The Cressida Skirt

Friday, December 12, 2014

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For me writing a blog post never comes easy.  My fingers aren't dancing away effortlessly at the keyboard while keeping up with the words oozing out of my head.  I spend a majority of my time thinking, thinking, thinking of what to say then once I think I got it out I end up hitting the backspace button to start all over.  I'm having a particularly hard time with this post.  I've been staring at the white space below this picture literally every night this week.  The reason I'm having such a hard time with this post... I absolutely love this pattern but absolutely hate the way it looks on me.  There you have it, nuff said.  What else could I possibly say? End Post.
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I'm not gonna let you off that easy.  Besides I need some honest opinions.  Are my concerns justified or am I being too hard on myself?  First though before we dive into the pictures of forced smiles let's talk about the good first, this pattern! The pattern is The Cressida Skirt by Jennifer Lauren.  It's a button up semi circle skirt with two button placket options, single or double breasted and yes, pockets.  I've seen quite a few cute versions of this skirt so far including Jennifer's own denim version and Jane's green version (she had her own reservations about the way it looked on her. Please go tell her it looks awesome on her!)  If your not familiar with Jennifer's patterns they are available pdf printout only.  I know pdf's aren't everyone's bag so don't let those 3 little letters scare you.  What I like about her pdf's that are different from the rest is that each pattern piece is grouped together by the view you want to make so you only need to print the pages for your view.  Another plus with this is that your saving paper and room.  I can tape and cut all the pieces easily on my cutting table and avoid a cat fight on the floor.

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I had never made a circle skirt before.  Partly because I was afraid of the hem and partly because I was afraid of how it would look on me.  I decided to push my fears aside, one never knows unless they try, and I said yes when Jennifer asked me to test the pattern.  So the version you are seeing here is just that, my test.  For my size I started with the size 8 which is a 26" waist.  I'm a 27 so I graded up which was pretty easy.  I just slashed and spread the skirt pieces.  The waist feels a tad loose but in the final pattern the ease was reduced a tiny bit so I think I'll be ok there if I do decide to make this up again.  Construction was no fuss and I was happy with how easy the button placket came together.  Those things scare me for some reason.  I shortened the hem length by 4 inches and realized I didn't have anything to be scared about when it came to the act of hemming.  I followed Gertie's narrow hem tutorial. Easy, peasy.
  
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My fabric came from one of those 10 yard mystery bundles from Fabric Mart and it's just that, a mystery.  It's some kind of twill that likes to wrinkle and back talks you when you try to press it.  It didn't hold up very well after being washed so no regrets with using it as a test version.

My dislike for the look of this skirt on me wasn't right away.  I really liked it at first. I tried it on, wore it for awhile.  Then something changed.  The more I looked at myself in the mirror the more I hated it on me.  Why do we do this to ourselves??  And when I seen a behind photo...whut!?
   
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"Oh my god Beckie, look at her butt, it's so big, it's like one of those rap guys girlfriends."  Break the Internet!  Ok I am exaggerating a tad.  I could go on for dayz with the butt jokes but this picture really makes my behind look wider than it is because I have no butt.

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So I don't know. Do I give it another try with a better fabric choice.  Try and cut some of the fullness out of it? How would I go about that?

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Help me please!

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43 comments

  1. OK,
    #1: I think it's very cute on you and you are overthinking it!


    But if you really aren't happy, then...
    #2: You and Jane both wore yours with a black tee, and I'm wondering if that is throwing you both off? Like it's a mix of casual on top, and vintagey on bottom. When I look at Jennifer's pics, her tops are quite snug at the waist, so the narrow waist balances out the wide skirt in an hourglass effect. (I'm just going on the assumption that you liked the look of hers when you bought the pattern, and trying to see if there is anything different about how she styled it - I'm not actually criticising your tee or styling, I promise! ;)


    #3: Have you tried it with a scarf, cardigan, necklace etc? That's always my solution when I'm not quite happy with an outfit!


    #4: I keep looking back at your picks, and I swear, you look great! Also, OMG, Home Sewing background??? Are they curtains?

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  2. I really love this on you as is, I think you're being hard on yourself!!!! :)


    How awesome was this pattern to sew??? I was so grateful for Jennifer's attention to detail and sooooo grateful for the fact that all the pdf pieces lined up perfectly!

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  3. I like the skirt and think it looks good on you, but if you still feel it's not jiving, give a go at Gillian's advice and try styling it differently. I salvaged a few "meh" project by asking a friend to help me style it. (Sometimes we are so caught up in the details or our feeling of disappointment that we can't see past certain things. Plus, another person's creativity can help us see a garment in a different light.)

    If it still does not work for you, maybe the light colored fabric is to blame. I'm not one to obey style rules, but I read many times that lighter colors tend to attract our eye to features. Maybe if the fabric was darker? But, again, let me repeat I think you look great!

    Oh, and props for the saucy Sir Mix a Lot quote. :)

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  4. I felt bad because I was all nonsense I like it! But it seems to make you appear a bit "squat". Maybe if it were shorter?? Maybe if the fabric had better drape??

    I don't think its a toss in a corner and never look at its face again...it's like almost there.

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  5. Hey, Shanni! I do have the same problem with fuller skirts. I can't help it : it is a lot of fabric whirling around my not-so-big ass. But I found out that when I wear a cardigan hitting at the waist, it balances the proportions and makes me more happy when I look at my back. This being said, your skirt looks just perfect to me, front AND back.

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  6. Oh Vito!!
    I think it great, but if you don't feel good wearing it, then that doesn't matter. I think it could be the drape of the fabric or even because it's a lighter colour (I sometimes find that lighter, washed out colours aren't flattering for bottoms on me), and you probably don't like the picture because your hands are in your pockets making you appear wider - but Shanni you are not wide!! I think it would be worth trying in a different fabric. It really is a cute skirt!

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  7. It's cute! Try it in another fabric and see how you feel. I agree with the comments about the lighter color for the bottom garment drawing the eye down, so I think a different fabric would be your best bet. I also wonder if moving the back belt loops slightly more towards the center back would help draw the eye in at the waist. But maybe I'm over analyzing. The front loops seem closer together tho, and the back loops seem to be set really wide. Just a thought.

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  8. What's the contrast fabric in the pockets?

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  9. Let me just say CUTE! and honey if you cut a size 8 and have a 27 inch waist you hardly have a reason to worry. I wont even tell you my waist size (but its waaayyyyy bigger than yours) REALLY try a different fabric in a darker color...bet you will love it!

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  10. I think that skirt looks gorgeous on you. First of all, it doesn't matter if you have a big butt, which you don't have, as long as your waist is small, which it is. Second, the light colour of the skirt combines better with lighter colours on top and pants.

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  11. I completely agree with everyone else. The skirt looks lovely on you, but it needs to be worn with a lighter top so there isn't so much of a contrast. Maybe this can be your summer version. Or dunk it in a dye bath to make it more winter appropriate x

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  12. I think it looks great on you, but if you're not feeling it than it won't make you happy. I do think it would great with a light colored cropped sweater or maybe for summer? I love this pattern, but I do know that circle skirts aren't everyone's thing. It also sucks to make something and not have it turn out like you want it to.

    Your tights are beautiful btw! I love the Home Sewing curtains, too!! And of course Vito is darling and so huggable as usual. :)

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  13. Thanks so much for your helpful advice! I wasn't sure how to style this skirt as it's a shade different from anything I've ever worn. I'm gonna style it differently with some cardigans and lighter colors and see how that goes.
    And yes those are Home Sewing curtains. That is actually my closet. I hated the big bulky doors so I took them down and just hung up a curtain rod and thought that fabric was perfect for my sewing room!

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  14. Awe yes I love her patterns!! Her instructions are always awesome and easy to follow.

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  15. Someone suggested dyeing the fabric darker. I'm gonna style it a few different ways with lighter colors and if it's still a fail maybe I'll give the dye job a try.
    Thanks for your help! :)

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  16. I wondered too about making it shorter....I've got some different ways to style it in mind.

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  17. lol yes! I have no rear end so it's odd looking at it and seeing all that fabric making it look bigger. I've got a few cardigans to style with it so I'll try that. Thanks!

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  18. I thought that too about my hands being in my pocket. I'm gonna style it differently and see how that goes. Someone mentioned dyeing it a darker color too. Looking at it over and over I'm thinking that color is the main problem. I'm just not into it.

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  19. I think your right! I never noticed that before. That would be an easy enough fix. I think the color is throwing me off too. I'm just not used to it and it's a hard one to style.

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  20. The pocket fabric is a lighter white with some pink and green flowers. Just some scrap I had laying around. I wasn't sure how to style this color at all. I like your dye idea. I'm gonna try styling it a few different ways and if I still don't like it I may dye it a dark navy blue.

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  21. Thank you! I do think it's the color throwing me off too. Just not used to it and it's hard for me to style.

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  22. Thanks! Ha! I have no butt so it was weird seeing all this fabric floating around making it appear like I do actually have a butt (which would be great!). I agree with the lighter color tops and will try styling it that way.

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  23. I love the dye idea! I may try that if I still don't care for it pairing it with lighter colors on top. Thanks!

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  24. Thanks! I'm gonna try and style it a few different ways with lighter colors and see how that goes. I do think it's the color that's throwing me off. If all else fails I'll dye it a darker color like others suggested.

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  25. Helen // Grosgrain GreenDecember 13, 2014 at 2:34 PM

    Try a different fabric. Maybe in a darker colour, or a print. And yes, I just made the True Bias Sutton: love it everyone else, love my fabric but I'm just meh when I wear it. Hate when that happens!

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  26. I do really love this skirt pattern. Circle skirt really need to fit snuggly around the waist and I wonder if your loose waist is a large part of why you don't like it. I really don't think it's sitting high enough on your waist. Circle skirts just seem to give a better line when they sit right on the waist. I have a circle skirt and I've had to take it in to sit snuggly on my waist otherwise I seem to have this huge stomach (which I don't) when it sits just below my waist. If you make it again why don't you cut a straight size 8 and add a 1 inch seam allowance just in case.

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  27. Thanks for the advice! Think I will try that my next go around.

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  28. Yes it sure is a bummer!
    Happy belated birthday!!

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  29. I really like this on you! I love full skirts though. I know not everybody does though. I think this skirt could be fun paired with a light colored blouse and brightly colored cardigan, like a kelly green or a golden yellow.

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  30. I really like this on you. I was waiting for some monstrosity of a skirt lol, but this looks cute on you..

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  31. I actually think it looks great on you - but I also know EXACTLY what you mean. I love this pattern but don't love my tester version on myself, so haven't even got around to doing a blog post about it (or taking photos). I have similar issues with another half circle skirt I've made so maybe they just aren't for me.

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  32. Oh those are some good colors to choose from! I'm gonna try and style it differently and see how I like it.

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  33. lol! Thank you! I'm gonna style it differently and see if it grows on me any.

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  34. Yeah it took me forever to write this post. It's such a great pattern though and I hated to not love my result. I'm going to sew it up one more time in a darker fabric and I hope I like it better.

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  35. Thank you!! Everyone's comments have encouraged me to give it another go and style it a bit differently...or dye it darker if I don't like that.

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  36. your style is always so fun, so i think you just need a more vibrant fun fabric, maybe red, or a funky print! or basic black skirt paired with a fun patterned top. Or even go a little shorter on the hem and wear with tights... (Also I find that if I take photos where the camera is at waist level like this, it emphasizes the waist/butt area, but anyone checking you out in real life ;) will be looking from head level downward...)

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  37. I think it is because the skirt is a light colour compared with what you are wearing it with, plus you are just looking at the skirt, not you as a whole. Therefore concentrating on your behind area! If you are wearing it with black, then to me it needs something to bring it together, maybe if the buttons were black or there was black piping.

    Silhouette-wise this looks lovely :)
    PS - your pug is adorable

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  38. Yep I think this fabric is just not doing it for me! I'm thinking if I style it differently and still don't like it I will dye it darker.

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  39. Thank you! I agree I need to style it differently and see how that fairs. Vito sends his love :)

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  40. Totally agree about the hands in pockets- that's why it looks fuller in the back! It ain't your butt, girl!

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  41. I love this on you! It looks particularly cute in the bottom pic. I agree with the comment that the waist looks a little low- if you make a version that fits right at your natural waist, it will probably make you feel more hourglass-y. I really like this style on you, so I hope you end up liking it!

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  42. It's so cute!! Of course, if you're not comfortable, then don't wear it, but I'm absolutely enthralled with it. I also think the color is a bit light for the darker tights and top - maybe changing it up would help? Or maybe using it as a summer only option? Also, as someone who makes lots of circle skirts, I find that the longer the skirt the more issues you wrote about go away. I have one circle skirt that's really short and it makes me look very wide, especially in the rear, but my longer, midi length circle skirts look much more flattering.

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  43. I'm going to agree with a lot of what's been said. The color is wrong and the styling needs an update. Now I'm going to go a little further. I think if you widened the waist band and lifted it, it will narrow your waist and make your hips look more hour glass. To emphasize that, try stitching some horsehair braid into the hem. That will make the hem stand out a little more and hang in waves. As for your backside photo, next time try it without your hands in the pockets. That just emphasizes the width where you don't want it. You could also take a couple inches off the length. It just feels a smidge too long to me, and I'm a huge fan of long skirts. :)

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