I made a skirt for myself!

The story you are about to read is real.  Only the measurements have been changed to protect the innocent.

I found some cute fabric at a good price recently and decided I wanted to make a little skirt out of it.  I invisioned something about knee length, a bit fuller than an A line probably cut out of a few more pieces.  I made my own pattern, by taking my measurements and doing some math.

My belly dips a little bit at the navel, and I find it most flattering to wear skirts just a bit above that so the fabric can kind of smooth the line (I always wear shirts untucked over a skirt, preferably a bit fitted, and coming a bit below the navel).  I didn’t want the skirt to poof out too high up, added bulk where I really don’t need it.  So, I took my waist measurement where I wanted the waistband of the skirt to lie, another measurement where I wanted to start the flare, and measured the height between the two.  I also measured the length I wanted.

For the sake of this post, let’s call that waist measurement 27 inches (ha!) and the lower measurement 30 inches.  I decided I wanted 6 panels of fabric for the skirt and so I divided 27 by six (4.5) and drew a line that length on my pattern tracing paper, plus an extra 1/2″ for seam allowances (I use a 1/4″ allowance when I make my own patterns – generous seam allowances waste fabric and make curves harder to sew, in my experience).  I drew a perpendicular line down and added a second line segment for my lower body measurement, (30/6=5, plus the seam allowance would be 5.5″).

Connect the dots:

Next, I extended that perpendicular line down to get the total length I wanted for the skirt, and drew a horizontal line as a basis for my hemline, twice the width of the waistline.

More connecting dots:

I tried to draw more of a curve than an angle where the two dot-connecter lines meet up so the skirt would fall better:

And I added a curve to the hemline:

Since both curves where drawn freehand and I didn’t want funky asymetrical pieces, I folded the pattern piece in half lengthwise and cut both layers at once:

I did the whole thing a second time, to create separate pattern pieces for the front and the back.  The back piece is a bit longer, and flares a little more, because I was pleased with that effect on Bonnie’s dresses.

I took a break from my meticulous photo taking at this point and cut out 6 front pieces and 6 back pieces (three each for the lining, and for the top layer).  I worked on the lining first.  Sewed the front pieces right sides together, serged the seams, and pressed towards the back.  Sewed the back pieces right sides together, serged the seams, and pressed towards the back.  Sewed the front to the back along the seam that would fall on my right side (serged and pressed) and then measured the other side with the zipper I’d bought, marked on the fabric just below where the zipper would go in, and sewed and serged below that point.

Since I cut the back pieces longer than the front pieces, the hemlines didn’t match up at the side seams (no surprise there):

I trimmed them to create a smooth curve.

Then I hemmed the lining with your standard boring fold, press, pin, stitch method.  Here is the finished lining:

I sewed the outer skirt in the same manner as the lining, right up until the hemline.  For the outer skirt I cut a 10″ wide strip of polka dot fabric and sewed it, right sides together, to the hemline of the skirt.  Then I turned up the raw edges and pressed them, folded the polka dot fabric in half up over the hemline (shown below), pinned, and topstitched the whole thing down.  Sorry I didn’t photograph more of this.  I was sooooo ready to be done by this point and getting impatient with a photo for every step (which slows me down a lot).

I sewed the skirt and lining right sides together along the waist, turned right sides out, pressed, and topstitched the waist.  Sewed in my zipper and I was good to go!  Here it is:

Eva saw me posing in front of our “backdrop” curtains and had to come join me for the photo op.  She’s a little ham already.


2 Responses to “I made a skirt for myself!”

  1. 1 3blessings
    June 14, 2008 at 6:52 pm

    So cute! It looks great on you! And thanks for doing the math for me to make my own pattern 😉

  2. 2 ulihelisdi
    June 15, 2008 at 10:48 pm

    Very cute!

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