Monday, 20 January 2014

Easy Sheer Gathered Skirt Tutorial

I've had a whole load of beautiful fabrics from India sitting in my stash for a long while now. 

Some are fairly heavy and ok for general type sewing, but there's not a lot of these. The majority are gorgeous, sheer, silky fabrics. 

Which left me at a complete loss as to what to do with them. 

I was showing some to my girlfriends when they came over for Christmas dinner and ended up putting Dani into a sari. Which is what they're cut to be made into. 

Then I had two brainwaves! Not major lightbulb moments and probably terribly obvious to everyone else! 

1) the gathered waist, floor length sheer skirts I've been seeing all over the place for a while now. 

2) silk scarves and floaty wraps. Which will be perfect for holiday. The fabric's are so lovely you just want to wrap yourself in them, so why not do just that?! This option obviously only requires cutting and hemming to be finished. 

Option one I felt could be accomplished using only what I had at home. (And maybe purchased elastic at some point in the future!)

How To Make a Simple Gathered Skirt

1) measure your widest point at your hips/bum/basically anywhere below where you want the skirt to start. 

2) double this measurement plus a seam allowance. I used double as I wanted plenty of room for dancing, and no splits at the bottom of the skirt. 

3) decide how long you want your skirt to be. Mine was easy as my fabric was exactly the right length to go from my waist to the floor. If yours isn't or you want it shorter, measure. Then add two and a half inches for the top seaming and an inch (or smaller depending on your seams) to the measurement. 

4) you should end up with a rectangle of cloth. I like to start by hemming the long bottom edge. I turn it over twice to hide the raw edges then stitch right the way along it. 

5) then we deal with the top. As I have an old sewing machine that only does straight stitch I always make casings for elastic waists etc. if you're using one inch elastic (or ribbon as in my case!!) you need to fold your top line over an inch and a half, then turn the edge under twice to create a tube that's an inch wide when stitched down. 

6) I French seam my edges when I join them to hide the raw edge again. It's only straight stitching so it doesn't take long. Put wrong sides together and sew as close to the edge as you can, then fold back right sides together and sew down about a centimetre from the edge to encase the first stitch line. Hey presto French seam! 

7) if you're just using ribbon to fasten at the waist, thread this through using a safety pin, put skirt on, tie a pretty bow and you're done! If you're using elastic, measure a length to a snug fit on your waist and cut with a centimetre extra. Feed through the channel (safety pin again!) and then stitch back and forward a few times to secure the elastic in a loop. Hand stitch the raw edges of the channel together. 

8) wear your beautiful floaty new skirt! Preferably with a coordinating slip or skirt or shorts or leggings (you get the picture) underneath if it's sheer! 

Sorry for the current lack of photos. When I wear it later in the week I will take some of the finished product!! As I'm on holiday and supposed to be putting my feet up! 


P.S. have you got any fabric you don't know what to do with? 

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