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March 7

Completed: A Purple Dubarry 1884B Skirt

I wanted to title this post “This was a Mistake” but I didn’t want to give you the impression I was talking about my skirt.  heh  It was soo cold out I should have waited for a slightly warmer day to take these photos.

What do you mean you can’t see my skirt?!  heh

Going outside was a mistake, a very cold mistake.  But what’s a girl to do in the winter when she lives in Chicago & has horrible indoor lighting?!

Better?  I tried posing with a coat and that was a bust.

So here you go…

Standing out in the cold for you guys in my little grey and white heels.  heh

I made this purple wool skirt using the 1930’s Dubarry 1884B skirt pattern:

Already I’m sure you can tell that mine looks nothing like the original.

Starting from the beginning, I cut and stitched up this skirt all the way back in 2011.  I tried it on before finishing the waistband & hem and it was really, really unattractive on me.  What I thought would be a lovely flare at the hem from the 10 gores, ended up making me look quite dumpy.  I’m just not tall enough, or slender-hipped enough to pull of this design.

I had stuffed this skirt into my hall closet and it’s been sitting there ever since.  I took it out a few times since 2011, but never decided what I should do with it (give it away or try to make it suit my figure).

After completing my Macaron dress, I was on a roll with finishing up my old WIP’s.  So I felt this skirt needed to be next as it’s been the one project that has been laying around the longest.

What I did to fix it ended up being pretty simple.  I just stitched the gores a bit deeper, gradually taking more width out of the seam allowances from the hips down to the hem.  I’m not certain how much I ultimately removed, but it was at least 2 inches from every gore’s seam.  Being an 10 gore skirt that is 20 seam allowances, and 2″ removed at each seam allowance puts it at 40″ removed at the hem (at least).  Yikes, that’s quite a lot isn’t it.

So I’ve changed the skirt from a flare to more of an A-line design which works much better for me.

Yes… I am slipping and sinking into the snow with my heels….. but it’s a nice shot of the skirt.

I wore this skirt just yesterday to work.  It totally has that *swish* factor; I felt lovely walking around in it all day.  The purple wool is very lightweight so I also added in some coordinating purple lining, which makes it all the more swishy.

Me, being cold some more.

So, if you’ve managed to read through to the end of this, I have a little reward for you.

While this skirt is soo not for me, but it doesn’t mean it’s not made for you!  For any of you who would like to try out this pattern for your very own, leave me a comment saying as much and I’ll do a mini-giveaway.

To win this pattern:

  • Leave me a comment by Sunday, March 10th at 10pm.

I’ll pick a random comment and will ship it out to you that Monday after.

I don’t want to make this a huge deal or a mega giveaway like in times past.  I just want to give this pattern to someone who will use it and appreciate it more than I do.

Please Note: When I say this skirt should be made by a taller, more slender hipped person than I am… Keep in mind I’m 4’11” and I have 40″ hip/butt circumference.  I’m a stocky Norwegian, what can I say?!  :)   

  1. Di / Mar 7 2013

    Oh! I would love to try this pattern.

  2. Bethany / Mar 7 2013

    the purple color is lovely, by the way! 40″ off the hem circumference and it’s still so full as all that? wow indeed! I would love to take the pattern off your hands :-)

  3. Grace / Mar 7 2013

    I would love to win this pattern :)

    Ps I love your scooter on the blog header.

    • Liz / Mar 8 2013

      Thanks Grace. I have the scooter on my blog header since I own a scooter. It’s never made it’s way onto the blog yet, but perhaps this summer I’ll use it as a prop. :)

  4. Stephanie / Mar 7 2013

    I love the purple colour you chose. I’m a pear shape but I am 5’9″ so maybe it would work? I would love to try anyway :)

  5. Emma / Mar 7 2013

    That colour looks amazing on you, and I really like the A-line silhouette on you! :)

    It’s too bad that the original silhouette didn’t work for you, I love those swishy 30s skirts. I have this slightly similar (fewer gores) mid-late-30s dress pattern that I keep thinking I’ll turn into a skirt one day because I just love walking down stairs in that dress – it has that perfect swoosh that just falls perfectly everywhere and doesn’t balloon and it doesn’t fly everywhere like some wider skirts.

  6. Bobbi / Mar 7 2013

    The purple looks so pretty! It’s a great pop of color in the gray Chicago winter.

  7. Michelle / Mar 7 2013

    LOVE! I’m sucker for purple. I think your mods are fantastic. The skirt is gorgeous and very flattering on you!

  8. Carly / Mar 7 2013

    I’d love to give this skirt a try.

  9. Charlotte / Mar 7 2013

    Hey – me too! I’m 5’7″….and a new sewer and would love to give it a try. My first thought on seeing the pattern cover was, “oooh, where do I buy it?”

    I do like your modifications – the color is divine!

    • Liz / Mar 8 2013

      Thanks Charlotte. I was very much a newbie when I first started this pattern, so I think its great for all levels of seamstresses. I’ll make sure to add you into the ‘giveaway’.

  10. Angela Wicentowich / Mar 7 2013

    You always looks so darling in your photo shoots!

    I would love to try out this pattern. I’m not much taller than you, but maybe it it’s enough.

  11. VickiKate / Mar 7 2013

    Oh I love your refined skirt, the colour is gorgeous! I’ll pass on the pattern as at 5’4″ I do not have the grace to pull it off!

  12. Meg the Grand / Mar 7 2013

    I need to make some of my own vintage patterns before taking on any more, but I absolutely love you in purple! You are a brave lady to go outside and deal with this crazy weather, but the gray and purple together are marvelous :) Well done on making it more A-line – I think it turned out very well.

    • Liz / Mar 8 2013

      Thanks lady. My big toe was numb for at least 30 minutes, after coming back inside from this shoot. heh

  13. Jo / Mar 7 2013

    Beautiful. I need a purple skirt now!! No need to enter me in the draw, I already have a similar pattern (see it here: ooh I could make it in purple and we could be twins!) lol.
    You are brave to go out in the cold… worth it though, what lovely pictures :)

    • Liz / Mar 8 2013

      Oh yeah! Your pattern is really really similar to mine. It just goes to show that fashion has it’s way of coming back around, full circle.

  14. Seamstress Erin / Mar 7 2013

    I’d love to give the skirt a chance. While I have the same size hips, I have almost a foot on you in height! I think you made this look lovely and flattering!

    • Liz / Mar 8 2013

      Heh A whole foot! Wow, I wish I could borrow some height from you, but I bet you like being tall. :)

  15. Tasha / Mar 7 2013

    Don’t include me as I have my own issues with taking in and letting out gores and not-long-legedness, but! I love the final skirt on you! I think the final result is the perfect swishiness. And yay you for knocking out yet another WIP!

    And you are a brave woman for venturing out into the snow for photos. This morning I looked at the snow heaped in our backyard and realized if I put on my knee high boots and the gray wool skirt I still have yet to photograph… the hem of the skirt might actually be sitting IN the snow. lol!

    • Liz / Mar 8 2013

      Thanks Tasha. Yes… the snow we got was a lot. But at least it wasn’t the 10 inches they were predicting. I think I only got 6 or 7 inches by me. What WAS great is that I only had to work a 1/2 since the University closed. *hip hip*

  16. Stephanie / Mar 7 2013

    Kudos to you for saving this lovely skirt! :D I always forget how short you are until you bring it up. When you are standing by yourself, you just look cute.

    • Liz / Mar 8 2013

      Heh Yeah I’m a shortie. Whenever I stand by myself, you can never tell how short I am without some sort of comparison. (And the same goes on everyone else’s blogs, imo). But once you stand me next to someone else, it’s really easy to see how short I am.

  17. Agnes Galvin / Mar 7 2013

    That pattern is soooo awesome! I would love to win it! Hmm would look great with a cardigan…

  18. Annabelle / Mar 7 2013

    I love your photos, they are so much fun. Good for you making the skirt work even if it doesn’t look just like the pattern. The fabric alone was worth saving, so I’m happy that you were able to make a skirt that reminds you that you are lovely :)

    This pattern does remind me of a RTW skirt that I purchased for work when I first got out of college – and I would love to replicate it. It will of course be a while before it is practical for me to start sewing such a skirt, but I would love to give it a go this fall.

    • Liz / Mar 8 2013

      Thanks Annabelle. Yes… I was in love with this fabric. I actually made another skirt with it some time back: Vintage McCalls 3842. But the one I just made does the fabric more justice with the fluidity of the fabric and the swish it has.

      I’ll be sure to add you into the mix to win this pattern. It would look great on you.

  19. Rachel / Mar 7 2013

    would love to make this pattern! my apartment is really dark too, I have to move all my lamps into one room to get a halfway decent picture.

  20. Rachel / Mar 7 2013

    Gosh Liz, you are teeny tiny! It is a shame the skirt didn’t work for you, but the changes you made have become a lovely skirt! And a totally appropriate Lenten colour too ;)

    You can count me in for the giveaway too :)

  21. Barbara / Mar 7 2013

    So adorable! What a great save too. I noticed the waist is 28. That’s too tiny for me. So it must go to some other lucky girl. I can’t believe your dedication to share with us when it’s so cold. Thank you!

    • Liz / Mar 8 2013

      Thanks Barbara. Are you sure you don’t want to be included in the giveaway?! It’s really easy to size this pattern up to make it fit a larger waist or hip. You just add a tiny bit of fabric to each of the gore seam allowances.

      Having a 30″ waist, that’s what I did to it myself.

  22. Amanda / Mar 7 2013

    Good for you for standing out in the cold/snow! I saw that Chicago got pummeled with snow, but there hasn’t been too much in New York. I hope it stays that way. Anyway, I love the color of your skirt and the changes you made to make it work! I’m not entering the giveaway, but I just wanted to say good job on finishing this one after all this time. :)

    • Liz / Mar 8 2013

      Thanks so much Amanda. Chicago has really had an easy winter, until a few weeks ago. We have seemed to get all of our snowfall in late February/Early March for some reason.

  23. Kelly / Mar 7 2013

    You took 40″ out of that hem?? Eesh. I don’t know that you should count me in as I’m not that much taller than you, and I don’t think I have the moxie to pull this off. It’s darling though, and your altered version looks great. I can’t believe you managed to brave the cold for that many photos though, that’s dedication!

  24. Camille / Mar 7 2013

    Lovely skirt, and I recognize that jumper you’re wearing from Ravelry! I’ve enjoyed checking out your vintage projects.

    • Liz / Mar 8 2013

      Ahh yes. I was debating wearing a white blouse with this skirt, when I thought about my dove grey Caledonia jumper… and then proceeded to think about my grey shoes. I love purple with grey.

  25. Karin / Mar 8 2013

    This hangs beautifully on you and the colour is divine! Well done!

  26. Lollo / Mar 8 2013

    What a lovely pattern. I have a skirt that looks like that and I would love to make another one, since I think it looks nice on me.

  27. Katherine / Mar 8 2013

    That is a great skirt!! Beautiful colour, as well. I’m always envious of your makes.

    I do really like the original pattern, too. Though I can definitely see why an extra 40″ around the hem would have overwhelmed your petite frame . . . That’s crazy!

    I’d definitely be willing to take the pattern off your hands ;)

    • Liz / Mar 8 2013

      Thanks Katherine! I’ll be sure to add you in the ‘giveaway’.

  28. Ana / Mar 8 2013

    You look beautiful! I’m new at this sewing thing, but would love to try this lovely pattern! :)

  29. Anna / Mar 8 2013

    I would so love this pattern. I swing dance and I have way too few skirts + blouses… tend to get dresses… Then again, I have so many things to sew, but I just need to enter this giveaway anyway.

    And btw, I love your blog :) It always inspires me!

  30. Angela / Mar 9 2013

    Your skirt looks great on you! Nice work with alterations. I really love the coordination with the top and shoes you’re modeling, too.

    I would love to be considered for the pattern. I’m tallish and narrowish and would eagerly test your theory that the flare would work on such a frame.

  31. Ginger / Mar 9 2013

    This is so pretty, but sheesh, I’m cold just looking at you! :) I love the color, and it’s so wearable and nice! I can’t imagine how much hemming you would’ve had to do with an extra 40″! Whoa!

  32. Ginger / Mar 9 2013

    Oops, meant to say to leave me out of the giveaway– I admire skirts on other people, but never wear them. :)

  33. Karen / Mar 10 2013

    I LOVE your skirt! It looks great on you, especially with the knitwear. The light reflecting off the white, white snow is perfect for pictures too!

  34. Maria / Mar 11 2013

    Just wanted to say you look as adorable as ever. The purple color is fabulous and the skirt is very flattering on you. Lovely paired with your sweater. I’ve gotta tackle some of my UFOs!

  35. Olivia / Jun 28 2015

    Liz, you’ve done a good job of altering the pattern. It looks good on you.

    Liz, can you or anyone help me with a query? I’m about to use my first Du Barry vintage pattern. Although the seam allowance is mentioned, as there are only perforations and not markings, I’m not crystal as to whether there are I need to add the seam allowance when cutting the fabric, or whether it is included in the pattern.

    Thanks for your help.

    • Liz / Jul 7 2015

      Thanks Olivia. Yes, the seam allowances are included in vintage patterns, including the DuBarry ones. And you are right, I believe they use 1/2″ seam allowances, but follow the directions – they will let you know if certain areas have different seam allowances or not.

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