The best $1 purchase ever

No, I didn’t sew this skirt, but I did thrift it for $0.99. The fabric and pink grosgrain hem are a little too cutesy for me, but the fit is absolutely perfect. I purchased it solely to draft a pattern. Since spring, I have had intentions to make a skirt for myself…I have a few patterns, the Sew What Skirts book, the skirt pattern in Sew U, etc….but didn’t realize I just needed to take a dollar to the thrift store. I’ve been meaning to try some fold-over elastic (FOE) since reading Angry Chicken’s 5-Minute Skirt tutorial, so I ordered some on etsy and got busy.
To draft the pattern, I simply laid out the skirt on the fabric and cut around it! From there, I refined the shape, stitched the side seams, tried it on and refined some more. Then I traced the skirt-in-progress on paper to make my pattern piece for future skirts (…and there will be plenty more, especially since I can make the skirt with only a yard of fabric!) For pattern paper, I just tore off a piece of drawing paper from my daughter’s art easel which is conveniently located adjacent to my sewing space. I also saved the paper all my IKEA bookcase pieces were wrapped in and use that for pattern-drafting, too

I used a piece of medium-weight cotton from my stash, a black and white print with little bits of green. The skirt was cut out on the bias to allow for some stretch. For the waistband, I used black FOE. I tried to watch Angry Chicken’s FOE tutorial on YouTube for some pointers, but my laptop claims I don’t have flash player and will not let me download the newest version, so I just winged it with the FOE. It was easier than I thought, as long as I kept the elastic pulled tight as I stitched. For the hem, I pressed and pinned a 1″ hem and fortunately decided to try on the skirt one last time before stitching. It was a wee bit too short, so I unpinned the hem and opted for a 1/4″ rolled hem instead.

The finished product fits perfectly! The FOE waistband is so comfortable, not binding at all and flexible to wear a little higher or lower on the waist depending on your mood. This kind of skirt is versatile to throw on casually with a tank top and flip flops or to accessorize for my business casual office with a cardigan and sandals. I love having a go-to A-line pattern (and a small supply of FOE.) There’s no stopping me now 🙂


One thought on “The best $1 purchase ever

  1. Very nice…I love that last picture with the green cardigan. It looks perfect! I really need to make that FOE waistband. It sounds so comfortable. You're getting so good at drafting your own patterns!

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