There are so many great sewing patterns out there, but sometimes, when you have a ready to wear item of clothing that you love, it's so much easier to use that as your base than try and search for a pattern that's similar. I do this quite a lot with clothes - and one thing that I’ve wanted to replicate for a while is a simple skirt. I always call it a pencil skirt but it’s probably just more of a straight skirt, but I love the fit and the length and I would wear it all the time if I could! So when I saw this lovely Ponte Roma Fabric
from Minerva I knew it would be perfect to replicate a simple straight jersey skirt I’ve got.
Jersey skirts are very often smaller than your measurements so that they stretch when worn and you get that tight fitted look, which I love, but I didn’t think something quite that fitted would be best for this fabric. I love the check print so I wanted to make sure the print didn’t warp shape when worn so I decided to create the skirt as wide as my hips - this way I still get the pencil skirt fitted look and the check stays looking fab.
All you really need for the basis of this skirt is two rectangles and elastic. The width of your rectangles of fabric should be half of your hip measurement, and the length should be however long you want the skirt plus hem and enough fabric to encase the elastic (I used 1.5” elastic so made sure there was 2” extra I could fold over to make a channel). This pattern would work for any length of skirt be it mini or maxi, I went for a mid calf length as that’s what I wear most of the time.
I wanted to add a little bit of detail to the skirt so I decided to create a belt. My idea was to have elastic in the back half of the skirt and the front to be tied with the belt so it created almost a paper bag waist effect. For the belt I cut out two 4” wide rectangles the same length as the skirt. So at this point I’ve got two rectangles of fabric for the main skirt, two long skinny rectangles of fabric for the belt and a piece of elastic that measures half of my waist.
Next is just to sew them all up. I started with the belt - fold them in half right sides together and sew up the two long sides with 1cm seam allowance, then turn the right way out. You could always top stitch around the edge of the belt pieces if you wanted a little more detail.
Then I lay the front piece of the skirt right side facing up and pinned each piece of the belt roughly 4 inches down from the top (this way when I come to fold the top over and create a channel for the elastic, the belt wouldn’t be in the way). Add the back piece of the fabric right side down on top and sew down each side. I’m not fancy when it comes to finishing seams, I don’t have an overlocker, so I just sew a straight stitch about 1cm in, then if needs be a zigzag stitch over the raw edges. This ponte is a really nice weight fabric and didn’t seem to fray at all so I just left the edges raw.
Once the side seams are sewn, fold the top edge over and sew a channel for the elastic. Make sure you leave an opening near each side seam so you can insert the elastic. I pinned the end of the elastic to the side seam inside the casing, then threaded it through the back of the skirt to the other side seam. Then I stitched in the ditch of the side seams to keep the elastic in place as well as keep the stitches hidden. All you need to do then is hem the skirt and you’re done!
This gorgeous check ponte roma is a really lovely fabric to work with which means I cut it out and sewed it in less than an hour - perfect if you're one of those sewists who loves to make something in the afternoon to wear that evening! The fabric has a good weight to it but it’s still light enough to wear when the weather is a little warmer, and heavy enough to still keep you warm when it’s cold. And as it’s black and white, it’s pretty neutral so will pair really well with most things in your wardrobe.
If you want to follow along with any of my makes, find me on Instagram @lucyhannahmakes