Pattern Testing

Have I got a girls’ skirt pattern for you! Easy to make. Comfy to wear, (according to my nearly 5 year old). An interesting, stylish, yet simple design. Made specifically for knit (see: stretch) fabrics. With a great size range: 12months to 16.

Rose’s skirt by Filles à Maman.


Look at it! Can’t visualize it from the sketch? Ok.


I repeat… Look at it! Oh, but ignore that unironed bottom right corner. Stop looking at the corner. I said stop it!

Adorable, right? And according to Danica, “sooooo comfy, I’m going to wear it everyday.”

That pattern isn’t yet available in Filles à Maman’s etsy shop, as it is currently in testing. Mélanie, creative genius behind this adorable skirt, put in the call for testers on Filles à Maman’s Facebook group on Friday. I filled out the survey and later that afternoon received word that I was chosen to be part of the testing group! Exciting! I’ve never pattern tested before and was really psyched about it.

The test was momentarily put on hold on Saturday while some sizing issues were sorted out, but by Sunday everything had been resolved, the test was a go, and the revised pattern was sent out.

It took me less than an hour tonight to sew up this little cutie. That includes pressing, pinning, ripping out basting stitches, and all that fun stuff. I don’t rush through my sewing, and it still took me just less than an hour. I even made a matching headband out of an extra strip of fabric.

Pictures first, thoughts about the process second.





My girl is adorable, and so is her new skirt!

Ok. Thoughts.

While I normally dislike (really dislike) printing PDF patterns and taping them together, Mélanie has made it easier. There were only 13 pages to print and not all 13 get taped together in one bunch. Pages 1-6 get taped together, 7-9, 10-11, and 12-13. She also includes targets in the four corners of the page, as well as a dotted circle with a letter in it, to help overlap the pages correctly. Genius. Really well thought out. Lining everything up is my least favourite part about printing patterns at home. But, Mélanie has obviously considered this and I was able to speed through it.

A quick side note. Filles à Maman is Canadian! GO CANADA!! More specifically, local to Quebec. Mélanie admits that English is not her first language, and because of this there might be some little issues with the instructions. I only noticed a few spots in the instructions where I had to tilt my head to the side, and reread. Please tell me I’m not the only one who thinks the head tilt helps? But I really didn’t stumble upon any major issues with the instructions. After I’d read them over, I didn’t even need them during the construction of the skirt.

This size 5 took less than a yard to create! I believe the yardage requirement for a size 5 is 22″ of either 45″ or 60″ wide knit fabric with a minimum 30% stretch. I wanted to see exactly how much I used. 18 inches of 60″ wide. That’s it. That includes the front, back, two pockets, waistband, bottom band, and a little headband that I whipped up. 18 inches. What’s a yard? 36 inches? I could make two skirts out of a yard of 60″ wide. One for Danica and one for River (who is annoyed she didn’t get a skirt).

A serger isn’t required to complete this skirt, but can be used. I opted not to use mine. I didn’t even finish the seam edges with it. Knit fabric doesn’t fray. Now that I’ve made the pattern up once, I’ll use it to construct the next ones. Oh yes, there’ll be more! Do use a stretch or ballpoint needle. That’s my tip. Correct needle makes a huge difference in sewing. I opted for a Klassé stretch needle size 75, (or size 11 depending on where you are, they’re the same thing).

Let’s sum it up. Easy to assemble pattern. Quick and easy to construct skirt. And five year old approved. I’d say it’s a win!

Testers have until this Sunday to finish up their skirts. Then I’m sure Mélanie will read through all the surveys, and make any changes needed to instructions and whatnot. But, it’s coming soon. I’ll post when Rose’s skirt is available.

EDIT TO ADD: March 22/14
The Filles à Maman Rose’s Skirt PDF is now available to purchase.
Click here to be taken directly to the Rose’s Skirt PDF listing.


About manningthemachine

I'm Laura. Mama to four, and wife to one awesome guy. I'm ever so slightly sarcastic. Just a little bit. I like to quote movies, but since our house is managed by little people, most of those quotes come from kiddie shows. At least my husband generally gets the references. It makes me feel less awkward. I took sewing lessons starting at the age of 8, through the Kids Can Sew program. I took lessons for four or five years. Then I became a snotty teen and decided sewing was lame. I've repented of my ways, and enjoy sewing for my little ones. And sometimes other people. And almost never for myself. Oh hey. My blog name. "Manning The Machine." I think it's probably only funny if you know me in real life. And even then, maybe it is only funny to me. My last name is Manning. This is a blog about my sewing. Manning The (Sewing) Machine. Do you get it? Do you? No. That's fine. I think it's funny even if you don't.
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