Hot! MTL: Petticoat on the Prairie Skirt

Original Inspiration



Mena Trott

Mena Trott started The Sew Weekly to document her attempt to sew all of her own clothes in 2010. Since then, she's made over 125 outfits and has way more clothes than she needs.


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  1. How is the MTL worthwhile? For other MTL’s you’ve offered it makes sense because the end product ends up being far cheaper (and more customizable) than the original, but this one ends up being more expensive than the original.
    5 yards of fabric x $4 a yard = $20
    $20 + $6 shipping = $26
    $10 pattern + $5 shipping = $15
    $26 + $15 = $41
    Dress from ModCloth $42 + $7 shipping = $49
    I’d like to think my time and labor are worth more than $8 total.

  2. That’s a fair point. I think of MTL as more of an inspiration. Some folks (like me) have a stash that they can also draw from. Like I have five yards of gauze right now in my stash that I got for a $1. If there is someone else out there that just needs this as a nudge, then it’s worth it.

  3. I actually have a very similar skirt on right this very moment that I bought in Europe ages ago. It’s just so effortless to pull together with other things and is so comfortable. Even if the inspired look is more money that the modcloth version, I think you’ll find that you can customize it to fit your sensibilities (like with length, fullness and the like). Who said sewing was about saving money anyway? Ha ha! xoxo, Sunni

  4. I don’t think you need a pattern at all to make that skirt. Anyway I already have a very similar pattern in one of my Burdastyle magazines, plus a very similar fabric in my very tiny stash. But if I want to buy the fabric I only have to walk to the local fabric shop street. Perhaps the blog audience is not all in your situation, Liz.

  5. Thanks for posting this, Mena! I get a lot of inspiration from the posts, even though I haven’t made one of the MTL looks yet. They’re really educational and in that they make me think a lot more about the lines and fabric of the clothing I see. I do keep save a list of the patterns that I see here so I can pick them up during Joann’s 10/$10 sales. No need to pay full price for patterns!

  6. If a finished item shipped from China costs $42 in store, then the chinese factory is likely to have gotten less than $8 total – and that’s to pay everyone involved in it’s manufacture from spool of yarn to finished skirt. I like to think their labour is worth more than that.

  7. Well you could get a few other pieces of fabric at in the same order (for other MTL designs) and get FREE SHIPPING (my fave!) and you can either go without a pattern OR get the pattern at JoAnn’s on sale (.99-1.99) and don’t pay shipping (of course this is only if you have a JoAnn’s nearby). That would bring the cost of the skirt down considerably.