Sew simple

It may not be apparent from my previous posts, but I absolutely ADORE all things vintage. This IS apparent however, from my taste in both men and clothing. HA!

I often want to buy vintage items but find that they are often too big and not always in the best condition – depending on where you buy from.

So, in keeping with my see-it-and-make-it-myself philosophy, I saw a vintage skirt that I just adored and decided to copy it to my size and modify it slightly to my style.

This is my inspiration..

From Sew What

Its a vintage wool number with a zipper in the back and pockets I think. I loved it instantly but it was both not my size and a bit too expensive for my liking. I decided to make one for myself. I chose to make it in red twill, having wanted to make a red skirt for a while. I was in a bit of a hurry for some reason so I used a side zipper and skipped the pockets. I think I might replace the zipper with an invisible one soon. Maybe.

From Sew What

I cut out two rectangles to a suitable size, usually guestimated by how wide I want the circumference to be at the bottom. I then edged all sides with a zig zag stitch, since I don’t have a serger, and hemmed the bottom of both pieces.

I then randomly picked one of the pieces to be the front and went about duplicating the pleat.

From Sew What

I basically did a large box pleat, the “box” facing in and folded in as much as was needed to reduce the waistline to the right size, plus seam allowances. I pinned everything in place and moved on to the back.

From Sew What

At this point I was still distrustful of machine basting, so I hand tacked and gathered the back piece and again, gathered enough to reduce the waistline down to the right size, plus seam allowances.

Next I hand tacked both front and back pieces together and inserted the zipper.

From Sew What

After hand tacking and making sure I was satisfied, I finalised everything with proper machine stitching.

I then moved on to the waist band. Having learned my lesson from my first skirt, I kept the zipper closed and stitched the waist band around the tube of the skirt to get the right curvature.

From Sew What

I hand tacked, first on the inside, folded over the band and then tacked the outside. I tried it on to make sure it was proper and then finalised with machine stitching. Yes I hand tack or baste a lot. I prefer it to pinning…for now.

At this point it was pretty much done. I trimmed down the waist band and added a few hand sewn snap buttons on the side to keep it down.

All I needed now was the bow.

Since I’m stubborn and unreasonable, I did not go back to look at my original inspiration and roughly measured out a rectangle, folded it in half, stitched it up and made a bow. It turned out to be bigger than the original skirt’s bow and sagged somewhat on the sides. I decided to just go with it and instead of permanently attaching it, I added a brooch pin and made it detachable, in case I suddenly decide bows are dumb. I have been known to suddenly decide that, among other things, jean shorts, dungarees, harem pants and camo mini skirts are dumb. Which really, they are once you’re out of college and not working as a talent wrangler on Canadian Idol. So I’m never sure enough to commit to permanently attaching things.

Once I pinned on the bow I was done and I’m actually quite pleased with how whimsical and over the top it looks with the over sized bow. I’m going to wear it with a polka dot top and exposed seam black stockings. 😀


From Sew What

19 responses to “Sew simple

  1. This one is my favoritest yet. I actually like it better with the oversize bow than the original. It looks quite chic this way.

  2. I just had a vision: wear it with a fitted nude top and a gianormous bib necklace in jewel tones. Maybe some turquoise or fuchsia stones.

  3. I like your vision! But nude tops look very…well…nude on me! But I will work it out with the bib necklace…hmmmm…got me thinking!

  4. Lovely! Looks awesome:)

  5. I am new to your blog but just wanted to say how talented I think you are. This skirt looks fantastic and the pictures in your blog make your process look so effeortless!

  6. I am new to your blog but just wanted to say how talented I think you are. This skirt looks fantastic and the pictures in your blog make your process look so effortless!

    • Oh thanks so much! This one was quite easy!

      I try to be as honest as possible, so if it’s painful I make sure I mention it!

      Many thanks for your kind comment!

  7. i wanted to find out what the name of the vintage skirt is called? i loved your DIY skirt! its marvelous. Did you have two back pieces for cos you had to put the zipper on? i couldnt see it from the final design and how you it looks like with the waistband… overall! i liked it

    • Hi Rue,

      I’m not sure what you mean by the name of the skirt. I was inspired by the skirt I have posted at the beginning of this entry.

      I had a single back piece and the zipper is on the side. The bow is detachable and its a separate piece from the waistband.


  8. Happy New Year. There have been no new posts for so long. How bout a burst of new posts in the new year? 🙂

  9. Hi Phuchu,

    Thanks so much and happy new year to you too. Actually I have been working on a few things and hope to have the time to upload them soon. Watch out for some video “how to’s” as well! 🙂 Thank you for reading and check back soon!

  10. Hiiiee… i think you’re amazing!!!! I feel after i finish studying.. teh 1st thing m gonna buy with my Paycheck is a Sewing Machine!!!! you make it all look soo simple.. and i love the clothes you make…. 🙂

  11. I meant Buying a sewing machine…. [totally excited 😉 ]

  12. Hi Jignasa!

    Thank you so much for your enthusiasm and compliments!
    As and when you do start sewing, try starting with hand sewing. It helps understand how fabrics react and textures and stuff.
    Also, stick with it! Sometimes it looks easy but gets frustrating. As you may have noticed, I often write about the stuff I did wrong! 😀

  13. what an inspiational young lady you are!

  14. that word is suppose to be INSPIRATIONAL;)

  15. Thank you again Angela.

    I try my best! 🙂
    I include mistakes I’ve made too, so if anyone actually want’s to use my posts as a rough tutorial to get started, they can avoid the pit falls!

    Glad you enjoy my posts and do keep reading. New posts coming soon!

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