Saturday, June 9, 2012

Sartorial Saturday: Nautical Striped Skirt

I'm a fickle, fickle clothing maker.

I have half-made garments floating around my home. I have a pretty impressive stack of apparel fabrics from lace to gauze to linen to knits. I want to buy indie clothing patterns left and right. So I made myself a deal...I have to use up about half of my apparel fabrics on patterns that I own before I'm allowed to buy more fabric or more patterns.

So Thursday night I made a skirt! It's 100% Pima cotton too! Cue angel music.

Now, unfortunately, I didn't measure too much while I was doing this. I simply held the original fabric length up to me, saw that it was more than enough to get around my hips, and decided that I would just gather it all to the waistband. So I cut the length in half, then cut one of the pieces in half again. I cut a long strip off the bottom to serve as my waistband [which I did measure].

I sewed all 3 pieces together to create a really really long piece. I was very, very careful to match all the stripes, and I did pretty well!

I used interfacing on the front side of the waistband to give it structure and support to hold up the rest of the skirt. It will also keep the waistband from wrinkling while wearing.

To gather that long piece to the size of the waistband, first I noted in the waistband where the center and side seams should fall so that I could try to gather the fabric evenly. Then I sewed 2 lines at the top of my skirt piece, making the tension as loose as possible and the stitch length as long as possible. Then I grabbed the bottom threads and pulled carefully [you don't want to snap the threads!], sliding the gathers along the skirt to even them out as best as possible.

I don't have any pictures of the next step because I was very intent on my task, but I put the skirt piece up inside the waistband, matching the center up first, and then the sides. I used a TON of pins, and just made sure that the gathering stitches were hidden by the waistband.

Invisible zippers give me cold sweats. But I grabbed my liquid courage [a glass of wine] and forged on. It needs improvement. More skirts!

A hand-sewn hook and eye closure keeps the waistband from gaping at the top where the zipper ends. You can see at the top there I also tacked down the seam allowance so it wouldn't fold over on itself there. I'm still trying to figure out a better solution for that, but this works for now.

The innards! French seams for the sides, the zipper seams are cut with pinking shears, and the hemline holds the side seams towards the back of the skirt.

So twirly!
 And, for your Saturday viewing pleasure, some photo shoot outtakes:

Me: Will you come outside and take pictures of me in my skirt for the blog?
Stephen: Can't I just take the pictures in here? Look, this one's nice.

Stephen: So after these pictures we should take a picture of you vacuuming in that skirt.
Me: What? Why?
Stephen: It's like big...and floofy...and something June Cleaver would wear. She vacuumed a lot, right?

Me: Are you kidding me?
Stephen: Well that's not a pretty face for the camera.

Happy Saturday! :)


  1. hahahaha That's totally something my steven (weird right?) would say -- I love the deal you made, i've been doing something very similar with quilting fabric/new projects! Love the twirling action shots! :)

  2. Your twirly skirt looks great, well done you!

  3. The skirt looks great! Love the fabric choice...Good luck on the seal =D

    I'm having a giveaway on my blog. There is one extra day to enter =D

  4. Cute! Who doesn't love a great nautical skirt?! I totally need to make one.

  5. love it! the first thing you have to do when you finish a skirt is twirl :) and mike would totally say some of those things too hahaha

  6. Haha that's such a manly response! Loving the skirt its pretty! x

  7. Hi- popped in from Ellison Lane- Love your skirt!

  8. Very cute skirt! I linked to your skirt in a post I wrote about skirt week


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