About 14 months ago I embarked on my first pattern test; the Doris Skirt for Misusu Patterns. I had no clue what to expect or what would be expected of me as a pattern tester, but thought it might be an interesting way to push my sewing skills and engage more with like-minded online sewing folk.
I wasn’t wrong. It was a wonderful experience and over a year of testing later the process has come full circle and I am back testing the Doris Skirt again – but this time the grown up version!!
I was totally on board for testing this skirt but, having signed up, in the back of mind I had a few doubts. I do try my best to love my curves, but struggle sometimes and I wondered if I would be comfortable in a tight pencil skirt or if this pattern would suit me. I decided however to put those doubts aside and go for it! My motto for this test was “Embrace the Jiggles!” and, as you’ll read below, I’m so glad I did!!
The Adult Doris Skirt comes in three lengths, mini, knee length, both with the option for a hem band, and midi length, with the option for a vent at the back. It has options for two styles of pockets, or non at all. I signed up to test the longest of the three – the midi length.
I sewed up four versions during the test period and I’m showing you here the last two versions I made. The first round of testing went pretty well but I used a fabric that was too stretchy and lacking in structure so my skirts ended up too big. Elles also adjusted the pattern during the test to make the waist narrower for all sizes as we pretty much all found it a little big to begin with. It became clear to me that a while a certain amount of stretch is required for the pattern a denser/more stable fabric seemed to, in general, provide the best results.
For my second last test version I used some pink/grey quilted sweater fabric, from Guthrie & Ghani, combined with grey French terry from Dress Fabrics. The fit was great and it is like wearing secret pyjamas – so very comfy! My natural waist sits quite high (it would be smaller and lower if I wasn’t so fond of carrot cake and chocolate…) and I find that quite often skirts ride up and sit higher than intended. I’ve worn this skirt out and about a lot now and it hasn’t once slipped up out of place. However I reckon the French terry is not quite stable enough and I suspect will stretch over time, so next time I’ll size down half a size when using similar fabrics.
As fabulous new skirts appeared in the house overnight each morning No.3 would say “Ooh amazing! That for me?” She thinks that all my sewing is for her, and ah sure I couldn’t disappoint!
I got some bronze scuba fabric from Dress Fabrics last year, and I also bought some very similar silver stuff in their most recent open day. I had already earmarked the bronze stuff for a Doris before going to the open day but couldn’t resist getting a bit of this as a back up!! No.2 got the benefit of a little bit of it here in combination with some super pink fluffy sweater fabric from Quilt Yarn Stitch. It was time for an 80s-tastic Ziggy Stardust Doris and Rowan Tee combo! The boys’ first comment was “Cool! A pink Harry Potter scar!” while No.3 just shouted “Daddy! Look at me!! I got pockets!” They all need a bit of a Bowie education I think!
Fabric Match made in Heaven!
When I bought that remnant of bronze metallic scuba from Dress Fabrics back in their open day last summer I didn’t have a clue what to make with it. When Doris came calling I knew it would make a great match! For my final version combined it with more scuba type fabric (not really sure what it is); black stuff with a subtle leopard print on it, again from Dress Fabrics. The Doris skirt seems to be at its best when made with a fabric with stretch, but also with a bit of substance and the scuba ticks all the boxes.
This is pattern testing at its best. I love how my growing sewing superpower lets me make clothes I love and that I feel comfortable in. I also love how it gives me the courage to take some risks and step out of my comfort zone…
Va Va Voom!!
Those of you who know me personally know that I’m a jeans and a jumper kinda gal. I rarely wear make up, often wear a comfy dress and tights, but rarely wear a skirt and never a figure-hugging sexy number like this Doris! That might all be about to change. This skirt is so incredibly flattering and utterly comfortable. As I said before I was a little nervous about testing a tight fitting pencil skirt, as I try my best to love my curves, but don’t always succeed. Sooo glad I was brave as I feel just fabulous in this skirt!!
Pretty early on I thought it would be lovely to combine the tight fitting pencil skirt with an oversized sweater. At that same recent open day in Dress Fabrics I also picked up a remnant of some viscose/polyester/lycra knit, a gorgeously soft and drapey fabric is a beautiful shade of yellow. I had recently made an LB Pullover from Paper Theory and used this as a basis for the sweater. I’ll write a blog about how I hacked it, but in short I widened it, then cut in diagonally at the sides to make it narrow at the waist, shortened it substantially and added a waistband. I love the bronze, black and gold combination. I LOVE this outfit!!
Apples, Pears and Ironing boards!
I have not before encountered a pattern that looks sooo incredibly good on so many different body shapes and sizes. Elles (the designer and boss lady behind Misusu Patterns) was a little concerned that for shapes with a big difference between a narrow waist and bigger hips that a zip addition might be needed to get past the hip area. But throughout testing those super curvaceous ladies had no issues getting the skirt on and boy did they look good in them. I think a zip hack might still be on the cards at some point on the Misusu Patterns blog for those who might like to try the pattern in a less stretchy/woven fabric. I know I’d love to try a stretch denim version!
Here is a selection of the fabulous Dorises made during testing by my amazing fellow testers. Each one is better than the next so click on the links to their own blogs/insta accounts to see them in their full glory!! (Links under images running left to right.)
I can’t thanks Elles enough for the opportunity to test this pattern. I love being part of her testing teams and I’m delighted to have jumped out of my comfort zone into a skirt that has made me feel pretty much as good as I’ve felt in my own skin since I got married.
The Doris Adult Skirt is on sale now and can also be bought as a bundle with the Doris for Kids skirt. Keep an eye on Misusu Patterns over on Instagram and Facebook as I’m pretty sure there will be some fun giveaways coming our way to celebrate the release of this most awesome of patterns… This is not a hint. Well, maybe it is…
Thank you so much for reading! If you’d like to stay in touch and be notified of my latest posts you can subscribe so that you get an email notifying you when they are released! xx Sarah.