Thursday, May 10, 2012

Sweet simple stretchy skirt

Its Thursday, and we're joining Elizabeth's party again.  If you enjoy sewing and some cozy quiet reading, grab a seat and join the fun!

Last week I encouraged you to s-t-r-e-t-c-h out of your comfort zone in your sewing.

I took it literally :).

Found some great stretch knit in my girls' favorite color - pink - at Fabricland, at 50% off.  My dad would laugh because he always says "50% off of a 100% increase" tee hee.  Well I bought several meters because I loved the thicker-weight of it and the fact that it had a little spandex in it.

I envisioned some yoga pants, a yoga skirt, a hoodie and maybe a tank top?  Good sturdy play clothes!

I love an A-line skirt. I made my own pattern, its so easy and takes only minutes. You can, too. Interested?  I also made sure to use sewing-maching needles designed for stretch knits, and to decrease my pressor-foot pressure when I sew (if you can).  This helps the knit move more easily.  The other tip with knits, is NOT to use a straight-stitch; it will not allow a stretch.  Many machines have a "stretch" stitch that looks similar to a zig-zag.  If you don't have one, use a narrow zig-zag and you'll be fine.  I also find my dual feed helpful; a walking foot would do the same thing.  Use normal, all-purpose polyester thread.

Instead of a gathered elastic waistband, I wanted a yoga-style band.  This is an easy waistband and faster to do than elastic!  Cut a band the length of the waist measurement, (less 1/2" if you want a snugger fit), and about 8-9 " wide. Sew short ends together, to make a circle.  Fold it in half so raw edges meet, wrong sides together.  Attach to the skirt waist, stretching it to fit as you sew.  I think it would be fun to add a knit yoga waistband to a cotton skirt!  Why not? I'll put that on the list!

I added a ruffled band, not too wide, and not too ruffled.  A little less than 1.5x the bottom width.  Most ruffles are at least 2x the width to get a good ruffled effect.  With a "thicker" fabric like this though, too much ruffle will stick out funny and won't drape right. 

Can you see the decorative topstitching? When you have a simple skirt, all one color and a classic line, its fun to use some of those decorative stitches on your machine for topstitching.  You know, the ones you never use?  Ya those.  This stitch is suited particularly to knits, it looks like an overlock. 

She loves it!

Pants for Alexa.  She is so picky about fit. I cut these from a pair of stretchy pants she owns.  Added the same yoga waistband.  Matching hoodie in progress on the table :).  
If you've never sewn with knits before, don't be afraid to try it! I'd suggest you start with a medium-weight, as opposed to a thin slinky stretchy for the first time. 

And on to the READ in thREAD.

In Greg and Jennifer Willits' new book, 'The Catholics Next Door,' Greg makes mention of Fatherless, by Brian Gail, as one of the most incredible Catholic novels he's ever read.  I don't have a lot of Catholic fiction and ya know, we all need a good juicy escape sometimes, right?  Something that's still within the confines of modesty, right?  So, trusting in dear Mr. Willits, I downloaded it to my handy dandy kindle and I have to tell you, its quite a page-turner!  The author uses several characters within three Catholic families who encounter real-life moral and ethical dilemmas while trying to live out their faith.  They turn to 'Father Sweeny' for advise, but he offers them Care Bear Catechism and Catholic Lite.  Father Sweeny needs to step up ...  Brian Gail touches on all the 'big' spiritual battles we are facing right now (contraception, corporate America corruption, etc). In essence, this is historical fiction; it paints a very accurate picture of what has happened since the 1960s with the Catholic Church in America.  Lots of great reviews on Amazon.

Hey Mr. Willits, thanks for the tip!  I'm paying it forward!



  1. Fabulous!! They look soo comfy and I love the color! I never seem to find a good stretchy cotton.

    Sewing a swimsuit isn't really much different than what you just did here :-) Be sure to use a microtex or stretch needle. Before I sewed my first suits, I did a quick google search and ended up at the blog They have some great tips and have added several more swim-suit sewing posts in the years since I first found them. So my suit sewing tip is to read their posts on the subject :-) and make sure your fabric stretches BOTH ways ;-)

    thanks for visiting me & Happy Stitching!!

  2. I love the skirt! Color, fabric, shape, everything!

    I find it hard to find a nice knit fabric.

    The book sounds intriguing. I don't really read much Catholic fiction.

  3. Very nice! I really like the yoga-style waistband! My needle and thREAD post is here:

  4. It looks very nice- you should do a picture heavy tutorial on the yoga waistband (with decorative stitch illustrated) or something ;)

    1. I'm going to try the knit yoga waistband with a cotton skirt this week. I'll take lots of pictures along the way!


I'd love to hear from you! Let's talk!