I already made (and love) the Talvikki Sweater, so here's my second make from the new Named Clothing collection: the Pulmu High-waisted Pencil Skirt. I was drawn to the made up version on the Named website in pale blue, but what really hooked me was seeing the line drawing of the skirt. It has really interesting and quite unusual shaping, so I snapped it up, with the intention of making a good 'all-round' skirt for work and play.
|My finished Pulmu|
I chose a fairly heavy blue crepe/viscose that I picked up in the grab bins at Abakhan. It's especially soft and lovely up close, and blue is also my favourite colour if I ever choose to steer away from black. To be honest, I was planning to dodge lining it if possible, but the pattern really is made to be properly lined and finished, so I unearthed this 'splatter' effect fabric from my stash (bought ages ago from the Hebden Bridge WI Rag Market). I was a little reluctant to use it as a lining as it's almost too nice, but I couldn't see me making anything else with it, so I decided that my Pulmu would have just a flash of fancy on the inside.
I had expected it to be a bit more difficult due to it's '3 scissor' rating, but I found the make surprisingly easy for the most part. There's lots of dart sewing (some of them slightly angled), and the fun task of inserting the beautiful curved side panels (I really like sewing curves). The instructions also suggest applying interfacing to the zip, hem and vent openings before you start sewing. I've never done this before, but it makes for a real crisp and sturdy finish, and in some parts, an easier sew - particularly when it came to inserting the zip.
The only bit that had me totally baffled me was the last page of instructions, when it comes to joining the bottom of the skirt to the lining. I always understand things better from the accompanying illustrations - anyone else find that? - and when it gets to stitching linings and turning things out etc, I think it becomes pretty hard to convey in a picture. I probably confused myself more than the instructions, and after a few sessions of unpicking, I finally managed to close the vents and the skirt hem in the way that I was meant to - I think! It was really difficult to sew the vents right up to the side seams, so I ended up finishing the top of each one with a few hand stitches, just to make sure that I got it as neat as possible.
Overall I'd say that the shape is really flattering, but mine's turned out perhaps a little too 'comfortable' in fit compared to what you'd usually expect for a pencil skirt. I made up a straight size 12 (Eur 40) which is about 1cm too big on the waist and has quite a bit of give in the hips. Although I''m quite pleased with this version, I would probably shave a little off from the seams if I was to make it again - though the curved side panel eliminates the usually-easy-to-adjust side seam option, so I'd have to think about the best approach.
|Capturing the nice shaping at the back|
So I'm not 100% happy with it, but the Pulmu was definitely a lovely pattern to sew and I'd recommend it to anyone who wants a smart skirt with a few quirks and a lovely finish. It also means I've ticked one garment off of my priority sewing list (hooray)! I'd like to try making it again in future and getting it absolutely spot on, but I'm just not sure what fabric would best highlight the darts and side panels - suggestions welcome!