Quick and easy long skirt

(Or more accurately, fairly quick and not-as-easy-as-it-should-have-been skirt.)

I had just enough fabric left over from my wrap dress to make a gored skirt from one of my recently-acquired vintage patterns, dated 1979. The pattern is super-simple–just four identical pieces. I bought some pattern material at the fabric store a couple of days ago. It is not really paper but more like thin interfacing (which is actually what I was looking for when I found it). I was so excited that I bought five yards of it at $2.49/yard, minus a 40% off coupon. This stuff is a dream. I traced the skirt pattern onto it and found that it is incredibly easy to cut and does not crinkle up like tissue paper patterns. It also has a slight texture, which means it stays in place on the fabric.

This stuff, combined with a new blade in my rotary cutter, made the task of cutting out the pattern much more tolerable than usual. It also helped that there was only one simple pattern piece.

This skirt should have gone together very, very quickly, but I had about a million stupid problems. First, I had issues with my serger. It turned out that I had made a mistake when threading it, which resulted in the threads coming loose from their proper place in the machine. Then, one of my spools of thread ran out. Then I did something else incorrectly (I’m still not sure what) that messed up another seam. Since I had to reserge in a few places, the skirt ended up being a bit smaller around the waist than it should have been. The directions said to use elastic in the waist, but the stretch of the skirt seemed fine without it so I skipped that step and just folded down the waist and hemmed it. I switched to the regular sewing machine for the hem and had problems with my bobbin. After pulling out some stitches, I finally got it right. I was getting frustrated and things were coming out a bit uneven so I decided to leave the hem for another day. Anyway, it was still a quick project but it took about twice as long as it should have due to various problems, most of which were caused by my haste.

The waist looks a bit wonky in this photo but it doesn’t look that bad in real life–I just didn’t bother to straighten it enough before I took the photo. When hemmed, it will be mid-calf length. I don’t have many skirts that are this length and I figured it would be good for some traveling I will be doing this fall. This was so easy that I’ll definitely make it again when I find some more knit fabric on sale. It’s a nice, basic skirt.

My next project is a wrap dress for my mom. I was planning to start it tonight but I wanted to do this quick skirt first to make sure I’m comfortable enough with the serger to make something for someone else. Good thing I did, since I had so many issues. I’ve already traced the Simplicity wrap dress pattern onto the pattern paper and I hope to start cutting tomorrow night. I have the fabric but I still need to find a suitable buckle.


2 thoughts on “Quick and easy long skirt

  1. I am so impressed by your adventurous spirit when it comes to sewing! Knit fabric is way too scary for me to face! The skirt and dress are great, and your patience with the projects will do you good when it comes to working on your dissertation (I know, I can’t seem to shake the bitterness, forgive me!). So far, I have moved the dress pattern I purchased 2 years ago from the basement to my desk, I looked at the fabric scraps that I had intended to make into a tote, and I excavated some yellow fabric from the cedar chest that I might make into a pillow. By the time you make your first wool coat, I may be ready to take my sewing machine out of the closet! Keep writing the inspiring postings! Who knows, I might make a pillow cover before then!

    • You are too kind, Heidi. It is fun for me to do something non-academic, but as you can see, I am not always the best at following directions and I take some shortcuts. I don’t think I have the patience to do more intricate things like the jewelry you make. Good luck with your projects–I still have unfinished things from years ago, so I can completely relate! Having a blog helps a bit, because I feel like I have a record of what I’ve done and that motivates me.

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