I’ve been wanting to have a go at dip dying for a while, but as I didn’t have anything suitable languishing in the
heap of clothes in the bathroom ahem, wardrobe, I’ve needed to make something. Hooray!
I decided to make a skirt partly because they are smaller and also because I have made a couple of dresses recently. I saw a lovely dip dyed full skirt somewhere in internetland so I decided to have a crack at making a similar item myself and then dying it myself.
As the only dying I have managed to do so far is spilling tea on the half finished skirt (it’s on the washing line at the moment and the stains have hopefully come out!), this post is about making the skirt and I’ll write up the dying part later in the week once I’ve had a chance to do it.
In my local fabric shop (which I avoid like the plague as I do not like going in there) I found some undyed cotton fabric perfect for the job.
I used 2.5 m and the fabric was 1.60 m wide.
This is how I made it.
I took half the fabric and folded it into four. I hacked a chunk off the bottom for the waistband… then on the remaining fabric I drew a vague skirt shape. I folded it in half and then cut it out to ensure that the pieces were symmetrical. My lovely new scissors cut through it like a hot knife through butter. I was very happy just cutting! And padlocking the handles together will mean that they stay that way!
Next I sewed the pieces together. I had hoped that 4 pieces would be enough, but unfortunately I am only thin in my head (ie my mind, my head is not thin) and, as I wanted to gather it, there was not enough left over when I wrapped it round what is left of my waist. So I cut out four more pieces and sewed those on.
I started to gather it, but as I was concerned about adding bulk to a part of me that is already bulky, I ditched the gathers and pleated it instead. To do that, I unpicked the side seam then, starting at the middle, I folded the fabric over to the right and then back again, making pleats of 2 – 3 cm. I made pleats right along both the ground section and the back. Then I checked it for size, letting some pleats out where needed. I sewed across the top of the pleats to hold them in place. I then rejoined the side seam.
To make the waistband, I joined the strips I’d cut from the fabric before I cut the skirt pieces to make one long strip. I folded it in half, pressed it, opened out and folded the raw edges into the centre and pressed it again.
Next I attached the edge of the waistband to the wrong side of the skirt, checking that the pleats were straight as I sewed. Then I folded the waistband over with the raw edge tucked in where it had been pressed, and sewed it on the right side along the bottom edge.
The next step was the only remotely tricky part. I wrapped the skirt around myself and pinned where the other side seam needed to go. I unpinned it, then using the marks left by the pins, drew where I needed to sew. I sewed it up then attached the zip over the seam and unpicked the seam that was over the zip.
As there was so much skirt to hem, I opted for a folded hem sewn with the sewing machine. I folded up 1 cm of the raw edge then folded it over and pinned it in place. Handsewing the hem would have been neater, but it would have taken a lot longer so, in the interests of actually getting it finished, I used the sewing machine.