Summertime Vibes (with a very rough tutorial)

Hi friends,

In case you didn't already know, I live in NYC, Queens to be exact, and if you live anywhere near here, you know that recently winter has started.  It took it's time this year, showing almost no interest in easing us through fall and then it came full force, out of nowhere. BAM. So I'm sure you can guess that the pictures and garment I wanted to share with you today, are from the deep throws of summer, when tank tops and rayon wrap skirts made more sense.  What can I say... I told you I've been behind on my blogging.  Lol.

This is the third time I've made this kind of skirt, the second time I've blogged about it (see the first (and shorter) blogged version here).  If it looks eerily similar to a Meghann Neilsen cascade skirt that's because I was heavily inspired by it.  I thought about purchasing the pattern, but I wasn't entirely convinced it was going to fit well based on the finished garment measurements. In the end I decided to just draft something similar using the help of one of my many sewing books, Pattern Making for Fashion Design (5th edition) by Helen Joseph Armstrong.

If this is something you would also be interested in trying, it's pretty easy.  Using your measurements and one of the many circle skirt generators and tutorials on the ole' inter webs (By Hand London has a good one for example) draft a full circle skirt.  Then you juts have to make a couple key changes.  When looking at the circle skirt on the half (so literally a full circle skirt pattern folded in half), round off the front bottom corner that will be at the front of the skirt. I put together the below, very rough, diagrams to try to show you want I mean.  The first one is basically what a full circle skirt would look like folded in half and the second shows (in green) the adjustment you have to make.  Feel free to comment with questions if this doesn't make sense.

After drafting the above skirt piece you may want to extend the unaltered side by 6-ish" (so basically extending the waist and hem lines and then redraw the previously unaltered line connecting the two) so there will be that same amount of overlap in the front when you wrap you skirt around your waist... because nothing says Becky-home-eky like a gust of wind letting your bits show. Am I right or am I right?!  Now it should look something like this (Oh, also FYI, none of the pics in this post are drawn to scale, these are just for illustrative purposes)


After that you might want to slice your pattern up to accommodate the width of your fabric, because a pattern is only as good as it's real life functionality. For my skirt I sliced the pattern into three pieces; adding a seam line halfway in between the right and left sides. I then cut the right side on the fold.  So that makes two front pieces and one back piece. Make sense?

Lastly, don't forget to add seam allowances to ALL raw edges... seams allowances are no joke and if you make something to measure, it definitely won't fit anymore if you forget to add SAs. Ask me how I learned thaat lesson.  The last piece of the puzzle is to add a waist band/ties.  Mine is just a simple rectangle in the measurements of the waist of the skirt pieces (minus the SA's, because I knew I would be sewing those first before attaching the waist band/ties)) and double the height that I wanted for my waist band (because it needs to be folded when sewn...and probably interfaced too while we're at it, just FYI).  I also added length so it could become the ties that you see wrapped around my waist and then tied in a bow.  In the past I've also made a version that buttons closed. For that one the waist piece was limited to the length to the waist measurements of the skirt pieces I had drafted minus the side SA's.

In this version and in the past the waist band I drafted was literally just a simple triangle, however, if I sew another one of these (which I know I will), I'm going to try drafting a curved waist band because this one can be the slightest bit gapey if not tied nice and tight.  Anyways.  That's it!  I'm sure I made it sound overly complicated, but you should totally give it a try.  I swear its easier to do than to read about, or write about for that matter!

Happy sewing everyone!