skirt

Florence Mini Tutorial

This tutorial is for the Florence Mini, a slimmer and shorter version of the Florence skirt that I unveiled last week. It’s lightweight, has pockets for stashing small items, and will show off those legs!

Florence MiniWHAT YOU WILL NEED
Scissors
Pins
Yard stick
Large safety pin or double-sided knitting needle
Iron and ironing board
Sewing machine
1.25 yards of fabric
18″ x 22″ of contrasting fabric for pockets
3/4″ or 1″ non-roll elastic

HELPFUL EXTRAS
Seam ripper (just in case)
Fabric chalk

Today’s skirt is for my little sister – a 5’10” stunning and über-talented Amazon/photographer. She might be 2″ taller, but we have the same waist (26.5″) so I was able to use my own measurements as a guide. The final product was 17.5″ long and 26″ wide (or 52″ around). If you desire a longer and fuller skirt, simply increase the measurements I have provided.

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Florence Project Prep

PROJECT PREP
After pre-washing and ironing the fabric, I cut two identical rectangles that were 20.5″ long and 28″ wide. That leaves plenty of room for the seam allowance at the sides, the elastic casing at the top, and the hem at the bottom. Once sewn together, these rectangles will form the front and back of the skirt.

You will also need a pair of pockets, which I cut out after loosely tracing around my hand on contrasting fabric. In total, you will have two matching rectangles and four matching, mitt-shaped pocket pieces. Assemble your other materials, brew some tea, and then you are ready to go!

Florence Pockets & Side Seam

1. ATTACH POCKETS
Measure 5.5″ from the top of the first rectangle and pin one piece of a pocket. The fabric’s right-side (RS) should face the RS of the skirt. Measure 5.5″ on the other side of the rectangle, and pin another pocket piece. Repeat for the second rectangle. Before proceeding, make sure that the pockets will line-up!

Sew the four pocket sides to the rectangles and press the seams open.

2. SEW SIDE SEAMS
Line-up the two rectangles, RS together, with the pockets pressed to the outside. Pin in place. Your skirt should basically look like a tube with elephant ears.

Sew along the outer edge of the skirt while being careful not to sew the pockets closed. Press the seams open and turn the skirt inside out.

Florence Elastic Casing3. CREATE ELASTIC CASING
Beginning at a side seam, fold the top down 1/4″ and iron all the way around. This will create a nice finished edge for the waistband. The height of your casing all depends on the size of your elastic. Mine is 3/4″, so I folded down 1.25″ and pinned, leaving space for my seam and allowing the elastic to lie flat.

Sew the casing along the bottom but leave  an opening approximately 2″ long. This is for placing the elastic.

Florence Elastic4. MEASURE & PLACE ELASTIC
Measure the elastic by pulling it snuggly, but comfortably around your waist where you would like your skirt to sit. Note how much you need and cut a little extra (1.5″ – 2″ will do).

Anchor one end of the elastic to the skirt, just under the opening at the top. Taking the other end, attach a large safety pin so you can pull the elastic through the casing. I like to use a double-sided knitting needle, which I liberally tape to the free end of the elastic. I find it easier to hold, but to each her/his own!

Pull the elastic through the casing, being careful not to let it twist. Once out the other side, pin both ends together with some overlap. Feel free to try to skirt on at this point.

If it fits, use a zig-zag stitch (it’s stretchy) and sew the elastic. I like to make a rectangle, securing all sides. Switch back to a regular straight stitch and close up the opening at the casing.

Florence Hem Sew

5. HEM BOTTOM
Now you are in the home stretch! Hem the skirt to whatever length you desire. I rolled the bottom twice, creating a neat 1/4″ edge all the way around.

Sew and press the hem.

6. ENJOY
Try on your new Florence Mini and enjoy your creation!

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Today’s skirt took a bit of patience, some tea, and a lot of Queens of the Stone Age to complete. Overall, I am very happy with it and I can’t wait to ship it off to Chicago!

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Introducing: The Florence

As a recently transplanted Chicagoan, I discovered (much to my dismay) that Tennessee springs are hot and humid. There was a week of pleasant weather – think sunny and mid 60s – before it started pushing 80 degrees. In April. My work wardrobe was in desperate need of flexibility and a dash of fun, so I DIYed myself an army of cotton skirts. Some are in kitchy prints, others are in vibrant solids. All of them are comfortable and give me a range of options during the work week and beyond.

Without further ado, I introduce to you…
Image

Floral FlorenceThe Florence is simply a full skirt with an elastic waistband. Topped off with pockets, this retro-style skirt has a tendency to prompt sartorial imagination and inspire the occasional urge to twirl about. It sits at the natural waist and falls to an inch or two above my knees. So far, I’ve made three skirts in this style and I love them all.

This particular Florence (named for current girl crush, songstress Florence Welch) is a bold floral cotton in my go-to spring/summer hues of blue and green. I wear it often with a chambray button down and ballet flats, or sandals and a simple t-shirt for more casual days. Today, I’ve chosen to pair it with an emerald sleeveless blouse and sandy-toned leather accessories.Floral Florence Styled1. Emerald sleeveless blouse (Joe Fresh, $24)
2. Tan & metallic ankle strap sandals (BC Footwear, $50)
3. Gold leather belt (J. Crew)
4. Tan leather shoulder bag (Coach, vintage)

I will be putting together a DIY tutorial for the Florence sometime this week, so stay tuned! In the meantime, go forth and be fashionable.