Saturday, 13 June 2015

Self-drafted Japanese Tree skirt

In the lead up to Me-Made-May I had a creative sense of urgency to complete any unfinished projects and start those ideas that have been knocking around in my head for a while.
One such garment started way back in 2013 when I purchased this lovely piece of Japanese Cotton from Ray Stitch that was in the sale for £10 - yeah!

A funky bold Japanese print from Ray Stitch.
With the bold and brilliant print I wanted to keep as much of it as possible so decided to make a classic gathered skirt with a straight waistband.

I cut a long rectangle section for the waistband first, then cut the fabric in half so I could match the pattern around the width of the skirt. I sewed these two sections together after inserting two side seam pockets - I love a pocket!

Pockets pinned ready for sewing.
I stitched the waistband together to make a loop then folded it over.
I chose to keep the front section of the waistband flat and strengthened it with interfacing. The back section houses the elastic - you can see how I finished the elastic in the photo below.

The next step was to run gathering stitches around the top of the skirt section and pull them to create even gathers around the skirt.

Finally I pinned the gathered skirt onto the waistband and top stitched it all into place. Oh, forgot to mention its also lined with a simple white poly-cotton because the Japanese cotton is a little see-through. 

The inside of the waistband with interfaced front section and reinforced sections to stitch the elastic onto.
The completed skirt!
I wore it in the first week of May when I attended a Tatty Devine workshop in Brick Lane. I made a fab necklace as a birthday present for my friend Mel who has recently moved to San Francisco - I hope she likes it!

Fan workshop at Tatty Devine Brick Lane in May
I am still not sure if a full gathered skirt suits me - I usually prefer silhouettes with less fabric volume, I just couldn't face cutting into this lush print even though it was a bargain £10!

What do you think?
Have you sewn something that you are not sure suits you?


  1. I seem to constantly making things that don't suit at the moment. However, I think this shape does suit you, I just wonder if it could be a bit shorter. I know this might eat into the print, but it's just a thought. Totally excited for our meet up!

    1. Yes maybe you are right it might look less frumpy if it was shorter.
      I also thought I might just unpick and make a top with the fabric?!

  2. The fabric is really lovely! The skirt turned out beautiful! I do think that it suits you, but I think it would look even better if you wore it in the waist and not on the hips. Plus, that would make it shorter :) Your necklaces look so great!

    1. Hi Katharina - Yes, I should take a little ease out of the elastic and wear it on my waist and that would indeed make it shorter. Good idea x

  3. It is a lovely fabric and I like how you've got a fun fabric for the lining too! I was also thinking you might prefer the shape if it was sitting nearer your waistline. Another/additional option although it would require a lot more unpicking could be to use pleats instead of gathers. Hope your friend likes the necklace!

    1. Hi Alex - you might be right about pleats but I'm not sure if I have the energy at the moment. Maybe at the end of term when the school exam and exhibition season is over I can enjoy the re-fashion x

  4. Well I think it is lovely. I don't think I would have wanted to chop into anything so beautiful either.

    1. Thanks Louise. Yes the print is scrumptious!!