratulations, Erin, on a fantastic new pattern!

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