Updated: Jun 15, 2019
This simple ‘flippy’ easy-to-fit skirt is a favorite of the girls here in fashion sewing classes at the studio. I’ve developed and refined these directions to enable success for even a beginning sewing student. This skirt is easy to make any length, and crosswise stretch in the yoga band top accommodates growth in my young students - and will also serve well during weight fluctuations for all ages. The Top Band can be of matching or contrasting fabric, and excess fabric in the width of the 1/2 yard of 58” wide fabric can be used to make a knit scarf.
*Top Yoga Band: 1/2 yard knit fabric with good crosswise stretch
* Lower Skirt: length desired from bottom of Yoga Band to finished length plus 2” for upper seam and hem allowance.
Note: 1 yard of 60” fabric creates a skirt of proportions shown, the Lower Skirt being about 18” long.
*Heavy cord for gathering-like Button/Carpet Thread
*Knit Fusible Stay Tape -1” or so wide, or crosswise cut strips of knit fusible interfacing. *Polyester garment sewing thread
For beginning sewers, I recommend a double knit fabric. I describe this for my non-sewing moms and students as a knit fabric that looks the same on the front and the back, and that you can NOT see through when held up to the light.
While jersey knits also work well in this skirt, the strong tendency of single jersey knits to roll at the edges creates a challenge not appropriate for beginning sewers.
1. Pull a wide crosswise band of the knit fabric around the largest part of the hips and pull tight. The ‘issue’ here is that the seam where the Lower Skirt attaches to the Top Yoga Band needs to be able to stretch around the hips to get it on and off. General ‘fit’ of current fashion is for the top edge of ‘bottoms’ to sit well below the natural waist. Measure this width of fabric and record here: ___” Add 1” for a seam allowance + 1” = ___ total width for Top Yoga Band.
2. Cut this width of knit fabric across, from selvage to selvage, and 16” wide (along selvage). 3. Determine length of skirt desired from 8” below the desired placement of the uppermost edge of the Top Yoga Band to hemline. Allow about 3” for upper seam allowance and hem allowance. Cut this length along the selvage, and the full width (knits are generally 58-60” wide) of the fabric.
Top Yoga Band
1. Press Top Yoga Band lengthwise in half, wrong sides together as shown.
2. Open up and stitch right sides together along the short edges tin a 1/2” seam to create a tube. Press in half, matching long circumference raw edges.
3. Clip into seam allowance at the fold and press the seam allowances in opposite directions to ‘balance the bulk’.
4. Wrong sides together, refold in half around the tube matching the circumference cut edges. Pin and machine baste together.
5. Find and clearly mark with a washout or Frixion Marker, the half mark, and also then the quarter marks.
1. To prevent rolling of the crosswise edge, fuse Knit Fusible stay Tape to the wrong side all along one crosswise edge of the Lower Skirt.
2. Right sides together, stitch the Lower Skirt into a tube (these will be the lengthwise edges of the skirt). Stitch again 1/4” away and trim close - or serge to finish.
3. Along the top (fused) edge, clearly mark the half point and quarter points, just as you did on the Top Yoga Band.
4. Attach the heavy thread using a hand needle securely at the top fused edge right at the seam.
5. Using a wide zig zag ( stitch length 3, stitch width 4.5) stitch OVER TOP of the heavy thread right along the 1/2” seam line, taking care to NOT stitch through the heavy thread as you zig zag. This is creating a ‘channel’ for the gathering thread and is a technique easiest for beginning sewers. STOP at the half mark, leave a long tail on the heavy thread and then repeat these steps on the remaining half of the Lower Skirt upper edge. Breaking the upper circumference of the skirt into 2 sections makes it far easier to distribute the gathers in the next step.
An alternative technique for more advanced sewers, is to set 2 rows of stitching, as I teach in my You-Tube Video at this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bheBCDXzkig
6. Key up the seams, quarter marks and half marks of the Yoga Top Band to the Lower Skirt, placing right sides together. Pin securely at these points.
7. Starting with the first half, gently pull up the heavy cord until the cord equals the distance of the first half of the Yoga Top Band. Figure 8 the heavy cord around the pin at the half point to hold all in place. Repeat these steps for the remaining half. The gathers will NOT be evenly and nicely distributed at this point, but the heavy thread WILL be secured at the right length.
8. Gently nudge the gathers into evenly distributed fullness, adding additional pins, and making sure that the upper cut edges match.
9. Stitch the Yoga Top Band to the Lower Skirt as you have it pinned, using a stitch length of 3.5 and running it right to the LEFT edge of the zig zag stitching. Do NOT stitch through the heavy cord, as the next step is to clip and remove the heavy cord, as this seam needs to be able to stretch to put the skirt on and off, and the heavy cord would not allow stretching.
10. Stitch again 1/2” away within the seam allowance and trim close to 2nd stitching. Using double knit fabrics, this is a VERY heavy edge that would stress a serger, so I do recommend this technique over serging unless your fabric is a lighter weight single knit.
11. Press this seam allowance upwards, towards the Yoga Top Band.
12. Topstitch this seam allowance towards the Yoga Band using a stretchy 3 step zig zag stitch with settings of Stitch Length 2 and Stitch Width 4.5 (test first to determine your machine’s best settings).
This Top Yoga Band is worn with the uppermost edge folded downwards as desired.
13. Fit to determine exact finished length. Allowing for a bit more length in the center back is a pretty ‘line’. I generally pin the center back at least 1/2” longer ….
14. Fuse Knit Fusible Stay Tape to the Hem ALLOWANCE. Clip seam allowance at the hem line fold and throw the seam allowances in opposite directions to balance the bulk. Press up and stitch in place.
You may elect to stitch in the hem using a matching 3 step zig zag stitch, a straight stitch, or even a twin needle or cover hem…it’s all up to you.
copyright 2019 Londa J. Rohlfing Londa’s Creative Sewing