Leopard Satin Ruffle Skirt
Posted on Monday the 16th September 2019 by Lucky Sew and Sew
If you haven’t been living under a rock, you’ll have probably noticed that there is a pretty big trend for leopard print satin skirts right now. Mostly I’ve been seeing simple, bias cut satin skirts which are beautiful, but not really my cup of tea. Although I love how the bias skirts look, I just wasn’t sure if I would feel totally comfortable wearing one being unsure how much attention it would bring to my soft tummy (thanks kids!). And so, I began to day dream about what sort of skirt I would like. I actually don’t own many skirts, especially not any that would be fancy enough for a special occasion. Not that I go to many special occasions, but it’s nice to have options!
I fell in love with this taupe coloured Leopard Print Satin Fabric as soon as I saw it, and I knew it was the one. Then began my search for suitable skirt patterns. I looked at loads, and didn’t fall in love with any. It was then when I was scrolling on Instagram one day and I stumbled across a dress made from pattern McCall’s 7745, and my jaw dropped. The bottom half was exactly what I was looking for! View C features a crossover wrap, with lots of beautiful ruffles along the hems. After a deeper delve into the hashtag for this pattern, I discovered that a few sewists has successfully hacked M7745 into a beautiful skirt. I was sold and 2 metres of beautiful satin was on its way to me.
Going by the pattern size chart, I cut the pattern to a size 20 based on my hip measurement, and prewashed the fabric. When it came to cutting out the fabric, I must admit I was a little apprehensive. Satin is so soft and floaty, that it like to slip around all over the place. Ideally I would have used pattern weights and a rotary cutter, but I had to work with what I had and so I did the cutting with pins and scissors. I used a tonne of pins, and to be honest I probably could have used more. When I cut the skirt out, I didn’t have a complete plan of how I was going to make the waistband. I had a rough idea in my head, but wanted to get on with the sewing of the skirt first to see how it felt. I used a new needle, and pressed the seams well to keep any wrinkling to a minimum. I initially attempted to overlock the seams, but it went so bunched up and crinkly that I shipped it off and reassessed. The overlocking was too heavy for this fabric, and so I did a simple zig-zag along the seam edges instead and that worked a treat.
The satin is incredibly ‘hairy’, and by that I mean that it has a lot of long, thin fibres at each cut edge. They get everywhere - even up your nose - and make keeping the sewing neat and tidy quite testing. There is a lot of ruffles. A lot of ruffles! The ruffles call for rolled edges, and on a sturdier woven fabric I would have simply overlooked the edge and then folded it up on itself, but this satin was a whole other story. I used my clever narrow rolled hem foot on my sewing machine, and it worked....ok, but the hairiness of the edges made I quite difficult. Ultimately it worked ok and I got away with it, but it’s definitely something to consider.
There’s so much to gather for the ruffles, and I decided to do it in three parts to keep it easier and more straight forward. It worked well this way, and the ruffles went together onto the skirt nicely. I did overlock this edge - where the ruffles attach to the skirt - as the loose fibres were unreal, and the extra body from the ruffling meant the seam could handle the overlock stitches much better than the side seams.
I tried the skirt on at this point and absolutely loved how it looked, however the thought of cutting out a waist and and long ties for the wrap and sewing all that satin gave me a brain ache, and so I hacked it into something much more manageable and also more wearable in my opinion. Firstly I blasted down the wrap over sections at the waist of the skirt to keep them in place. Then I took some black cotton from my stash, and cut it straight across the 45” width of the fabric, twice as wide as my 2” elastic, plus 2cm for seams. I then joined the short edges of the cotton to make a ring, ironed it in half along the length and inserted the elastic. I simply then pinned and overlooked this straight onto the skirt making a nice, easy elastic waist. There isn’t enough room to get it on over my hips due to the satin splitting my waist, but it pops on over my head like a dream.
I’m really happy with the outcome of this skirt, and I really love how it looks with the cotton waistband. I know I’ll find that a lot easier to wear and style than having a big satin bow on one side. The skirt is deliciously soft and flowy, and the ruffles make it feel so fancy. I absolutely love it. I’ve styled it with a black tee and my vintage converse which I feel comfortable and put together in. I would style it with some heels and a nice top for a night out too, it’s much more versatile than I imagined!
I’m really in love with my new skirt and I’m sure it’s going to get a lot of wear over the festive season that will soon be upon us!