Finished: good basic skirt pattern for my body shape

My body shape is that of a goblet:

handsewn skirt flare goblet shape handknitted vesthandsewn skirt flare goblet shape handknitted vest handsewn skirt flare goblet shape handknitted vest
The under carriage of a goblet has “a case of the no’s”: no waist, no buttocks, no hips, no thighs. So a straight shape suits best, with a flare at the bottom to match the “flare” a goblet has at the top (yes, I mean breasts/shoulders):

handsewn skirt flare goblet shape handknitted vesthandsewn skirt flare goblet shape handknitted vest

The lower back is very swayed. I put in a yoke, in double fabric: handsewn skirt flare goblet shape handknitted vest

Only the back has these flaring pattern parts. The front is one piece, straight down. With pockets. The flare of the back facilitates walking: handsewn skirt flare goblet shape handknitted vesthandsewn skirt flare goblet shape handknitted vest

Some details: pockets. In this one I made one continuous pocket running from one side to the other:

handsewn skirt flare goblet shape handknitted vest The inner side is not from the shell fabric but from an old pillow case. The underside of the pocket is shell fabric. The skirt has a zipper. My sewing teacher taught me the blind zipper. It went all very well until the very last, when I folded down the waist band to sew in the ditch from the right side. I was afraid I would not catch the inner side of it so I took a larger SA on the outside then the inside. I forgot I had already determined where the SA from the outside should be when I attached the zipper. Secondly I did not match the folding of the waist band from the front panel to the back panel, around the zipper: handsewn skirt flare goblet shape handknitted vest
Oh well. It really was the last 30 minutes of sewing when I made these mistakes. The rest is good, both inside and out.

I learned how to attach a lining:
handsewn skirt flare goblet shape handknitted vest (again, the only thing not so nice here is how the waist band is folded down and sewed)

So gorgeous:

handsewn skirt flare goblet shape handknitted vest

I’m very glad to have a good basic pattern now. I’ll trace the parts on sturdy carton and it will be a go to pattern.

This one is in sturdy canvas so I can use it a lot and use it hard.


Finished: linen skirt with pockets and godets.

skirt with pockets and godets, handdyed indigo linen. sewingskirt with pockets and godets, handdyed indigo linen. sewing

All the linen was handdyed, with indigo, by Lieneke from Wolop Wool Studio. I used shibori techniques to make the patterns.

Nice pockets and shaped waist band:
skirt with pockets and godets, handdyed indigo linen. sewing

Yoke and princess lines to serve my sway back: skirt with pockets and godets, handdyed indigo linen. sewing

skirt with pockets and godets, handdyed indigo linen. sewing skirt with pockets and godets, handdyed indigo linen. sewing

Making the front panel with the pockets. Seen from the WS:
skirt with pockets and godets, handdyed indigo linen. sewing

I took the pattern from the lilac linen trousers (haven’t shown it yet. It’s a remake of these failed trousers which I took to my first sewing lessons and my teacher rescued them) and converted it: – deepened the pockets. I want 7 cm deep from where the lower opening hits the side seam. – took in front by 3 cm (twice) with darts which I folded away, opening up the bottom and giving it a flare. – took in CB by 0,5 cm (twice) but only in the waistband. – cut backpanel in two and flared the bottom, just like the lowest panel on this picture:

Cut precise.

Pattern pieces:

  1. front panel
  2. pocket top side (2)
  3. pocket under side (2)
  4. back panel (2)
  5. side panel back (2)
  6. zip protector
  7. waist band front (2)
  8. waist band back (2)
  9. yoke back (2)
  10. zipper
  11. interfacing for waist band

Thinking about interfacing waist band, I’m no hero with iron on interfacing…


    1. press non stretch band (naadband) onto pocket inside 1,5 cm from the edge (middle of seam)
    2. pin inside pocket onto front-panel, RS together. Sew over naadband, fold, press, topstitch.
    3. attach underside pocket onto innerpocket. sew to inner pocket, treat raw edge. Secure top onto front panel and make sure the top line does not shift.
    4. sew back panels together, press, topstitch, treat raw edge.
    5. sandwich back panel in between yokes. Sew, press, grade seams (keep outer seam the longest because of the top stitching), take triangles out of the longest seam. Topstitch the yoke.
    6. sew the long side seams. Start under where the zipper will be. Fit as is, inside out. Make adjustments if needed.
    7. Reinforce where the pocket opening meets the side seam. Insert zipper. Treat raw seam edges. Topstitch.
    8. give waist bands interfacing. I added plain weave cotton and ran my machine over it in a zig zag fashion. attach inner of waist band to front and back panels. Or perhaps first make one continuous button band (close side seams) and try to fit it to the panels.

    Cutting the godets: skirt with pockets and godets, handdyed indigo linen. sewing

    Fortifying the yoke with unstretchable band. I chose a particular nice piece of linen for the yoke. It was shibori dyed with indigo in a wood grain pattern called Mokume shibori:
    skirt with pockets and godets, handdyed indigo linen. sewing


  1. Grading the inside of the yoke: skirt with pockets and godets, handdyed indigo linen. sewing 
  2. Pockets are part of one continuous piece to strengthen the horizontal part of the skirt, as to prevent dragging across the pockets from side seam to side seam: skirt with pockets and godets, handdyed indigo linen. sewingPart of this fabric will be visible from the right side, right at the pocket openings: skirt with pockets and godets, handdyed indigo linen. sewing
  3. Here I should have seen what became apparent when the skirt was finished the first time: it’s see through. I had to take the skirt apart and add a lining. These are two white pieces I added to the front to prevent see through: skirt with pockets and godets, handdyed indigo linen. sewing 
  4. All in all a very nice skirt, from my own fabric. And another base pattern to use again and again. I have already altered this pattern to a version with flaring back panels instead of godets.

Do have to find a solution for waist bands though. I just cannot marry non-fusible interfacing with a shaped waist band AND understand the sequence of montage.

Skirt-Sew-A-Long Inside Number 23 Finished

A self drafted pattern of a skirt with waist band, zipper at the side, lining, and nice deep pockets. Inspired by the Hollyburn skirt by Sewaholic which is used for the sew-a-long by Inside Number 23 in which I participate with this skirt:
selfdrafted skirt pattern sew-a-long Inside Number 23selfdrafted skirt pattern sew-a-long Inside Number 23

selfdrafted skirt pattern sew-a-long Inside Number 23selfdrafted skirt pattern sew-a-long Inside Number 23

It’s a fitted skirt because I have no hips and no bum. No waist either. I do have a belly. And a sway back (curved lower back). I accounted for all of this in the pattern. Straight skirts are most flattering, with a flare at the hem so I can move my legs. The flare is done with godets in this skirt.

Look how much ease for striding these godets give me. I feel victorious!
selfdrafted skirt pattern sew-a-long Inside Number 23

Using the selvedge as the edge was very handy. Less finishing to do.

Now there’s a nice IKEA print just at the front of my skirt. Also: This skirt is lined.
selfdrafted skirt pattern sew-a-long Inside Number 23

I’m very happy with my skirt. It’s made of sturdy canvas so it can stand my way of living. It is in all the right colours that fit my shirts and this grey vest that I just knitted.
The fabric has a bold print and it will disguise the stains I undoubtely will make on it.

And now I have a good pattern from which I can make multiple skirts. The video tutorials Inside Number 23 posted gave me the courage to make this skirt form beginning to end. French seams in the lining. A kind of lapped exposed zipper. Pinked seam allowances in the canvas.
The only thing I didn’t take from the video’s was a level waist band. That’s for next time.
I did use the zipper to take away the excess width in the waist band. There’s a hook and bar in the waist band.

Onward to other sewing projects!
selfdrafted skirt pattern sew-a-long Inside Number 23

Skirt-a-long: hem, details, not finished

Hem: catch stitch on the hem which uses the selvedge edge of the fabric, blind stitch on the godets which do not. Great tutorial  showing the different stitches and how to start and end with your thread.

Sewing skirt details Ikea gabric
Sewing skirt details Ikea gabric

On the waistband I didn’t follow Inside Number 23’s tip to match the height of the band on both sides of the zipper. I just had too much going on trying to fit in the zipper and the lining and folding all the waist band pieces neatly. Lapped zipper hiding into the pocket:

Sewing skirt details Ikea gabric
I did give the base of the pocket reinforcement.

The inside:
Sewing skirt details Ikea gabric

The zipper hides the selvedge of both the lining and the fashion fabric in just one go.
I have not yet mastered how to fold in the ends of the waist band neatly while sewing. I attached the band to the skirt first, to allow for fitting, which is a different sequence than Inside Number 23 advised.

This band was too sturdy to work easily, what with the horse braid inside and this stiff canvas. I think this might be a good finish for my future sturdy skirts (which I wear a lot) though: just attach an extra piece on top to hide the edges.

The topstitching of the band didn’t work out so well, unfortunately. I love top stitching. But this one is wonky. Probably because of all the layers and mounting the bulk where the pockets meet the waist band.


Put it on!

Sewing skirt: waist band front too wide.

What? waist band too big! how can it be? I fitted before inserting zipper.

back of waist band is 44 cm long, front of band is 47!

91 cm in total. should be 84+wearing ease. Or just 82 at the top.

Pattern pieces are 22 each, 88 in total, and that’s a tad too wide already.

sewn waist band front is 45,5 at the top; 47 at the base.
patternpiece waist band front is 23 (46) at the top; 24,7 (49,4) at the base.

The skirt pattern from which the waist band pattern piece is derived is 22 cm at the top (including a 1 cm dart); 22,8 at the base (including a 1 mm dart)
That’s 42 at the top; 45,4 at the bottom.

The pattern piece is incorrect.
It’s 46 at the top; 49,4 at the base and it should
be 42 at the top; 45,4 at the bottom. That’s 2 x 2 cm too wide. That’s a clue which pattern piece matching just has confirmed.
When making the waist band pattern piece from the skirt pattern and folding away the darts seam allowance was added at the sideseam. But it was already in the skirt pattern.

This is how it should fit:
Sewing skirt: waist band front too wide.

Sideseams are at their proper place, it’s solely the front band that’s too wide.

This is what I have to do to make it look like that:
Sewing skirt: waist band front too wide.

This is how much I need to take out…. that’s a whopping 7 cm.
Sewing skirt: waist band front too wide.

I’m going to see if I can fix it. This zipperside is where the solution has to be since the rest of the waist band is made too sturdy to amend:
Sewing skirt: waist band front too wide.

This is how much needs to go:
Sewing skirt, adjusting wide waist band

It’s doable but it will make the front a-symmetrical:
Sewing skirt, adjusting wide waist band

A-symmetrical but wearable.

Luckily it’s only the front of the waist band. The side seams are at their proper place. So hopefully the only awkwardness will be when I try to put both hands in my pockets and have to stand with a twisted torso. The fabric print will probably distract enough for people to notice the a-symmetry of the pockets. People do not pay attention to that sort of thing anyway.

Skirt-A-Long: waist band and Pippi pincushion

I had a sewing lesson and learned about my preferred waist band: shaped and reinforced with non-iron interlining.
skirt sewalong

For interfacing there’s non-stretching tape which can be laid across the band, in overlapping pieces (yellow band or unconventional stuff like curtain band). Then there’s woven interfacing which can be something like sturdy cotton (twill) or something specifically used in jackets such as horse hair braid. I had never seen it. I like it!

These are my pieces, front and back band:
skirt sewalong


skirt sewalong

What’s that in the background?
skirt sewalong
It’s my new pin cushion!
skirt sewalong
From Dangerous Jane on etsy. Very warmly recommended!

attaching the lining to the skirt:
skirt sewalong
Waist bands at the top.

Adding the waist band to the skirt, here is the lower part after grading:
skirt sewalong

Fold and pin and press before sewing. Making sure everything lies neatly.
skirt sewalong

Skirt-a-long: godets and pockets

My skirt started with straight vertical lines:
Hollyburn sew a long. Front panel

This doesn’t leave much room to stretch the legs. My hem needs flaring otherwise I cannot walk comfortably. I’ve found various option on Pinterest and I’ve gone for godets. One in each side seam.

I cut them first and then I thought about an even hem. The Cutting Class showed me that godets need a round bottom to hang even at the hem.

I’ve now moved the godet on the left side so it can have a round hem. I placed the lowest part on the lowest part of the front panel. Were I to sew the right godet as is it would creep up and look weird.

positioning the godet. left one is correct, right one would've too high in relation to the hem of he front panel. A drafted godet has a roundish bottom.

For the pockets I used the wrong sleeves from the Pink Kitty Blouse. One part of the pockets continues across the front panel. I like it that way: an extra layer for warmth and to reduce wrinkling.

The openings are reinforced with a piece of non-stretchy band.
skirt sewalong


Finished: a sturdy canvas skirt

Sewing skirts, learning to.

Using the same pattern as the Lilac Skirt on the Bias, with the straight pockets I’ve come to love and a VERY sturdy waist band. No lining. Double stitched side seams (lapped seams) with a zipper. A sturdy waist band with a sturdy hook and bar for closing.

Again below the knee.

The waist band is extra sturdy: it has curtain band in it. Talk about non-stretchy sturdy stuff! I sewed it on the inner panel and then topstitched through it from the outer panel.
Sewing skirts

The inside of the waist band takes “roll of cloth” into consideration. I prefer the fold not to be on the outer top of the edge, but just on the inside. I think it’s a neater look from the outside. Inside:
Sewing skirts

When sewing the waist band to the skirt I made a mistake. It doesn’t meet its other end at the same height:

Sewing skirts

Will have to redo one side (at least).

After readjusting the waist band all that had to be done was to attach the hook and bar:

Sewing skirts, learning to.Sewing skirts, learning to.

Not sewn in very neatly because I was done with this waist band and this is a usable garment primarily, not for pretty details. Prior to attaching the hook and bar I reinforced the ends of the waist band by machine stitching and pivoting and stitching some more.

The reinforced pocket openings and the sturdy waist band work like a charm. The sturdy side seams have proven useful too. I wear this skirt with confidence, no matter where I sit down or when I crouch down and put quiet a bit of strain on the seams.

Only one thing I’ve learned after wearing this skirt a couple of times: reinforce the point where the pocket opening meets the side seam:
Sewing skirts, learning to.

And something weird happened during pressing: the black thread melted. I had to restitch some parts of the hem and now the molten bits scratch against my calves when I wear it.Sewing skirts, learning to.

Don’t press too hot. Your cotton, linens and silk fabrics might not care but these polyamide threads do.

Finished: lilac linen skirt cut on the bias.

Tour de Fleeve 2016Tour de Fleeve 2016

Here still in progress, with its waist band not yet turned to the inside.

It’s a straight skirt which flares at the bottom. This is a look that suits me very well as I am a chandelier? a candle? I don’t know. I have no waist and I have no hips.

The pattern is self drafted, inspired by a commercial skirt I have (linen, on the bias) and with my previous self drafted patterns as starting points. I have inserted pockets into the front panel. The inside of the pockets is not on the bias.

The pictures show I have a problem with pointy darts on this skirt. None of the usual measures helped (run the foot as slowly from the fold as you can; shorten the stitch; don’t make a knot). This is because the cause probably lies in the fabric being cut on the bias. It stretches different from fabric cut on the grain.

Things that might work are the use of shrinking thread or to stitch a non-stretch fabric or silk paper together with the dart on the WS.
Or don’t use darts in bias patterns. Just loose them into the side seam. Biased fabric stretches anyway. That’s what I’ll do on a next skirt. My commercial skirt on the bias doesn’t have darts either. A clue.

the skirt:

  • 40 cm wide at the waist
  • 50 cm at the hip
  • proceed a bit straight and then flare.
  • front and back panel are the same. Previous skirts have shown me I don’t care for a slightly lower CF.

I’m now using the basic pattern I’ve devised over the last couple of skirts. In this skirt I placed the front/ back panel 1,5 cm away from the fold, but only at the hem. To give myself a bit more ease around the calves when walking. This skirt is below the knees.

the sewing:

Cut and stay stitch everything.

Add the pockets to the front panel, reinforce the opening with non stretching band.

Temporarily baste the pockets, especially at the waist edge, to prevent skewing.

Sew side seams but only once.

Try for fit. If good: finish side seams: fold to the front and add topstitching. This is a lapped seam? Felled seam? At the pocket I reinforced the side seam. Finishing seams with pinking shears.


has 2×5 cm more width than the skirt

Pressed lining. Sewed the side seams with french seams. Where it meets the zipper I gve it a rolled hem. The lower hem was a rolled hem too.

Now the lining can be hung into the skirt. I pinned it to the waist.

Catch zipper and lining together in the seam allowance of the fashion fabric.

I reinforced the opening of the pocket with a non-stretchy band:
Sewing skirtsSewing skirtsSewing skirts

It has a lapped zipper. I like those.
Sewing skirts

A strange problem occurred during wearing: when walking the skirt swivels around and brings the sideseam to the front. Might have to do with the chiffon lining being tacked down onto one sideseam (the one with the zipper) but not the other.

Yes, I still need to attach a hook and bar. But I’m already wearing this skirt in public 🙂 It wears wonderful, apart from the swiveling. It’s nice and light and a good colour and there is indeed enough room around my legs for fierce striding. The pockets hold up well.

The pattern works well for fabric on the bias. The darts are less pointy then on the first pictures but in a next skirt I will take them out (of the sideseams). Would add more sturdiness to the waist band though. Perhaps a second line of (top) stitching, about 1,5 cm from the top. Catching that non stretching band. It’s just that in previous attemps I have not succeeded in making this neat.

Finished: a straight linen skirt

linnen bloemenrok rechht

The pattern is self-drafted and fit the fabric just about. It’s light summer linen. I added a lining of silk shiffon.
linnen bloemenrok rechht

The side seam is sewn, folded down and sewn again.
linnen bloemenrok rechht

Raw edges of the side seam are then pinked. Lining is shorter than the fashion fabric and has a rolled hem. It’s chiffon silk.
linnen bloemenrok rechht

A handpicked zipper. The sides are uneven on purpose as I needed more wearing ease at the hip but less so at the waist and below the hip:
linnen bloemenrok rechht
After wearing a couple of hours the skirt grew wider and I didn’t need this solution. I even had to put in extra waist darts both at the front and back.

A non-stretching satin band reinfores the waist. It catches both the fashion fabric and the lining and both their edges:
linnen bloemenrok rechht

Same spot with the extra darts, needed after a few hours of wear:
linnen bloemenrok rechht

Zipper shows where I needed more wearing ease and where not. After thought front darts bulge a little.
linnen bloemenrok rechht

New front darts, on top of the old ones. They bulge a bit:
linnen bloemenrok rechht

I’ll get someone to take a picture of me wearing it, it looks quite elegant I think.
I now have a staple pattern for a long skirt that fits my body type. It’s quite slim fitting so very usable for fabric cut on the bias.

finished a lined linen skirt, on the bias

paarse linnen rok
Linnen, cut on the bias.
First picture shows accurate colour.

Waist band, pockets in side seam, lapped zipper in side seam:
paarse linnen rok

Lining with a rolled hem and french seams. Attached at waist band and zipper.
paarse linnen rok

Sideseams sewn, folded flat and sewn again. Finished with pinking shears.
paarse linnen rok

Pockets weirdly low as I tried to stay clear of the zipper. Next time trying to combine the two.
paarse linnen rok

There’s tape in the side seam, to prevent stretching. It has a double function in catching the lining. Later on the waist band is put over these three layers: fabric, lining, band.
Sewing skirtspaarse linnen rok

Everything was staystitched too, as soon as the fabric was cut. Fabric cut on the bias will stretch otherwise.

Lapped zipper, my first.
I’ve worn this skirt a couple of days now and some of the bits need refinishing. The end of the waist band popped loose, for one:
paarse linnen rok

Fabric cut on the bias wears very pleasantly. I want to make more.