Sunday, September 26, 2010

Yoga Skirt - also known as hiking skirt or roll hem skirt

This skirt is so easy, and so comfortable. I go hiking in it - the roll top sits nicely on the hips, while not having any lumps that can dig into your hips with the waist strap. I know what you're all thinking - you hike in a skirt?! - and most of the people I hike with have expressed that same opinion. But, I'm far more comfortable in skirts, and they give me a great range of movement. The only time that they are a problem is when I go hiking in Namadgi National Park, which is just south of Canberra, Australia, and is full of tea tree. For those of you who don't know, tea tree plants are covered in thorns. For these occasions, I carry a pair of pants.

I based my original version of this skirt (now very dirty, mainly from sitting on logs that had been burnt in bushfires) on a skirt I purchased from Global Girlfriend, the Organic Super Sash Skirt. I love this skirt, it's so comfy and wonderful. But, the knot at the front makes it impractical for hiking. So, I altered the waistband into a roll top (yoga) hem, and it's perfect.

This skirt can also double as a dress, but I rarely wear it that way.

This pattern is designed for stretch fabric. I use one way stretch fabric, and cut the pieces to make sure that the stretch goes around my body. I use a piece of fabric about 1 1/2 metres long, and 150cm wide.

Okay, so down to making the skirt.

Firstly, you will need to create a pattern. Take a measurement around your waist of where you want the skirt to sit, and halve it. (My skirt sits on my hip bones, you know, the actual pointy bone bit, so I use that measurement.) This is the top of the skirt. Now, times that measurement by two and a half (2 1/2). This is the measurement of the lower hemline. Now, you will need how long you want the skirt to be. My skirt sits just below my knees.

Now, make up your pattern. The skirt is the same front and back, and is shaped like a trapezoid.

Cut two of these.

For the roll top, you need a square of your waist measurement. Cut one of these.

You should now have three pieces: Front, Back, and Waist.

Now, sew the side seams of your skirt front and back, with right sides together. You can either use an overlocker (serger), or any stretch stitch on your sewing machine.

Fold the square in half, and sew the long edge closed. The stretch should now go with the short edge, and the non stretch direction should be along the long edge.

Turn your skirt right side out, and fold your waist band in half, wrong sides together, so that you get a tube.

Pin the wrong side of the skirt to the waist band. Sew the waist together. The seam should be on the right side of your skirt, because the waist band will fold down to cover it.

You may have to stretch the waist slightly to make the two seams line up. This will make the seam slightly ripply, but that's okay.

Now, hem the skirt. I simply overlock around the bottom, although you may prefer to do a proper folded hem.

I know that the waist looks really long, but once you fold it down, it looks far more normal.

Now, your skirt is ready to wear. Yay!

My collection of roll top skirts (so far).

Happy sewing!

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