Hello Pretty Providence Readers! I’m Kara from While Camden Sleeps and I am so excited to be a new Fashion DIY contributor for this cute blog. For my first post, I originally planned to do a tutorial on how to work with knits to make a basic pencil skirt; however, like the discovery of penicillin, or the invention of the microwave, an accident made me come up with something greater.
It all started when I was checking out the remnant section of my local JoAnn’s. I found a really cool printed knit that was mostly white with hints of blue and pink in the pattern. What I didn’t know, at the time, was that I was looking at the wrong side of the fabric. Because it was a remnant, the fabric was folded, rolled up and taped so that I couldn’t see the right side. Imagine my surprise when I opened the remnant at home to see a drastically different print on the inside.
At first I was really disappointed because I liked the more neutral wrong side and didn’t really love the right side. But then I had an epiphany–if I liked to wrong side more, I could just make the skirt with the wrong side out. So, I did and once I was done I discovered that I could roll down the waistband to reveal the more colorful print. Sometimes accidents were meant to happen.
Real Quick: Working with Knits
Many people get intimidated to work with knits because they can easily pucker. Before I had more experience, I always had to rethread my machine a thousand times every time I tried to sew with a knit. It was frustrating! However, if you have a little experience and the right tools, you just might find yourself loving knits.
- First and foremost, use a ballpoint needle! These needles are designed to allow the needle to separate through the threads without breaking them. They make all the difference in the world. If I had one tip for knits that would be it. Plus, they aren’t super expensive.
- no hemming required, knits will not fray like wovens
- stretch factor can eliminate the need for buttons and zippers
- comfortable feel
- Can be used for the most casual T-shirt to a more formal dress like the one I made for a Provo “red carpet” event.
Foldover Skirt Tutorial
1. Pick out your fabric
For this skirt you will need printed knit fabric. Mine was 96% polyester and 4% spandex. I bought 3/4 a yard and had plenty leftover. My print looks drastically different on the wrong side. You can do this too if you want more of a contrast. However, it can be done with a solid color or print as well.
The right and wrong side of my fabric.
2. Sew your seam
I made the skirt wide enough to fit over the largest part of my hips, plus 3 inches. I cut this width, folded it in half, and sewed a seam using a ballpoint needle and a zigzag stitch.
After sewing the only seam needed for this skirt. The seam is on the right.
3. Hem the bottom
If you are a beginner, or just like the easy way out, you can use hem tape to iron a hem that requires no sewing.
This is the bonding web I used for my hem tape.
I placed the bonding on the bottom of the skirt, and then folded it up to sandwich it inside the hem. Then I ironed it to activate the fuse.
The new hem right after ironing in the hem tape. Note that the skirt is wet because you iron over a wet rag.
If you are satisfied with this hem, go on! If you want, you can sew over it for extra hold. If you like more of a professional look, check out how I used my twin needle to sew the hem on this skirt.
4. Take in the skirt at the seam.
I realize this is kind of the unconventional way to make the skirt fitted. My original plan was to add 4 darts to take in the waist, but that wouldn’t work with my new idea to have a foldover waistband. So instead of darts, I took in the top of the seam.
I pulled the extra fabric from the original seam over to the side and secured it with four stitches. This way, when you fold down the waist, you only see the right side of the fabric. I took advantage of the knit factor and didn’t hem the waist at all. I just made sure it was cut evenly and left it raw.
This shows how I took in the top of the original seam. I made it gradually join the original seam. Then I tacked down the top of the original seam by laying it to the side and sewing four stitches.
Make sure you sew the four stitches when the waistband is not folded over, unless you only want to wear it that way. This is how the back of the skirt looks when finished.