Last week, I finished the Dolores Skirt, a button-front midi skirt with a gathered waist, from La Maison Victor‘s first magazine issue in English.
La Maison Victor
La Maison Victor caught my eye a year or so ago on Instagram. La Maison Victor sells PDF patterns for women, men, and children online. The site also promotes the print magazine. Unfortunately for me, the magazine and website were not in English. I tried overcoming this by clicking on the “translate” button on Google Chrome. Confusion and hilarity ensued. A note about a knitting pattern stated, “the reduction of the arm cut in the front of the piece did not knock.” I have no idea what that’s supposed to mean… My favorite was a tag under an image of the most recent magazine cover that read “AVOID THE NEW EDITION.” It was highly entertaining!
An English version of the website and magazine premiered this summer. While not as much fun as the translated site, the English version makes a lot more sense. I was expecting the original site in English, but the website is entirely different and not as nice as the original. Its content is stipped down and the site lacks the chic styling I feel is a strength of the original website.
The print magazine in English is available in Barnes and Noble bookstores in the U.S. Two months ago, when I bought mine, my local store had just a few on the shelf. The magazine features sewing patterns, directions for crafts, and knitting projects. Unlike my beloved Burda magazines that contain dozens of sewing patterns, the summer edition of La Maison Victor contained only eight sewing patterns: 1 baby pattern, 2 kid patterns, 1 men’s pattern, and 4 women’s pattern. It also included one women’s knitting pattern.
La Maison Victor put together a video that provides a sneak peek at the magazine’s contents. Watch it here:
To promote the English version of the magazine, La Maison Victor did a blog tour and several of my favorite bloggers sewed and discussed the Dolores Skirt.
See some fabulous Dolores skirts, here:
It looked so good on everyone that I had to give it a try!
The magazine cost $12.99 at the bookstore.
I used two yards of a Liberty London cotton tana lawn called Felix and Isabelle. The fabric was purchased on sale at one of my local shops, Stitch Sew Shop. I don’t remember exactly how much I paid for it, but it must have been $40 or less.
The buttons were found inside of a vintage sewing box my mother gifted me. She’d organized the buttons according to type in little plastic baggies before gifting me the box, making it easy to spot buttons that matched and count out the number I needed. (Thanks, Mom!)
The size chart is generous. My waist measurement (the only one that really matters for this pattern) fell between a size 10 and 12. The size 10 was for a 27.6″ waist and the size 12 was for a 29.1″ waist. I found the “.1” odd and I think the unusual measurement may be because they converted the metric sizes to inches rather than redraft their patterns in inches.
I sewed the size 12.
Tracing this pattern was easy. I am so used to the crazy overlapping Burda magazine sheets that this felt like cheating. Only two patterns are printed on each pattern sheet. Only two!! Seam allowances are included. Tracing the skirt off was a breeze.
I’ve attempted to make gathered skirts before and each attempt was a disaster. The amount of gathering needed was too much in those other patterns, resulting in super puffy skirts that made me look huge. This pattern is very specific about what types of fabric are best and I found the width of the skirt pieces and the waistband created the perfect amount of gathering. The resulting skirt is puffy without too much puffiness.
This pattern includes inseam pockets! I generally hate pockets. They usually add bulk in the worst possible spot for me; however, I love them in a full skirt. There is already a lot of volume, so the pockets aren’t ruining a sleek silhouette and they look chic hidden away in a side seam.
I used my new expandable sewing gauge to place the buttons down the skirt front. It’s such a handy tool and made sewing buttons and buttonholes a snap!
You want me to do what?!
The pattern illustrations suggests marking notches using basting threads. This seemed a bit crazy to me and I utilized my usual notches.
The directions for reinforcing the buttonhole facing with interfacing could be clearer. This isn’t my first button placket, so I was fine, but someone who hasn’t sewn one before might be stumped by the lack of direction. The pattern just says “apply interfacing to the wrong side.”
The recommended button size was a mystery. What size is “0,43”? Less than 1/2 inch? I gave up trying to figure it out and played around with different sizes until I thought the button size looked right.
There was a fairly major fit issue. The waistband was too long. When I pinned the front of the skirt in place, there was about 1.5″ too much fabric at the waist. I should have sewn the size 10.
I was able to fix it and now Dolores and I have a dirty little secret!
To fix the problem, I decided to reposition the buttons, leaving alone the buttonhole placket. I determined that, for the skirt to fit well, I needed to move the buttons over about 1.5″ from their intended spot. This moved them off the already created button placket. To reinforce the fabric next to the placket, I ironed a strip of 1.5″ fusible interfacing to the back of the skirt. I then sewed the buttons down the newly interfaced section of skirt. I installed a snap at the end of the waistband to keep the end from riding up and revealing my quick fix. It’s not perfect, but the correction isn’t visible as I wear the skirt.
The busy print prevents anyone from noticing that the two front panels aren’t exactly the same width across the front of my body. Before folding and storing the pattern pieces, I made adjustments to the waistband length, so I will have a perfect fitting skirt the next time I sew this pattern.
The finished skirt was also too long. This is was not surprising. I’m only 5’3″ and often have to shorten patterns. Dolores is a midi skirt, so it should fall a few inches above the ankle. Because I’m short, this length is ridiculous on me. I look like I’m playing dress up. After much trial and error over the years, I’ve found about three inches below my knee is the most flattering length for me. I chopped off over 6 inches from length of the skirt and hemmed it up by 1.5 inches.
Dolores and I swished around my apartment once she was finished.
I think she’s great! She has a classic 50’s vibe and I can’t even think about wearing her with anything less than a 2 inch heel. Flats feel blasphemous.
I am wearing Dolores in these photos with a knit top made from a pattern in the August issue of Burda Style Magazine. Stay tuned! A review of this top will go live later this week.
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