February 14, 2012Mad Men Sewalong – Peggy’s Perfect Skirt – Part 1 – Pattern Prep and Cutting
Happy Valentine’s Day! Is everyone ready to start sewing? It’s time to start our Mad Men sewalong! For a reminder about the dress and pattern we’re using, see my previous post here. However, if there’s another pattern that tickles your fancy more, or suits your body type better, feel free to substitute that one.
Let’s start by prepping our pattern. Some people prefer to trace vintage patterns, and keep the original intact; whereas some people prefer to just use them as is. The choice is up to you, I prefer to trace them if it’s uncut, or if I am going to be grading it up.
This one I am going to be grading up, so I am just going to give the originals a bit of a press, since they’ve been folded in the same envelope for the past 40-some years. I am not going to cover grading here, as Threads Magazine has done a much better job in this article than I ever could.
As the original pattern was intended to be made from a singular type of fabric, we’re going to have to create a pattern piece for the contrast inset for our pleat. Let’s get started!
You’ll notice on the skirt front, and the skirt side front, there is a pleat line marked. This is the line that we’ll use to make our other pattern piece.
We’re going to start by tracing the center front portion of the skirt, which is the right side that I have my hand on here. You will notice that I am not copying the notches when I trace the pattern – this is because I am grading mine up, and they probably won’t match. I am, however, transferring the dots and darts.
Trace your pattern piece, ending along the pleat line. Add 5/8″ seam allowance along the left side. This is your new center front skirt piece.
Next, we’re going to make the pleat insert pattern piece. Grab your skirt front piece again. This time, we’re going to trace from the pleat line, up to the seam allowance line on the left side. We don’t need this seam allowance, so don’t include it in your tracing.
However, we do need to add a seam allowance for where we will attach the piece on the right side, so add a 5/8″ seam allowance there.
Now, grab your side front skirt piece. You are going to want to line up the seam allowance line on the right with the left edge of the pattern piece you just traced. Line these up, and trace this piece up to the pleat line.
Once again, add your 5/8″ seam allowance to the left side of this piece. You’re now done with the pleat inset piece!
Now, we’re going to make the skirt side front piece. Grab the original side front, we’re going to be tracing the left side up to the pleat line.
Once again, add your 5/8″ seam allowance, this time to the left side. We’re now done pattern prep! The waistband and the skirt back will be used as-is.
Time to lay out and cut your pieces. You’ll need one of your center front cut on the fold, two of the side fronts, two of the backs, one of the waistband, and two of the pleat insets – the pleat insets will be cut out of your second fabric.
Transfer your dots and darts to your pattern via your preferred method (I used tracing paper and a wheel), and we’re done for today!
Be sure to come back in two weeks, when we’ll start sewing our skirts. If you have any questions, please leave them in the comments, and I will do my best to answer them!