I’ve been looking for a few cute skirts to add to my wardrobe for a while now. And by “cute,” I mean “comfortable,” “pretty,” and “fun.” On my last trip to Kohl’s, I found absolutely no skirts anywhere in the store. As in zip, zero, nada, zilch. Not a single one – unless you count the less-than-appropriate short skirts in the little girl’s section, which I don’t.
Being not-easily deterred and knowing that I have sewing ability (if not a passion to sew – I sew for functionality, not for fun), I realized a trip to Joann was in order. I found a few different fabric selections and stood in line to have them cut, only to see a flaw in one of them. So I put that one back – if the cutting clerk had offered me a steep discount, I would’ve taken it and worked with the flaw, but I wasn’t about to pay full-price for fabric that needed extra work. The work is already inherent in sewing! I also picked up some knit (interlock) fabric for a yoga band, after my friend Roen suggested a yoga-banded skirt. I found a very helpful tutorial at Sew Mama, Sew and realized that a yoga band on a skirt would do several things for me: 1) be MUCH easier than sewing a casing and stringing elastic through the casing. I hate that part of sewing. 2) be more comfortable – I have a high-waist and sometimes an elastic band, even when it’s big on me, can be uncomfortable when I’m driving. 3) be super cute and much cooler. The knit fabric is a cotton-spandex knit, so it will absorb moisture (read: sweat) that comes from living in the desert.
Armed with washed & dried fabric, I went about with creative folding to get a circle skirt out of a little over four yards of fabric and assembled. The yoga band is easy, as per the instructions in that tutorial – it was done inside of 5 minutes with a ladder-stitch, which is the closest equivalent I have to a serger. I attached the side seams and began work on the hem (I double-hemmed it), which seemed to take nearly forever. I love the look and feel of circle skirts; I don’t love how much fabric there is to hem. But whatever.
Once I had the bottom hemmed (twice), I moved on to attaching the yoga band. Yoga bands are tall (about 14″, unfolded), so they can readily be folded down. It still seemed bulky to have a 7″-wide band for a waist, but it holds the weight of the skirt and all the fabric, without elastic, so it has to be somewhat substantial. I stretched the knit fabric of the yoga waist to fit the designed waist of the skirt and continued to pull the fabric taut as I stitched (again with a ladder-stitch so that it would be more flexible than a straight-line of stitching). I trimmed the excess fabric to reduce bulk in the seam and called it a night.
The waistband is somewhat bunched in the image because I don’t have a skirt hanger and conscripted a suit-pant hanger in to service. But you can see how the skirt hangs and wearing it right now, I can tell you how amazingly comfortable and significantly cooler it is over a traditional elastic waistband on a circle skirt.
I’m pleased with the results and will tackle a second skirt today. And just for the record, when a pattern says “One Hour” on it, the pattern-designers assume that you won’t have an 8 year-old helper. Because if you do, your time will easily be doubled. Just sayin’.