The fabric is silk twill (was marked down from $20 a yard to $5) and it feels amazing.
I used the wonderful Freshly Picked elastic waist skirt tutorial but made a few changes of my own.
The tutorial calls for the length of your fabric to be double the width of your waist. This gives you a very full skirt, which looks adorable. On everyone else. I tried it on while it was pinned and quickly realized it wasn't going to work for me. I ended up using 1.5 times the width of my waist, and I love it.
I didn't have elastic quite as thick as I'd like for a defined waist band (3" would be ideal, I think). I was worried that my 1.5" elastic wouldn't really make a statement and would look lazy. So I made a simple fold over pocket and hid the elastic altogether.
To get the most out of my fabric, I cut two pieces for the skirt panel rather than one. I wanted the skirt to be a bit shorter, to wear with tights. My fabric was 45" wide, which meant that folding it in half gave me enough length (22.5"), even once I allowed for the upper pocket for the elastic. That meant I could use the entire piece of fabric, rather than cutting off something twice as long and narrower. Sewing up one extra seam was definitely worth it.
For a quick summary of the steps I used, you can click on the link below the picture. Please note that I'm 5'6, so if you are very tall or very modest, this might not work for you. However, I had enough length to easily make the pocket for the elastic and I had a relatively deep hem, so you could certainly make a skirt a bit longer than the one pictured here using the same technique.
EDIT - I just noticed that if you're a newbie sewer, you might want a couple of additional tips, because I don't go into great detail on this step by step.
1. The iron is your friend. Every time you make a fold that you're going to want to sew, press it well. Every time you sew a seam, press it. For an open seam, like in step 3, you should press it twice. First press it flat to strengthen the bond between the top and bottom thread, then you should gently open the seam with your fingers and press it open, so that it lies nice and flat when you wear the skirt.
2. Pins. I hate pinning because it always seems like a tedious waste of time, but it was useful here. When you need to sew a folded seam, iron first to get a nice crisp fold, then add a few pins to keep it all in place. As you sew on the machine, pull each pin out just before you sew over that area. Once you're experienced, you won't need to stop the machine or even slow down much to do this.
I think that's it. If you have questions, feel free to ask in the comments! I'm certainly not an expert on sewing clothing though, so don't expect too much.
Super cute! That reminds me that there are about a dozen patterns saved to my computer that I've been meaning to try. Maybe I'll get snowed in this winter and have a sewing-fest...or I'll just drink a lot of hot chocolate.ReplyDelete
Oh Rachel - I love this. The fabric is incredible!ReplyDelete
oh, i love that fabric! when i finally face down my fear of my own sewing machine and start turning out wonders, it will be entirely thanks to you - this tutorial is great.ReplyDelete
I've been wary about making myself any sewn garments but this so makes me want to give it a go! Thanks :)ReplyDelete
i love the pattern of that fabric! its so cute!ReplyDelete
I would love to be able to make my own skirt, but I am way, way too nervous. I struggle with Ikea furniture, so I'm not sure sewing is in my future. Still, you make this skirt look so cute, and I am amazed that you were able to customize...I may have to bite the bullet, face my fear, and make an attempt...ReplyDelete
it really is cute with the purple tights - perfect for cold fall weather!ReplyDelete
rachel it is ADORABLEReplyDelete
you need to sell these! that could easily be at anthropologie. you are such a domestic goddess!ReplyDelete
awesome skirt. thanks so much for posting the details. i think i could handle this even though i'm an amateur at the sewing machine.ReplyDelete
i still can't believe that you made that skirt, especially since it's even more gorgeous in person!ReplyDelete
I love it! Great choice of fabric.ReplyDelete
sooo adorable, i especially love your fabric.ReplyDelete
I love the skirt and I have stacks of fabric ready for skirt making, but I never get around to it. Also, your tights are awesome.ReplyDelete
I've been wanting to use that tutorial to make a skirt forevvvvvvvver! Yours turned out super cute. Definitely bookmarking this -- I love the changes you made.ReplyDelete
Love this! That pattern is gorgeous. And I love the purple tights!ReplyDelete
Thanks for all the fabric love, everyone! I wish, wish, wish that I could give you more information about it, but I bought it on deep discount at my local fabric store and I know nothing other than the fabric content (silk twill, which is insanely fabulous). I also have it in purple, so another skirt or perhaps a dress may be forthcoming.ReplyDelete
The tights are from Old Navy, naturally. Cheap + adequately opaque. I think they still have the purple ones for sale, but I'm not sure.
I die for that fabric. And it looks so great with purple tights! Job well done, lady.ReplyDelete
it turned out really cute - great printReplyDelete
Looks great! I'm new to sewing, by which I mean all I really do is look at sewing machines and run my hands on soft fabrics while in craft stores. This looks like a great project to start with. Thanks!ReplyDelete
this skirt is gorgeous xxxxxReplyDelete
kay, love the tutorial, but more importantly, WHERE DID YOU GET THE FABRIC?? and who makes it, since it's probs gone by now. Since it's been, oh, 10 months.ReplyDelete
Darling skirt, and thank you for the instructions, too! I've been meaning to find a skirt that I can wear in the winter, and maybe some shoes or boots to wear with it. I'm still wearing my sandals... the Texas fall hasn't taken them off my feet yet! I really enjoy your blog posts and everything that you share - it's a beautiful space!ReplyDelete
great skirt! i love how easy you make it sound. haha.. I would royally mess this up.ReplyDelete
Is there anything you cant make? Love this! And the purple tights are adorable with it.ReplyDelete
@ kristina - wish i could help you! it's from F&S, but no indication of who makes it and i picked it up almost a year ago. you could drop by and see if they still some. i didn't check last time i was there.ReplyDelete
Had a feeling. so sad. so very sad. But next time I'm there, I will be on the lookout.ReplyDelete
Oh, how cute! Love the purple tights. I'm been meaning to try that tutorial for about half a year and still haven't gotten around to it. Thanks for reminding me to give it a go =)ReplyDelete
Hi Rachel... Love the skirt and thanks for the tutorial. Will try to make it for my 3 years old. Will be trying out the carrot cake as well.ReplyDelete
I know you live in LA but what's the name of that local fabric store.
I live near a fabric store called "M&L" but they don't have silk fabric. I want to check out your local store. Thanks!
nevermind I just saw your previous postReplyDelete
ummm... this is ADORABLE. how i wish sewing didn't give me so much anxiety. :(ReplyDelete
I love this! I love everything that you changed! I just cant seem to find a good fabric like that! I will try harder. Thanks for all the hints and tips! I cant wait to make my!ReplyDelete
I made that skirt too using the tutorial! Your's turned out super well. Love the printReplyDelete
I too love the skirt and the fabric choice. You inspired me to give it shot- I love how it came out. You can see the results here if you are interested: http://www.dismountcreative.com/simple-skirtReplyDelete
Can't wait to make this!ReplyDelete