In my last post I promised you a tutorial using one of the fabrics I bought whilst away in Canada, and here it is! This tutorial is for a super easy elastic waist gathered skirt that really doesn't require that much effort making it perfect for those of you short on sewing time or are just starting out. Here goes!
The fabric I'm using is a Liberty of London cotton craft fabric I purchased in The Workroom on Toronto's Queen Street west. I first visited this lovely store when I was over in 2011 and fell in love with their quirky selection of fabrics and notions. They also have a great selection of books and patterns. As well as this, they really are a workroom where they run classes and you can rent time on their sewing machines (I admit I was tempted to so I could get this skirt sewn up to wear whilst I was away but alas, I didn't have the time!). It's a lovely weight for a skirt but would be equally lovely used as a part of a quilt or other crafty projects. I bought 0.7m (3/4 yard) as all you need for this project in fabric is your hip size plus about 20-30cm (depending on how gathered you'd like it, so for more gathers use a little more fabric). Whilst I was there, I also bought this other cotton craft fabric (also destined to be this skirt), two Megan Neilsen patterns and a book about designing fabric.
Any way, back to the tutorial!
Fabric length large enough to fit around your hips plus 20-30cm to gather, I used 0.7m.
3cm Elastic length that is equal to your waist measurement
Scissors, Pins, Sewing machine etc but you have all that right?
1. We're going to start off by breaking some rules. Normally you would cut fabric following the grainline, however for this we're going to use the crossgrain. That means that the top of the skirt will be the selvedge of the fabric and the hem will be at the fold. Cut through the fabric using the fold as your guide to give you two rectangles, mine are 70cm x 57cm. The width of the fabric is already the perfect length for the skirt so there's no need to take any length off (note: I'm 5' 8" and it sits fine on me so you may want to shorten a little?).
2. Sew the two side seams together accross the width. I've also overlocked my seams for neatness, so however you choose to finish them is fine. Press these flat for a crisp finish.
3. At the top of the skirt, turn over 1cm and press. This makes the skirt look neat for the next part.
4. Again at the top, fold over another 5cm and press. This forms the casing for the elastic to sit in.
5. Stitch along the second fold near to the edge. I've used the edge of my foot as a guide.
6. Place the two ends of your elastic over each other about 2cm and zig-zag stitch to secure.
7. Place the elastic between the large fold. Your elastic will cause your skirt to pull in slightly, this is what causes it to gather. Stitch along the first fold, again near to the edge of the fold, I've used the inner side of my foot as a guide this time. Remember to keep the elastic out of the way of the stitches and to move the fabric as you sew keeping the fabric taught. The two folds mean there are no raw edges showing, giving a more professional finish.
8. Finally turn up 1-2cm as you normally would for the hemline, stitch and press.
There you go, a cute, trendy skirt in 8 steps!
Let me know if you guys try this out and how you get on with. I've already worn mine to work and it was soo comfy.