Happy June everyone! How was your May sewing-wise? Did anyone join Me Made May? I really wanted to but this month has just been so busy, eating up my weekends. Like the occasion for which I made today’s skirt.
Last month I was invited to a “I love Holland” themed bachelorette party, and we were expected to wear something orange! So of course I don’t own anything orange as it is not one of my favorite colors. I decided on the fly to sew a quick and simple skirt. I bought all materials on Friday morning, started sewing Friday late afternoon and finished it on Saturday morning just before the surprise party.
I bought 2 meters of orange cotton, 1 meter of 3cm wide waistband elastic, 3 meters of wide ribbon and 1 meter of narrow ribbon in the colors of our flag.
I cut out the following rectangles:
- [135 by 9 cm] Waistband (x1)
- [140 by 65 cm] Skirt panel (x2)
I wanted to use the full fabric width to create the maximum amount of pleats. My waist is 103cm and I would always go with 2-2.5x your waist measurements to create REAL volume.
The waistband measurements were calculated as such:
Length = low hip + 15 cm + seam allowance
Width = elastic width x 2 + seam allowance
I freehanded the pocket using my phone and Googling pictures of pocket patterns! Otherwise there are many printable templates available on various sewing blogs, like this one from Sew Chic Patterns.
After cutting out all pieces I used my regular sewing machine (I don’t have my serger at home) to zigzag all fraying edges. I’d used the selvedge as part of the pocket side seam.
And of course I added the pockets! I used Megan’s tutorial from megannielsen.com, which shows you how to add completely invisible side seam pockets.
The secret is to understitch them so they don’t show on the outside. The understitching is done with both seam allowances folded towards the pocket, then stitched 3mm away from the pocket seam.
Normally I’d also stabilize the pockets, but for a quick costume I didn’t find it necessary.
Then I machine-basted gathering threads all around. One gathering stitch is stitched close to the edge at 0.5cm seam allowance, the other at 2cm seam allowance. Having two gathering threads make the gathers neater, in my opinion.
I didn’t use one giant gathering stitch over the full 1.40cm wide front and back panel, but did two. This way I have to gather only 75cm down at a time which decreases the risk to break the thread.
After gathering I stitched the side seams and pockets in one go.
Then I stitched 5cm up from the lower end of the pocket seam. The pocket hole is now smaller and my phone will not fall out sideways.
I stitched the center back seam of the waist band, creating a ring. Then I pinned the skirt to the waistband and evenly spaced the gathers.
I stitched the skirt to the waistband all around. I had a lot of gathers underneath, bulking up the waistband!
Not having my serger at home, I again resorted to zigzagging the frayed edges down. Again not the prettiest solution but sure the quickest!
I measured the elastic to my waist and fed it through the waistband. Then I joined the elastic with a zigzag stitch.
Every time I sew an elastic waistband I topstitch the side seams of the waistband. Stitching only the center back seam is not enough to prevent the elastic from rolling around in the washing machine! So I prefer two stitches. Before you do this however, make sure to fit your garment. You might not need a 5-/5- spacing of the elastic, but rather 60/40! During fitting, use a safety pin to pin the elastic to the waistband before topstitiching it down.
I used a piece of the small ribbon I got as a tag for the back!
Then I stitched a 3cm wide double hem. Normally I would hang the skirt but it’s just a costume. Besides, doing a very straight hem will help me for the next step!
The final thing I did on Friday was pinning the wide ribbon all the way around. I pinned them in the middle because I planned to stitch them down top and bottom, and this would save me many pins and even more time. I have most of my stuff at my shared studio space nowadays, so I really used almost all of my pins for this!
Saturday morning I finished topstitching the ribbon down using matching thread. Somehow I own no orange thread, how strange!!!
The finished result! I pinned the side ribbon on as an idea. I really love how full it is, which is a good thing because the fabric was relatively cheap and therefore sheer.
On the right side the hem seems to hang lower but it was straight in real life.
Here’s a picture of me wearing it during the bachelorette party, together with a “Delft blue” inspired T-shirt and of course my farmer’s handkerchief headband.
Overall it was really fun to just make something up on the fly instead of following a pattern. I also enjoyed skipping the interfacing and pressing steps LOL! Yet I do realize that’s what makes a garment. I’m not sure when I will be wearing this skirt again, but it was a fun 2-3 hours spent with busy hands.
Thanks again for reading!