I was admittedly concerned at first because the Jade Skirt is a pencil skirt, with a cute and unique look due to its folds on the front. I have a lot of hips, and so pencil skirts are not generally flattering for my body type.
I received the pattern download and printed out my materials. This was actually my first PDF pattern experience, so I had never before put a printed pattern together. I am fairly sure there are instructions on how to put the pattern together, but I didn’t read them. Ain’t nobody got time for that!
In US sizes, I wear around a 14-16, and based on my measurements I opted for cutting a size 8 of the pattern. Despite not reading the pattern assembly instructions, it was pretty easy to figure out which pieces went next to what pieces. You could just match up the gray dots, the line for the size you are cutting, and in some cases the grain line indicator. For instance I started to put a piece together like this, but because my gray dots weren’t matching up, I knew it was wrong and was able to fix it. This is pretty good usability for a pattern, if you ask me, and as you know I have some fairly strong opinions on that ;). Honestly, the biggest issue I had was that I left about five pieces of the pattern on the printer, and so was missing a few the first session – totally my fault. Once I remedied that, I was good to go! I opted for the shorter mini skirt version of the Jade, and here are my finished pattern pieces.
The most difficult part of this pattern was the folding of the front piece. Paprika did include a separate page of instructions for practicing the fold technique, which was nice. The pattern markings for the folds were useful, but a little confusing because there were so many numbers to match and they sometimes overlapped with other numbers and fold lines. I decided not to tranfer the lines themselves, but I did mark the numbers onto my fabric. Here is what my practice fold looked like.
The first sewing step was sewing the front lining to the front, and then securing the folds so they don’t come undone during wear. Despite using a stretch stitch, my machine still did wavy seams when I tacked the folds down – /grumble. But the fold goes over the wavy seam ugliness so I can get over it. Basically you lift up the fold, and I secured with a line of pins where I wanted my stitching. Started from the bottom fold, and moved up until they were all done.
After this, the rest was very smooth sailing – the back and its lining had some darts. After I secured those pieces together, I had to figure out how to get the front and back together properly. Thankfully, the pattern instructions actually had a very nice diagram on how to do this – this was one of my favorite things about the pattern!
Last up was the waistband, and it was so uneventful I’m not even going into detail. Maybe it gets more challenging if you include the optional zipper, but there was no need for it with a nice stretchy knit fabric.
The verdict on the Jade Skirt? Definitely worth making! Even if you are not typically into pencil skirts. I love it, and anticipate wearing it lots, with leggings and tunics like below.
I really appreciated several of the illustrations of how steps were supposed to work in this pattern, and I like that the skirt itself is simple and quick to make, but has a nice unique look to the front to make it more than just your typical skirt. For me, the fact that it is geared towards a nice stretchy knit fabric is a huge plus.
The sewing part took me less than two hours. Probably at least an hour to cut and piece the pattern together. Did I mention this project was a stashbuster? I used the leftovers of some grey knit that made the top of this maxi dress ages ago. The pattern did not take very much fabric, so it’s perfect for stash-busting fun! Head on over to Paprika Patterns if you like this pattern, and check out their stuff!