Winter striped Bettine skirt

While January and February were really productive sewing wise, March was not.

  • The baby is awake more often and asking for attention (happy to oblige),
  • I had planned on making my hubby some clothes for this birthday but didn´t feel like it and because I felt guilty about it, I didn´t get in the mood to sew for myself (birthday is today, no clothes, whatever).
  • Researching my size and shape has spiraled out of control 😀 But things are clearer now, I just need to find a way to incorporate it into my sewing.

This skirt is just the start of it.

Disclamer: These pictures are super blurry, I can´t seem to get my camera to focus. At this point, my iPhone takes better pictures!

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I wanted to make another knit pencil skirt, so I grabbed my copy of the Bettine again (because OMG I luv those pockets) and went straight to cutting. I lengthened it by 2¨ and decided to add an enclosed waistband this time. I sewed it up without the waistband, put it on, pinned out the excess around my hips, adapted it and added the waistband. Easy peasy one hour sew! For the waistband I just measured the elastic around my waist and cut a piece of fabric the same length. I made sure that after pinning the hips, the top of my skirt was just as wide as the waistband so there is no extra gathering.

If you came here to read about the skirt, you can stop here 🙂 If you want to read about the lastest discoveries into my shape and size… Carry on 🙂

It´s the gathering I want to talk about today. While I am an hourglass shape (as you can see in the picture below), clothes that are considered flattering for an hourglass shape make me look like a fat toddler. Until recently, I didn´t understand why, but as usual a little Google got me a long way.

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This pictures shows off my figure beautifully. And the way my shirt falls tells everything about my shape so I didn´t bother straightening it out and retaking the picture. This is as real as it gets 🙂

You can clearly see two horizontal wrinkles at the narrowest part of my upper body. For one this indicates that this RTW could use a swayback adjustment but it tells you everything you need to know. The top wrinkle is where my bra hits, this is the comfortable – nothing pulled up too high- spot for me, it sits nice and flat across my back.

The second wrinkle is where my natural waist (and my waistband) is. As you can see there isn´t a lot of distance between those two, so I´m obviously short waisted. I always thought that this was why I couldn´t pull off any high waisted gathered/pleated or circle skirts. It´s only part of it.

I never realised but apparently hour glass figures are devided into 2 categories: There´s the X shape (or the true hourglass) and the 8 (or Spoon) shape. When I started reading about the 8/Spoon shape, everything just clicked.

An 8 is defined by:

  • a waist significantly smaller (+/- 9¨) than bust or hips.
  • hips are max 2¨ larger than bust
  • short waist
  • HIGH HIP/shelf hip (¨widest¨ part of the hip is at the top – no gradual slope)
  • BULK AROUND THE TUMMY AREA

I put those last two in all caps because that´s what´s been the problem all along. It´s because of my high hip/tummy combo that I can´t pull off anything that adds a little bulk to these areas. So no pleats, no gathers, no ruching… Because of the high hip/tummy combo everything that has a little volume around the waist area bulges out at my waist, making me look a lot heavier than I really am. That´s why women a lot ´curvier´ than I can pull off gathers and pleats like it was nothing. Their hips are at a regular height and/or their stomach is flatter than mine. I actually have a dent between my hip and the bottom of my bum. (You can see it in the picture above)

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Do I think my shape is a problem: HELLZ NO! Why feel sad about something I can´t change anyway! I can sew, so I can wear whatever the hell I want. And now that I know what´s flattering, I can sew that too!

That´s why I really like my new skirt, because it has no extra bulk at the waist, it doesn´t make me look bigger than I am. Sure, I could stand to loose the little mommy pouch but I´ve had ¨extra¨ tummy for as long as I can remember. My mom has it, my grandmother had it, even my aunt who´s 5ft 4¨ (1,67m) and weighs 120 lbs (55 kg) has it! I can change my size but not my shape. But I can learn to work with it.

Discovering all this has been eye opening and I´m really excited to start this new journey to creating a wardrobe that I not only 100% love but look good in even when lounging around on the couch 🙂

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Final verdict:

I love that side seam stripe matching! And POCKETS!

Summary:

Size:

  • Size 6

Alterations:

  • Added waistband
  • Took off 1″at waist level, 2″at hiplevel grading out to nothing at the hem.
  • Added 2″in length

Fabric:

  • Winter tricot (remnant from stash). Same fabric as this amazing dress! (Destined to become a dress for me as well, but got made into awesome – unblogged – maternity Virginia leggings and this skirt)

 

 

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10 thoughts on “Winter striped Bettine skirt

  1. Shape is such a hard concept for me, especially since the things I find aesthetically pleasing (on the hanger/someone else) look TERRIBLE on me. And being an apple/goblet/brick with high hips and a short waist means that the clothes I “should” wear are basically hideous. I’m jealous that you’ve found the balance between what you like and what looks good on you. But it does make me feel better that even someone who has a lovely hourglass figure struggles to find clothes that flatter…I’d always thought everything suited an hourglass, except maybe a shent… 😉

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    • I’ve been struggling with it as well, since I was an hourglass I was supposed to look great in anything and it didn’t work. And lately I have been attracted to the Grainline studios aesthetic, but it doesn’t really look good on me. I love the comfy oversized sweater trend, but it just makes me look like a brick with legs. And loose and boxy tees emphasise the mommy pouch!

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  2. Ooh, this is SO INTERESTING! I’ve tried to figure out WTF a spoon shape is before, because I’ve also heard of it referred to as a branch pear, so I wondered if I was one. I’ve gotta say, from behind, we’ve got a really similar shape! I’ve got that dent between my hip and low hip too. I’m 42-37-47 (with a 35 underbust), so my hips are definitely more than 2″ larger than my bust… but otherwise, it all rights true for me! Especially gathering – it’s why I avoided the Moneta even when everyone else raved. I’ve decided I can do very slightly gathered knit skirts on dresses, if the waistband has quite tight elastic to give more of an hourglass effect.
    If it hep with the guilt, I’ve “owed” my husband clothes for weeks and months… and they were wrecking my sewjo so eventually I just put the UFOs in a box and moved on with my sewing! Because really, would our spouse want a gift to be a source of anxiety? Our guys are too good for that, right? 😉
    That skirt looks sassy, and I love it! Plus prints are such a nice balance with tight skirts – shows your figure, not the underwear likes or anything else! Make more!!!

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    • Exact same reason why I haven’t made the Moneta or the Emery dress or the Cambie, although the A-line shape Cambie should be okay. I’ve noticed that dresses like the Bettine are okay because the waist is just cinched and not really gathered 🙂 So I totally get you, probably why we keep pinning the same kind of things 😉 Apparently an 8 shape isn’t all that common so there isn’t much info about it. The term Spoon is sometimes also used as a synonym for pear shape.

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  3. I think you hit on the answer, because that skirt looks great on you! Such that I, naturally, think “I should try making that, it looks so great AND comfortable” and then I remember–I’m not the same shape as you. I’m still thinking about it though–it might work for my shape.

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  4. Ooh my goodness! I’d never heard about the hourglass spoon shape thing. That’s me to a tee! High hips, short waist and a bit too much tummy. Thanks for opening my eyes to this, now I know what to Google for!

    I love your skirt btw, you did a lovely job! Tilly’s patterns are all amazing but I’d avoided the Bettine because I reckoned it wouldn’t work for me but after seeing this I’m thinking maybe it could.

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