Going with the Denim theme, I’m starting with this pair of jeans from Scope in Lewisham (£4). They are a nice dark, even colour with a little bit of stretch.
I’m planning on making a denim skirt. Not your ordinary, run of the mill denim skirt, but something a bit more fancy. A sectioned pencil skirt with mini-peplums at the sides.
Here’s a brief description of how to draft this flattering shape.
If you don’t have a skirt block, you may find this video helpful.
Note that my darts point slightly outwards whereas on the video they point straight down. Not really a big deal, but if you want your skirt to match mine exactly, better make them point out a bit like in the picture below. Also, this block has no ease, because I want a tight fitting skirt and my denim is a little stretchy.
Next thing to do was to take a little off the hem to give us a tight fitting shape. I took off 2cm at the hem from both sides and redrew my side curves.
Then, divide your skirt into sections (red lines below), using the dart legs as a guide but making a nice curve.
Then you can rub out your construction lines to reveal your four sections. Cut them out, or trace them off if you want to add seam allowances at this stage.
To draw the mini-peplum, take your side back and side front pieces and line them up along the waistline so that the curves match up. Then spread them apart by a few centimetres, depending on how much you want your peplum to stick out (how exaggerated a shape do you want?). I only want a slight flare, so I separated mine around 3cm, but you could easily separate more for a peplum that sticks out more. You can then trace off your peplum shape, making it as long as you want (mine is 18cm). Note that your peplum piece is probably not symmetrical.
Of course you also need a waistband; because it’s just a rectangle I didn’t bother drawing a pattern for that, just cut it out.
When I placed my pieces on my jeans, it soon became clear that there wasn’t going to be enough denim to make the whole thing. So I had to enlist some rather lovely African wax print fabric with prints of leaves on it in a co-ordinating colour. I am rather fond of this material, but it’s quite thin. I therefore underlined all the non-denim pieces with leftover black cotton sateen from last week’s stripes project.
Here are my pieces. The side panels are wax print fabric, the front and back are denim. There was only one part of the jeans that was big enough for the entire front panel, so cutting was a little tricky!
There wasn’t much left of the jeans but I may make the scraps into a matching top of some sort at some point.
The mini-peplums are lined with the wax print fabric. Sew the long curved line first, then turn and press, pulling the lining a couple of millimetres to the inside so it doesn’t show. You can then treat these lined pieces as normal.
Here it is during assembly.
The centre back has an invisible zip which was salvaged from an old garment. The tape is dark blue/purple, but when sewn in I noticed the pull is black. Grr!
I didn’t draft a vent, just left a slit in the back for walking purposes. I actually topstitched around it, and around the hem, sadly no photo of that though.
The final step is attaching the waistband. Mine is denim on the outside, wax fabric on the inside.
I left long tabs at the end of the waistband so they would overlap.
Because I don’t like the look of my home made buttonholes (I am not very good at them), I put the buttonhole on the inside tab, and the button on the inside of the outside tab, so it buttons up towards the inside. A little tricky to get in and out of, but it’s pretty much hidden from the outside.
Here’s how it looks on. It’s intended to be a summer skirt, but the weather here in London is not co-operating AT ALL. So I only have indoor pictures right now… sorry.
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