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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The Gilded Skirt

I found some gold animal print jacquard fabric a while back and instantly fell in love.  I have had it for a while and waited until I was settled on just what type of skirt to make with it.  I saw a gold fabric similar to this in a J.Crew skirt a few years ago and had been on the hunt for something like this.

In the end, I decided to create a mix between these skirts:
 modcloth

 anthropologie

anthropologie

Here is what I came up with






It's hard to tell in the pictures, but the fabric has a little hint of shimmer to it.  I'm not a fan of shiny fabrics, I think a lot of times they can end up looking cheep, but this fabric is thick and has just the right amount of golden glow to it.

The instructions aren't too complicated.  Just lots of pleating.  Click through below for the tutorial...




materials:
- 1 1/2 - 2 yards of fabric
- coordinating thread
- zipper (I used an invisible zipper)

Step 1:
  

Cut out your pieces.  I wanted my waistband to be 2" thick, so with the seam allowances, my pieces were 3" thick.  Measure around your waist, divide that by 2 to get your front and back pieces, however, add an extra inch to the length of your back waistband.  You will be cutting this in half and will need the extra s.a. for your zipper.  Don't forget to add on 1/2" on each side for the s.a. as well.  I always like to make the bottom of my waistband 1" longer than the top.  That way it fits me a little more snug at the top of my waist.  I doubled up on the waistband because I like it to be a little thicker and more sturdy.

You will need to do a little math before you cut out your skirt pieces.  I wanted a lot of thick knife pleats, so I ended up using fabric for the front of my skirt that measured 45" wide and 24" long (I knew this would be plenty long and I wanted a 2" hem).  When all the pleats were created, the front skirt portion ended up being 16" wide

My back skirt sections measured 17 1/2" by 24" each.  I just did an inverted pleat on either side of the zipper.  Basically I just used what fabric I had left over.

Step 2:


Create the pleats for the front of the skirt.  Make sure that the folds of the left 2 pleats and the folds of the right 2 pleats all point to the center of the front of the skirt.  I used pins in coordinating colors to remind me which pins to match up to create the knife pleats.  The pins for my knife pleats were about 7" apart.  You don't have to follow my measurements exactly, just go with what looks good, but make sure they are symmetrical.  Leave at least 1/2" extra on each side for s.a. Once you have created the pleats with your pins, serge or sew the pleats in place 1/4" away from the edge.

Step 3:
 
Create the inverted pleats on each back skirt section.  Again, you can eyeball this until it looks good.  Keep in mind that you need at least 1/2" on either side of each back skirt section to allow for the seam allowance and zipper seam allowance.


Once you have created the pleats with your pins, serge or sew the pleats in place 1/4" away from the edge.

Step 4: 
 


With right sides together, attach the front skirt section to the 2 back skirt sections.  Press seam allowances open.


Step 5:
 
Sew 1/2" from the top along the width of your front and back waistbands.  Cut your back waistband in half and attach to the front waistband so it creates one long waistband.  Attach it to the top of your skirt, making sure to match up your side seams.  For more detailed instructions on attaching the waistband, follow the waistband instructions on my pinwheel skirt tutorial.

In the past when I have attached my waistbands, I usually do a top-stitch at the very top and bottom of my waistband.  This time I tested out "stitching in the ditch" (don't ask me how I remembered this from clear back in my BYU sewing class days).  I did this along the bottom of my waistband and I love the clean look of it.  Basically this just means that I stitch very carefully and very slowly along the bottom of my waistband, right inside the little groove that was created when I attached the waistband to my skirt.  Pull each side of your fabric taught so that you can see the existing stitches, and stitch right on top of those.

Step 6:
Take a deep breath..... and insert your zipper.  I stepped even further out of my comfort zone this time and used an invisible zipper.  I actually bought the little plastic invisible zipper foot (they are about $2 and are usually located right above the zippers).  It was tricky, so watch this tutorial a few times before taking the plunge.  The instructions printed on the invisible zipper package might as well have been written in Hebrew.  I need to physically see the zipper being put in to understand it, so written out instructions don't work for me.  I swear, I have watched this tutorial at least 20 times.  It is simple and clear and works for me so I'm going to stick with it.

Step 7:
Take a break from ripping your hair out and pat yourself on the back because you inserted a zipper.

Either that or get in the car and head back to Joanns for another zipper because you got so frustrated that you ripped your first zipper right in half.  I'm not ashamed to admit that I have done this.  It was a while ago and it was my first invisible zipper.  It just felt really good to break that stupid zipper.

Step 8:

Hem your skirt.  Since my fabric was thicker, I wanted a thicker hem.  My hem was 2" and I used a blind stitch for the hem.  If you haven't tried hemming with this stitch I highly recommend it.  It takes a little practice but the hem is basically invisible and I love the look of it.

Stitch #13 is the blind hem stitch I used.
  
 
see?  no stitch marks!

DONE!



Top: Banana Republic, Skirt: me, Jacket: Nordstrom, Shoes: Steve Madden, Bracelet: Juicy

30 comments:

  1. Gosh, you are SO good! I love all the skirts you make!

    amy day to day

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  2. The list of things I want to sew is piling up. Add it to the list. Very well done!

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  3. Goodness that skirt is adorable!

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  4. Linda, linda, linda...
    Parabéns.

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  5. It's totally beautiful! Nice job! I'm impressed by your venturing into the land of the invisible zipper!

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  6. That is seriously the cutest skirt Leanne! I love the fabric. You are so talented! You are also a great model!

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  7. Okay, that's awesome! You are so skilled Leanne. I love the choice of fabric and how well your shoes match :)

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  8. GORGEOUS! I love it. You are so skilled. I am actually taking that BYU sewing class this summer (not sure what I'll learn but it'll be fun!) Thanks for inspiring me and putting up amazing tutorials!

    Cardigans and Cookie Dough

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  9. fantastic work. Thanks for the tutorial

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  10. Oh Leanne. Can I just have you sew me a whole new wardrobe??! LOVE this skirt, along with everything else you make!!!

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  11. Flawless! I SUPER love this! You need to come show me this invisible zipper thing.

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  12. This skirt is adorable, I wish I could sew!!

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  13. I love this skirt! I'm headed to the fabric store today , thank you for such a great tutorial!

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  14. I have been saving up to do something great with some fabric I got from my grandmother years ago....this skirt is PERFECT! Thanks!

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  15. Love it! I'm going to make myself one now! Would big pink polka dots be too much?

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  16. Just wondering about the waistband. You said make the top 1 inch longer than the bottom. Is that 1 inch on each side, or 1 inch total (1/2 inch each side). Just wanted to clarify. It's super cute, and I'm excited to try it. Was it lined too?

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  17. Vicsta - I make the bottom of the waistband 1" longer than the top of the waistband. For example, my 2 waistband pieces (front and back) both measure 15" across the top and 16" across the bottom (1/2" each side). Also, no it wasn't lined. But it probably should have been. Hope that helps clarify!

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  18. Leanne, would you mind sharing the designer's name of the Nordstrom coat you are wearing? It is beautiful!!

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  19. leanne, great job on the skirt! i would love to try it out but i always have trouble with the waistbands. i get the front part on but then when i go to topstitch around to attach the back on there are always spots where the back didnt catch. do you have any tips on how to do this better? also, with the stitch in the ditch, will it catch the back?

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  20. I just bought a skirt from Banana Republic in a very similar fabric but different style. They have amazing sales at their outlet so it was under $20. I definitely want to try to make my own though! Thanks for the tutorial!

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  21. Just finished making this fabulous skirt! Thanks for the AMAZING tutorial!! I love it!!

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    Replies
    1. Email me a pic of it! I'd love to see it!

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  22. Another beautiful skirt! I featured this today for my Pleated Skirt Round-up during Skirt Week at seven thirty three. I'm serious, I probably could have done Skirt week with just your creations! You are amazing. :)

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    1. Thanks so much for the features Kim!

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  23. I JUST finished making this skirt. Thank you for the tutorial! I love how mine turned out. My fabric was thinner, so I lined the whole skirt (I have issues with things being see-through) and included some lace at the bottom in between the layers. If my camera weren't on the fritz, I'd take a picture. I'm just so excited to have a new skirt in time for Easter (along with my girls).
    Thanks again!!!

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    Replies
    1. Congrats Natalie! When your camera is back up and running I would love a picture of it!

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  24. Hello I absolutely love this skirt. I want to make it for a graduation outfit and I was curious where the fabric was from?

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