Hello my friends! Welcome to another Crumpets, Tea, & sewing Blog Post. Today I will be doing a Pattern Review of Simplicity 8609 view E, the pleated skirt.
It has been too long since my last blog post. Unfortunately, I am still not in a place, physical or emotionally, where I can work on my sewing projects consistently. My family and I are still in the process of moving all of our belongings from Wisconsin to Oregon. We were unable to close on our home in May as we had hoped, and our new close date is scheduled for June 15th. Let’s hope for the best!
My husband and I are planning on making a trip to Wisconsin on June 22 to grab our things. We are so excited to move to Oregon. We will be living not to far from the “Tri-City” Washington area, in a little town called Heppner. But more on that later. I will make a blog post about our moving experience when we get settled in, so stay tuned!
I tell ya! The process of buying and selling a home sucks! As you can imagine, I have been very busy trying to organize my family affairs; thus, I have had very little time for sewing projects. Mostly, I am still without all of my sewing equipment.
However, once I spotted this beautiful vintage White Jeans Machine at a local thrift shop in Richland,Washington I just had to buy it! And just like that… I found myself purchasing fabric, pens, markers, scissors, pins, needles, and rulers! I couldn’t help myself!
I’m not going to go into much detail about this machine here. Because I will be doing a review about this machine sometime this month. However, I wanted to share with you this awesome thrift find! In the upcoming post about this vintage Jeans Machine, I will tell you all about the features it has, sewing abilities and more. So stay tuned for that post.
My home machine and serger is in storage so, I haven’t been able to make any projects with them. I think I am having a little separation anxiety though! Is it possible that I am addicted to sewing? Hmm…
I was able to make ONE sewing project in May with the Jeans Machine though. I intended to follow the #memademay challenge, but I believe that challenge is more about wearing your me made projects more often. There were other guidelines for following this challenge but I just focused on wearing the garment, since I was without most of my sewing makes and equipment.
Anyway, let’s get started with my project! As I mentioned above, this month I was only able to accomplish this one sewing task. I feel just absolutely sick about it too because it was such an easy and simple pattern.
Do you all remember this simplicity pattern that was included in my spring pattern haul blog post?
Yes! Simplicity 8609! I made variation E, the knee length pleated skirt.
I was going for a 1940s vintage look! I am really trying my hand at making more vintage clothing this year; however, that personal challenge may be more difficult giving my family’s current circumstances.
On to the review…
Pattern Review: Simplicity 8609 view E was relatively simple; however, this pattern has some serious limitations. I tried to list them all here. But please do visit my YouTube channel for a more in-depth review here. And if you are feeling generous, click the little red subscribe and like buttons!
Firstly, I was not impressed with the instructions; they lacked clarity. Particularly, the instructions on making the pleats are basically non-existent. This would not be such an issue if there were no pockets at the side seams. I found the pockets at the side seams to be a problem for me because I had to make some minor adjustments (take in the sides about 4-5 inches). This made it hard for me to keep the original pleat layout. Thus, I basically had to recalculate each pleat, so that they were evenly spaced (or close to evenly spaced). There is absolutely NO ROOM for mistakes with this pattern. As a result, two of my pleats are about 1/4 of an inch larger than the rest. It’s not obvious to anyone but myself. However, as you can imagine, this caused further issues with the garment. My seam allowance for the zipper was also negatively affected. So, the finished garment is about 1/2 inch too small at the waist.
In retrospect, I think I should have went with a pattern size down and made a mock-up. I went into this project with the thought… “simplicity patterns generally fit too big on me because they usually have way too much ease.” Yet I still cut the pattern size that correlated to my actual size.
Although I would recommend this pattern to an intermediate sewist, I would do so with caution and a warning – following someone’s pleated skirt pattern can be very confusing, especially when their instructions lack clarity! I would read the instructions carefully before attempting to make any kind of cuts to the fabric, or make a mock-up garment before making a wearable one. Even if you think you understand the directions completely, I would still remain cautions by making a mock-up skirt first.
Other issues with the pleats on this pattern…
As you can see from the image above the pleats in this pattern is designed to alternate from left to right. Each pleat is supposed to touch one another. However, the pleats that end at the side seams, where the pockets are placed, have a large space between them which makes it hard to make proper adjustments. Making adjustments to the working garment was not a simple and easy task because everything was already cut to a specific size, and with this kind of design it’s almost impossible to make adjustments without having first recalculate each pleat. For example, if I were making a circle or gathered skirt I would not need to make any calculations. I would only need to cut the 4-5 inches from the side seams, and resew the side seams. It would be that quick and easy.
The main problem with pleated skirts…
If you take 4-5 inches from one side of the garment, you MUST take 4-5 inches from the other side as well. Otherwise the garment will not look symmetrical, and the pleats won’t be evenly spaced.
The other issue I had with this pattern was finding out where the pleats stopped and started at each seam. This was VERY confusing because there are gaps in between each pleat, and they are not all evenly spaced (mostly at the side seam where the pockets are placed). Also, I don’t think that a pleated pattern should have 6-8 panels. Although the style is cute, it is very confusing and unnecessary. I think I will stick to making my own pleated skirt patterns, so that I can have a maximum of 2-4 panels. To me, this is more effective and less of a hassle. Other than the issues I mentioned above, I thought it was a decent pattern, and I really like the style. That’s the main reason why I purchased it.
Here are some pictures of me in the finished garment…
Fabric Choice:The fabric I chose for this project is this floral yellow and blue Keepsake Calico print. If you are interested in purchasing this fabric click here. It was 70% off at Joann’s Fabric, so I purchased this for $2.40 yd. The pattern called for 2 1/2 yards of fabric. I purchased 3 yards. So, I paid $7.20 for the fabric. I had another coupon for the zipper, and I bought it for about $1.50. That made the total cost for this project $8.70. I guess that’s why I wasn’t too particular on making a mock-up for this pattern. It was quite inexpensive.
Projects in the Making:
The second make that I intended to complete this month was this 1940s vintage under skirt. I am about 3/4 done with this project. And I am hoping to have it completed sometime Monday, June 11. So I will post the pattern review on this sometime soon. For this project, I chose a yellow broadcloth fabric. I purchased it from Joann’s Fabrics last month when it was on sale. It was 50% off the regular price, plus I had a coupon for 40% off your total purchase. Since I only purchased the broadcloth and calico fabric, I was able to get this 3 1/2 yards of fabric for $1.50 a yard! Not bad, huh?I’m really excited to share this pattern review with you. I made some really cool hacks, and I’m just ecstatic about the color choice I made. I think it complements the style really well. I made version A, featured in red, and with the additional hacks I made I spent about $10 on this project. I can’t believe it. This petticoat was intended to be used as an underskirt for the Simplicity 8609 skirt above. However, I don’t think I will be able to wear this underskirt with the skirt reviewed above because it won’t fit comfortable around my waist (not enough room to wear both skirts at the same time).
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I hope to talk to you soon!