Friday, May 4, 2012

Yoga-Waist Pencil Skirt Tutorial

Now that I have Ginger, I am quite excited to sew for myself!  I'm very picky when it comes to clothes because I have a problem with legs, torsos, and sleeves being long enough for my tastes.  I'm also very sensitive about how my body looks, especially since having a child.  Add to all of that I have become very cheap.  Needless to say, shopping has gone from my sport and aerobic activity of choice to being worse than going grocery shopping.

Since my birthday is Sunday and my husband is taking me out to dinner with friends, I decided to skip the useless trips to the Gap, Khol's, Target, and the like and just make myself something to wear.  I had some awesome striped jersey knit that I've been saving for something special, and my first sewing project for myself was just that "something special."
I used a piece of poster board (decorated by The Robug, of course) and my FAVORITE pair of yoga  capri pants
I traced the line of the back waistband and the side seam.  However, since I wanted a pencil skirt, where the pants flared out at the knee, I continued the curve in. 
I determined the center line from the center of the waistband and omitted any of the traced pattern  on the other side of that line.  I also drew the line for the front of the waistband onto the pattern piece so that I could cut the front and back pieces to fit well, with the dip in the front (to accommodate my leftover baby weight :)
Draw a straight line down the middle of the waistband.  Use a curve and follow the hip curve of the skirt.  Mark where the curve meets the center line.  This will be the top of the waistband. 
Use a straight edge to connect the bottom of the waistband to the point you marked as the top of the waistband. 
If you want, you can cut/fold this piece down the middle or use it as is, lining up your fold down the middle.  I left it like this to remind myself to cut a rectangle on the fold first (so that I remember to cut it long enough) and then to cut the angle of the edges.
Finished pattern pieces--I detached the piece that differentiates the back from the front
I write important reminders on my pattern pieces so that I don't forget important cutting instructions: make sure the stretch of the fabric goes the right way, cut on the fold, cut the back piece different from the front piece, and leave a seam allowance :)
I lined up the stripes-starting at the BOTTOM-of the first cut skirt piece next to the fold I would be using for my next piece so that the stripes will line up on the seams.
Cut pieces, ready to sew!
I have a very well-loved cheat sheet I use when I work with knits.  First thing-use ballpoint needles.  The go around threads making up the fabric, not through--important so you don't have holes! PIn your front and back pieces, right sides together, on the sides.  Be sure to match stripes.
Same thing when sewing--use a jersey needle on your machine.  I also used my walking foot and twin ball point in this project (see my post on about these awesome tools!)
If you're not using a serger (like me), it is worth your time to play with your stitch length and tension.  I do it every time I work with a different knit fabric because they all stretch just a little differently.  I use a loose  zig-zag stitch and also use silk thread as my top thread and polyester in the bobbin.  I used a 1/2" seam so that I could have a small bit of fabric to work with on the right of the press foot to horizontally pull the fabric gently as it passes through the feed dogs.  Sew the skirt pieces together at the sides.  Turn it right side out (wrong sides together) and try it on.  Or, if you have a "Ginger" of your own, put it on her to make sure it fits.  Make any adjustments necessary before adding your waistband.  
Fold the waist in along the original fold, right sides together.  Sew together the angled sides.  If you need to shorten your waistband, you'll want to do it now as well.  Then,  fold it wrong sides together and baste the bottom opening of the waistband.
Turn your skirt inside out (so right sides are together) and put the waistband inside the skirt, lining the raw edges of the skirt and the waistband up together.  I used stabilizer here as well.  The waistband on the actual yoga capris has a tendency to stretch out just a little, so I'm using the stabilizer to help with that (hopefully).
All that's left is hemming (if you want--you don't have to).  I like a hem, so With the skirt still inside out, I simply followed one of the stripes all the way around (because stripes matched and were straight, this gave me a straight hem!), pinned it, and then sewed it using a very long, very loose straight stitch and my ball point twin needle.  Then, before trimming off the ends of the thread, put on your skirt and stretch your legs apart as far as the skirt will go.  This way, you've given yourself enough slack thread to walk and not snap your hem.   Then you can trim your loose ends.

Voila!  Congrats on your yoga style pencil skirt (with no elastic!)
All dressed up on Sunday for my birthday dinner:
 If you have any questions at all, please ask!  I'll do my best to help :)
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8 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Thank you! It's soooo comfy and looks really cute with a good pair of shoes ;)

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  2. This is such a cute pencil skirt! We hope to see you back next week to our "Strut Your Stuff Saturday." Thanks for coming!! -The Sisters

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    1. It's very comfortable, too! Thank you so much for coming by and I'll definitely be back--I always get so inspired from your party!

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  3. Very cute! I love your blog - the paperdoll design is adorable!!
    I am a new follower and hope to see you following me as well (2 blogs)
    I am having a linky party for a good cause on Sew Much Class if you will please check it out and see if it is something you can help with!
    http://sewmuchclass.blogspot.com
    thanks!!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you so much! My hubby came up with the paper doll idea and I am soooo loving it :) I am following you on GFC and left a comment about the "baby shower" :)

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  4. Hi there! I just wanted to let you know I featured you today over at Blissful and Domestic. Stop by and grab a button:>

    Danielle @ Blissful and Domestic
    www.blissfulanddomestic.com

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    Replies
    1. Thank you so much! I absolutely love your party, so I'm thrilled to be able to sport a feature button!!! Thanks again!

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NO WORD VERIFICATION!!! So, you will TOTALLY make my day if you leave some Verbal Candy. Seriously, if you leave a comment I'll get excited and read it to The Daddy Man with a huge smile on my face :) and, of course, I will reply because you took the time to share. Thanks for reading--I truly appreciate it!