Apologies for the dark photos: I had a splendid day out with my friends Fiona and Adele today, and didn’t get home ’til after dark, but I wanted to show off my new DIY project, so you’ve got some twilight outfit shots.
Late Friday afternoon after I finished work I dropped by Spotlight to see if I could find some charcoal wool-blend jersey for a drapey skirt, but instead I left with a meter and a bit of this amazing striped drill cotton, a steal at $9 a metre. They had it in navy, green and yellow as well, but after a brief flirtation with the other colours I decided to go with my favourite staple of red.
I whipped the skirt up on Friday evening in a few hours, but went patternless, so excuse my dodgy instructions below:
Step 1. Measure out how long and full you want the skirt & cut out two rectangles of fabric with the stripes running horizontally along the fullness measurement. Match up the stripes if you can be bothered (I couldn’t. Lazy, I know)
Step 2. Cut out another strip of fabric for the waistband. I decided to go for vertical stripes for the waistband, but you could easily go for horizontal again. Make sure its twice as wide as you want the waistband to be because you’ll be doubling it over.
Step 3. It’d be crazy easy to make this skirt gathered, but I thought I’d go with pleats. I folded each rectangle of skirt fabric in half then half again, and once again (length wise) then put a pin markerinto each fold.
Step 4. Now the maths part. I measured the width of the skirt piece, and subtracted the measurement of half the waistband. The remaining measurement – divided by the number of pins – was the amount of fabric that was going to go into each of the pleats. For example: My skirt fabric width was 57″ and my waistband length was 17.5″, so 57-17.5=39.5. Overall I had 39.5″ to go into seven pleats, so 39.5 divided by 7 = 5.64. To get good even pleats I divided the 5.64 in half (2.8″) put that halfway point on each pin, then pinched the fabric from 0 to 5.7 and pinned it behind.
Step 5. Sew a seam along the whole width of the skirt at the waist to secure the pleats. Rinse & repeat for the other side of the skirt
Step 6. Sew the two pieces of skirt up one side, and most of the way up to the other – leaving enough space to insert the zip. Now you’re ready for your waistband!
Step 7. Iron a bit of interfacing on the back of the waistband, then while you’ve got the iron out fold the waistband in half and give it a good knife edge.
Step 8. With right sides together first pin, then sew the waistband to the skirt.
Step 8 into infinity. I kind of forgot to document the rest of the process, but flip the waistband up and over, then finish the inside edge and sew a second seam just above the join of waistband to skirt. This will give the waistband a crisp finished look, and secure the other side to the skirt too. Insert the zip, then hem the skirt, and voila! A carnivalesque skirt most worthy of being teamed with a bunting cardigan!