Corseted Skirt Tutorial, Part 1

When I signed up for the Over 30 Geezer Swap, I didn’t know that I would be so ‘challenged’ in the project that I was going to create… a corseted, patchwork, broomstick style skirt. Since there doesn’t seem to be a pattern out there, I decided to make my own – and thought that I would share a mini-tutorial with you for those who are interested in making their own:

1) Measure yourself. It’s important to accurately measure your waist and hip size since these numbers will determine how you will cut your material.

2) Divide your hip measurement in half, then add your seam allowance and 5″ for the width of the material. This will be your back waistband – cut two from your material.
For example: For a 34″ waist; divide by 2 to get 17. Add 1/4 seam allowances on both sides to get 17 1/2 x 5″ rectangles.

3) Determine how large of an opening you want to your corseted area to have. I went with 3″. I subtracted that number from the divided hip measurement (17), added seam allowances and 5″ for the width of the material. Cut two pieces with this measurement – these will be your front pieces.
For example: For a 34″ waist and a skirt with a 3″ opening you would subtract 17-3 to get 14. Add the seam allowances in to get 14 1/2″, with a 5″ width. Your rectangles would measure 14 1/2″ x 5″.

4) Since the skirt isn’t really designed to be cinched and closed, I decided to add a panel that fits where the front and back are joined. I cut this approximately 2″ longer than the opening area and add 5″ to the width. With right sides together, sew along 3 edges, turn right side out, and press. Set aside.
For example: For a 3″ opening, you would add 2 inches to make a 5 x 5″ square.

5) You’ll need to make loops for your skirt to hold the ribbon (I made 8). Cut a strip 1 1/2″ wide by 20″. Fold in half, right sides together and sew using a 1/4″ seam allowance. Turn right side out and press. Cut into 2″ segments and set aside.

6) With right sides together sew one front and one back piece together along one short edge. Repeat for remaining, lining pieces and set aside.

7) Along the short, free edges of the front waistband, mark the seam allowances on the top and bottom. Place 3-4 loops just under these markings and baste (this will keep the loops from getting caught while sewing the lining and skirt). Repeat for back of waistband.

8 ) With right sides together, place lining on top of waistband matching raw edges and seams. Sew along the top and side edges, leaving bottom edge free. Clip corners, turn right side out and press.

At this point you should have something that looks like this:

9) Add the panel to the front waistband. To do this overlap the the front side of the panel with the back of the waistband front by 3/4″. Stitch close to the panel’s finished edge. Do not sew the other side of the panel and the back waistband together (Velcro will later be sewn to this area so that the skirt can be opened up and slipped on over the hips).

This is a good ‘stopping point’ and a nice break away from the math! Part 2 will discuss how to finish up the the waistband and how to determine the length of the skirt tiers.