As my handmade wardrobe has grown, it has mostly been made up of fairly informal garments. Although my work as a breastfeeding counsellor is flexible and doesn’t require any particular dress code, when I’m facilitating antenatal courses I like to look a little smarter than at a support group (where I’m likely to be sitting on the floor) or home visit.
I liked the shape of the Simple Sew Tie Waist Skirt but was looking for something a little more refined, with a curved waistband. Having wondered about drafting a waistband, I decided instead to try the Tulip Skirt pattern from Sew Over It. I’ve intended to try out Lisa’s patterns for a while, and love her style, so this seemed a good place to start.
I chose to buy the digital pattern and found it quick and easy to print and put together. It is also available in kit form
[Hint for working with print-at-home patterns: I usually cut out the largest size from a pdf pattern, allowing for any sections of smaller sizes that extend beyond this (at waistlines, armholes, etc), then trace the size I need on tissue paper. This way it’s easy to store, either rolled or folded, and only needs to be printed and tiled once.]
Having checked the size chart, I traced a size 12 overall – to give plenty of room at the seat – but graded down to an 11 at the waist. If I make another I’ll attempt a full seat adjustment so that there’s more room where I need it. For years, I battled with patterns – especially from Burda Style Magazine – that were too wide at the hips but too snug all around if I took the side seams in. I’ve found a tutorial from Inside the Hem and will let you know how I get on.
I’ve used a stretch wool in slate blue from Emma Garry, with lining from Boyes (I had bought matching lining from Emma but used it for another project!). The zip is black, but it’s not really going to be seen and the fabric is very dark.
The instructions are very good and are accompanied by photos. There are also further online tutorials http://sewoverit.co.uk/how-to-line-a-skirt/
I decided to line my skirt as it will be worn with tights and I’m tired of skirts sticking or shuffling upwards. It also hides most of the stitching, although I have been careful and finished all the raw edges on my overlocker. I do this early on in the process of making up, especially with fabrics like these that are prone to fraying.
Having cut the skirt front, backs and waistbands, I then also cut the skirt front and back from lining fabric.
After constructing the outer and attaching the interfaced section of the waistband, I stitched the lining: pleats and darts, side seams and then the back seam from the zip notch to the hem.
Having pinned and stitched the lining to the waistband facing, I joined the waistband and its facing (thereby also attaching the lining to the outer). After pressing the seam open and then pressing the seam allowances towards the lining, I understitched along the facing, about 2mm from the seam, through the facing and seam allowances.
Having finished the lower edges with a three thread overlock stitch, I decided to hand hem the skirt – the wool fabric is ideal for this as it hides the tiny stitches well – and machine hem the lining.
French tacks hold the lining in place at the side seams:
Rather than slipstitching the whole waistband in place, I used some hand stitching at the side seams to link the waistband and facing, prevent it from twisting. The waistband ends are finished with hand stitching and the lining is slipstitched to the zip tape.
I absolutely love this skirt! It is amazingly comfortable and I can move freely in it, yet the design, lining and fabric make it feel smart and luxurious.