So the recent slowdown in sewing, knitting and blogging can be directly attributed to the fact that I am pregnant! Due with baby #3 in late March. All is going well so far but between quite awful morning sickness (thankfully mostly over), exhaustion and having two older kids, a household and working three days a week (at the moment) – well, my plate is pretty full!
One fun discovery has been this skirt that I made last summer – like a year ago. The pattern is Simplicity 2195 (pattern reviews here) and the striped cotton I bought from Rathdowne Fabrics a long time ago, planning to make a pleated skirt from it. This was actually much more of a pain to sew than it looks, mostly because I had to grade the pattern up a few sizes and I ended up tracing off four skirt panels (they are all the same) to try and get the chevron pattern layout right on the fabric. Because of the irregular stripe pattern it was impossible to get all the stripes to line up, so I decided that matching the pink stripe was most important.
Despite taking in the waistband and side seams, this skirt still turned out a bit big for comfort last summer, and it kept slipping down onto my hips. I do really like the knit waistband treatment, even when not pregnant, it’s so comfortable and you do see it quite a bit in RTW, though more often plus sized styles, or styles aimed at a more grown-up demographic. Well now that I’m pregnant I’m quite happy to have a skirt that sits low on the hips so this wadder has been salvaged.
I have also recently had a big wardrobe clear out and found a bunch of skirts that I wasn’t wearing pre-pregnancy and decided to convert them to maternity skirts, my maternity wardrobe being pretty lacklustre.
Enter Kwik Sew 3362 (sadly out of print) which is perhaps my favourite skirt pattern of all time, I’ve made it at least three times. This denim version was fairly recent.
I modelled the waistband panel on my favourite RTW maternity skirt, which I wore to death last pregnancy but sadly this time is a bit too tight and is also a bit short, which was fine with leggings but not so great with bare legs.
The waistband is deeper at the front and is made from a double layer of cotton-lycra jersey with side seams.
My conversion method was pretty basic. I put the skirt on (side zipper didn’t do up all the way) and marked with chalk about where the waistband should sit. I then cut the skirt 1cm above this mark, evening things up as I went. I then ran a line of stitching around the new seam line to prevent stretching and zig zag finished the raw edge. I also lazily just cut through the zipper and zig zagged on top of it rather than unpicking and removing it, which would have been the slower and nicer thing to do. I was after instant gratification here.
I then drafted up a front and back waistband based on measuring my RTW skirt. The back panel was 22cm x 50cm, for a 10cm deep folded band with 1cm seam allowances. The front panel I cut on the fold, 25cm wide (so 50cm unfolded) and 30cm (folded 15cm) deep at the centre and 22cm (folded 11cm) at the side seams.
The front panel. The waistband turned out a bit big but because I had side seams it was really easy just to run in the sides once I’d tried it on. You do need a decent amount of negative ease to hold your skirt up. I tend just quartered the skirt and waistband and sewed the waistband on, stretching quite aggressively as I sewed to make the waistband fit skirt. On this version I didn’t bother neatening the edges together with a zig zag stitch but for the next skirt I did. That’s it!
It was super easy and the skirt has been very comfortable and has had a lot of wear already. If the skirt was very unfitted at the hip I would probably have need to add elastic (which would be quite easy to do – unpick one waistband seam, sew a casing and insert elastic), but with a fitted skirt it was unnecessary.
In fact I was so happy I went off and converted a RTW Laura Ashley linen flared skirt. This one will be useful for work.
I might even convert more!