okay, here goes my first tutorial... the preggo skirt. this is actually borrowed from the drop-waisted tank dress pattern i made earlier this summer. i'll write a tutorial for that eventually.

these instructions are probably more detailed than anybody needs, but i tried to write them with a beginner in mind...

step one is to measure yourself since. make a note of what you measure in the front and in the back - i wore a tank top and measured side seam to side seam of that. i've drawn a little diagram to hopefully make this clearer:

the diagram shows all the measurements i took to make the dress fit. if you're just making a skirt, all you need is:

* high-hip (4" below waist) - front (E) and back (F)

* below-the-bulge (8" below waist) - front (G) and back (H)

* and skirt length (wherever you want it) from below-the-bulge (N)

i was stunned to realize how much more fabric i would need compared to usual...

the front waistband was super easy for me, as measurement E and measurement G were exactly the same - 18". so, a rectangle 4" wide x 18" long. before cutting it out, add 5/8" seam allowance on all sides - so the final measurement for me was 5 1/4" x 19 1/4".

i'm quite hippy (i used to have a small waist before i got knocked up!), with junk in the trunk, so the back waistband is really curved to make up the difference between my measurement F (18") and measurement H (22"). it is 4" wide, just like the front waistband. since it should be symmetrical, start with a piece of paper folded in half. draw a line 1/2 the length of F, starting from the fold and curving upwards. mark down from that line 4" along the fold, and then draw another similar line, 1/2 the length of H. the two lines should be 4" apart both along the fold and at the ends of the lines. remember to add 5/8" seam allowance on all sides (except the folded edge). when you cut the pattern piece out, unfold it, and voila! perfect symmetry.

next the skirt front: fold a large piece of paper in half. the top of the skirt front should match the bottom of the front waistband, so use measurement G. divide measurement G in half and draw a line that long away from the fold. give the line a slight curve, since the skirt should be a couple of inches wider at the bottom than at the top. use your skirt-length measurement N +2" (for the hem) to determine the length of the pattern piece. make sure it measures the same length at the centre and at the sides. add 5/8" seam allowance to the other 2 sides, cut out, and unfold your finished pattern piece.

i made the back skirt basically the same way, but in two identical pieces, since i'm, uh, bigger back there. the top edge of the two pieces together adds up to the bottom edge of the back waistband (measurement H). again, add 2" to the length for hemming, and 5/8" seam allowance to the other sides (i keep harping on about the seam allowance because i've been known to forget it!)

so now you have four pattern pieces. if you're making it out of stretchy material, cut them all out of the same fabric; if you want to use non-stretchy fabric, cut all the pieces out of that except the front waistband, which will need to be stretchy.

cut two each of the front waistband, back waistband, and back skirt. cut only one of the front skirt.

sewing it up is easy!

join the two skirt backs (right sides together) along one side. join this piece to the skirt front along two sides to make a tube.

join one front waistband and one back waistband (right sides together) along the sides to make a big tube. do the same with the remaining front and back waistband. this will be the waistband lining.

take the two waistbands and join them (right sides together) along the top edge. turn right side out.

join the waistband along the bottom edges to the skirt along the top edge (right sides together), sewing through all three layers of fabric.

turn right side out and hem. that's it!

i have made two of these so far - one a grey mohair-blend knit (i lined the waistband with coton jersey so it wouldn't be too bulky) and one in black cotton twill, which i finished with a pocket, belt loops, and topstitching. right now, it is also decorated with cat hair...

i am so happy to finally have something to wear again! i will try to get my husband to take a picture later... i tried to take a picture last night in the mirror, but it was so dark you couldn't see anything...