The outfit I'm planning to wear for Thanksgiving.
More than a year ago a cyber friend, ReAnn, sent me a link to this dress and asked if I knew how it might have been drafted.
Over time, this dress has shown up in various incarnations - with sleeves, without sleeves, with different fabrics. I have only seen it online, never in person, so I did not have a chance to study it. Then, a month or so ago I was looking again at the web page when, bam, I realized how it was drafted.
Gotta love that!
I quickly did some math, and whipped up a version using a worn out flannel duvet cover with rosebuds that my daughter had decided was no longer cool. I was happy to see that my idea did, indeed, work. Then I hung the muslin in a closet and forgot about it.
I needed to sew a quick skirt for a meeting this week and I decided that it was time to make a real version of this garment. I made it in one evening - it is so simple.
- A very lightweight, crisp fabric from Fabrix. I believe it's a nylon taffeta. It is two-sided, but I used the autumn-colored side. The other side is cream/black.
- 1-1/2" Fantastic Elastic from Pamela's Patterns.
This skirt is made entirely from rectangles. It is basically a circle skirt, except it uses a square instead of a circle. I did not even cut out the fabric. I just measured and ripped. The only time I used scissors was to cut the circle for the waist.
The "TableCloth Skirt" name came from one of my sewing pals, Sarah. I was holding it out, showing the shape, similar to the following photo, and she declared, "It's like a tablecloth!"
Yes, indeed, if you need a quick Halloween costume, just wear a board underneath this skirt to hold it out and, voila, a table with a tablecloth.
The following layout shows the essential shape of the pattern.
There is a square piece of fabric (blue), with a waist hole cut out (yellow). Then there are four rectangles (green). There is also a rectangular waistband (not shown). (I made this with a elastic waistband, but you can put in a zipper if you want.)
- Cut, or tear, a rectangle that is 44" by 44". (Note, I am 5'5". If you are taller or shorter, you may want to adjust the proportions.)
- Calculate the circle you want to cut out for the waist. The math is not hard, but you can use a calculator. I googled "circle circumference calculator" and ended up using this one. I decided to add 2" to my waist measurement and plugged in the number. I needed a circle with a 6.5" radius. I created a quarter-circle template using printer paper.
NOTE:: If your hips are larger than your waist, use that as your base so you can pull this on over your hips!
- Fold the square of cloth into quarters. Pin the quarter-circle template to the center corner. (Make sure you pin it to the correct corner!) Cut out the waist.
- Sew the waistband to the waist opening in whatever way you prefer. (I ripped a waistband piece that was 4.5" by 45" because I was using very wide elastic.) I stay-stitched the waist, clipped, and attached the waistband.
NOTE: The waistband should be the length of the waist hole at the seam line (not at the cutting line), plus two seam allowances. I cut it longer by a few extra inches, just to be safe. After I stay stitch the waist and clip, the seam always seems to grow another inch or two. I don't sew the short edges of the waistband together until the waistband is mostly attached to the skirt. I leave a couple inches unsewn at the beginning, and the end, of the seam. I then mark where the waistband should be sewn closed. I sew it, press it open, and then stitch the last few inches to the skirt. I am also too lazy to leave an opening in the short seam for the elastic. After the waistband is completely sewn and topstitched to the skirt, I use my seam ripper to open the short seam, on the inside, for the elastic. I insert the elastic, fit it to myself, and sew the edges of the elastic together. I don't even stitch up the little opening. Now you know. :)
- Cut, or tear, four more pieces of fabric that are 44" (or whatever size square you used) by 15" (again, modify as needed).
- Hem the long edge of each of the four rectangles. (I like to hem it first, but you can wait if you want to see about the length.)
- Sew the unhemmed long edge of each rectangle to one of the edges of the central square. (If you look at my crude diagram, you are sewing the green pieces to the blue center square.) I used 1/2" seam allowances. You want to start sewing 1/2" in from the edge and stop 1/2" from the other edge. If you are using a different width for the seam allowances, start and stop the seam by that amount.
- The final step is to sew the four short edges of the rectangles together. (As shown by the arrows in the diagram.) This creates four corners.
That's it! Not counting the waistband or the hem, that is a mere EIGHT seams! If you want to recreate the inspiration dress exactly, sew the skirt to a cropped bodice. I'm not really a "dress" person, so I decided to make it as a skirt, but it would not be hard to do.
A few more pictures:
A little twirling action
A closeup of two of the corners
This is absolutely ingenious! Thanks for the how-to! I'll have to remember this one. You look wonderful in your Thanksgiving outfit. Could we have a closer look at the shoes? (or did I miss that at some earlier point?) They look very interesting.ReplyDelete
You look smashing, Shams! LOVE it. You'reReplyDelete
so good with math .. I wouldn't ever be able
to calculate that pattern. It's ingenius ..
such a whiz, so clever you are.
And I adore the orange cardi/jacket. Is it
sewn or knit?
All in all, just a fabulous ensemble. You're an incredible inspiration to me. My getupand go has gotupand went lately, but when I see your creations, workarounds and calculation process to make something that's 'you,' I'm lifted and re-energized to just get to it. Have a beautiful
and blessed Thanksgiving.
~ Joy ~
Fabulous! How clever of you to have worked it out! And I love your fall colors...is that necklace the one from K/L?ReplyDelete
Thanks you guys! Joy, what a touching comment.ReplyDelete
Let me answer the questions posed so far. The shoes are pretty cool and I don't have a closeup pic of them, but I'll try to get you one. They are made in Israel and are super comfortable. The necklace is a Teresa Goodall and I bought it on ebay. The cardigan is an Eskandar, also purchased on ebay.
Gorgeous. I've put this on my "to make" list.ReplyDelete
I'm thinking you could have used a rectangle 44" x 58" plus two 44" x 15" ones and saved two seams - or even a 58" x 59" rectangle with 14" x 14" corners cut out, but that would leave waste. Thoughts?
You are right, Alison, that would be another variation, though it would be a bit more difficult to sew the corners. But it's doable. If you make it up, let me know. :)ReplyDelete
This I have to try! I was already planning on a plaid skirt for SWAP 2012; might try to muslin this in a bit of plaid flannel just to see how it looks on me, but given how delightful it looks on you, that may not be necessary... Thank you for the straightforward explanation :DReplyDelete
Brilliant! I must try this!!ReplyDelete
Very clever and looks great! Happy Thanksgiving.ReplyDelete
If this were my skirt, I would twirl too. How brilliant of you for cracking the code, and then to share it so we all can be twirling dervishes. Thank you, thank you.ReplyDelete
You are BRILLIANT! I have admired this dress for sooo long, always hoping that Lynn Mizono would produce it as a Vogue Pattern - now we don't need to wait! Thank you so much!!!
Fantastic! Thanks so much for figuring this out for us mere mortals. You are genius. Now I need to go find some plaid....ReplyDelete
We're not worthy... :-)ReplyDelete
Thanks for the inspiration and the tutorial. You look marvelous in your ensemble, Shams.
I love how this works out in plaid! You're looking fabulous!ReplyDelete
How clever! Love how the skirt hangs in beautiful folds. The outfit is perfect and love those shoes!ReplyDelete
Pattern Magic by Shams! Cool! I love it. Thanks for taking the time to do a tutorial.ReplyDelete
Well done Shams! I love this style and might well try one myself.ReplyDelete
Thankyou for doing the hard work.
Nice skirt! Thanks for the tutorial. Just curious, does it sit comfortably with a circle cut at the waist? I learned at a tour of the Boston Ballet costume shop that the waist of a tutu is actually cut as an oval, as that's the shape of the body inside. Wondering if that could be applied to this pattern?ReplyDelete
I love it! Thank you for including the diagram.ReplyDelete
Please, please, please give more details on the shoes. I hunger. And I love the skirt - what are your thoughts about doing this in a knit? Thank you very much for sharing this tutorial.ReplyDelete
Sharon, OMIGOSH, do I love love love this skirt! It's a stunner. Thanks for the tutorial. But I must say that I am lusting after those amazing shoes. They are the perfect accessory for your ensemble.ReplyDelete
@Janee, yes, for many folks an oval-shaped waist would be appropriate. I leave that as an exercise to the reader. The fact is, *my* waist is more round than oval. You wouldn't know that, because I never show photos of myself sideways. ;)ReplyDelete
Absolute genius, Shams. I don't wear skirts much but you have issued an almost irresistible challenge.ReplyDelete
I love this skirt and want to try making one -- thank you for the tutorial! I have to say that your entire outfit -- especially those stylin' shoes -- is fab!ReplyDelete
Oh shams, that skirt is just amazing! I'd have to stop you in the street if I saw a person wearing something so creative AND beautiful. It is clever, but not at all gimmicky.ReplyDelete
Your skirt is FABULOUS, thanks so much for the tutorial. I must try this. I'm on the hunt for fabric!ReplyDelete
One fabulous outfit. Thanks for the pattern and tutorial. Where do we send tips/gratuities?ReplyDelete
Fabulous in every way: I am sorry not to be more original in my comment! I would be in my sewing room this moment to copycat, but I don't think I have a suitable 3 yard piece. I'll have to fix that soon. Thanks for sharing.ReplyDelete
What a FABULOUS outfit!! I see many others have used the same adjective but, really, it's what applies. :-)ReplyDelete
Tell me more about the cardi and the SHOES! OMG - the SHOES!! I want some!!
Genius, inspired, gorgeous, fabulous - I totally agree with all of the superlatives already used! And....shams in a skirt? You ROCK this look! The way you've style it is absolutely elegant!ReplyDelete
Yet another inspirational post from you to steal I mean be inspired by :)
I love this on you! Everything just works especially the shoes! Glad you were able to figure it out and make it work for you...because it's definitely working for you!ReplyDelete
Both lovely and whimsical and therefore very you. Thank you for the explanation.ReplyDelete
You look lovely in this outfit. The skirt is brilliant and easy to understand with your engineering directions. I can't wait to try one myself. You will be a hit on Thanksgiving in these autumn colors.ReplyDelete
Is the waistband piece always 45" long regardless of the circumference of the circle?ReplyDelete
Hi Anonymous! No, the waistband piece will be the circumference of the waist measurement, at the stitching line (not at the cut line). I always allow for a bit extra. I think I need to make another post showing how I do the waistband, but it's just my way. Others have ways they prefer.ReplyDelete
You are a genius asnd I love the plaid with the orange Eskander jacket/sweater. Oh, and the shoes are also very cool. And the outfit will be perfect for Thanksgiving. BTW, thanks for giving us this skirt!ReplyDelete
With that skirt, just loosening or tightening the elastic would make it versatile enough that a person, losing or gaining weight could still use it. Plus, if sold it could be customized for the waist instead of making a whole new skirt. Even taking off the waistband would be easier than making a whole new skirt and less expensive.ReplyDelete
Oh, I liked you remark on the anthropologie skirt that we draft and sew in our underwear. My ex would walk in and see me and be scandalized, humiliated, and baffled about why I sometimes sewed naked. Well, in panties is all. You know I must have had a man under my cutting table or behind the machine or expected one to pop up through the floor.
He never caught on that I only sewed naked when it was for me. I kept my clothing on when I sewed for my children or others.
I love your blog.
Your skirt looks amazing on you. What a great outfit. You are so clever. I want to go home and make one straight away.ReplyDelete
I will not be pulling it on over my hips though, I have not stepped into a skirt since I was 13 :) This, fortunately, means that I won't have to use my hip measurement for the waist. It will mean a zip though, sigh.
Ok, this skirt is so cool! And you figured out how to make it. What a smarty pants you are! Love your Thanksgiving Day outfit, and I want the shoes. I don't wear orange, I don't wear heels, but I want those shoes. They're works of art!ReplyDelete
Great outfit! Love the jacket and skirt combination and the shoes are just way, way too cool!!!ReplyDelete
Fabulous! Thanks for sharing your process. I've been wanting an interesting skirt for quite some time. Trust you to be my answer!ReplyDelete
WOW What a beautiful skirt! I love that you can use a plaid and not have to match it! It looks gorgeous on you. I love the shoes and the whole outfit. Thanks for the tutorial! I would love to try to make a skirt like this.ReplyDelete
Brilliant! I just made up a muslin and it works perfectly. I am going to make one up in a knit for my first "real" skirt.ReplyDelete
Oh my gosh! I love this! Thanks for the tutorial. It looks like it's a fun skirt to wear.ReplyDelete
Guess what?! I was given the task of making seven costume skirts this week out of polyester organza. I borrowed a serger to deal with the fabric. Guess what design I am using?!?!ReplyDelete
I'm just catching up on blog reading and this skirt is fabulous on you. Love the design. Maybe Vogue should contact you for the next designer pattern.ReplyDelete
I just love this skirt, Shams. I'm going to have to make my own interpretation. Thank you for sharing! ~Rose in SVReplyDelete
PS--when holiday decorating, don't pack/hide away all your patterns. I recall that you went through pattern withdrawal during the last holiday season.... :)
Thank you so much for your tutorial. You've explained the process so well.ReplyDelete
Very cool skirt--thank you for the tutorial! I wonder if my mom might like something like this...ReplyDelete
It's a bit late, but thank you so much for the tute on this fabulous skirt! I made one last night and wore it to church this morning thinking that the staid congregation members would look at me and turn away to titter! Not so at all. I had 2 requests for the pattern and another request to make one (but I'm way too busy making them for my daughters for Christmas pressies!). I've made a second for myself out of lovely bright rayon I've had for years and the fall of the skirt is incredible. So wonderful to wear - lifts the spirits as soon as I put it on. Thank you, thank you, thank you. PS: I changed the waist to make a band of knit with a row of elastic through it and this means that the skirt can sit lower and look better under a fitted knit top. Wonderful!ReplyDelete
I love my skirt too and posted a comment over at SG with photos....I am so challenged by my new iphone and the photo stuff, (please don't laugh, it's taken me longer to take photos, upload same, figure how to resize and post on SG than it did to sew the skirt!) that I'm not sure how to share here on your blog/gallery, but if you want or can snag the photos from SG, feel free. Thank you for the idea and tutorial. emelleReplyDelete
I love this skirt. I love you. I love this blog. I feel love love love love love. Whew. lolReplyDelete
Um excuse me...may we please have a close up of those awesome shoes also?ReplyDelete
Thanks, Cherie! Those are United Nudes. :)Delete
I've been obsessing over this skirt ever since I saw it at the last BABES get together. I think I've figured out a way to make a reversible version out of some really lovely double sided cotton I have. Thank you so much for the inspiration, and I'll let you know how it turns out! Still absolutely LOVE yours!ReplyDelete
I can't wait to see yours, Phoenix!Delete
You are inspired. Love it in plaid. Thanks so much for sharing the look and the technique !ReplyDelete
Thanks for the idea. I made my tablecloth skirt using a different folding technique, inspired by origami.ReplyDelete
Pix of the fold steps and the completed skirt are at:
Thank you very much for this tutorial,ReplyDelete
i made the skirt today for my 8 year old daughter and was very happy that it's so easy to sew.
Just the corners: your's look better and neater than mines!
Hi Anon! Three seams meet at each corner. Let's pretend you used 1/2" seam allowances. Did you stop sewing 1/2" before the end of a corner? (And, likewise, did you start 1/2" in from each corner?) This is important to create a nice corner. If you sew all the way to the end, it will not create a clean corner.Delete
oh my god, I need this. I NEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEED THIS. It looks like all the voluminous fun of a godeted skirt, much less fussing.ReplyDelete
Thank you, so much! I can't believe how easy it was to put together (but I would not be able to do it without your tutorial). Thank you!!!ReplyDelete
And this is my dress http://www.flickr.com/photos/99578787@N07/11181913096/
Thank you so much! I can't believe how easy it was to put together. But I could not do it without your tutorial, so - THANK YOU!!!! I absolutely love my new dress! http://www.flickr.com/photos/99578787@N07/11181913096/ReplyDelete
Very cool! thank you for sharing.ReplyDelete
Cant' wait to try it. Thank you so much, you brilliant girl, you!ReplyDelete
Thanks for sharing this! I made one for New Years!ReplyDelete
Thank you so much for sharing this pattern - this skirt is right up my skirt making street. Debs*ReplyDelete
Omg, you did the little girl twirl! You are so cute, you make me smile ;-)ReplyDelete
I am totally in LOVE with the Black Dress! I have the perfect fitting bodice I self drafted that will look wonderful when I add this skirt! I just have a couple of questions... Which way are the corners on the square of fabric oriented? Front, back and sides? Or side fronts and side backs? I just want to know where to attach the skirt to the bodice. Because I will be putting in a zipper, I only get one chance to get it right. Also, it appears to me that the 'corners' on the bottom hemline are rounded, but since this is the first time I have seen this dress I can't say for sure. You also mentioned that you used a slightly stiff fabric for your skirt, but the dress seems much fuller, any idea of the dress fabric? The last 7 or 8 years I've basically stuck with organic cottons, linens and other natural fibers, needless I'm a little out of practice with other fabrics, so I would appreciate your suggestions. I'm hoping for something hand washable as I'm allergic to most chemicals, including those used in dry cleaning.ReplyDelete
Thank you so much for showing this tutorial! I've been in the mood for a new dress and this one is Perfect!!!
Hey, Stacey! Thanks!Delete
The black dress has since been released as a Vogue pattern (long after I posted how to make the skirt). It is Vogue 1312 and you can see one here: https://www.etsy.com/listing/123287139/lynn-mizono-vogue-american-designer?utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=shopping_us_a-craft_supplies_and_tools-other&utm_custom1=9167d6b8-0895-4030-990a-1107f3445207&kpid=123287139&gclid=CjwKEAjwiZitBRCy0pb3rIbG9XwSJACmuvvzHQx6_HdD-BxJ0T4g4XyV5kvnVe-a-IxraTUZ-laR3RoC6wPw_wcB
I have never sewn the Vogue pattern.
But to answer your questions:
- You can see how the corners are oriented when I hold the skirt out to mimic a table cloth. Of course, being that it's a skirt, I can wear it anyway I want, but I generally wear it with the points in that orientation.
- The corners aren't rounded, they are sewn as corners. However, I don't trim the fabric, so the corners have a softened look when turned. I rather like that, but you can trim them to attain a sharper corner.
- The fabric I used for this one isn't stiff, but it is crisp. Sort of like a drapey polyester taffeta. I know, a weird description. I have now made this skirt in a variety of fabrics that work well, including cotton (pleated and regular) and denim (my most recent skirt, also 100% cotton). The only fabric I would not use is a droopy fabric, like an ITY knit. The skirt droops when made from a droopy fabric and it has a very different character. I don't like it as well.
I am so happy to have run into your tutorial on Pinterest today! I am very excited to make it, ASAP! Thank you so much for sharing this!ReplyDelete
I really want to thank you for figuring this out! I needed something to wear for a sorority function. The colors were white with a splash of red. I didn't want to see myself coming and going, so I wanted something different. Then I saw this skirt!!!! Even in all white it is gorgeous. I'm hoping to make a wide red sash to wear with it. Thank you so very much!!!ReplyDelete
Love the skirt and love those shoes!!ReplyDelete
Hello, I really want to thank you for that!! It´s beautiful!!ReplyDelete
I just webbed into this in Pinterest. I have a real love for vintage tablecloths. I have some especially amazing "card table" square ones I am going to try this on!ReplyDelete
Love this tutorial and the results. I love my skirtReplyDelete
Such a cool pattern. Am thinking of making a longer version as the skirt part of an empire line dress.ReplyDelete
Made this twice... first one I used two colors complimenting eachother but the bottom rectangles are twonpiece in two- which gave me some geometric design also...ReplyDelete
second one I added an approx. 6” yoke and zipper, and gathered the circle lightly to fit in the yoke. This one is awesome! (Not quite done yet)
Idk if I am allowed a picture here.
Thank you so much for a great tutorial! You can change this one in so many ways !!