Butterick 4067 MISSES’ SKIRT, no copyright date. 1970’s judging from hair and shoes.
I’ve had this pattern 4-evs and have always loved it but have never made it due to two important factors:
Factor 1: View D, my fave, requires a ton of yardage and I am usually working from whatever scraps.
Factor 2: That waistband.
It’s a straight-grain band-style waistband, otherwise known as The Least Forgiving Of All Waistbands Of All Time.
All my best skirts have a faced waist or a contoured waistband. You gain a little weight, they ride higher. You lose a little weight, they settle lower.
Not a band-style waistband though. (Band? Stand? Like a stand collar? What do we call these things? Thank goodness for pictures so we don’t have to use words.)
Band waistband (that word-pairing looks ridiculous) forgives nothing.
You gain weight = fat rolls. You lose weight = waistband stands away from your body, making you look bigger than you are. What a jerk. Yeah I’m talking to you, Waistband. Whatever your name is.
While I was making this dress I kept thinking, “Wow, this fabric has such a nice drapey hand! I should make something long, to utilize the drapey quality! But what? Not pants, the fabric’s too thin. What’s long like pants but isn’t pants???” And then way-too-long later I thought, “Aha! Long skirt. I am a genius.”
I love this skirt.
I love walking in it. A long skirt demands that you walk strong. With purpose. There’s a lot of yardage by the time you get down to that hem, you need a smooth, powerful stride to move it.
In a long skirt, I make gestures I’m way too modern for: Swoop it up over the arm to step into the car. Smooth it to sit. Gather it in one hand to ascend stairs. Time Warp!
Plus, that Powerful Stride originates from the hips. So I’m walking, with purpose, which gets the hips swaying, feeling a whole new respect for the general hotness level of 1900’s fashions. Demure at a stand still but hotness in motion is what.
This skirt is 70’s in it’s center front seam and pockets, but I feel like it harkens back to some older times.
Oh, and speaking of stuff that’s olden, really check out the illustrations on this pattern, especially View D. Check out the body language and that look of appraisal she’s laying on us.
What is she doing?
What will she do next?
Grin? Walk over? Sneer? Turn away?
She’s a specific individual caught in a moment, and in that way this drawing has more in common with a costume sketch than a fashion illustration — the drawing is giving us an insight into a specific inner world and a back story and a whole personality and I want to know the rest of the story.
These old patterns are charming because the drawings are charming. The illustrations express so much character, more than a fashion photo or fashion drawing does. Patterns nowadays could really stand to improve their charm levels. Bring back the illustration! Plus it’s often easier to see the design lines in a drawing than in a photo.
Aaaaaaaanyway…here’s a ghost!
Sew It or Throw It:
Next time though, no pockets. I really like the pockets, but they create a pressure point on the hip, and the weight of the skirt pulls that point, and creates unflatterning indentations in the muffin-top region of the body that I’d super-love to avoid next time.
A firmer fabric could help with that, but at the expense of losing the fluidity at the hem. Probably best to just skip the pockets.
That waistband…I’m still not a fan.