Off the cuff skirt

I think this is the first thing I’ve made without really using a pattern. For some reason I haven’t really trusted myself until now. I saw this fabric in my local John Lewis (yes I spend quite a bit of time in there!) and just had to have it. Time I’d decided what I wanted to make they had to order the fabric especially from another store. No delivery charge to deliver to home, so I was quite happy. The fabric is a stretchy cotton. It’s quite heavy, but hangs brilliantly and sewed like a dream!

I decided that it would work nicely as a pleated skirt with a small basque. I used a pattern to get the size and shape of the basque. [This was a pattern from a magazine which I’d already made and knew fitted.] I think I took about an inch or so from the depth of the basque.

The main section for the skirt was just cut square, with enough length to give a decent hem.

I didn’t work out the pleats before cutting out, so worked these out having cut it out and sewn the seams. Fortunately I managed to get the pleats even and they sit well.

Sewing the basque on  worked a whole lot better than I imagined. It has a lining for the basque too, so after attaching the outside piece (as it were) I needed to sew the lining piece, including tape at the waist to help with the shape. The inside lining is then hand stitched to the top of the skirt section.

I decided to be brave and go with another concealed zip. It wasn’t brilliant, but I think I’m getting better at sewing these in. Perhaps I could so with a proper concealed zipper foot for my sewing machine for this, since my zipper foot is possibly not completely up to the task!

I think I put about a hem of an inch and an half which makes the skirt hang nicely. I decided to hand sew the hem, as there is no top stitching on the whole skirt and it may have looked strange with such a long hem. I am so pleased with the result though. The skirt fit is brilliant, it’s full, but the fabric weight means it doesn’t flutter in the slightest of breezes. It actually quite warm, so it will be something cheerful to wear on some of these gloomy spring-like days we’re having at the moment. Methinks it’ll get quite a bit of wear!

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