Recently I was in need of an easy, straight forward sewing project that would be quick and fun and wouldn’t require a heck of a lot of over-thinking, so I decided to make myself a gathered skirt. I’ve made many of these since I started sewing and can damned near sew them up in my sleep, so I wanted this one to be special so I wouldn’t just be mindlessly sewing and would be able to enjoy the project.
Obviously the way to make the project feel special was to choose a special fabric, so I pulled out my Doctor Who Exploding Tardis fabric and got to work! Gathered skirts are super easy to make and don’t even require purchasing a pattern because you can draft one yourself quite simply. There are tons of tutorials on how to do this online (Gertie has a really good one here, for example). And one of my vintage sewing books, The Bishop Method of Clothing Construction, by Edna Bryte Bishop and Marjorie Stotler Arch (first published in 1959. I have the 1966 revised edition) even has it’s own tutorial, which I thought it would be fun to share with all of you.
(Click to enlarge images)
There really isn’t much I can say about making my skirt, it was easy, simple and fun because I was finally using my Exploding Tardis fabric in a sewing project. I used Snug Hug on most of the seams, with some bias binding thrown in, all to prevent fraying and did a semi-decent job of putting in the invisible zipper. It’s not the best, but it’s also not the worst job of putting in a zipper I’ve ever done. Since the fabric I used was a quilting cotton, the added weight gave the skirt a lot of volume once the gathers were put in, which is a lot of fun! With gathered skirts, my motto is definitely go big or go home.
I took some photos once it was done and realized I don’t yet have a shirt that compliments it, so I decided not to care because I was just lounging around the apartment anyway and just left on the flannel shirt I had already been wearing. This is a total “I don’t care” look.
It was a super gloomy day out when I took these, very grey and cold. I’d spent the afternoon catching up on the news, which was even more reason not to care about throwing together any pretense of perfection or prettiness. Some days, when the world feels like it’s going to hell, you gotta throw on a pretty skirt and pretend the Doctor is going to show up any minute and whisk you off the planet in the Tardis. (I’m still waiting…any day now, Doctor, you know I’d be a bad ass companion!)
This is what happens when I put my petticoat on underneath – POOF!
Let’s see that again!
Without a petticoat:
With a petticoat:
Massive! This skirt can be worn with or without the petticoat – without the petticoat it’s voluminous enough and very cute, but with the petticoat, it’s definitely enormous. Nothing says, “move over boys, make way for this chick!” like a skirt that damned near fills a room! This skirt means business.
Some of the inside “guts” of this skirt:
Of course I didn’t have a zipper that would match, because I didn’t think ahead and so was unprepared. I used a pink zipper and just tried to hide it as much as possible. Silly me.
Black Snug Hug on the hem and some blue bias binding on this one seam. I wanted all of the seams and the hem to be enclosed in blue seam binding, but I ran out after one seam. Ugh. As I said, I was unprepared and just threw caution to the wind and went ahead with the skirt anyway.
The zipper from the inside of the skirt. The entire skirt was sewn by hand, so please excuse my crappy stitching! The zipper was also way too long, so I cut it to size. This zipper was actually re-purposed from a skirt that I made at the beginning of last year and ended up hating. I took that skirt apart and am reusing the fabric for another project at some point, and reused the zipper for this skirt. This entire skirt was actually made using supplies I had around the apartment, so I’m happy about that. Plus I still have several meters of this wonderful fabric left! I don’t know what I’ll make with the remainder…most likely a dress, I just don’t know which pattern I’ll use yet.
I’ve sewn a few other garments that I hope to be posting soon, this skirt was just a lot of fun to make and is a lot of fun to wear, so I wanted to share it first, even though it was a very simple project – I love this skirt! Right now I’m working on a dress from a vintage Simplicity pattern and I’m hoping it will turn out well and fit nicely. Fingers crossed! I can’t believe I haven’t actually made a proper dress before – just jumpers/pinafores, nightgowns, one failed mistake of a dress that shall never be spoken of and the Tilly and The Buttons Coco dress, which was almost way too easy to count as a dress – only because I associate dresses with hard work, sweat, blood and maybe even tears. I’ve been too scared to make an actual dress up til now, so we’ll see how this goes. Wish me luck!!