With a sweep of over 60 inches flat, Sewaholic’s Gabriola Skirt is my kind of skirt – cake, icing and sprinkles on top. Jennifer said sewist throw the best parties. True. We bring sweets and notions, and Marce brings drinks. Cheers to that!
At the beginning of this year, I made a list of garments and intimates I wanted to sew and one of them was a maxi skirt. I had a pattern and fabric picked out, but then Tasia released Gabriola. Total game changer, people. I’m not one to ditch a plan or a schedule, in fact, it makes me nervous, but after days of thinking about this skirt, and then seeing Sophie’s version, I switched course, ordered the pattern and started stat.
Inspired by a vintage dress, The Gabriola is a maxi skirt pattern that hits at the natural waist, hugs the hips to the widest part, and then flares out to the floor. The seaming and the grain placement on the front and back yokes make even the stoutest women look slender and sleek. I swear by this statement. For visual interest, the yokes can be made with a contrast fabric, but I kept things simple and chose one fabric for the entire garment – a cotton brocade I picked up at Mood Fabrics in New York City. Not my usual color choice, the fabric had a heavy drape and hand that I knew would be great for the hang of the skirt. Because my fabric was a loose weave, the yokes stretched out during sewing despite the fact that I stabilized it with stay tape. On my next Gabriola, I’ll block fuse the fabric and then cut panels to prevent stretching.
I cut a size 0 and the only pattern alteration I made was reducing the hips (I’m straight as a board) and a sway back adjustment. It was difficult to figure out how to eliminate the excess/pooling without disrupting the seaming. The solution was to slash and close the bottom yoke from CB to nothing at side seam and scoop out the back waistline on the top yoke. Also to note, although I’m petite on top, I have long legs, so I didn’t reduce length as many other sewers did. Construction was a breeze. I followed Tasia’s sew-along and had this complete within a week.
Enough prattling about Gabriola; can we talk about this shirt and its pattern? Aren’t those swimming ladies the perfect combination of charming and cherubic? So saintly and elegant with each stroke. After seeing Rachel use the fabric for one of her Project Sewn garments, I gave her a holler and told her I must have it. Must, must, must. It wasn’t long before 2 yards arrived at my doorstep. When I opened it, I felt like Ralphie when he received his BB gun. I was in seventh heaven. I drafted the pattern using my block and all that was required to change that pattern to this was to carve out the neck and increase the body length and sweep. The armhole is a tad too high (1/4″) and the neckline needs a little more shaping, but hey, that’s what the next one will be for. Other than correctly placing the print so that it was centered at center front and center back, this was an easy top to sew.
Something you don’t see in the photos is an intimates set I’m wearing underneath. More on that later this week. Ooo la la…