After pouring through my sewing books, I decided to make the Breezy Beach Wrap (perfect) skirt from Sew What! Skirts by Francesca Denhartog and Carole Ann Camp. The book contains instructions for 16 skirts, all made by creating your own pattern using your measurements.
Once I had decided on the skirt to make, I needed to get the fabric. On the way home from the Columbus area one weekend, my husband and I stopped by The Fabric Shack in Waynesville, Ohio, a truly wonderful fabric store with an extensive selection of cottons for sewing and quilting. (There is a separate store a block up the street that carries decorator and specialty fabrics, too.) We passed through the whole store twice and decided this fabric was the best choice. It just looked like something I’d wear.
It wasn’t until a few weeks later, when I started in on the skirt, that I realized it’s a Lotta Jansdotter print. Lotta Jansdotter! You mean the same designer whose plates, bowls and mugs we loved so much we had to have them on our wedding registry last year? Yep.
Sew What! Skirts includes a formula to draft the skirts that uses your waist measurement, hip measurement and the distance between the two. After measuring twice, just to be sure, and plugging those numbers into the formula, I drafted the pattern right onto the fabric. It was a bit scary, but much easier than I had imagined because the instructions were so clear.
The skirt instructions included an option to add a buttonhole to slip one of the ties through to get a smoother profile. Since my profile can use all the smoothing it can get, I did add the buttonhole to the waistband, following the instructions that came with my machine. It was my first buttonhole, too, and again, it really couldn’t have been any easier.
One of my biggest concerns about making a skirt was getting the hem right. I’m not really known for my even and straight double-folds. So I decided to invest in an aluminum hem guide (about $16). It has guides for both curved and straight hems, and I ended up using both to give the right flow to the hem. I can see myself using this for all sorts of projects, though, including quilt labels. A very handy notion to have.
My only modification to the project was the addition of a second fabric for the waistband. For some reason, I just couldn’t image the skirt with all the same fabric. I guess that’s the beauty of making your own!