Sewing skirts from scratch

A couple of years ago I started taking a series of Craftsy (hey what? now called “bluprint”!) classes to learn how to make my own sewing patterns, using flat pattern making methods. The first class I tried is called “Patternmaking Basics — the Skirt Sloper” and is taught by Suzy Furrer.

I’ve finally managed to create my first pattern, and I’ve sewn two new skirts!

My inspiration was an old midi-length skirt that was handed down from my Mum — it’s a lightweight linen, with pleats, but is very much too large, and I’ve worn through the fabric in a couple of places, especially round the zip.

I chose to create a similar skirt, since I clearly loved the original! The one thing that was always missing with this skirt, though, was pockets!

The first skirt I made is in blue linen (the colour here is “Blue Bonnet”, which is my absolute favourite hue — a lovely medium blue that is almost teal).

I am 100% happy with this skirt!

  • Perfect fit, since I drafted it for my shape exactly (and managed to get this right!).
  • Great choice of fabric weight (medium weight linen, which is a good dress weight, and not too sheer without a lining).
  • Fabulous colour, obviously. πŸ˜€
  • Nicely sewn together (if I do say so myself — I tweaked some details for the next one, though).
  • Perfect amount of fullness from the inverted box pleats.
  • POCKETSES!
  • Also, the pockets are comfortable, deep, and nicely placed for my hands. They are not wimpy pockets!

This was such a success that I immediately wanted another one — this time to fill the colour-gap in my wardrobe left by the worn out beige / natural linen skirt (my original inspiration piece I mentioned previously):

This time I used a heavier weight linen (which I had in my stash from making my viking garb). I didn’t have enough fabric left to do the full box pleating, so this time the pleats are knife pleats, and there is less fullness in the skirt.

  • I top-stitched the bottom of the yoke this time, as well as the top. I think this looks more “finished”.
  • I cut the yellow pocket lining on a crazy grain-line, since I only had just enough to cut each piece. This worked really well since the straight grain is along the line of the pocket opening. This stabilised the pocket opening very nicely — it won’t stretch out, now.
  • I lined the skirt with a cotton voile, which feels very nice when I’m wearing it. Overall, the skirt is heavier, and feels like it would be warmer on a breezy day.

I feel like there are many ways this could be made up — I could put a zipper on the pocket opening to make a more “secure” pocket (if I felt like stashing my keys and then doing hand-stands, perhaps!)

I could also put some tablet weaving trim onto the base of the yoke, or again, onto the pocket opening. Much food for thought! For now, though, theses two will do me until I start to wear them out.

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