Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Vogue 1018 - Sandra Betzina Skirt (#3)

This Sandra Betzina skirt is one of the first patterns I sewed last August when I returned to sewing. It has been one of my favorite patterns this year. I made it twice, both from printed fabrics, and I have worn both many times: the first skirt, from a lightweight Japanese striped woven, and the second skirt, from a sheer cotton plaid.

A DF (dear friend) admired both versions of the skirt, so I decided to make it for her for Christmas. She is taller than I am, so I had to size it up a bit. Previously, I modified the pattern by omitting the zipper and converting the skirt to an elastic waist with a rectangular yoke. I added the length to the top of the skirt, rather than at the bottom or by lengthening the yoke. She loves black (who doesn't?), and I wanted to make it in a knit. The pattern recommends lightweight jersey, so specially I ordered a lightweight wool jersey blend from Gorgeous Fabrics.

I liked the puckered effect of the tucks in the jersey. However the knit tends to stick to itself – I hope this won't make it difficult to wear. I lined the skirt with a lightweight sheer fabric – I thought it might flow better. (Originally I was going to leave it unlined so as not to add to the weight.)

Side One (there's no real front or back)

Other side

Detail of puckered texture

I still plan to make this again for myself, also in black. I think three versions of this skirt in my wardrobe should be sufficient, even for me. :)


  1. The design lines show up really well in that solid. Oh, be still my heart! Gorgeous.

  2. I have the pattern. LOVE it! I've read on PR that making the tucks is tedious. Do you have any tips? Thanks.

    - Myrna

  3. I have now made the tucks four times (I just did another set of tucks last night on a black skirt for me :) ). I did find it tedious for the very first skirt, but I guess I don't find it so bad anymore. I tried marking the tucks with tailor tacks and with pins. Pins were harder to deal with. I found "modified" tailor tacks were sufficient, where you just make one stitch -- no loop is needed since it's only one layer of fabric.

    I kind of get into the groove of the tucks. Each one is very quick to sew, and don't need to be particularly precise, so I don't stress over them too much. I usually start with the bottom row, which is longest, beginning with the tuck on the side seam and working out from the center. I fold the fabric, set it under the presser foot, with the fabric at the edge of the foot and beginning 1/4" before the tack; I pull out the thread tack, stitch for a quick second to 1/4" beyond the tack (approx), and trim the threads right away. Repeat for each tuck in that row. Then I sew the next row, again starting with the side seam, and so on. By the time I have finished the first three or four rows, you are more than halfway done.

    I sort of make a little game of it in my mind, I guess. By the time I have 10 or so tucks left, I start counting down, out loud. I have little conversations with myself as I go. :)

  4. Oh, I love the black. I have this pattern, but never made it. I must change that. Thanks for the tips on the tucks. And I talk to myself too. I had a friend that said he talked to himself when he was starving for some intelligent conversation! LOL (sounds like a good reason to me)

  5. Don't stop at 3, Shams, since each version looks so different. You have such a wonderful talent for pairing fabric to pattern. Intelligent and quirky all in one. I always enjoy seeing what you come up with.

    I love the solid skirt because the design lines are more obvious, although I would venture to guess that they can be lost in blackness of the jersey.

    With the skirt that you just finished for yourself, did you line it? Do you find that lining is essential for wool jersey blends? Do the unlined top layers tend to stick to themselves? I guess what I am asking for is a "wearability report" for this design in a wool jersey knit. Thanks in advance! And great job once again!


  6. Thanks so much, Kathryn. :) Actually, the puckers/tucks show up quite well in the black jersey. As this was a Christmas gift for a friend, and we still haven't exchanged gifts yet, I can't give you a report on the wearability. The version I have just finished for myself is a polyester knit (or perhaps some sort of microfiber). In any case, it hangs differently than the jersey.