When I saw that the May entry for Project SewMyStyle was a gathered pocket skirt I decided not to buy the pattern from Callie Faye Collection but draft it myself. Why? Because since last September I am following pattern drafting lessons and the scope this year is skirts. I learned to draft a pattern block for a straight skirt and use this pattern block as a base for all kind of skirt designs. Furthermore, my fabulous teacher stimulates me to draft a skirt pattern myself whenever I see a model that I like. So I dared myself to do it!
The pocket skirt pattern
Drafting a pattern for a gathered skirt turns out to be rather easy. First I measured the hem of the gathered skirt of a dress that I liked. In this case, my Sureau dress. To gain the same width I added 5 cm at the center front and the center back of my pattern blocks. I calculated the proportions of the pockets on the picture. Although they are big enough they tend to look smaller than the ones on the original design. Probably because I lengthened the skirt until the hem was on my knees. So I ended with three pattern pieces: the front, the back and a pocket.
The sewing process
I used a soft printed cotton chambray from Dress Fabrics. I bought it last September. This fabric worked like a dream.
Because I didn’t buy the pattern I didn’t have instructions for sewing the skirt. So I studied the pictures on the website, relied on my know-how of skirt sewing and made my own instructions!
Put on the pockets first as they are also slightly gathered. To accentuate the pockets I used the wrong side of the fabric as the right side.
Iron the seam allowances of the pockets and stitch the three seams at 1 cm.
Pin the pockets on the skirt and stitch 2mm from the sides.
Make the gathers by stitching two lines in the seam allowance. I use a different thread colour for the front and back to make it easy to pull at the thread.
Mark the center front with a pin and divide the gathers proportional between the two sides.
Stitch with a short stitch length between the two lines to fix the gathers.
For the waistband I used preformatted interfacing for waistbands. I cut out the length of my waist and here I made an error. The original pattern asks for an elastic in the back waist. So you have to provide the same extra width for the back waist. This I forgot. So I also gathered the back. In hindsight, this made the further construction even easier.
Before sewing on the waistband close the left side seams of the skirt.
4. Blind zipper
Put in a blind zipper. After sewing in one side of the zipper, I close it. Then I make little notches on both sides of the tape at the waistband. This helps to pin the second side of the zipper at the right place.
Sew the side seam under the zipper. Finish the waistband and hem the skirt.
I am happy with my pocket skirt. I wore it a lot already. Drafting the pattern myself gave me a lot of satisfaction. It means that I learned something in the pattern drafting lessons. Although I did not buy the pattern suggested by the Project SewMyStyle I sewed the skirt. More, I enjoyed the whole process. That is what SewMyStyle is all about, isn’t it?
6 thoughts on “A little cheating for Project SewMyStyle: a pocket skirt”
Great work on the skirt. The califaye pattern was drafted really small with the largest size being 31.5 inch waist. I threw my hands up in horror and skipped it. Should have followed your leave and drafted one.
Thanks for the compliment, Amy. I didn’t look at the sizing though; 31.5-inch waist is indeed very small. That would cause me problems too.
You did great with this and how liberating to be able to draft your own!!
Thanks Sarah, and yes it was a good feeling to draft one myself. I think I am never going to buy another skirt pattern ;)!
Nice work! Such a versatile skirt!
Thanks for the compliment, Marianne. x