Friday, May 27, 2011

Knock-off Anthropologie skirt

I saw this skirt on and love the cute styling.  I don't wear skirts and have no reason to make it.  But I have daughters who are just the right age for some cute stuff like this...

So here we go... First I'll need to adapt the style to something a bit more casual.  It will be used for school, not work, so I need to "casualize" it.  I lowered the waistline and made an elastic facing.  Then I shortened it to above the knee length and turned the button band into a zippered opening.

First, I'm tracing off a pattern my daughter used for a plain elastic waist skirt that she made several months ago.  She used a pattern from the "Sew U" book by Wendy Mullin (designer for Simplicity pattern's Built by Wendy line).  My daughter was very pleased with the fit, but for this skirt, I'll leave the dart shaping in the back, and eliminate the front darts.  They will be drafted into the button band feature and side seams.

Unlike the Anthro skirt, I'll cut this skirt 1 1/2" below the waistline since my daughter pulls her skirts down about this much so it rests on the high hip anyway, and shorten the hem to just above her knee.   I'm starting with a 12" skirt, but added an extra 3".   Here's the draft so far:

Now to add the more difficult details.  I won't be working with the back piece anymore, it's fine the way it is.  The front piece needs those fancy features though.... Here, I transferred one dart to the side seams, and turned the other one into an opening for the zipper.

I think I'll make the button band about 1" wide.  The skirt is small, and so proportionately this should work.  I traced off the top portion of the dart to the point where I want the button band to end and made it 1" wide.  I also drew the button band onto the skirt front to make the next few steps a little easier to visualize.

To make the gathers that fall from the bottom of the button band, I drew 3 parrallel lines going from hem to the bottom of the band, and cut the sections out.  Then, uh.... how do I explain this... well, this is what I did...

At this point, I realized that I could easily attach the side front piece to the end of the gathered part thereby eliminating a seam in the gathers, so I taped them together. I'm wondering if there's enough gathering here... but I don't want to have too much bulk at the end of the button band. 

Then I got stuck... So I made a paper model to try and figure out how I was going to put the pieces together.  Here's it is:

Sorry, it's sideways.  I couldn't figure out how to turn it the right way. 

Anyway, I traced off facing pieces using the patterns, folding out the darts and adding seam allowances where necessary.  I also cut a strip a little over twice as long and 1 1/4" wide for the little gathery bit on the side of the zipper opening. 

Hmmm....  I'm thinking about making that top button practical instead of decorative. I'll need something to sew it to, so I added a facing(?) under the bottom zipper piece. Now... off to sewing. 

It was difficult to sew the zipper/gathers/ skirt bits together, but using my paper model, I figured out the sequence of putting it together.  I can't tell you how I put it together, not because it's a secret, more like I don't remember.  I just kept going and couldn't stop or it would break my sewing "train of thought." 
Here's some pictures of the details:

And here's the finished skirt with a body in it.  It's perfect for her spunkiness.  And she loves it.  Thats why we sew!