Today I tried to copy a skirt that I bought the other summer. It's got a band going around the waist/hipline and eight panels hanging down off of that waistband.
This was the first one I made:
(Sorry the picture's all blurry -- no one was home when I wanted to take it. I'll replace it as soon as I can!)
I was quite pleased with it, and I wanted to make another one, so I made a tutorial as I did so.
Since I didn't have enough of either of these coordinating fabrics for a skirt, I decided to alternate the fabrics in the panels. Then I made the band a solid colour.
That's the finished product, which actually works well for a tutorial because you can see the construction better.
Anyway, here goes:
First, you have to measure yourself (or whomever for you're making the skirt). Take a measurement at the spot on your hips/waist where you want the skirt to sit.
Then, divide that number by 8. Say you measure 40" -- each panel will be 5" wide at the top. Make sure you add seam allowance to the measurements for each of your panels!
Now you need to make a pattern piece. Mine looked like this:
For my pattern and measurements, the piece was 6.5" at the top. It flared to 9.5" at the bottom, and the piece was about 22" long. You can make the piece as long or short as you want, and you can make the flare as wide as you want. Make sure the bottom of your pattern piece is slightly rounded, as mine is.
Once you've got your pattern piece, cut 8.
Here are my pieces all cut out. In this case, I've cut 4 of each fabric.
Now take two pieces and sew them together, right side of fabric facing right side, like so:
Continue until you've sewn the lengths of all 8 pieces; so you have one long strip. Then sew the remaining two lengthwise edges together.
Ta da! Looks like a skirt.
Now you need to make the waistband. To do this, refer back to the measurement you took at the beginning. You will need to cut three pieces; one with a length equal to HALF your waist measurement plus seam allowance on either side; two others equal to one QUARTER of your waist measurement, plus seam allowance on both sides of each piece. How wide you make the piece is up to you; you will be folding the fabric in half, so whatever width you want, double it. I wanted a 4" band, so I cut mine 8" wide.
Here they are:
Now, you want to iron these pieces in half, lengthwise (just like you've been ironing your seams all along, like a good sewer, right?)
Sew your waistband onto your skirt, matching up the seams on the waistband with the seams on the skirt as best you can.
It's most important that you line up the seams at the back, where you will install the zipper.
Yeah, that's right, I said ZIPPER. That is where this tutorial will fail you, my friends. Go look up some other tutorial on zipper installation because goodness knows I'm crap at it and would be embarassed to even show you my miserable excuse for technique. Many apologies.
Anyway, so put in your zipper at the back.
Because the waistband isn't all curved like a real pattern would have it be, it'll be a bit boxy on the average lady's hips. My hack and slash way of fixing this is to sew a seam like I've started to do here at each side of the skirt:
Then you'll want to hem the sucker using whatever technique you prefer -- I personally like the roll hem approach, where you roll the fabric over, doubling it twice and then sewing.
And then, your skirt... will be finished!
Remember to iron all your seams and snip all your threads like Mama always said.
Let me know if I've left anything unclear or confusing, and let me know if you make an attempt!