My Secret Shame

I’m not saying that I can’t sew.

I’m just saying that I can think of about 274 less terrifying things to do with my time.

In my defense, I have made things before.  When I was initiated into my sorority in college, I made the dress I wore.  And it was complicated.  It had darts.  And….things. AND there’s no reason I couldn’t be an excellent seamstress if I really applied myself.  My mother and grandmother are both accomplished in this way. AND I am a smart, accomplished professional with many crafty talents.  So…there.

In that spirit, I decided to try some sewing because, well…why not?

Oh the horror.

Really, it wasn’t so bad, and anyone who can sew a straight line can make this skirt.  The problem is, I can’t really sew a straight line.  But we’ll get there.

Note*  This project is inspired and roughly adapted from this project by Papernstitch.  The original design is SOOOOOOOOO cute, but when I made it, I couldn’t figure out how to get it on, so this was my way of making the original project work.  Also, I’m no delicate flower, and tons of gathering looks pretty horrific on curvier girls, so I reduced the amount of fabric I used, but adjust accordingly.

1 Hour Skirt

Here’s What You’ll Need

Fabric (Something with a bit of weight and NOTHING THAT STRETCHES, enough to wrap around yourself about a time and half)



Tailor’s chalk

Sewing Machine

A skirt you already own, whose length you like (optional)

Here’s What You Do:

First, you’ll need the back seam. Your fabric should come pre-folded, right sides together.  Unfold it and refold, wrong sides togther, and after measuring it about 1 and half times around your body (for a fuller skirt, add a little more) and cutting off the extra, sew a straight seam along the cut end (from the fold to the selvage).  Now you’ll have basically a tube of fabric with the right sides out.  The raw edges go on the inside of the skirt.

Next you need to deal with the length.  Depending on the width of your fabric, the length might already be perfect, in which case, skip this step.  If the length isn’t quite short enough, lay the tube down on a flat surface and put a skirt you like on top of it.  Measure the length of the skirt and then add about an inch, for seam allowances and things.  You’ll be cutting from the selvage end of the fabric, not the fold.   If you want, you can run a single row of stitching all the way around to use as a guide when cutting, but like I said, straight lines aren’t really my thing, so I used tailor’s chalk to mark the line before cutting.

Once your length is just right, measure the elastic for the waistband.  Make sure that when you’re buying elastic you get the kind that is supposed to be used for exposed waistbands, and not the kind that is meant to be sewn into things.  Measure the elastic around your waist and the pull it another inch or two tighter.  It will stretch a bit when you sew on the fabric.  Just like the skirt, you’ll want to put the ends together and stitch a straight seam to make an elastic band.

Then the slightly complicated part starts.  You need to attach the elastic band to the skirt tube.  The problem?  There will be more skirt than elastic.  Never fear!  Remember that you’ll be pinning the fabric to the inside of the elastic band.  Start by lining up the two seams and pinning them together.  That’s the back of the skirt.  Then find the front (the “other end” of both pieces) and pinning them together.  Then find the centers of the two sides on both pieces and pin them together and so on and so forth until the skirt is attached to the elastic all around.  Run an elastic stitch (or zig-zag) around the edge pulling the elastic taught enough the keep the fabric straight.  For this skirt, I tacked on a satin ribbon in the back seam to be tied in the front, but that’s up to you.  I’ve made two of these so far, and once you get the hang of it, it really is very simple.

Even if you can’t really sew in a straight line….

Made some bread over the weekend, new post soon!


5 thoughts on “My Secret Shame

  1. Pingback: Folding For Stretch Fabric Process

  2. Pingback: The Ribbons, the Ribbons! Mary, quickly the Ribbons! « The Adventures of EveryGirl

  3. Pingback: I met a senorita with a flower in her hair… « The Adventures of EveryGirl

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