Wednesday, March 14, 2012

taking it easy-an ode to the elastic waist skirt

Last week, I was recovering from having all four of my wisdom teeth yanked, and forced to lay on the couch for hours on end.  Sounds great to some, but I have itchy hands.  I can't just be still.  After a whole day of painkillers and Dr. Who, I got stir crazy.  I couldn't look at any more blogs without the pang of jealousy-people are creating and I'm not, wahhhhhhh!  I had to make something, but it couldn't be too strenuous.  (I fancy myself to have a pretty high pain threshold, but damn, at 35, getting your wisdom teeth out HURTS).

Enter the elastic waist skirt.

We've all made this item on the journey to zipperland, and mostly it's viewed as simplistic, amateur, even frumpy.  In my obsession quest to improve my sewing skills, sometimes I get hung up on techniques-trying new ones, or making a piece more complicated than it has to be.  The elastic waist is a stepping stone, and I'll admit, I've raised my nose at it, but, I'm changing my tune, and gonna sing it's praises...

-it's easy (duh)
-it's quick
-great stashbuster
-you can eat loads of food without hurting (my favorite, hehe)

These are all loveable traits, no?

Decision made, I thumbed through my handy dandy fabric index and picked a fabric.  Time to stash bust.

In the past, elastic waist skirts, for me at least, have produced an unwanted "pooch" in the front-not pretty.  Luckily, I happened upon a genius tutorial, that eliminates that yuck bump, found here, by making the side waistband flat instead of gathered.

I pretty much followed the tutorial exactly, except she makes her skirt as a straight rectangle, and I wanted a smidge of an A-line.  So, I cut two pieces, 24" for the waist each, tapering down to 26" for the hem.  Per her instructions, the pockets are supposed to be sewn in 4" below the waistline.  With the A-line shape, I had to taper the pockets as well, or they wouldn't line up with the top.  When the waistband is sewn the top of the pocket is caught in the seam, so it doesn't flop around.

still aligned 4" from the top, just slightly tapered at sides

A couple of Dr. Who's later, and all done!  Oh, and I got this fabric, about 1 1/2 yards, at a vintage store for about $5 ages ago.  Everything else came from my stash.

throw on a tank or t-shirt-good to go!

pockets are always good

see the flat part? and the pocket tacked down by the waistband?  

All in all, very easy make, satisfied my need to finish something, and I wore it to the great fabric district adventure on the weekend.  It holds up quite well while shopping :-)  

I could see myself making quite a few of these for summer, doing a little stash busting on fabrics that might not be right for other garments (i'm looking at you, quilting cotton).  Cause, in my day to day life, errands, walking the dog, etc, I'm not going to get gussied up, I want to be comfy, but cute, too!

In wisdom teeth news, today's the last day of antibiotics, tomorrow I can have some wine!  Happy dance, happy dance!


  1. SO CUTE! Looks like a fun summer skirt. I want one!

  2. I hope, you´ll feel better! Thanks for the tutorial, it´s very useful. I never have sewed a elastic waist skirt, I would sew one!

  3. I love elastic skirts. Super cute.
    On you next voyage to the fabric district-I need you be on the look out for some fun jersey knit for me, pretty please. I have decided to live my summer in strapless maxi dresses. I can throw on a cardi or jean jacket and be ready for work.
    Love you! Miss you!

  4. Thanks ladies, and I am feeling much better :)

    Leah, yes, I will look out. Any particular colors/patterns? Funny, I want all maxi skirts right now, I just want anything easy!

  5. I pinned a super easy maxi skirt. Yep, maxi skirts and strapless dresses are my wardrobe. I would refer to have solids and stripes. But if you find anything else fun and cheap I will take it.