Some of you may remember that last fall and earlier this spring I've taken classes at Sew Memphis. With a few classes under my belt I felt like it was time to tackle some projects at home by myself. I had a couple yards of lilly fabric I had purchased off eBay and decided to make the simple elastic waist skirt. My first one took 3 hours because I lost the elastic halfway through the waist casing so it took awhile to bring it through but here's the completed look when I did finish.
Here's the actual lilly skirt with the same fabric: http://www.lillypulitzer.com/product/Tops-Bottoms/Skirts/entity/pc/243/c/50/6166.uts?swatchName=Multi+Floral+Sunbonnet+Lace
There are several problems with the Lilly skirt:
1. It does not come in my size
2. It's way too short
3. The fitted shape
4. The price
So clearly I was not going to buy this skirt. When I saw the fabric I decided to give it a try - it was $30 with shipping for the fabric, another $5 for the cotton lining and $2 for the elastic waist. I'm pretty pleased with my results.
There's a fellow lilly lover making skirts on etsy for $70 each plus shipping, so I'm saving 1\2 off the bootleg lilly price. The etsy maker says she can't make her skirts more than 17 inches long and seems to make her waists narrow, I don't know why either are a problem unless she's trying to get more than one skirt out of a yard of fabric. If its not real lilly I just assume make it myself on such a simple project.
With one success under my belt I tackled another 3 including this one for the 4th of July:
Since the fabric is dark I decided to fore go the lining. The fabric was on sale for $4 a yard and I took an hour to make. Yay for my $6 skirt! Oh, and yay for the delicious pie that I also made.
I'm calling this the ain't nobody got time for that skirt because I've cut out a lot of the "professional" time consuming steps, such as measuring, ironing and folding over the hems. The awesome thing about an elastic waist skirt is that in my opinion you really don't need measurements. My skirts, unlined are two squares of fabric sewn together, 4 pieces for a lined skirt.
So I start with yard of fabric, which I cut in half to create two fabric squares. I then do a simple hem on each piece basically eyeballing to keep the hem fairly even and I don't worry too much if the line gets a little off. I then place the "pretty sides" of the two pieces together and sew them together down one side. Ill then wrap this around my waist to see where to sew the other side - in general I make my fabric 2 inches wider than my hips - and then sew up the other side. To make the waist band casing I fold in the top two inches and sew it to the skirt. I then work the elastic ( which is 60 % of my waist in inches so it will have some stretch) through the casing and the fabric, which is wider than the elastic, will scrunch around the elastic. Once the elastic comes full circle I sew the two ends together and then sew up the casing opening. I then work with the fabric to make sure it gathers evenly around the waist band and then ta-da a finished skirt! Not only are these skirts super flattering they're also super comfortable.
The key to the look is getting the elastic waist and fabric amounts right, too much fabric will create unnecessary bulk, too little and the skirt won't have enough flair to it. Although I have an elastic ratio on reality I just wrap it around my waist and figure out the amount of stretch I want it to have and cut that amount - I then use twice that width for the fabric to get the right amount of pleating. Before the elastic is added the skirt is basically a tube of fabric, the waist band gives the gathered and flared look to otherwise shapeless fabric pieces.