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Sewing a French Skirt

Sewing a French Skirt Pattern

The other night I fell down the rabbit hole of French Sewing Blogs ( a very fun way to spend an evening) and I spotted the November Skirt by Atelier Scammit.

Truth be told, it was the ruffle on the pocket that sent me over the edge or rather I should say, I knew my daughter would love it.

Close up of Ruffle

Her birthday was coming up and so I decided to tackle this pattern even though it is in French! Yes, I took French back in college, but no, it didn't help me one bit! Because while I still can recognize certain words, avec means with, I never had a French sewing vocabulary! Still, I bought the pattern and dove in. Once I downloaded the pattern and put it together, I was pleasantly surprised to find that the pattern includes English markings as well as French and these were a tremendous help. The directions are only in French, but there is a complete video of making the pattern on the Atelier Scammit website that helps, and step by step photos included with the pattern. I was also able to copy each section of the pdf directions and paste them into google translator. The translation was interesting at times, but overall I was able to figure out what to do!

A couple of thoughts if you want to give the patterns from Atielier Scammit a try and you don't speak French. The patterns are detailed with couture methods used. The November skirt included a invisible zipper and a complete lining. Therefore, they are not for a beginning sewist and certainly not a beginning sewist that doesn't speak the language! You need to know how to insert an invisible zipper and how to under stitch a waistband or you are going to be lost. This is not a criticism of the patterns, but it is difficult to overcome the language barrier if you are not completely familiar with what the pattern is instructing you to do.

edges don't line up and it is necessary to pivot

My biggest challenge in constructing the skirt was stitching the front seams that include the pockets. The pieces don't line up and it was only after looking at the pictures repeatedly that I realized the designer of the patterns was using a method similar to the insertion of a skirt placket where the raw edges are not supposed to line up at the pivot point. You can see in the picture above that the edges don't line up at the pivot point, instead, you pivot there and then clip deeply. This allows the pockets to lie flat and reduces bulk. It works beautifully but wasn't a method I had seen used in this manor before.

Pockets in  front seams

I also found that the patterns do not include as much ease as typical American patterns do, so measure the pattern carefully before cutting out - don't just go by the measurement charts! I chose to make my daughter a size bigger than the measurement charts indicated. I ended up taking the skirt in quite a bit at the waist, but she wanted the additional ease in the hips. Overall, I love how the skirt turned out and yes, my daughter loves that ruffle!

Finished Skirt

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