Finishing an project you set off to do can sometimes be frustrating, especially when you encounter problems and have to take pieces apart to start one section again. When you push through the trying parts (like the skirt of your maxi dress not lying properly, the length needing adjusted on your faux fur snood after you’ve finished), you’re satisfied that you’ve done all you can to make your item as great as it can be.
Trying to get to the end can be a hassle (I still haven’t brought myself to go back and work on the fold in the skirt of my maxi dress), which is why when projects go right the first time, you need to savour these moments. When I sped through the process of making my knit jersey midi skirt, I couldn’t be happier. I managed to finish the entire skirt in a matter of hours in one evening!
I was really excited about my finished skirt because it was exactly the length I wanted it to be: just below the knee with a full A-line skirt. Using the same process for making my first circle skirt, I took the same measurements except I allowed for a slightly longer length in the drop of the hem from the skirt (this time, the drop of the skirt came to approx. 67cm from a higher waistband, ie on the natural waistline just below the ribs). With my slimmer waist and wider hips, I know that this type of skirt will give my shape better proportions and bring attention to the fact that I’m of slim build, not bringing emphasis to my wider ‘child bearing’ hips.
It helps to also know how much fabric you’ll need. Remember, to determine how much fabric you’ll need, you need to calculate the waist diameter and twice the drop of your skirt (ie so if your waist radius is 10.75cm and your drop is 67cm, you’ll need the length to be twice this for a half circle, so 155.5cm) and the width of your fabric should be your waist radius + the skirt drop (ie 10.75cm + 67cm = 77.75cm). Depending on which section (ie crafts or dressmaking) of a shop you get the fabric from, you might find you can get the length you need (if you get this from the dressmaking section), but you might find you’ll need to get double (if from the crafts section) so always check the width of the fabric.
Cut fabric pieces for my midi skirts projects
To demonstrate what I mean, the knit jersey fabric was from the dressmaking section of Remnant Kings was from the dressmaking section so the width of the fabric was 155cm which meant I could get one length of what I needed – I ended up getting a 177cm as I wanted to leave enough fabric to make a wider waistband for my skirt. The pink marble fabric was from Edinburgh Fabrics and craft fabrics are usually 105cm, so I needed to get 3.2 metres of the pink fabric.
Why did I need double the length of the knit jersey for the pink marble? The measurements I took for my skirt (155.5cm x 77.75cm) is only for one half skirt, you’ll need two pieces to make up the front and the back. So when you’ve got enough width to fit twice the width of the skirt (ie 155.5cm, it was slighlty shorter than what I needed, but it meant having the hem 0.5cm shorter, not a big deal right?) you’ll fold the fabric in half along the selvedge (ie length-wise) and cut two pieces when you draw the pattern for one on the top part. If you’ve only got a 105cm width, you can’t fold this width-wise to get 2 pieces of the skirt, so you need to double the length and fold this in half (ie width-wise) to get the same 2 pieces made. Make sense?
I decided when I was making my skirt that because of the weight of the fabric (medium weight because it’s knit) that it would be too much of a hassle to try and fit the top edges of the skirt pieces in between the waistband pieces so I adjusted the design slightly:
1) Once I’ve sewn the side seams together and made a mark for where the bottom of the hidden zipper is to go on the skirt pieces, I then sewed a tube for the waistband inside out and left a section free so I could turn it right way round (like I would do for a faux fur snood)
2) I then turned the top edges of the knit jersey and lining inwards (ie between the right sides of both fabric) so they’re hidden and sewed close to the edge – this will prevent having to use pinking shears on the lining and using interfacing webbing on the knit jersey to prevent fraying, same idea I did with the lining and outer fabric of my circle skirt although I sewed the edges together this time.
3) Then I pinned the bottom edge of the waistband tubing to the waist of my skirt on the right side (ie so the stitching to the waistband is seen from the outside)
View of the waist of the skirt from the inside
4) I then sewed along the other 3 sides (ie 2 short sides and top long edge) of the waistband tubing to keep its shape and to also allow it to stay flat, even after washing and sewed the hem and zipper
Apologies for the dark lighting, I started the skirt at 3 in the afternoon and had to stop for dinner with the OH’s family, then came home to finish the hem of the skirt which I didn’t finish till 11pm:
Close up of the exposed stitching on the waistband, the tubing has been sewn to the outside (ie knit jersey layer) of the skirt
I think I’ve managed to somehow master the technique of using the normal foot on my sewing machine to work with a hidden zipper! It’s easier and more convenient to use a hidden zipper foot, but to try and source one for an old machine like mine would probably take time. I’ve learned that as long as you keep both edges of either side of the zip close together and keep the stitching close to the zip, you’ll still get away with it.
close up of zipper and hook and eye closure
One problem I find I sometimes experience when trying to line both sides of an opened zip so that the top edges of the fabric meet can be quite difficult so you should try and do this when it’s being pinned. In this case, it was lining up when I had the sides pinned, but it’s become slightly off kilter after. I managed to salvage it to some extent by adding a hook and eye to the top corners of either side so it’s minimal, but I think I can pretty much still get away with the waistband edges not lining up perfectly…do you think?
Close up of hem
One other thing I’ve adjusted on the skirt is how I hemmed it. I didn’t want to have to do 2 separate hems for the lining and again for the knit jersey so instead of sewing the side seams for the knit jersey and lining separately, I lined all the pieces together and only sewed 2 side seams (as opposed to 4) and purposely cut the drop of the lining 2cm shorter than the knit jersey, so that when I did the rolled hem, the knit jersey roll will fit over 2cm of the lining and I sewed over the two pieces together.
…and here’s my finished knit jersey midi skirt!
What do you think about my midi skirt? Have you made any of your own that you can share photos of?