It's not often I see something on the internet and absolutely must make one for myself but...when I saw Rae's flying cranes skirt on the Made by Rae blog it immediately made it up to the top of my list of things to sew for myself.
The fabric I just fell in love with. Swoon! It's the gorgeous 1000 cranes design from the Tsuru range from Cloud9 Fabrics. I jumped online to search a piece out and found it for sale locally from Funky Fabrix here in Brisbane. Once that little delivery of one metre of fabric had arrived in my mailbox I picked up a few extra supplies from my local sewing store and set to work.
For my skirt I have gone for a fairly full style with a gathered elastic waist. I used Anna Maria Horner's free pattern for the Flirting the Issue skirt (it's more instructions than a pattern per se). I used the whole one metre of fabric from selvedge to selvedge and added a contrasting band of pale pink homespun cotton to the lower edge which added about 14cm to the length of my skirt so it sits around my knees (Rae's skirt is above the knee but I like a little more length personally).
Here's a few details of the skirt construction:
The lining is a cotton lawn in royal blue. I was going to line it in navy but the cotton lawn didn't come in navy and in the end I realised that was lucky as it would have dulled the white print on the skirt too much. I think maybe a pale pink lining would have been ideal but I kind of like the unexpected flash of bright blue underneath. The lining is only as long as the dark blue cranes fabric so as not to affect the pink contrast band with blue show through.
I love a comfy elastic waistband. The waistband of this skirt is really wide (the wider the better for elastic waists in my opinion), but I have to admit that it's construction is fiddly. You sew four casing channels around the top edge of the skirt and feed elastic into each of them - this is time consuming and hard on the fingers, the more fabric you have in the volume of the skirt the more difficult this task is. I sewed the four channels and then gave up after pushing elastic through three of them. I decided that was enough waist elastic for my needs anyway. If I make a skirt this way again I am going to just put a single wide piece of elastic through the top like I did with my recent op-shop resize.
I attached the contrast band as the last step after constructing the rest of the skirt. I made the band of pale pink by taking two strips of fabric about 20cms long and selvedge to selvedge wide (112cm). I sewed these two strips together at the short sides (the selvedge edges) to create one big loop of fabric. I finished one long edge with a zig-zag stitch to stop fraying and then ironed this edge over 1cm towards the wrong side. I carefully pinned this folded edge of the pink fabric to the inside of the skirt so that it sat 1cm above the hemline stitching of the blue cranes fabric (the zig-zagged edge was facing the inside of the skirt). I sewed the seam attaching the band to the lower skirt edge from the inside (see right hand side of the picture below). Careful pinning here was the key to getting a nice straight finish on the outside.
Then I hemmed the pink fabric to my desired skirt length ( hem on the left hand side of the picture above). On the outside of the skirt you see two hem lines on the blue which I think is a nice detail (see below) and the pink band looks like it comes down from behind the blue cranes and is not just tacked onto the lower edge of the skirt.
Such a good looking skirt and lovely to wear, it will be a favourite wardrobe piece this summer for sure.