I spent like thirty minutes not blogging this because I couldn’t think of a name for it. I knew the naming thing would get me! That’s too much thinking and delaying for a simple 3/4(ish) circle skirt.

What would you call this one?

But! It’s not just ANY simple 3/4(ish) circle skirt! It is the reincarnation of the one that I had so much trouble with in December. I thought I probably had enough of the fabric left to recut the back, but every time I looked at the skirt I just felt tired. There were sewn-shut pockets and a waistband and the denim was light enough that I just knew unpicking would be a challenge and I might end up with a stretched out mess.

After craft camp, I was looking for a displacement project so that I could procrastinate on finishing the dress I started. What, isn’t that how you get anything done? Well anyhow, I laid out the denim and I figured that with a bit of creative positioning I could get a whole entire new skirt out of my scraps. Hooray!

I just went and checked my last skirt and for some reason I cut the whole front on the bias – like, so the bias runs across the whole of the skirt from the bottom corner diagonally to the opposite top corner. This is not making any sense, is it? Basically idek why I did that, but it made the front hang funny. So clearly a whole bunch  of good decisions happened with the last version… Anyhow, this time I cut the front so the centre front is just on the straight grain. The backs I meant to cut with the centre on the straight grain but I got my pattern flipped around. The centre back is actually significantly different to the centre front because I took a pretty massive wedge out of the centre back for my swayback/big booty. So the seams of this skirt meet at different biases, which is supposed to be a big nono but it seems to be fine so far. I tried to take a photo  of it but it is quite hard to photograph, so you’ll either have to imagine it or lean in real far on this side view:

I guess you can kind of tell anyway, because of how they are sitting. The back side is on the straight grain, so it’s hanging stiffly and a bit out from my body, while the front is draping. I do notice some hem weirdness – the pattern I had made had a shorter back than front somehow so I ended up adjusting on the fly and I think I need to smooth out the curve at the bottom because the centre dip of the circle is too deep and so hangs low. OR it could be because of the bias issue. I am not sure. Any thoughts?

I also need to smooth out the circle at the top at the centre back – see how it’s bubbling up? I think this is part of the on the fly adjustments I made. As you can see, there’s elastic in the back there. Here is how I constructed this skirt.

I cut out the pattern but with the waist area about 1″ lower, so that the waist was wider. I then measured around my waist with 2″ elastic so I had a length of elastic the fit my waist measurement. I cut a straight piece of the denim about 2″ longer than the elastic. Then I basted the elastic, slightly stretched, inside the denim so they met up and the denim was slightly gathered when the elastic was at rest. I then basted this on to the skirt.

Unfortunately I had two issues at this point – one was that I had cut the elastic too long and it wasn’t sitting firm enough. The other was that the denim was not quite as stretchy as I’d thought and so it was quite a wriggle to get into it. So I hoiked it until it looked about right and chopped off another two inches off the skirt, and re-sewed the elastic, totally forgetting that I needed to make it tighter. When I realised, I unpicked only the back section and tightened it, which is why the back is gathered and the front isn’t. This is fine by me, as it offers a much smoother look at the front and minimises the evidence that I am wearing clothes with elastic waists.

Next time I would:

  • start lower at the waist than I did – I’d even take a bit more than I did for this one, say 4″ total off the waist depth. The front seam rolls up a bit, I think because it needs more width, and it is a bit of a song and dance to get into (literally a dance, sometimes) because there’s not really enough ease in that waist to get it over my hips. Starting out right would mean I could be sure not to end up with a wonky curve, like I do at the centre back.
  • extend the length down – I forgot that obviously taking an length off the top means the skirt will be shorter! It’s fine, but I wish I had another inch of length.
  • pay more attention when cutting to get everything on the correct bias!

Here’s the innards:


I lined it using the same pattern as the skirt but starting even further down and then gathering it. I’m not sure that’s working really well for a skirt with an elastic waist? Anyone lined a skirt like this before? I suppose if I were making the waist wider anyhow I could just treat the lining and skirt as one – I gathered the lining to the skirt fabric on the premise that the denim would stretch, but since it doesn’t really I probably could just treat them the same as each other. You can see that the waistband is serged on, catching the edge of the elastic. I used the selvedges for the side seams and serged the others. Hem is just serged, turned and top stitched. Another lazy, slightly wibbly hem. It’s my calling card!

Back waistband

All in all, I am really happy to have this in my wardrobe. It’s not perfect – another of my calling cards! But it’s pretty good and I love the simple shape. The shirt I’m wearing in this and the last post is yet another Kirsten kimon, made with a mystery fabric from my stash that I think I got from an opshop but I’m not sure because I don’t really remember. I guess it’s probably pique or something similar, with some kind of poly content but mostly cotton. It’s mildly see through so I was trialing it in pics to see if it’s opaque enough to wear to work. I think I vote yes (especially since I end up wearing a jumper all day e’ry day anyhow. My office is freezing). Earrings are from Have you met Charlie, and I am kind of obsessed with them.

So there you go! I finally made myself that 3/4(ish) denim skirt I’ve been craving, AND successfully avoided having to set in sleeves in my dress. A resounding win! Now I just have to figure out what to do with the other, dodgy dress which I can’t bear to throw out because that’s a lot of good fabric in there! I have issues.


5 thoughts on “One skirt, two skirt

  1. I love this skirt so hard, Kate. It sounds like salvaging it was a total pain in the butt, but it’s so worth it. Wow. This is seriously the ideal basic–pretty neutral color, comfy waistband, and super chic paired with a tee. It looks gorgeous on you!

    1. Oh, thank you so much, Mary! I am blushing… I was so disappointed in the first one because I really really wanted that ideal basic. I’m so glad to have finally achieved it! I’ve worn it a bunch already and I’m so pleased to have it in my wardrobe. I might have to make another one to stave off the inevitable disappointment when I wear it out!

Whadya reckon?

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