I’ve been having a lot of fun (and a surprising amount of success!) with sewing lately and wanted to share. I’ll be posting the first two skirts I made soon, but for now, here’s one I came up with so I could finally use some incredibly cheap, incredibly ugly fabric I bought a few months ago.
Why did I buy ugly fabric? Well, awhile back Joann Fabric had an amazing online sale on knit fabrics (something like $1 or $2 a yard) and I kept seeing tutorials saying that knits are nice because you don’t have to hem the raw edges, and I’m terrible at hemming. I don’t remember exactly what I was planning to make, but I think I wanted to use neutral colors, so I bought a couple yards of grey and a couple of a sort of nude/beige color. Not sure what I was thinking, because I really dislike all the “nude” colored dresses and things I keep seeing and I don’t understand why anyone would wear a boring color when they could wear a bold one. However, the picture online looked like a warm, pinkish color, and I thought maybe it would be okay. Well, it was not. It was the dullest, most boring beige of all time, and it has stayed in the box it came in ever since I got it.
As I was working on my other skirts, though, I thought of all the cute lace clothing that’s become popular lately, and decided that maybe if there was lace over the ugly, it would look prettier!
This skirt was SUPER easy even though I pretty much made things up as I went. I’d originally visualized something with a fold-over wasitband like yoga pants, but – duh – I wasn’t using a stretchy knit so that couldn’t happen. Here’s how I did it:
Materials: knit fabric and lace fabric – enough of each to go around the widest part of your hips; wide elastic
1. Decide how long you want the skirt to be. My work dress code requires skirts to fall below the knees so mine was about 27″. The lace part was slightly longer because I wanted the scalloped edge to hang beyond the knit.
2. Allow a couple extra inches at the top of the knit (wide enough to make a waistband covering the elastic).
3. Measure the widest part of your hips and cut both fabrics a bit wider than that – my seam allowance was about 1″. When you’re ready to sew you should have something like this:
4. Pin the lace to the knit and sew together (dashed line in the picture above).
5. Lace-side in, fold the fabric in half and pin (make sure it will fit over the widest part of your hips!). Sew down the side to make a tube. *This side seam should go from your first seam to the hem – NOT the part for the waistband.
6. You’re going to be folding your waistband toward the OUTSIDE of the skirt when you sew it, so you want to make sure you do the seam the opposite direction than you did the rest of it. I realized this literally the second I finished sewing it on the wrong side.
See? The first picture was sewn right-sides-together just like the rest of the skirt, but I actually want the waistband section to be sewn right-sides-out so I get a nice, clean seam when I fold it over. If you plan to cover the waistband with a belt or you don’t really care that much, I guess the first way would be fine (and slightly easier/quicker) but since I wasn’t sure how I’d end up wearing it I wanted it to look a little nicer.
7. Making sure you end up with the right width of waistband for your elastic, fold over the top edge and press.
8. With the inside-out seam, your unfinished waistband should look like this:
See how that weird seam gets covered up when you fold it over? Pin and sew, leaving an opening to put your elastic through.
9. You want your elastic to fit comfortably over your hips when stretched out and fit snugly against your waist when you’re wearing it. Once it’s the right length, thread it through and sew the ends together, then sew up the opening you’d left.
10. Done! I’d originally planned to wear the skirt as-is, but my waistband was kind of ugly and awkward-looking. Luckily, it’s super cute with a belt! Next time I would probably use less wide elastic so I know for sure the belt will keep it covered.