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Rave skirt review puzzle
One-seam skirt mystery
Annette H

Annette H
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Date: 7/1/04 8:32 AM

I must have read, oh, 13 reviews of the Brussels skirt (Textile Studio - designed by Loes Hinse).

It's basically a square piece of fabric with darts in the back, and elastic front waist. How simple can it get? Yet everybody raves about the way it fits! And sewn in 1 1/2 hours!

The pattern has only the one view and costs $12. That's okay if it's brilliant, but ... that mysterious fit, what causes it? And if the fit is that great, why should we bother tweaking garments front and back with darts, ease, underlining and what not?

I guess I WILL break down and order the pattern, but would love to know how something so simple can be that great. With a bit of skill, could I draft it myself??

NancyDaQ
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Date: 7/1/04 10:02 AM

Thanks for posing the question, because I've wondered the same thing myself. I've seen all the raves about this skirt but keep resisting the pattern for the same reasons you mention.

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SouthernStitch
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Date: 7/1/04 11:51 AM

Here's my take:   The good fit and look comes in on this pattern when you use the right type fabric (rayon, drapey types).  I don't notice where the darts do much good myself - as I have a very flat derriere anyway.  But many folks claim this helps it fit nice.  Meaning, it falls from the waist gracefully on most people, and you don't wind up with a very bulky waist.  
The wider elastic waist treatment which is topstitched also makes the skirt somehow hang better, and fit snugger at the waist.  And, the back vent comes out really nice.

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Annette H

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Date: 7/1/04 4:29 PM

Mary, I've noticed Loes Hinse and Textile Studio usually specify rayon or other drapey material. But wouldn't most patterns fit better if made in something drapey?
As for elastic waists - so many patterns have them, and I have made a few myself. If anything, they tend to look bunchy, with too many puckers, not elegant. Here again, perhaps the soft material saves the day. I'm still mystified that so many people can rave about the pattern, though.

Lou.
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Date: 7/1/04 4:37 PM

I don't know, or have the pattern you're talking about, but I did make a one seam skirt with an elasticated waist.
I'm wearing it today and it fits like a dream, but then again it's made from cotton lycra not a woven, so it would.

I would try drafting it yourself first before buying the pattern.

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Lou

Lisa Laree
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Date: 7/1/04 5:20 PM

I've made the Brussels skirt and do like it...but if you have reasonable drafting skills you could probably do it yourself.  I thought it was worth what I paid for it...but I'm pretty sure I bought it during Pattern Showcase's (now currently in 'redesign mode' and not in business) sales, so I don't think I paid $12 for it.  Saved me from doing the math myself! ;)  Loes does include a 'not big 4'  finish for the back vent that's kind of neat...  My only gripe is that it doesn't have pockets...   :tounge:

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mudcat
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Date: 7/1/04 7:37 PM

I thought the same thing about this pattern but after the rave reviews ended up buying it.  I like the vent application and the darts help keep the waist smaller.  It's quick to make and looks good.  And though the fabric should be somewhat drapy I've made several in linen that look fine.

SouthernStitch
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Date: 7/1/04 7:54 PM

Quote
As for elastic waists - so many patterns have them, and I have made a few myself. If anything, they tend to look bunchy, with too many puckers, not elegant

Honestly (and mysteriously) this waist is not at all bulky.  I guess the darts do help and that might be because they are odd shaped.  They are two lines going straight down, then each line is drawn in to meet in the center.  
I am sure you could draft something like it though, and do just fine.  
Personally I was very pleased with the purchase, but nowadays I can't spend that much on patterns.  Good luck and let us know if you do draft it yourself.   ;)

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Ann on Red Geranium Hill

Ann on Red Geranium Hill
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Date: 7/1/04 9:00 PM

Annette, I  resisted the Brussels skirt pattern for a long time. About two years ago,  I was playing around with proportions and it seemed like a good idea to work with simple shapes as part of my experimentation, and I bought it.  I don't think I would have known then to design precisely that skirt on my own.  At any rate, it  did work  and I have made several and worn them with pleasure - all but one which I made in a knit cotton lycra which was really clunky in this pattern.  Details that mattered were the shape of the darts,  the finishing of the vent,  the choice of that especially good elastic recommended for LH patterns, having the pattern guide me to the right amount of ease for the design, and fabric choices that work for the style of LH clothing.    It's been interesting  to me that though I don't like a number of the fabric choices shown in the pattern illustrations,   I still seem to learn from them and use them as a baseline for choices that do work for me.

Part of the Loes Hinse appeal is a certain attitude that makes sense for my life.  Maybe it's a mystique. It does seem to inspire in the community a more thorough exploration within the bounds of  a certain attitude than seems true for most other pattern lines. Perhaps that helps the patterns be more useful to many people. The Brussels skirt is an element in a wardrobe concept.   It is not just an isolated separate.  I think this is part of the value of the pattern for me.  Skirts with front and back darts and underlining etc. are different in style, and have a different sort of validity.

I think shape matters so much in relation to fabric type.  I have ended up with some extreme wadders in drapey soft fabric, because of mismatche(s) between shape (silhouette and proportion), fit - including  issues of ease,  style, and fabric. There are so many shapes of people that that I do not think that it makes sense to say that a particular pattern fits well.  Different patterns work for different people.  I do think that there are fit standards, but they are always relative to  design concepts, and what the person likes and what the current fashions are.  I, for one, dislike some of this years designs that are fitted so tightly that there are stress lines across the garments in multiple directions (ie. Burda WOF Jan issue I think was particularly terrible in this regard  An editorial comment on p. 9 says: "By the way, trendsetters wear the new costume suit jackets so tight that they look like they're a wee bit too small!"  Yuk, but that's me).  

Lisa, I so share your love of pockets!  It makes me laugh in appreciation every time I read about it in one of your posts.  I have been fooling around with Lois Ericson's "Favorite Pants" pattern which has some interesting pockets.  I wonder if I could move some of 'em over to the Brussels without being totally unfaithful to  Loes style.    I suffer when I don't have pockets. Am always pulling hoses around in the garden (requiring that I ditch whatever I have in my hands),  running errands with list, pencil, and keys,  taking off my watch to do something, looking for a place to put my camera lens cap, etc....

Ann

Lisa Laree
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Date: 7/1/04 10:39 PM

Quote (Ann on Red Geranium Hill @ July 01 2004,22:00)
Lisa, I so share your love of pockets!  It makes me laugh in appreciation every time I read about it in one of your posts.  I have been fooling around with Lois Ericson's "Favorite Pants" pattern which has some interesting pockets.  I wonder if I could move some of 'em over to the Brussels without being totally unfaithful to  Loes style.    I suffer when I don't have pockets. Am always pulling hoses around in the garden (requiring that I ditch whatever I have in my hands),  running errands with list, pencil, and keys,  taking off my watch to do something, looking for a place to put my camera lens cap, etc....

Ann

Ann, I sing in the choir at my church (we don't wear robes or carry even a hymnal), and you don't know how many times I've found myself pocketless on a day when I really needed a tissue or two on hand up there... :blush:

I bought Stretch and Sew's No-Side Seam pants pattern not too awfully long ago, because 1) the only other pair of S&S pants I've made fit well and 2) it has a pocket that I think I could morph onto the Brussels skirt.  

Still haven't made it up yet, though...  :rolleyes:

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Lisa -- so much fabric, so little time!
http://sewrandom.blogspot.com/

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