I made a skirt!

>> Thursday, March 23, 2006

I had an idea recently that I'd like to learn how to sew some of my own clothes. I haven't really had the time until recently and I thought it would be kind of difficult to just pick up. But how great would it be to make my own clothes just the way I want? That's the way everyone did it in the olden days, right?

I had a black A-line knee length skirt from the Gap that was a bit faded, but fit just right. So I reverse engineered it to make a pattern. I used my stitch ripper and took it all apart and at each step I jotted down the instructions for that stage and in some cases where it was more complicated - such as inserting the zipper - I took pictures for reference.

Then I cut out the pieces using some recently posted thrift fabric, lost my nerve and left them in my sewing basket for a few days. Finally I decided they would probably sit there for the next year unless I just took the bull by the horns and tried sewing them up. And it actually worked! I even used interfacing for the first time for the waistband. I would take a picture of the skirt on me but I couldn't quite manage it on my own and I wanted to just go ahead and post it rather than wait to ask Bradley to take the picture for me. These pictures show a bit of it, it's mainly just four panels sewn together, then the waistband and zipper on the side and a lining strip along the inside of the hem. I used French seams since I don't have a serger which is what the store-bought skirt had to keep the seams from fraying.

I'm thinking of trying a dress next. I've bought a pattern for one, but it will be trickier than the skirt because I will have to adjust it to fit, whereas I already knew the skirt was the right size and shape.Thanks to everyone for all the sweet comments about Rabbit! His confidence has gone right up since the repairs and my niece has seen the pictures and approves. Oh, and my brother reminded me that it was his idea that Rabbit appear on needle book and have his 15 minutes of fame.


Corey March 23, 2006  

Hi there! I did the same thing a couple years ago! Said, "why can't I make my own clothes? I can use the fabric and style I like, since I can't seem to find what I want in the stores!". I made three skirts- not nearly as complicated as yours- mine used elastic waists, but I got nice comments when I wore them! Since then, I've had a baby and they probably don't fit anymore, but you've got me thinking about it again-maybe I'll try another round!

. March 23, 2006  

Absolutely gorgeous!

Anonymous,  March 24, 2006  

HI Claire, I'm just catching up on blog reading. Seems everyone is in skirt mood and I love you description of reverse engineering this one. I may try this, I have a very dressy ball gown-y type skirt that may need a facelift for starters. Thanks for the inspiration.

Anabel March 24, 2006  

Genial! And i love the rabbit too!

Suzanne Cranston March 24, 2006  

Way to Go!
I, too, have the goal of making my own skirts and (ug) blouses. I heard that the best way to make a skirt is to do exactly what you did - I'm so glad it worked!
Now - how does one copy a simple summer blouse???
I'm movitivated now.......

Susan Mitchell March 24, 2006  

Very clever and it looks very sweet and of course, unique!

Well done!

Berber March 24, 2006  

Lovely skirt, well done!

AMCSviatko March 24, 2006  

I just use zig zag stitch on my seams. You've inspired me to get sewing. Thanks!

Mary March 24, 2006  

Fabulous for a first effort! French seams even! I'm impressed - my first efforts didn't turn out nearly so pretty. Of course, I don't even wear skirts any more, but perhaps I should after seeing all the lovely examples out there in blogland.

Anonymous,  March 24, 2006  

Woweee! Great job!

Anonymous,  March 24, 2006  

I love everything about your skirt! The fabric is wonderful!And the skirt looks beautiful. I bet it looks great on. And I must give skirt making a go mysef.

Jenn March 27, 2006  

so I'm pretty sure we had the same black A-line skirt from the Gap...I wore that thing last year like there was no tomorrow. and alas, it is also faded (and a bit snug now...shh. it makes me sad to know such things. lol).

but what a great idea!! I must try the same (once I get a decent machine). I love the fabric and the skirt...kudos to you!! :)


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