Wednesday, September 14, 2011

fat quarter drawstring skirt

My friend Stephanie over at Venus de Hilo makes the most fun fat quarter skirts that I have long coveted, and now she has put together a great tutorial for making her easy drawstring skirt from six fat quarters. Recently my friend Andrea and I had a sewing day to make these skirts for ourselves.

Stephanie's instructions are well written and the diagrams very helpful, especially when it comes to making the pattern. She provides a formula that allows you to tailor the pattern based on your hip measurement. We each created a pattern on freezer paper - this was the most time consuming part - but the pattern can be re-used every time we want to make another skirt.

Here is the front view of my skirt. I used six fat quarters from Prints Charming that I bought a couple of years ago with the intention of making a bag. They look so much cuter as a skirt! My husband liked it, saying that it was "cute, fun, well-fitted, and just on the verge of Laugh In, but in a good way." I think he means my fabric choice :)

And this is the skirt back view. You can really only distinguish five different fabrics because the sixth is used for the drawstring and drawstring casing.

I have a bit of an odd shape with regard to my waist/hip ratio. In other words, my hips are larger than they should be to correspond proportionally with my waist. So when my skirt was finished, I had quite a bit of fabric that was gathered in by the drawstring, which is not a very flattering look for me. So I cut the waist in much farther on my pattern, using a fitted skirt from my closet to gauge a better waist measurement. I had to rip out most of the seams to cut the waist down to a better size for me, but now the whole thing is reassembled and ready to wear. Assembly time from pattern making to ready to wear was about 4 hours. My re-do of the pattern and skirt waist took me an additional 90 minutes, but now I've got a custom pattern that I can use again and again to make multiple skirts from all those teetering stacks of fat quarters in my fabric closet! I even managed to wear my new skirt a couple of times before the fall chill hit the air here in the Midwest, and I received many compliments :)

If I knew then what I know now, I probably would have started out with muslin, or used fat quarters that I had no intention of ever wearing, to test out my pattern. Then I would have avoided the unsewing steps, and I probably could have had another set of fat quarters assembled into a skirt from the revised pattern in the same 90 minutes it took me to re-work the original.

Thanks, Stephanie, for a thorough and well-planned tutorial! I do love a great skirt!

You can see all of Stephanie's skirts (and my new one too) over here at her flickr group.  If you're inspired to make a skirt (or three or four) from her tutorial, please let both of us know and share your photos!

1 comment:

  1. Your skirt is adorable! I especially love that paisley/leaf print with the dark background.
    Great colors to transition from summer to fall. Hope you get a chance it wear it a few more times before the weather's too chilly for a cotton skirt.


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