I was walking through my local Jo-Ann Fabric store a couple of months ago when was seized with a fiery passion of the sort that overcomes a baron for the new stable boy. Usually it’s a piece of embroidered linen that stirs my creative lust. This time it was a skirt. More specifically, the panel skirt show on the cover of Stylish Skirts: 23 Simple Designs to Flatter Every Figure.
Just look at it over there, all stripy and swishy, with french seams! Now, that skirt is swoon-worthy on its own, but my mind was going off into another direction. I had, buried in my stash of fabric, several yards of soft, knit fabric in three colors: grey, heathery-purple, and a smokey-blue. They had been sitting in a cardboard file box for years, waiting for the time when I would get around to making them into something awesome. Well, their time had come.
It has been years since I’ve made any clothing for myself. Which is funny as I originally got into sewing for just that reason. So, it was with a lot of giddiness, trepidation, and wine, that I set out this past weekend to make myself a new skirt. The skirt started off very close to the original pattern, which is where I ran into the first obstacle. Stylish Skirts is translated from Japanese, and there are some glitches in the transition. Fortunately there’s the internet, and I wasn’t the first person to run into problems.
Creating the pattern took about half an hour once I figured out the issue. I didn’t take into account any changes to the pattern with regards to using a knit fabric. I drafted it to my waist and hip measurements, and drew it much longer than the book calls for. I like long skirts. I don’t care if they’re not supposed to look good on short girls.
The actual cutting out of the pieces took an hour or so, due to the fact that I wasn’t working with intact yardage. At some point in the past I had cut out two one-piece tunic style dresses for Charlotte out of the blue and purple fabrics. As such I had to take some extra care to get it all cut out. Even so, I ended up with only four panels of the blue, six of the purple and then ten of the grey. The original pattern calls for six of each, but I wasn’t going to let a little thing like that stop me.
Sewing the skirt together took a couple of hours. The original pattern calls for a zipper closure, but because I was using knits my plan was for an elasticized waistband. Remember how I drafted the pattern as suggested by the book? That didn’t take into account the need for the waist to fit over my hips with an elastic waist. So when I sewed the panels together I dropped the seam allowance down to 3/8″ of an inch, which gave me the necessary room.
I gave the hem a rolled edge because I was tired of sewing by then, and also I didn’t want to sacrifice any of the length. (Did I mention I like long skirts?) The resulting skirt is soft and swishy. I have to kick the hem out of the way when I walk, or pull it up—a bonus in my book. I have been twirling around the house in it for a few days making little noises of happiness and satisfaction.
I’ve already settled on the next skirt I’ll be making from the book. I’ll post pictures and a write up when that happens. In the meantime, please enjoy the playlist I put together for the skirt:
- Not an Addict – K’s Choice
- Got You Where I Want You – The Flys
- Creep – Radiohead
- Linger – The Cranberries
- Iris – Goo Goo Dolls
- Soul to Squeeze – Red Hot Chili Peppers
- Who Will Save Your Soul – Jewel
- Building a Mystery – Sarah McLachlan
- Celebrity Skin – Hole
- Santa Monica – Everclear
- I Don’t Need a Hero – Concrete Blonde
- Happy Phantom – Tori Amos