Getting restless…time for a change


I’m ready for a change of season. It’s time to look at spring/summer dresses and tops. Light fabrics. Things that blow in the wind. After a winter of dental work (2 crowns), boring house fixes (new water heater), and another PITA issue that just appeared yesterday (busted pipe in the irrigation system) – I’m broke and ready to be rescued!

The last straw in the wintery loft was this skirt. I love this rayon crepe fabric, but I just couldn’t lay it out on a dress or tunic without risking orange headlights. So I made a skirt.

Incredibly, I don’t have a pattern for a gathered skirt, so I made one. It’s based on my hip at it’s widest point, 12″ below my waist, and drawn in a simple A-line from waist to hem.

Drawing the skirt patternThe interesting part of this project was trying a different technique for the elastic waistband. Normally, I either fold over the top of a garment to make a casing, or I attach a separate waistband. However – while trolling PInterest , I came across a link to a ’30-minute skirt’. Well, I knew that was an understatement of effort but I was curious enough to go look. The real time-saver is the waist treatment.

I tried it and like it!

Step 1: I decided to use 1″ knit elastic, mostly because I had a package I picked up in the grocery of all places. And because I didn’t want to risk the ‘good’ stuff that I buy by the yard.


Step 2: And a great surprise – I measured my waist and found it’s 2.5″ smaller than it was in October (when I got over my diet moaning and and subsequent indulgence in everything delicious, and started a new nutrition plan. I’m down 20 lbs, and I’m feeling 100% better). I cut the elastic to be 1″ less than my waist, after an allowance for the overlap.


Step 3: The skirt edge and the elastic were quartered and pinned, and I serged the edges together, stretching the elastic as I sewed.


Last step: I folded the elastic one time to the inside and stitched it in place, sewing down the middle of the serger stitches.


I bet lots of you attach elastic this way already, particularly on PJs and children’s things. It really did make a very comfortable waist and was fast from start to finish. Yes, old dog, new trick 🙂

It was easy with this ‘thin’ fabric, but I wonder if it would work as well with a hefty fabric. Has anyone tried it with something like corduroy, denim, etc.?

The skirt is headed for a re-make, because it’s just not my style. I may yet have those headlights! I’ve been at odds and ends since I finished it, reading a lot, and sewing infinity scarves from my overflowing stash of jersey remnants. It’s only 9 months ’til Christmas…


Bye for now – Coco

6 thoughts on “Getting restless…time for a change

  1. Thanks for the details on this waistband technique. I’m wearing an old favorite pair of RTW pull-on capris today, and was noticing how un-bulky the waistline is… took a peek, and whaddaya know? Did you have issues stretching the elastic as you serged it on? I’ve done exposed elastic waists on skirts with my sewing machine, and always struggle with not pulling the machine right off the table as I stretch the elastic. I am currently working on a pair of NL6246 pull-on ankle pants in denim, and they’re too long in the rise. I’m planning to lop off the casing and give this a try instead (it’s too late to shorten them anywhere else). I’ll use Garnet’s excellent tip to steam it well, but it must be less bulky than the sewn-on casing that’s on there now!

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    1. I’m laughing – I’ve done that elastic stretch thing as well, since I usually triple-zig-zag down the middle of an elastic casing to prevent rolling. I try to make my waist just big enough to pull over my hips and not pop all the stitching in the band 🙂 A small waist proportionate to the hip will always be a challenge and call for more muscle. Sometimes I loosen the pressure on my presser foot (SM and serger) to make it easier to move the fabric under the needle, it really helps.

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  2. Well OK, you had me laughing today. Pretty skirt but can’t tell you how many times I have sewed something that “was not my style”. Very disappointing. I think the fabric has a lot of movement and is busy enough that orange headlights will not be an issue.
    Lets see…..teeth, water heater, broken pipe………3 strikes your done!
    I use this elastic application all the time and I have used it with denim. It is definitely bulkier but I steam /iron it when done and once washed and dried it is fine.
    Now, down 20 lbs. You must feel fabulous, you certainly look it. Kudos.

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    1. Thanks so much – last night I cut out a flutter-sleeve top to add to the skirt, since I had an extra yard. We’ll see… Great idea with the steam, wash, and dry. And I keep a hammer in the loft, for taming denim seams when needed. Actually it’s a meat tenderizer, but it works great. And thank you again for the compliment 🙂


      1. All righty! Next time I see our meat tenderizer, I’m moving it to the sewing room! Because I have NEVER, in 20 years, needed to use it on meat. I’m not even sure why we have it. (Our kitchen has a built-in cutting board in the countertop, which is also never used for its intended purpose… but makes a great surface for things like hammering grommets and cutting buttonholes and…)

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