I Made a Skirt!

I did it! I made a skirt! I haven’t made one before, but I challenged myself to do just that for our upcoming beach vacation. What better place to wear a light and cheery cotton skirt?

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.

The skirt wraps in the back, rather than at one side, so it’ll be a little hard to know if it has flown open. But there’s a good amount of overlap, so hopefully not too much shows if it does.

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!

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  1. Lynn

     /  February 28, 2012

    I love your new skirt and the pattern is totally you. Congrats and i would buy it if I saw it in a store.

  2. Tricia

     /  February 28, 2012

    It is BEAUTIFUL! I LOVE it. You should be very proud.

    I hope you have lots of good times wearing it on your beach vacations!

  3. This is just fabulous. I love the fabric that you used; very fresh and modern. My only question is: why aren’t you modeling it?! 🙂

  4. I love it! Congrats!

  5. Julie Wallace

     /  February 29, 2012

    This skirt is so you! Great job. I can’t beleive you’ve never made a buttonhole. I had to read that twice! The fabric choice is perfect as is the style. Enjoy!

  6. This is lovely. I’ve been meaning to make a skirt myself. I’m just super nervous about it, but maybe I should just give it a go like you did. Hopefully mine will come out just as nice. 🙂

    • Go for it, Rachael! I was staring at that fabric for weeks, afraid to start. But once I dove in, it was so easy. Just straight seams, really. Can’t wait to see what you make!

  7. Wow, great job and very much you. Thanks for sharing.

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