If you want a skirt with an unusual design, which is a fun challenge to sew and where you will learn a unique way to form belt loops, I would have no problem in recommending this gorgeous skirt pattern.
When I heard that AnaJan was looking for pattern testers, I volunteered. I don't wear skirts much, tending to prefer dresses, and I was somewhat dubious that the pleated Zlata would suit me. But because of the interesting design and the stitched down pleats, I'm very happy with my new skirt!
The pattern is a PDF (download) pattern which has three variations and I sewed View A in a Liberty poplin fabric. All the details are on the Stepalica blog with posts and pictures of each of the 3 styles and there is a sewalong of the Zlata also in progress.
The pattern testing process ran smoothly and I found the pattern and instructions were very clear. It needed intense concentration because of the unusual design and being the first adult sized skirt I've sewn. AnaJan was very appreciative of my efforts at pattern testing and mentioned it on her blog.
To make the sewing even more difficult for myself, I added ribbon to the yoke/skirt seam. I have used this technique a few times before, and it is a really neat way to add or highlight a design detail, as well as hiding the raw edges of a seam. The ribbon I chose is a pink stitched ribbon from Jane Means, which coordinates very well with the Liberty print. I was very excited that this inspired AnaJan to sew another version with a ribbon trim which appears as her View A.
Choosing to edgestitch all the pleats, ie. four times for each pleat added to the concentration I needed for this pattern. I didn't realise until I was halfway through that I have an edge stitching foot for my machine.
Though the edge stitching is a time consuming process during sewing, it makes a dramatic difference to the wearability of the skirt. The fabric will hold the pleats, both in wearing and washing so all the effort will be worth it and it's a step I would highly recommend.
The Zlata skirt also has pockets, which I lined with a silky lining fabric and this picture shows the stitched ribbon colour, seam matching and the edge stitching even more clearly.
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