Super simple split-side skirt

Monday, November 02, 2015

I picked up some beautiful velvet in Abakhan a couple of weeks back - a good-sized bundle of textured emerald green. I had planned to use it to make a pair of trousers, but I was a bit too optimistic on the meterage. Instead, I managed to squeeze out a skirt of fairly lengthy proportions and it's quickly become my most worn item.

Looking seasonally witchy - lurking in Sheffield basements on Halloween
Feeling the need to 'achieve' something (i.e. finish a garment), I was aiming for the simplest sew - an elasticated waist skirt made up of just 3 pieces. Rather than using a pattern, I improvised with the amount of fabric I had.

Rough sketch of my made up pattern pieces
I cut the waistband a bit longer than my natural waist (to allow room for a little bit of gathering once the elastic was inserted) and made sure this length would match that of the front and back skirt once they were sewn together. All I had to do was sew the front and back skirt pieces (both cut to the same shape/size) together into a tube, and attach the waistband. I constructed the waistband in the same method as The Great British Sewing Bee casual trousers - this Megan Nielsen tutorial also nicely sums up making an elastic waistband.
Split-seam Pinterest inspiration

It wasn't until I'd nearly finished that I realised the skirt was utterly boring - despite the dreamy velvet - and it would be fairly restrictive to walk around in as it was so long and narrow. So I got the seam ripper and went straight for the side seams. I measured my rips, so the splits came just up to my knee, and finished the newly exposed raw edges, reinforcing the tops of the splits.

Post-split shot

For such a spur of the moment make, I'm so pleased with the results. I've seen a few long tops, tunics and dresses (possibly in Zara) with similar side splits. It's pretty hard to catch the splits on camera as I'm wearing tights, but I tried...

Trying to show off the split-seam
The weight of the velvet definitely lends itself to the style and movement of the skirt. I'd like to try something similar in a heavy crepe. And maybe I will get round to making those velvet trousers at some point!

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