As part of our sewing day away the ladies all brought fabric, patterns and notions for the donate-swap table. As I don’t have much of a stash, I had to dive deep into the blanket box to see what lengths and leftovers were lurking there. I came up with a few serviceable pieces, one of them being this, which actually stayed home with me.
Navy distressed wool pinstripe from The Cloth House, London; the bulk of the fabric having been used to make culottes a few years back.
Enough to make a pencil skirt, roughly 50″ X 25″ (127 x 64cm). So the fabric was wrapped around Doris while I went off to locate a suitable pattern. However, I looked at the draping on the mannequin and thought – that looks interesting as it is – let’s make a skirt without a pattern. I mean it’s only leftover fabric anyway that had been long forgotten, nothing to lose.
Here’s how to make a skirt without a pattern. It helps if you have a mannequin but if you don’t then just use yourself and get a little help from someone with the pinning for darts.
This will be a lined wrap skirt with an asymmetrical hemline.
Pin the fabric to the mannequin, overlapping the fronts at an angle. Pinch out the excess at the back to make two darts and do the same at the sides. Four small darts for shaping.
Cut a waistband facing (I used another fabric) the same width of the ‘skirt’ and sew to the top edge. Cut the lining a little smaller than the skirt’s width and sew to the facing and the two sides, leaving the hem open.
Turn to the right side and press well, especially down the short edges. As the lining is smaller the edges should turn under neatly.
Fold up the raw edge of the hem lining a little higher than the skirt hem and sew.
The lining is not edge to edge therefore and should not be seen from the outside. You may have to make a few folds/pleats in the lining to make it fit within the confines of the skirt.
Make a buttonhole on the right hand side at hip and sew a button to the left side. This will hold the skirt up.
Recently I bought a few zips from Minerva and there was this brilliant deal for £1 – a bag full of assorted zips. Most are open ended chunky plastic type zips. I took a black one of these and sewed it to the wrap edge of the skirt.
No attempt to hide the zip was made because it’s a design feature! This keeps the wrap wrapped.
When you look at a piece of fabric and think it’s not worth keeping – think again.
February 11, 2018 at 1:20 pm
“When you look at a piece of fabric and think it’s not worth keeping – think again.” I don’t understand? Great skirt, well done missus, I do like some zero/near-zero waste projects!
February 12, 2018 at 4:25 pm
Yeah, that was kind of a pointless bit of advice!!
I’m trying your process this half-term of cutting and cutting, then sewing and sewing.
February 12, 2018 at 5:55 pm
Half term already? We have another week. Then a really short term up to Easter yay!
February 11, 2018 at 1:33 pm
Love it! You are going to give Vivienne Westwood a run for her money!
February 12, 2018 at 4:26 pm
There was a little bit of inspiration from there but also Donna Karan who has also produced this style of skirt.
February 11, 2018 at 2:42 pm
I adore this skirt! Very flattering as well! Wonderful fabric! You might say I like the entire idea!
I’ve been trying to find a way to make a wrap skirt out of a remnant I bought because I love
the fabric. You’re a gem, positively.
February 12, 2018 at 4:27 pm
Thanks Peggy. If I can put an idea into one more person’s head, then I’ve done my job.
Thank goodness asymmetrical hems are still on trend.
February 11, 2018 at 3:19 pm
That’s adorable! I love the style and it’s very becoming on you. What a wonderful project and inspiration. . Thank you for sharing it.
February 12, 2018 at 4:28 pm
Thank You Lydia. Easy to make and easy to wear – what’s better?
February 11, 2018 at 7:28 pm
Great idea brilliantly executed. Love the idea of using up and zero waste but those left over pieces of fabric do take a bit more imagination to become a garment which sometimes we lack and clearly you didn’t.
February 12, 2018 at 4:30 pm
Thanks Stephanie, although the ‘idea’ did take about 2 years to come to fruitiation and only because I had to give away the fabric – only then did it became very usable.
February 11, 2018 at 8:35 pm
What a beautiful skirt! Great job – again! Not that easy to think outside the box. You make it look so easy and chic.
February 12, 2018 at 4:31 pm
Thanks Deb. Hope you find a little inspiration here.
February 11, 2018 at 10:26 pm
February 12, 2018 at 4:31 pm
Thank you Elle. Still learning though….
February 12, 2018 at 12:04 am
Great skirt! And great way to use up a piece of fabric.
February 12, 2018 at 4:32 pm
Thanks Irene. Go looking for those slightly larger leftovers in your stash and just see what you can do with them.
February 12, 2018 at 6:27 am
Great. I love working like this. One of my favourite methods (although lining it gives another level of excellence). It looks so much more exciting interesting than a pencil skirt and I love the zip. Super work.
February 12, 2018 at 4:33 pm
Thanks Kate. Merely using up what I have lying around but this time it worked out well.
February 12, 2018 at 7:56 am
So satisfying when you manage to make something great out of long forgotten fabric!
February 12, 2018 at 4:34 pm
And believe me Catherine, I had really and truly forgotten about this piece of fabric so it felt like I’d bought it all over again.
Satisfying indeed. Thank you.
February 12, 2018 at 4:11 pm
Fantastic skirt! The zip as a design element is wonderful.
February 12, 2018 at 4:36 pm
Thanks Ellie. Just look at where two pieces of fabric meet and see if you add a zip as that after-thought ‘design feature’.
February 12, 2018 at 9:58 pm
Wowsers!! This is amazing! What a fantastic idea, and it’s turned out brilliantly.
February 14, 2018 at 8:23 am
Love it and with the Westwood vibe it really suits you. Such a creative approach. I’m still too reliant on patterns (see you would have been great on the creative bit of great British sewing bee, they so got it wrong not picking you! X
February 16, 2018 at 8:21 pm
Start with a great remnant of fabric and a tall thin body and straight thighs, flat tummy, pert bottom and pin pin pin until it drapes perfectly…add a cool lining and facing, a button closure and a zipper…voila…now you are sewing/creating Ruth-style!!! I love your blogs…it makes me think I could be more daring!!!!