Ta-daaaa! I did some pattern testing this month for Beth of Sew DIY. Her latest pattern is the Nita Wrap Skirt. The pattern isn’t final yet so this is not a review of the pattern but a preview. (You can see her other patterns here.) It was a little windy during this photo shoot so if the skirt isn’t hanging straight, blame it on the wind, not the pattern or my sewing. 😉
This was my first experience testing a pattern. The timing was perfect for me – it didn’t take long to sew, I already had this fabric, and I had been in a sewing slump. I hadn’t made anything since December. So I was happy to sew again and have a deadline. Photos and comments were due on March 8. I finished the Nita Wrap Skirt last weekend and took photos on Sunday, March 6.
How did I become a pattern tester? I got an email from Beth with the subject line “Call for Pattern Testers,” which detailed what she was looking for, people with a range of skill levels and sizes, and willingness to test the pattern without monetary compensation, and her deadlines. I filled out her form and ten days later received an email saying that I’d been selected to test the Nita Wrap Skirt pattern. You can see the many other pattern testers’ versions on Instagram using the hashtag #NitaWrapSkirt. If you’re interested in pattern testing for indie designers, just keep an eye out on social media and sewing blogs or contact designers you like and let them know you’re interested and available to test a pattern when they have a new release.
Note: I didn’t make the top. It’s made from a rather clingy knit, which didn’t look too flattering in the bewb area due to the shadows and the fact that it’s a little (ahem) tight. Most of the front view ones looked pretty bad. I’m only including this one to give you an idea of how the front opening is angled. On the longer versions of the skirt there is a slight opening, which you can see below. For the shorter versions, the front pieces overlap.
The skirt pattern that I tested had three lengths – mini, midi, and maxi. I made mine in between the midi and the maxi. I just like that length. You can see that I made my Anna dresses at this length as well. I call it “C length” (C for Chuleenan). 😉
There are three options for the waistband – button, D-rings, or bow. And you can make a lined or an unlined one. I opted to make mine without lining and finish the side seams with French seams.
I used a medium-weight, navy pinwale corduroy with tiny white polka dots, which is hard to tell in the photos of the full skirt. So here’s a process shot of the buttonhole and my covered button to give you a close-up view of the fabric. It’s soft and has a very nice drape to it. I got the fabric from the East Bay Depot for Creative Reuse for $2/yard. Great price, eh? People donate fabric to this nonprofit organization, which then sells it at a low price to the public. I think teachers get stuff for free if they are going to use supplies in the classroom. (Whenever Bay Area Sewists has a pattern swap or fabric swap, I donate the leftover goods to the Depot.)
The button is on the waistband to left of my hand in this photo below. Sorry, my photos were underexposed and I could only lighten them so much before they looked worse – but at least you can make out the polka dots in this one!
Here’s my French seam and my hem. I used black bias hem tape. I read Jen of Grainline Studio‘s post on seam allowances for French seams before I sewed the side seams. The Nita Wrap Skirt has a 5/8″ seam allowance. Following Jen’s instructions, I sewed a 3/8″ seam (wrong sides together), trimmed the seam allowance in half, pressed the seam open, then sewed a 1/4″ seam right sides together. And voila!
I was delighted that this skirt goes so well with this my cropped black jacket, which I made from a vintage Vogue reissue (V3924, blogged here). You can make the skirt dressy or casual depending on the fabric you choose. With this jacket, it has a rather elegant look. But you could make it out of lightweight denim for a more casual look. Or make a shorter version with bright colors for a fun and sporty look.
I made the jacket from sweatshirt fabric. Here’s another shot of the skirt and jacket.
And last but not least, a note on accessories. My hat is a vintage eight-sectioned wool beret, which I secured with a hat pin in the back. I got this lovely hat at All Things Vintage in Oakland – my favorite place for vintage hats. The bracelet is from the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art store, my earrings are vintage clip-ons from a sale at the East Bay Depot for Creative Reuse, and my shoes are Arche, which I got several years ago at Loehmann’s, the now defunct designer discount store. I love wedge heels and these are really comfy.
Have you done any pattern testing? Do you ever wear what you made? I know I know I’ll be wearing this skirt out. Happy sewing everyone!
UPDATE: The Nita Wrap Skirt pattern is now available for purchase! You can buy it here.