A while back, years? there was an article on improving sewing skills that talked about making a pattern without the instructions improving skills. Well, at the time I was not happy with my results, more failed projects than happy outcomes. I decided to try the advice and I am happy to say that I am much happier with my results these days. It is really freeing to make something without being tied to the instructions and you really have to think what is the best way to do this. I just finished my daughters pleated plaid skirt and it is a knockout. She is thrilled and said that if anyone asks her where she got it she’ll say Mommy couture. I used the Neue Mode pattern mentioned in the pattern review and it is really current in styling, I made it Chanel style with fringed bottom and each pleat edge is frayed.