I don't have a dressform, so I've always assumed that draping isn't something I can do. That's probably true for dresses, but apparently I can drape a skirt, because I did!
I've had this skirt planned for over a year. I saw the fabric on Emma One Sock in January of 2013, and placed my one and only order there right away. Linda carries GORGEOUS fabrics, but sadly they're usually out of my price range. Anyway, as soon as I saw the fabric online, it was screaming "hi-low skirt with elastic waistband and rolled hem!!!" at me. It was very vocal. I ordered 2.5" wide black elastic from Hart's Fabrics (no longer available, but similar here and here) for the waistband, and then...it sat. All last summer. Tragic. The guilt finally caught up with me this month and I whipped up this little beauty in two days. What took me so long?!
As you can see, it's not a hi-low skirt, and that's because the reverse side isn't that pretty. Instead I went with a maxi skirt with a side slit. Ooo-la-la!
It was windy when I took these photos, which helped!
To drape the skirt, I basically just wrapped it around myself and pinned it. There is only one seam and that's the one above the slit.
This is my "AB, what are you doing over there?" face.
The fabric is a drapey rayon knit print. It's the perfect weight. It's light but also opaque, so I didn't need to line it.
I think I'm developing "mom arms". Toddlers are heavy!
The selvedge edges are used at the slit, so I didn't have to finish the edges. The print went all the way to the selvedge, so that strategy won't work with every fabric, but it did here!
This shot shows the print the best. I know, it's kind of crazy, but that's why it's paired with a basic black tank top.
The advantage of draping it myself is that I could end the slit in the exact place I wanted. Yay for sewing your own clothes!
Here you can see wide elastic waistband a bit better.
I gathered the top edge of the fabric on my serger before joining it to the elastic. If you've never tried gathering with your serger, then let me be the first to tell you that it is a.maze.ing. Turn up your differential feed all the way, disengage your knife, and ZOOM in two seconds the whole piece is gathered evenly.
The elastic was cut to fit my waist and then zig-zagged together. I simply butted the edges and widened my ZZ to catch both ends. This finish is much less bulky than overlapping.
Then I used my coverstitch machine to sew the gathered skirt to the elastic. If you look back at the close-up above, the right side of the elastic had horizontal parallel rows on it. The wide two-needle setup on my coverstitch perfectly fit in two of those rows, so the stitching is basically invisible on the outside. Above, you can see the inside, or the reverse side of the coverstitch. Since the coverstitch stretches, it's perfect for this kind of stretchy waistband/knit skirt combo. If you don't have a coverstitch, you could do the same thing with a zig-zag stitch.
Now for something not so pretty: the sewing on the slit. I slightly overlapped the fabric, pinned it, and then handsewed it closed. It was meant to be basting, but it was working well so I kept the long stitches, and went back over with shorter stitches.
In retrospect, this probably could have been done by machine, but I wasn't that sure how it would turn out so I did it by hand.
The skirt is finished with a rolled hem, sewn on my serger. I used Maxi-Lock Stretch Thread in the lower looper to help "fill in" the rolled hem, which is something I've read in many books and saw in my Craftsy class on serging. The only tricky bit was finding something to do with the thread tails, since the hem isn't a complete circle. I ended up handsewing them on the back.
Is there any interest in a tutorial for this skirt? I didn't take pictures as I was draping/pinning/sewing, but I could make another and do a tutorial if anyone wants to make their own! Let me know in the comments :)