The wonderful ladies of Simple Simon & Co host an amazing charity-sew event every summer, Skirting the Issue. The cause is girls in foster care, the goal is to donate as many skirts as possible to those girls. The skirts are a little to help them feel loved, something they can call their own, something made for them. For my part, I’m offering up a new tutorial and pattern that I call This Way-That Way Skirt.
Based on one of my very, very first tutorials I ever did, the Domesticated Skirt for women, but with some modifications that make it better than ever and perfect for girls.
This Way-That Way is made with knits so it’s comfortable and easy to wear, especially great for girls with sensory issues. There is elastic in the waist to help with fit, so even if it comes untied, it’s not going anywhere. It’s super easy to cut out and to sew. Two rectangle pattern pieces and a few straight lines, but with the wrap/tie-front and contrast fabric it’s interesting and unique.
And best of all? She can wear it this way…
And because it uses rectangular cuts of fabric, you can get quite a few skirts out of very little yardage. In fact, if you use at least a 54” width fabric, you will be able to get two (or more, depending on sizes you make) skirts from your fabric. One to keep and one to donate! And the skirts sew up so fast with no difficult or tricky techniques. Easy to dress, fun to wear, simple to sew, and great to give! Let’s make some This Way-That Way Skirts!
I have included the full tutorial in this post, using a cutting guide for the pattern pieces. If you would prefer to use a PDF pattern, with printed pattern pieces, I have that available also. It is $3 for the download and includes the full instructions in the PDF. You can access that HERE (affiliate link), or use the cutting guide in this post for free.
Recommended Fabric: medium- to heavy-weight knits
Sizes 18m-8: TWO 1/2 yards of coordinating or contrasting knits (1 yard total fabric needed)
Sizes 10-16: TWO 3/4 yards of coordinating or contrasting knits (1.5 yards total fabric needed)
1 yard 3/4” elastic
1 yard ribbon or twill tape
Cut out skirt panels, one each from each of your two knit fabrics. Cut out two strips of elastic, following Elastic Cutting Guide, cut two 11 inch lengths or ribbon or twill tape.
Fold skirt panel in half with short ends matching (fold along the width). Mark center top.
You can use a marking pen, tailors’ chalk, or even a very small snip with scissors to make the mark.
Repeat for other skirt panel.
Open skirt panel. Using marked center as guide, fold the panel short ends to the center. Mark the fold at the top.
You should now have three markings on the top of your panel: 1/4 of the width, center, 3/4 width.
Repeat for other panel.
On one of your panels AT THE TOP (where the markings are), place the ribbon/twill tape at the side apx 1.5 inches from the top of the panel, one ribbon on each side AT THE TOP.
The raw edge of the ribbon/twill tape will match up with the raw edge of the fabric, with the length of the ribbon/twill tape pointing into the center of the panel.
Baste in place
Use Fray Check to seal the unsewn edges of the ribbon/twill tape (not pictured)
Using your top markings as a guide, stitch the elastic to the TOP of the panels using a zig-zag stitch, 1/2 inch from the top.
You want the elastic to start at the 1/4 mark (far left marking) to the 3/4 mark (far right marking), stretching the elastic slightly as you sew to make it extend the length needed.
Right sides together, line up your skirt panels. Match short raw edges
Sew side seams, catching basted edges of ribbon/twill tape inside the seam.
Make sure to keep length (non-basted part) ribbon/twill tape out of the way! You can pin the ribbon/twill tape to the body of one of the panels to make sure it doesn’t get caught in the side seams except for the basted edges
Fold the top of the skirt down over the elastic apx 1.5 inches, and all along the circumference of the skirt top.
The ribbon/twill tape should now be at the very top of the skirt waist, on the outside.
Sew the waist, stretching when you do the lengths where the elastic is sewn.
You don’t want any puckers as you sew, but when you release the elastic area from the stretch, the middle of both panels will gather slightly. You want this so that there is stretch in the waist for easy dressing and comfortable wear.
Use a ruler to mark apx 6 inches down from the edge of elastic on both sides of one panel.
Make sure your panels are lined up as perfectly as you can, with the elastics in the same spot on both panels. Pin panels to each other, if needed, to keep them matched.
Sew through BOTH panels at the same time, straight down from about 1/4” in on the elastic, following your 6 inch marking from above step.
Make sure you do both the right and left sides of the elastic.
Or flip it over and tie it to be worn that way!
You can also get the skirt pattern I made for a previous Skirting the Issue, the Playground Skirt HERE
And the instructions for the original Domesticated Skirt HERE.