Monday, April 15, 2013

Another Practical Garment! Simplicity 2475 Denim Straight Skirt

Making an A-line denim skirt last week reminded me how much I also could use a straight denim skirt. Straight skirts make up a very small portion of my wardrobe, as I find them more challenging than flared skirts to fit and to wear. But they have been popular in recent years, and some tops do work better with a straight skirt. One such top is the Simplicity 1666 peplum above, which didn't look good with anything in my closet!

The reviews on PatternReview for Simplicity 2475 were decidedly mixed. There seemed to be three issues: 1. The Amazing Fit sizing gives different pattern pieces for Slim, Regular and Curvy, but no guidance about how to determine which one you need; 2. Petite users wished they had shortened the skirt more than indicated at the petite adjustment line, since they ended up shortening the skirt from the bottom and losing length from the pleats (which threw off the proportions); 3. Lots of people thought the skirt ran big.

The contour yoke plus the princess seams looked promising, so I decided to give this pattern a go. No muslin; I figured the 1" side seam allowances would surely give me enough insurance to at least make a wearable garment.

Issue #1 made me smile. It's true Simplicity doesn't tell you how to decide whether you are slim, regular or curvy, but I have no doubts on that issue for myself. If there is a curvy option, that's the one for me.

Issue #2 was easily addressed. Instead of removing one inch at the petite line, I took out two. I compared the altered finished length to other skirts. The finished skirt sits just above the knee.

Issue #3 turned out to be true. I made the 12, and even using the 1" side seam allowances, the skirt seemed loose. So I basted it together using 1 1/4" side seam allowances (which removed 1" of circumference total). I also stabilized the waist seam with rayon seam binding to eliminate the possibility of the waist stretching. The result is a snug fit that is nonetheless fairly comfortable. Do your skirts ever slip around, seeming to have a hard time finding and riding on the waist? Mine sure do. But with this closely-fitted contour waist (in the "curvy" cut), everything stays firmly in place. It's a nice feeling.

I went for a close thread match on the topstitching, which turned out a bit more subtle than I might prefer on the front. The pattern shows topstitching on the front but not the back, which doesn't make design sense at all to me. But I know why they do it that way: it's difficult to figure out how to topstitch the pleats on the back.

First I tried edgestitching the pleats, but that made them hang funny. I was determined to secure them somehow, because I can't imagine how they would otherwise respond to being sat upon throughout the course of the day. Eventually I settled on this pointed line of stitching that follows the outline of the top of the pleat underlay. It does the job, though I'm not completely sold on how it looks.

Invisible side zipper at the left side seam plus a view of the contour yoke
In conclusion, I'm proud of myself for completing another practical garment. And perhaps this pattern can be a jumping off point for other straight skirts. I've been wearing this one all day so far, and it is comfortable (if a little difficult to wiggle up over my hips for trips to the toilet!).


  1. That's a great 'practical' garment, very cool in denim and teamed with your tights, I love it!

  2. You did a great job -- it fits you beautifully! I prefer straight skirts on myself; somehow A-lines end up lookin very unflattering on me.

  3. It looks good! Another great workhorse garment. I love those kick pleats in the back!

  4. Looks great. The minute the first image popped up, the whole look appealed to me. LOVE the kick pleats.

  5. Great outfit! Your last two skirts have really inspired me to sew a skirt for myself. I am not a skirt person but spring has sprung here and you look so cute!

  6. What a cute skirt! I think I read somewhere that the instructions for choosing straight, average or curvy are on the pattern tissue.