Words have escaped me today, I think the wind blew them away – there’s certainly enough of it today! I’m glad of it too, someone had an accident last night and I had to wash all of the bedding, doona and pillow included 😦 So let’s get straight into it and skip the usual preamble!
A quick note before we start. If you’ve never sewn with stretch fabrics you need to know two things: the first is that you need to sew with a stretch stitch, if you have an overlocker – use that, if not – a simple zig zag stitch will suffice. The needle should just drop off the edge of your fabric on the left side. The second is that you will need a stretch or ball point needle if you’re using a conventional sewing machine. You may get away without it depending on your knit, but if you’re finding all of your stitches are skipping then you’ll need to use the special needle.
You’ll notice I didn’t add any seam allowance, this is because I wanted the skirt to fit snug around my middle. Feel free to add seam allowances if you’d like a more relaxed fit.
- Lay out out your fabric and work out which direction the stretch is. I’m using a ponte with 2 way stretch, but it stretch more crosswise (selvedge to selvedge).
- Fold your fabric in half in the direction of the stretch, so I’ve matched selvedge to selvedge. Then in half again, making sure that the folds of the layers match up. This means that the stretch will be across your width.
- Now to take some measurements. This will vary depending where you would like your skirt to sit. I’d like my skirt to start a bit above my belly button and a bit below my natural waist. Keeping in mind the width of the waistband, I measured my width at my belly button (A), the length from my belly button to the floor (B) and my stride with (C). To get your stride with, just take a walk somewhere at ‘I need to get an hours worth of shopping done in 20 mins’ pace, stop with your legs apart and make a measurement around your ankles! Alternatively, if you have another knit maxi lying around you can use the bottom width of that!
- Next, measure the length of your skirt with your full B measurement, mark and cut.
- At the top of the folded fabric, mark half of your A measurement from the folded edge.
- At the bottom of the folded fabric, mark half of our C measurement from the folded edge.
- Now you need to cut from one pin to another in a straight line. If you can do this by sight that’s great, otherwise you might need to get a long straight object and mark a line with pins or tailor’s chalk before you start cutting.
- Open out your pieces and lay them atop one another, right sides together. Pin along the edges and sew. When you’re sewing, the top layer will stretch a little (not much) so start from the top of the skirt because the bottom will most likely need to be trimmed anyway – unless the person from your fabric store actually cuts straight!
- One your edges and sewn up, you should try your skirt on. I’m not using elastic in the waist band, the ponte is firm enough, so I’d like my skirt to hold itself up without the band, which it did! Yay!
- Ok so then you’ll need to make your waistband. The width (up and down) is really up to you (and the width of your elastic). I’ve made mine 8cm. The length (side to side) needs to be a bit (a far bit) smaller than your A measurement.
- I’m crazy, so I cut mine in half and sewed it back together so I’d have a seam at the either side (otherwise I totally wouldn’t sleep at night). You should now have a band.
- Fold your band in half, right sides out and attach it to your skirt, right sides together matching side seams. I like to to mark the centre front and back on both pieces so that the band it stretched evenly. Pin and sew. If you wanted, you could sew in a loop of elastic here. Just measure out your length, sew the ends together (forming a loop) then insert the elastic loop into the waistband loop before you attach it. Easy peasy.
A new skirt in not very long at all. Maybe an hour with lots of interruptions?!