Wednesday, December 29, 2010
Gathered skirt with a deep yoke and skirt band
I will now confess to pulling apart patterns and only using the pieces I need for something. If I have a sewing project in mind, why come up with an entirely new pattern when I have the parts already? Why reinvent the wheel? But also, I hate going the fabric store with a garment idea in my head and never finding the pattern I need to make what I'm planning to make. So that's when I started mixing things up.
For this skirt I used a pencil skirt pattern I had on hand for the yoke and went patternless for the skirt. Who needs a pattern for a gathered skirt anyway? It's just one big rectangle.
To make this you will need one pencil skirt pattern that does not have a waistband, aprox. 1 1/4 yard main fabric (unless you are taller than about 5'4". add fabric in that case based on how long you need your skirt to be), 1/2 yard accent fabric, enough trim to wrap around your hip with 4 or so inches left over, and a 9" zipper. You will also need to use a good measuring tape and your quilt cutting tools.
To start, decide how long you want the skirt yoke to be. ( Our pattern is from the '90s and so goes all the way to the natural waist. You may want a shorter or longer yoke. And don't laugh at my pattern. I know you've seen the Hollywood starlets in their natural waist pencil skirts lately. It's totally cool again.) We finally decided that 6" of finished yoke would be perfect on my daughter. Add 1 1/4 inches to that measurement. Lay out the skirt front pattern and mark that measurement on the pattern.
Finished yoke length+1 1/4 inches=length of pattern piece
Pin the pattern piece down to the fabric leaving the rest of the skirt free from pins. You do not have to cut apart your pattern. Just cut around it so you can use it again. Because I know you are dying to be like a Hollywood starlet and have a natural waist pencil skirt you can tuck your crisp, white oxford top into.
Now lay out the rest of the fabric on your quilting mat. Fold the folded edge to meet the selvage edge so you fabric is folded in fourths lengthwise. Do this very carefully. If this isn't straight or if the fabric has small folds in it along the length then your skirt will not be straight.
To figure the length of the skirt piece you need to cut, do this calculation:
Finished skirt length-finished yoke length-4 inches+1 1/8 inches=Skirt length
Basically, you need to subtract the yoke and the band lengths from your finished skirt measurement and then add back in your seam allowances. (This will only be 1 1/8 inches instead of 1 1/4 because you're going to do a 1/2 seam to attach the band.)
Lay out the folded fabric on your quilting mat. Make sure it is lined up perfectly straight and then square the ends. Cut two skirt lengths. No matter what size you wear your skirt will be two pieces the full width of the fabric. On me, that would give me much less of a gather than it did on my daughter (over a triple gather. Girl is skinny.) If you are doing this for a little girl, you may be able to work with one width of fabric for the skirt rather than two. All my measurements and fabric recommendations are for an adult size.