Saturday, July 21, 2012

Jalie 2681, Knit Trumpet Skirt

Canadian pattern company Jalie does a good job with its patterns, but I probably would not have ordered this one if I could have found its equivalent in the widely distributed U.S. pattern lines. But strangely, this seemed to be the best solution for an eight-gored knit skirt with the option to insert godets.  I ordered from during one of its pattern sales, which was the best deal I could find.

Jalie describes this pattern as a choice of A: short trumpet skirt, B: an A-line skirt, C: godet-inset hem, D: flounce hem, E: longer trumpet skirt. The pattern requires a fabric with 30% stretch, and it comes in sizes from tiny girl through plus-sized woman.

There are only two challenges in making a skirt like this: first, pleasing proportions (finding the right hem length and the best place to start the flare) and second, selecting a good fabric. I wanted the hem to hit right at the center of my knee, so you can see that I didn't achieve that! The longer length trumpet skirt, E, ends up being about 26", while the short trumpet skirt, A, is a very short 16". Really what I needed was about 19-20". I decided to choose A, because the taper of the flare was more gradual for the longer skirt. I added an inch to the top of A, but I should have added more like four or five inches. This would have given the length I wanted, plus I think it would have placed the flare in a more flattering position below my full thighs.

I added a wide waistband for more length, but that was not too successful because of my fabric choice. This is a ponte knit with less than 30% stretch which may or may not be Sophia knit. My eagle-eyed son spotted a bolt with over five yards on it in a thrift store. What a great find! It was only $5. Since the fabric wasn't very stretchy, I used a bit larger size than I would normally have picked (U rather than T or S), and I sized the waistband generously. Too generously, in fact, since it is loose and floppy. I have to fold it in half and pull it low on my hips. So that essentially defeated all but an inch or two of the lengthening effect.

So of the two challenges (length/flare and fabric), I haven't yet sorted out either one. I did make the longer skirt, View E, in the same ponte knit, but black (also from the thrift store, but a much smaller piece). The black skirt is very comfortable and unexciting. I tried to take a picture of it, but you know how it is with black garments: the skirt just looked like any other black skirt. The flare of the longer view is indeed more gradual, so it doesn't read like a trumpet skirt.

I would love your input on pleasing proportions and fabric recommendations! I hope to be able to make several of these skirts for daily wear and for swing dancing. The flare at the bottom is very swishy and fun. 


  1. Replies
    1. Thanks, shams! Even though I'm still working on getting the right combo of pattern and length, I have worn it quite a bit.

  2. I think this is a great length on you. You have such nice legs - show them off!

    1. Aw, thanks, Debbie! I wasn't fishing for that, honestly. I just feel a little bare at this length, particularly when I start twirling around at swing dancing. And my legs above this visible point get a lot more, um, chubby.

  3. If you're uncomfortable about the length, I would recommend one of two things:

    A. Take apart waist and take it in to the amount you feel--you can make the waist double layered to give it some structure. Re-sew the wiast--it should allow you to wear it as you meant to, so that it can add the length you intended.

    B. Tights. Very simple, but I understand that sometimes with a project, you just don't feel like taking it apart and fixing it. I would try sheer tights, or maybe some thicker opaque ones for winter--although sheer tights are much more flattering as they elongate the leg line.

    That being said, I agree that there's nothing wrong with your legs--they look great!

  4. You look so beautiful, love that skirt!