Johanna from Jona&Lili here.
I want to show you today how to make a fun summer skirt with a self made pattern that will fit you perfectly.
We will need:
1.5 yards of a large patterned fabric.
0.5 yard of coordinating smaller patterned fabric.
Paper, measuring tape, needle, scissors, sewing machine, thread, pencil, ruler, stabilizer for a seam (you can use a cotton ribbon or just any other stabilizer you can iron on. I used a 0.5" iron-on stabilizer that was enforced with thread)
Depending on your size, you will need more or less fabric. Please read all of the instructions before beginning.
Let's start by measuring yourself.
Here you can see three measuring tapes around my dress form (which has aproximately the same measurements I do).
From the top: the first one shows your waist line. This is the one we would usually be interested in but since we will be making a skirt that is resting on your hip we only need the second and third measurement.
The third tape is at your hip (the fullest part) and the second is where you want your skirt to start at. The difference between those two were in my case 4".
From now on, I will call the second measurement "waist" even though it isn't technically my waist. It is just easier to describe the whole process of pattern making if I don't have to call it "the line that is 4" above my hip line" :)
Next, we will take a piece of paper and write our measurements down in one cormer. My hip measures 39" and my waist 34,5".
Draw a line 1" away from the lower and the right edge of the paper. The horizontal line will be our hip line. Draw another line 4" above it, this will be our waist line.
Next, we draw a line 0.5" above the waist and the hip line.
Now, a little bit of math is in order:
Divide your hip measurement and your waist measurement by 4 and subtract 0.5".
In my case this gives me 8" for my waist and 9.25" for my hip.
Now we go 8" across the waist line starting from right side and make a little cross where the 8" end.
Do the same for the hip line.
Take an oval shaped ruler (or just draw freehand) and connect the cross of the line 0.5" above the waist line and the waist line.
Do the same for the hip line.
Now, connect the starting point of the hip line to the starting point of your waist line.
This one also has to be oval shaped.
You now have your pattern! The oval line at the left side will be your side seam and the lines on your right side will be your "middle".
Cut out your pattern and make sure that you don't cut away that extra inch on your right side!
Fold across the line on the right side where you have that extra inch. The pattern with the inch less will be your front side and the pattern with the extra inch will be the back side.
Put your pattern on your fabric on fold (that's what I refered to as the "middle") and trace your seam allowances around it. I used 0.5" on the top and the lower edge and 1" on the side seam (the curved edge on the left side) because sometimes even well made patterns don't fit exactely.
You will need two pieces of the front part (without the 1" extra) and two pieces of the back part (with the extra 1").
Stabilize the top edges.
When you wear your skirt you don't want the top edge to stretch out. I used an iron-on stabilizer that I got at my local fabric store which is enforced with thread but you can also just use a normal cotton ribbon and sew it onto the left side of your fabric next to the seam line.
My stabilizer covers the seam line just a bit so that I will stitch it down but not too much so that it will change the drape of the fabric.
Enforce the top edges of all of your four pieces. When you decide to sew in a cotton ribbon just enforce one back and one front piece.
Put one front and one back piece together and sew along the seam lines on both sides.
Press the seams open and then undo one of the seams. You now have created something that resembles a belt.
Try it on. With the enforced edge on top, put the belt around your hips and bring the two sides of the seam we just undid together. If this fits perfectly around your hips, congratulations!
If not, alter it so that it fits. Don't forget that you need to alter it on both sides so that it won't look crooked.
Now that the belt fits you, sew the side seam together again and do the same with the other front and back piece.
You now need to sew the top edges together. To do that, take one of the belts and turn it inside out. Now put this one around the first belt and sew around the top edge. I forgot to take a picture of this but it should be pretty clear. Now trim the top seam allowance to half of its size, otherwise it will disturb the fit of your skirt later on.
Iron it so that you can try it on again. I actually sewed the side seam together after this picture was taken which turned out to be way more complicated.
Now, decide where you want your skirt to end and measure from the end of your belt to that point. Add 3" to that.
Cut two panels from your large patterned fabric with the lenght of your skirt plus the 3". Cut away one selvedge. Now measure across to the other selvedge. The length of this should be 1.5 times the length of your hip divided by 2 plus seam allowances.
My hip measured 39", divided by two makes 19.5", times 1.5 plus 0.25" seam allowance on each sides makes roughly 30". So I make a cut across the fabric 30" from the first selvedge. Do the exact same thing with the other panel, too.
Put your two panels together and sew a seam along the lines where used to be the selvedges. Zigzag or serge to make it pretty :)
Iron your seams to one side and serge along the top in order to prevent fraying. Now gather the top edge until it measures exactely the same as your hip.
Pin it to the bottom of the belt you made earlier. Use a lot of pins or else you will get quite some pleats where you don't want them.
Sew along the pinned edge and iron both seams to the top so that they will face the inner side of the belt. Take out the thread you used to gather.
Now, we will put in the zipper. Decide on which side you want it to be in and undo the seam of the coresponding inner side seam. The seam of the outer side seam has to stay. Now put the zipper on the left side of that side seam and shift it a little until it is perfectly centered.
Pin it down so that it won't shift.
Take needle and thread and sew it down. It doesn't have to be pretty because we will later take it out. It does have to be secure.
I took a thread that didn't match so that I would later have no trouble finding it when I want to remove it.
Now, serge along the inner, left side of the belt and pin it down on the seam that connects the belt and gathered skirt.
Remember the inner side seam you undid? Now we have to pin it down onto the zipper. There has to be enough space so that the zipper can later move easily but not too much because we will need to sew it down later.
Again, use thread and needle to keep everything in place instead of pins.
Stitch along the zipper from the right side. It is crucial that you backtack on all ends, else your skirt will fall apart within a short time of you wearing it.
Now, topstitch along the edge of the belt. This will also keep the inner side of the belt down. Remove the thread you used to baste and remove the stitches that keep the side seam together (where you just put the zipper).
Open the zipper and try on your skirt. We are almost done!
Now determine the exact length of your skirt. If it is too long, shorten it, then hem it and iron it.
You are now officially done! Have fun wearing it! If you have any questions, please feel free to ask. I will do my best to answer!
Thank you for reading, have a great weekend!