This is the story of rescuing an old make and I’m happy to say that it has a happy ending…
These days I have a better idea of the kinds of silhouettes that I feel like ‘me’ in, especially with regards to skirts and dresses. I don’t like full skirts, gathered skirts or dresses with a flared or full lower half. If there is any kind of fullness it works for me in a fabric that has drape and collapses back into the body.
Well, several years back I got hold of some lovely coral fabric from Stone Fabrics. It’s a gorgeous blend of silk and linen and it became a full skirt with folds around a deep yoke. Sadly though, I only ever wore it a handful of times. I simply couldn’t part with it though as I love the colour and the fabric is soooo lovely!
Here is the original skirt:
I have absolutely no idea why I didn’t think of it sooner, but hey, things often happen when they’re meant to don’t they? Anyway, a couple of weeks ago I decided to breathe new life into the skirt and decided to unpick the whole skirt (which took a lot less time than I imagined thank goodness!).
To begin with, I didn’t really know what style I was going to turn the fabric into so I just started draping fabric around me and playing with ideas and then settled on something in a wrap design with a bit of drape.
I’ll show you a full tutorial in the form of some pattern diagrams later in my post, so keep reading 🙂
So for my design, a yoke was still necessary to get the length that I wanted but I was able to make it much shallower which I prefer. On the lower half, one of the original side seams became a centre-back seam and then the rest of the fabric wrapped around.
There’s a simple hem down the leading edge of the under wrap which stops about 3 inches from the right side. Where the top layer wraps across I left some extra length extending out which drops down and drapes artfully. There’s one pleat before the extension and I had to notch the seam allowance there to allow the extension to drop down and the upper edge to be stitched into the yoke. Here’s are a detail photo for you:
The yoke has no centre-back seam so I had to improvise to create a side seam on the skirt for the zip to be inserted and I did this by making a long gradual dart that I left partly open to sew in the zip.
And finally, it can’t have escaped your notice that I created a fringed edge because…well, why not? Lol! Well, the fabric has a fabulous weave that’s perfect for pulling out threads to create fringing and that’s exactly what I did. The straight grain at the hemline and down the drape drake made my life easy and it was strangely very satisfying to just keep pulling threads out until I had a fringe depth that I liked.
To make sure everything was secured along the edge of the fringing I did a zig zag stitch on the edge of the fabric. See here in this photo:
Tutorial For Wrap Skirt With Drape Detail
Now, as promised let’s get on to the tutorial bit to make this design from scratch: So as I mentioned, my original skirt back yoke had no centre back seam, but I think it would be easier and make more sense to have a centre seam to insert the zip into. It also makes it easier to alter if the skirt needs to be adjusted at the sides without faffing with a zip.
First of all, you need to make the yokes and to do this you start with a basic straight skirt pattern. This diagram shows how to use the basic pattern to trace off your yoke shapes. Aim for a 3” depth:
Next, you create your straight long piece for the lower skirt including the wrap. If you want to do a fringing detail as I did I would choose a fabric with a noticeable weave that will unravel well. Also, be sure to pick a fabric that drapes well. Oh and don’t’ forget to add seam allowances down the back seam, along the upper edge and on the leading edge of the underwrap section. You don’t need to add a hem if you’re planning on doing a fringed effect.
Here’s a diagram to explain to pattern size and shape in relation to the circumference of the yokes. I’ve included measuring guidelines to fit the size of your yoke pieces:
Order Of Sewing:
- Interface the upper-yokes and stitch side seams
- Stitch under-yoke side seams
- Stitch upper- yokes to under-yokes along the top edge, trim and understitch.
- Stitch the centre back of the lower skirt, leaving an opening for the zip,
- Make a narrow hem on the leading edge of the underwrap.
- Create the front pleat by matching the lines and pressing the fold underneath toward the side. Secure with a basting stitch.
- Stitch the side darts
- Match centre front marks on the under and overwrap of the upper edge and attach the upper edge of the skirt to the lower edge of the upper yokes leaving the drape to hang down. Don’t forget to make a slash/notch where the drape starts.
- Insert a zip down the centre back seam up to the top of the yokes. (Tutorial here for concealed zip)
- Fold the under yokes down to the inside and baste in place. On the right side of the fabric, stitch in the ditch along the seam where the yoke is attached.
- Let the fun begin by creating your fringing. Start slowly by teasing out threads and pulling gently, one at a time until you get the desired depth.
- Carefully machine a zigzag stitch close to the fringing edge all around your skirt.
- Press your skirt well, wear and enjoy!
I’m really happy with my ‘new’ skirt and adore the fringing effect and now I’m itching to put fringing on something else, hehe!
After trying my skirt on with a few tops and different sandals I can already tell that we will get on very well together. The start of a love affair 🙂 See, I told you this story had a happy ending!
I’m already planning some more refashions. Something a bit simpler though, starting with a pair of lightweight denim wide leg culottes which were badly fitting at the back of my legs, will become beach shorts. Bring on my Greek holiday!
So, tell me, have you done any refashioning lately? Or is it something you’re not fond of doing? Let me know in comments.
PS…here’s a sweater that I refashioned
Till next time bye!
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