Pattern: McCall's 3489 - copyright date 1955
Size: size 12 - bust 30", waist 25", hip 33"
Fabric: dark coral linen rayon blend from Fabric Mart
This is the muslin for a skirt that I will be using for my SWAP this year. My previous post was for the top that coordinates with this skirt.
The skirt consists of ten panels. Each panel has a central waist dart to minimize bulk around the waist. I flat pattern measured the skirt pieces and it seemed like the skirt should fit unaltered. After sewing all the darts and then connecting together all the panels, the skirt was about 2" too large in the waist. At first I couldn't figure out how my flat pattern measurements could have been so misleading. Then I realized that the rayon/linen fabric must have grown during the assembly process (I guess there really is a point to stay stitching!) When I attached the waistband (which had been stabilized with interfacing and therefore, had not grown), I eased in the excess skirt fabric and the size problem was fixed. I shortened the skirt by 6" to get the hem to fall just below my knee. This is a nice length on me and it results in a nice proportion for a full skirt like this - any shorter and the fullness of the skirt looks too wide, any longer and it becomes matronly.
To give the skirt some added interest, I top stitched all the panel seams and all the dart seams. The hem was done by machine and was stitched twice, with a separation of 1/2" between stitching lines - this makes the hem a slight bit stiffer, which causes it to stand away from the body a tiny bit, which is a nice look for a 50s style. I love the the look of top stitching on linen and linen blend fabrics.
Conclusion: I really like both the top and the skirt. The skirt especially is quite flattering with all the vertical lines. I have begun work on the SWAP version of this outfit, so look for the finished product soon.