I recently made my second Kenzie skirt and am really pleased with the results! However, I made *quite* a few changes, some to the pattern itself and others because of my preferences. I created a YouTube video to highlight the changes I made that were due to preferences such as adding a pocket, shortening the length, and using French seams. That said, in this post I wanted to discuss the pattern itself.
The first time I made the skirt, it was only my second garment I had sewn, so I thought the problems I encountered were because of being a new sewist. Now that I have a few more projects under my belt, I feel confident in critiquing the pattern, especially because I encountered the same issues both times I made the skirt. But first, let’s start with the things I like about the pattern!
Things the pattern does well
- Resources. In general, Seamwork has a TON of information related to whatever pattern you may have purchased. As a beginner, it makes new terms less intimidating and I don’t have to spend hours sifting through tutorials and blogs to find what I need.
- Clear diagrams. I have most definitely purchased patterns that have instructional photos that looked like they were taken using a potato phone. Seamwork is not one of those places! They have drawings that are clearly marked to show where you should be stitching and what side is the right/wrong side of the fabric.
Things the pattern needs help with
- Glosses over the invisible zipper install. For a beginner pattern that has a lot of other resources, I was surprised to see little information on the invisible zipper. I found a really in-depth video that goes over sewing with an invisible zipper, which I found insightful.
- Hems the skirt early in construction. The first time I sewed the skirt, I followed the directions to a tee and hemmed the skirt everywhere except where the invisible zipper gets installed. This created a few problems. First, you will need to overlap where you start and stop sewing, which is visible and messy on the outside of the skirt. Second, it’s very likely that the two panels of the skirt will not be the exact length and you’ll have to make them match in the short space that was initially left unhemmed. Third, if you assemble the skirt and decide you would like it shorter, well, you just wasted a bunch of time sewing the first hem and will need to redo it. Instead of hemming right away, save hemming until the very end.
- The waistband is drafted poorly. I had issues both times with the waistband being too small for the skirt, meaning it didn’t line up at all with the edges of the skirt body and either didn’t fit or created a lot of wasted fabric. I would recommend either adding 1/2″ to pieces C and D or going up a few sizes in the waistband.
- How the wasitband is attached is more complex and fiddly than it needs to be. Instead of attaching the waistband between two rows of basting stitches (which is pretty difficult as a beginner), attach the waistband below the stitches, about 5/8″ down or only do the first row of basting stitches. Also, the final step of securing the waistband calls for stitching in the ditch on the inner 1/4″ seam allowance. You had to iron this last seam way in the beginning of the waistband assembly and while sewing, you cannot ensure that everything is being caught in the back since you are sewing on the right side of the skirt. For these reasons, I would recommend adding a larger seam allowance to the notched sides of one set of pieces C and D. I can understand why the pieces were designed the way they were, but it isn’t practical for beginners.
I’m not sure if I’m being too critical of the pattern, but I wouldn’t call it a beginner skirt because of the time it takes to mark and fold the pleats as well as how many changes I needed to make to the directions. I do think this is an advanced beginner pattern because of the amount of resources Seamwork provides and because there’s a lot of forgiveness in the fit (once you get the waistband correct).
Overall rating: 3.5/5