First RTW Imitation and First Tutorial!

posted in: Sewing | 4

I went snoop shopping a few days ago and tried a cute little skirt that I really liked.  It’s a simple skirt, one of those with the elastic waist that you can wear high on your waist.  I thought about buying it and then proceeded to be ashamed of myself.  Ashamed not because I wanted the skirt but ashamed beacuse I actually thought about spending the money on THAT skirt when I could easily make one for a lot less and would probably be even better quality.

I came home and immediately came up with a plan.  I haven’t seen patterns for this type of skirt but that’s probably because it doesn’t require a pattern at all.  I bought the supplies and got to it.  It was actually insanely easy to make and there is no reason why anyone who has the slightest idea about how to use a sewing machine should have to buy one.  I decided to make a quick tutorial in case anyone out there wanted to make one.

I have not decided if I’m going to enter the PR Wardrobe Contest but if I do, this will be one of the bottoms and the current trend item.

This is the inspiration skirt.  Mine is fuller.
My skirt:
I’m not sure what’s going on here.  I think I had just started walking.  It’s a good picture of the skirt though.
You don’t have to tuck your top in at all!  It looks less “young” this way.
The tutorial:

– One yard of 2 inch wide elastic in your chosen color.
– Fabric, yardage depends on your measurement.  See below.  I assume you will purchase 44 inch wide fabric.

1.  Take the elastic and wrap it around your waist, stretching it.  Play with the length and stretch until you decide what feels comfortable, not too tight, not too loose; mark the desired length.  Add 1 inch and cut the elastic.  For me, I cut 30 inches of elastic.

2.  This is the math part and thus the most complicated part.  The length of fabric you need will be twice the length of the elastic.  Before you buy your fabric you will need to decide how long you want the skirt to be.  I am short so my skirt is not very long.  I bought one yard of 44 inch wide fabric so the length of my skirt, which is half of the fabric’s width, is approximately 21 inches without counting the elastic. If you decide this length works for you, you will need just one yard of fabric.  If you need more length then you will need to buy more than one yard.  So, you are basically using the length of the fabric for the width of the skirt and the width of the fabric for the length of the skirt.  your hem will be parallel to the selvage.

  •   A) For the short version, take your yard of fabric and cut in it in half parallel to the selvage.  You will have to pieces of fabric that are one yard by 22 inches or so.  With right sides facing, sew the two pieces together by one of the short ends.  You will now have a long rectangle that is two yards by 22 inches.  Chances are you will not need two yards so you will need to find the seam you just sewed and trim equal amounts are both ends so you end up with a piece of fabric that is twice as long as the elastic’s measurements.  So in my case my rectangle was 22 inches by 60 inches.

  •   B) If you need more length, start with a cut of fabric that is twice as long as your elastic measurement.  For example, if you are using 30 inches of elastic, your fabric should be 60 inches long by 44 inches wide.  Calculate how long you want your skirt to be minus the 2 inches of the elastic.  If you want to have a skirt that is 30 inches long then you need to trim 14 inches off the fabric parallel to the selvage.

3).  Once your fabric is ready you need to gather it to fit the elastic.  With your sewing machine sew a line of stitching approximately 1/2 inch from the top seam allowance using a long, basting stitch with low tension.  Leave long thread tails at both ends.  Gather fabric so that it is 30 inches long and fits the elastic.  Pin the gathered fabric to the elastic with the right side facing it approximately 5/8 up the lower edge of the elastic.  The two raw ends of the fabric should coincide with the two raw edges of the elastic.  

4) Sew the fabric and elastic together from the right side of the skirt approximately 1/4 inch from the bottom end of the elastic. Pull gently on the elastic and fabric as you sew to stretch it out and give the stitches a little more give.  You may use a straight stitch.  With right sides facing and using a 1/2 inch seam allowance, sew the side seam.  Remove the gathering stitching.

5)  The last step is to hem the skirt. I used a narrow hem foot but you may use any hemming method.

VOILA!  A skirt.  It has taken me longer to type these instructions than it would take me to make this skirt again.  I tried to be as thorough as possible with the instructions because I assume those needing a tutorial for this are beginners. It’s very simple really.

Anyhow, that’s all I got today, which is more than I have most days.  I will definitely make more of these and maybe even with some variations.  I really like it!

4 Responses

  1. Home's Jewels

    Great job on your tutorial. I just added it to the patterns (linking back to your blog) at the new online sewing community:

  2. marysews

    Nice tutorial! Since the top edge is serged, if the length is right, the hem could be done before attaching the elastic.

  3. June

    You could hem the skirt before attaching it to the elastic and sewing the side seam but then the seam would not be enclosed in the hem. This way is neater I think.

Leave a Reply