Back in March I traveled to New Orleans to attend a great wedding (I’ll show you the dress I wore soon) and I took the opportunity to visit one of my favorites stores in the whole world: Trashy Diva. They carry their own retro clothing line, with 40s and 50s influences, exactly what I like to wear. Actually when we entered the shop my husband said to me “Oh I see… Everything here looks like stuff you’ve made..!”. I guess my taste in clothing is consistent!
By the way, they also carry this great cropped cardigan, that is perfect with high-waisted skirts and dresses. It’s the exact same one as the “Dream of the Crop” from Modcloth, but in many more colorways and slightly cheaper. I already have it in black, navy and pink, and I’m seriously considering ordering a few more given how much I wear them.
Anyway, visiting this store is always very inspiring, especially this year because gingham, chambray and seersucker were featured prominently in the collections, and I love these fabrics. The issue is that Trashy Diva’s garments are pretty pricey; it’s hard to justify spending $88 in a simple gathered skirt when you sew, no matter how pretty it looks among all the matching garments. So I made one instead!
I happened to have in my stash two yards of Robert Kaufman black and white gingham. I had ordered it to make a blouse: I wanted to sew a mix of Cardamome and Datura in a large-scale gingham, which is actually pretty hard to find. The website didn’t mention the weight of the fabric so I took a risk, and it didn’t work out at all. It’s a heavy and rigid fabric, which is great for a skirt because it gives enough volume to be able to skip the petticoat, but the blouse was not to be.
Making the skirt was really straightforward: I cut a strip of 4 inches * (waist measurement + 1 1/4”) for the waistband, and cut the rest into three identical panels of the fabric’s width (each one 22” high). I could have used only two panels, as I did for my flamingo skirt, but I wanted more volume so I went with three. I interfaced half of the waistband, sewed the panels together, gathered them to fit the waistband and sewed them together, then I added an invisible zip in the back, folded the waistband and topstitched to finish it. Unlike with the flamingo skirt, no hand-sewing was required, so this was a really quick project!
With the three panels, the skirt has a lot of volume and looks good without a petticoat, but the side seams are somewhere towards the front. It’s not actually a problem because they are completely hidden by the pattern matching at the seams. The only issue I have is that with such a heavy fabric and with so many gathers, there is a lot of bulk at the seam allowance in the waistband. The bottom of the waistband is very thick, while the top is pretty light (with only two layers). It is a little strange to wear but it is not that noticeable so I’m okay with it.
I’m really happy with this skirt, and I like the large print more than the tiny print of the Trashy Diva skirt. This weekend I’m finishing a short-sleeve Mélilot in chambray and they are going to look so cool together! 🙂
Gathered gingham skirt
Gathered skirt without a pattern
Robert Kaufman Gingham from Harts Fabric