Thursday, August 26, 2010

For Whom the Bell Tolls

I've been on a search for a skirt pattern.  I needed something versatile, because in my real job casual days can turn to Very Important Meeting Days very quickly.  I also wanted something that wouldn't sag in the behind and it had to be simple, but polished.  It's hard to find a skirt pattern.  There aren't that many.  Plus, of the few that exist, there aren't many projects out there to examine for practicality.  I really don't want to try something that everyone else has failed at.  The following projects have me optimistic about the Bell Curve pattern by Kira Dulaney, but I'd still like to hear from people about the butt-sagging issue.  That's the deal-breaker for knit skirts.  Full disclosure: none of the following women appear to have saggy butts.

This is: Soozilah
Also Known As: Suzie
:  US 4 - 3.5 mm;  US 5 - 3.75 mm
 Size: Medium

 I hate to be all "black is so slimming" cliche', but you really want to stick with neutrals or muted colors on this one.  It's called Bell "Curve" for a reason, and some women don't want to draw too much attention to that very reason.  Suzie did a great job with her black version, and she looks so classy in her photo spread.

This is: SoKnitPicky
Needles: US 7 - 4.5 mm; US 8 - 5.0 mm
Size: 30"
It's always easy to gloss over the smaller women.  People think everything looks good on them.  But let's not underestimate that in this era of Beyonce' and Kim Kardashian, smaller women need nice butts too.  Bell Curve does a nice job of creating visual curves. The same vertical features that can help to slim a larger woman can help to create an hourglass shape on a smaller woman.

This is:  NancyKane
Also Known As: Nancy
Needles: US 5 - 3.75 mm; US 7 - 4.5 mm
Size: "Smaller than Medium"

I love this photo.  In case you haven't noticed, I'm all about clothes shopping in the fall.  I guess it's held over from when we were in school and had to go "school shopping."  My poor kids can't even get excited about their belt options- black or brown.  But this year I made them cool grossgrain ribbon belts... I digress.
Nancy has chosen a beautiful color for her Bell Curve.  I wouldn't like a heavy wool skirt in a bright, flashy color.  I guess I'm old fashioned in the "bottoms should be neutral" kind of way.  This photo does a good job of showing one of the skirts best features: the vertical details down each side make your eye believe that the edge of the skirt is actually a few inches in from where is really is.  Instant Slimification!

This is: wargoddess
Also Known As: Keli
Needles: US 6 - 4.0 mm;  US 8 - 5.0 mm
Size: 3x

I know a few women who would kill for this shape.  Keli knit this in a tight gauge, but she still suggests using foundation garments.  I definitely would not use a loose gauge on this, or a drapey yarn.  You want this skirt to hug you tightly, if not suck you in.  And, check out how those vertical bands take a few inches off the width. Genius!

In Conclusion:
Vertical interest acts as a slimming illusion or can add curves to a straight figure.  It's like regression to the mean for any of you math nerds.  Stick with neutral or muted colors and fuller yarns.  Tight gauge is your friend, but be wary of the borders- you'll want to loosen up there.  This pattern looks great dressed up or casual.  Foundation garments may be necessary.

Speak Up!:
I only have one question.  How does the butt hold up over time?

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Please Forgive Me

I've cleaned my desk again and lost all my notes.  We'll be back to our regularly scheduled programming soon.