I think that I’m a sucker for a pattern that is marketed as for tweens/teens. They’re a little few and far between, so I tend to snap them up when I see them. The size range generally means that they should work for both my daughters, over a period of time, so I’m quite happy to add them to my stash. But I don’t just want to add them to stash – I actually want to USE them! This one didn’t take long to go from electronic file to finished skirt.
The pattern is the Modkid Mara skirt. It also comes in a size range for younger girls – this is the tween/teen option, that ranges in size from girls size 10 to 18. The thing that makes the teen patterns different to adult patterns is that the waist to hip ratio isn’t generally as extreme as the sizes go up.
The pattern website describes this as follows: The Mara Mini Skirt oozes modern chic style. It is cut short with a high banded waistline in an A-line silhouette featuring a snap front, contrast stitch detailing, belt loops, and extra large side pockets to fit her smart phone. SUGGESTED FABRICS: Bottom-weight fabrics like denim, corduroy, velveteen, cotton sateen, twill or canvas, 54″-60″ wide. Use lighter woven fabrics like shirting, quilting cotton or lining material for the pocket lining in order to reduce bulk in the seams.
Choosing fabric was easy – I had a small amount of lovely M. Recht stretch denim left in stash, just enough for a denim skirt for a teen. Choosing size was the next issue. I decided on size 14 – Clare is a little taller than a 14, but her waist measurement is smaller. And boy, we found out that her waist measurement is WAY smaller.
Lara, write a big sign for your sewing room that says ‘try things on Clare as you sew them and don’t wait until it’s finished’! Because this skirt was way too big everywhere (other than the length, which was only just enough). We did try it with a belt, but then there was just too much pulled in bulk for that to be a solution.
You can especially see why that wasn’t a satisfactory solution at the back:
So out came the unpicker. Fortunately I have a beautiful quality Clover unpicker that really does make the job straightforward. I decided that I’d take the skirt in along both side seams. I didn’t fancy unpicking the side front and side back panels, which were all neatly topstitched. However, taking in the side seams still required unpicking the waistband and hem topstitching, then unpicking the waistband for a decent section along both side seams. Then I re-sewed, also straightening out the A-line of the pattern into a more streamlined look (‘it’s too sticky-outy at the bottom’).
If you look closely there you can see how much I took it in at each side seam. I tried it on her again before I overlocked off the excess and restitched the waistband. I also restitched the hemline after making the hem a little smaller in order to gain a fraction more length.
Fortunately the finished skirt now fits her just as she likes it! The deep pockets are a definite bonus, as like most teens her mobile phone is ever present. I lined the pockets in a pretty Anna Maria Horner voile that’s been in stash for years. At first we were concerned about the print showing through the pale denim, but it doesn’t seem to be a problem in wearing.
Overall this was a good pattern to work with. Nice details, clear instructions. I chose not to use snaps as the fastening, instead opting for buttons down the front. I did all the topstitching in the the same colour as the denim; Clare didn’t fancy anything contrasting. She figured that the skirt would coordinate with more tops if it was just the one colour.
I think that Clare is almost set for summer now. I do have a dress on the ready to sew pile, and I’m sure that other requests will appear, but many wardrobe gaps have now been filled. I’m currently busy with Christmas sewing!