Wednesday, May 29, 2013


This is the Colette Ginger which is an A-line skirt with a waistband and a back zip.  It's a pretty straightforward pattern, but I made a muslin anyway to check fit.  I'm glad I did because the waistband gaped at the top.  After pinching out the excess, I realized that what I needed was a contoured waistband.

Fig. 1:  My natural waist is ridiculously high
The Ginger waistband is similar to other waistbands that I've encountered in that it is pretty much rectangular when you sew the pieces together.  I think the idea is that since it's supposed to sit at your "natural waist" (that is, the narrowest point of your lower torso) the waistband doesn't need to be much wider on the bottom than on the top.  However, my natural waist is really high--maybe a couple of inches below my bust--so I never wear skirts and pants at my natural waist. 

So, I tend to wear my pants, skirts, etc. lower than my natural waist, but that area has a lot of curvature, so a mostly rectangular waistband is not going to fit me right.  However, if you take in the waistband at the seams quite a bit, but only at the top of the waistband, you end up with a really strange looking, trapezoidal pattern piece.  If you cut your waistband with those pieces and sew them together, you get what sort of look like mitered corners at the side seams (ask me how I know).  Enter the contour, or curved, waistband. 
Fig. 2  Rectangular vs.
Contour Waistband

Of course, the Ginger skirt doesn't come with a contour waistband, so I would need to draft the pattern pieces myself.  This was a little daunting considering I hadn't ever done it before, but since I was working with a muslin I figured I didn't have anything to lose.  I searched for a tutorial for drafting a, but only found written descriptions of what to do in a reply to a post on Pattern Review (and another method here).  I was surprised by the lack of information on this subject--I can't be the only woman with this sort of problem.  In any case, I was able to successfully draft pattern pieces for both the front and back waistband, and make a Ginger skirt in my fashion fabric (turquoise linen) which I love!  I've already worn it a couple of times, but haven't managed to get pictures yet.  Perhaps I should work on that tomorrow. 

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