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The search for a practical skirt

 
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Are the yardage requirements on a pattern the amount I buy in the shop, or for after shrinkage?
 
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Before shrinkage.
 
r ranson
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I bought this skirt from Samurai Pants on etsy.  I bought some pants from them about five years ago and they are my favourite summer pants.  I wear them in town and on the farm and they are made from durable cotton and there's a good human story behind the brand too.  I love their stuff so I splurged and bought a second pair of pants and two skirts.



The amount of cloth is generous which gives me the freedom of movement I need and it feels both warm and cool at the same time.  

It's one size fits most and I'm on the upper end of 'most' these days.  The problem is, my tummy is tender due to Crohn's so I'm not liking the tight elastic band on this skirt.  But the skirt is about an inch longer than I want so I am planning to hem it.  But I also want to change the top.  Instead of the thin elastic clenching my gut, I could make a wide band on top?  Only... how?  

the top band from this skirt is very comfortable

 
r ranson
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Here's a closeup of the top of the skirt
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You could take your inch off by redoing the top.  It may be that it is uncomfortable for 2 reasons, it is narrow elastic and also you say you are in the upper range of how big it will fit so the elelastic is stretched a lot and then off course applies more force back onto your stomach.  

You will cut off the existing top and then... A lot of choices but you do not sew much ?  If not is there someone you can hire or trade?  Cotton jersey ( tee shirt fabric)  makes a soft waist band, it does not stretch as much as elastic but does stretch to take on and off,  the ones I have seen like this it is double layer and 3 or 4 inches wide.  Or you can buy a piece of wide elastic as width means more comfortable and you will use a longer piece than is in the skirt now. You will fold over the top making a new casing and then thread the new wider and looser elastic in
 
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Debi beat me to it. Cut off your existing waistband, fold it over, add a piece of 3/4 inch or 1 inch wide no roll elastic, it won't look smooth when you buy it, will look like it has kind of a structure to the weave like this, it won't roll up into a mess:

Put the elastic into your rolled over top, and your waist and length are now both fixed! :D

As far as yardage, theoretically the pattern amount allows for shrinkage, in actuality, if you are going for a high shrinkage 100% cotton, I'd add 1/8 of a yard just for extra to shrink.
 
r ranson
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I took the elastic out and there is lots of fabric.  That's one of the things that attracts me to this brand is that they always have a generous hem and seam allowance.  

The elastic is over an inch thick, so I think maybe I'll put it back in the back and use the ties for the front third.  what do you think?  

I won't have access to my sewing machine until the weekend, so I have lots of time to plan.  
 
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Big bales of castoffs from places like Value Village and the Salvation Army are sold at second-hand shops in the Philippines. Sometimes they send extra large men's t-shirts. These tend to be in oversupply because most of the people aren't big enough for them.

Nova buys these shirts for 20 pesos which is about $0.40 American and she turns them into utility skirts or dresses. Not something she'd wear to a nice restaurant, but perfectly good for house cleaning or to put on after swimming if the temperature dips below 80 and she gets cold.

Some get a slit cut in them and some get a belt. Shorts are worn beneath. One has the arms cut off completely except for a remnant that is used for tying. Used as a cooking apron. Most of them are used to cover nicer clothing underneath or as an additional layer when it gets cool in the evening.
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Sue Reeves
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r ranson wrote:I took the elastic out and there is lots of fabric.  That's one of the things that attracts me to this brand is that they always have a generous hem and seam allowance.  

The elastic is over an inch thick, so I think maybe I'll put it back in the back and use the ties for the front third.  what do you think?  

I won't have access to my sewing machine until the weekend, so I have lots of time to plan.  



Elastic in back and draw string in front is a common way to do it, so a good idea.  It would look nice. As long as drawstrings are comfortable for you on your body. Certainly you will have good control on making it looser or tighter
 
r ranson
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I don't know if drawstrings are comfortable per se, but my biggest challenge is my gut can grow or shrink by over four inches during the day for various reasons.  It's nice to be able to adjust during the day.  It's something I know how to do, so I guess I'll go that path unless there's a better option.  It's just I hate having a bow in front like that.  

The most comfortable waist I've found so far is this one with the wide, solid fabric on the front and the elastic back.  But probably too complicated for me and I don't have any stiff fabric like that.

 
Joylynn Hardesty
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It's just I hate having a bow in front like that.



If it's the looks of the bow that you don't like, you can make it so the strings/ties comes out toward your body, and the bow is tied so it is inside the waistband, not showing. The ties can't be real thick though. That just makes a person look deformed.
 
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I’m so glad this thread exists, as this is just the sort of help I need right now!

I’m a student gardener and for the last 3 and a half years my cargo pants have served me well. They’re made out of a thick sturdy denim, they have lots of big pockets, and they’re camo which camouflages the mud stains a bit. BUT I’ve had to mend the crotch at least three times and I’m tired of having to mend and re-mend that when I have other things that need mending. Also, they make it difficult to take the stairs two at a time, because they’re guy pants and they never quite fit properly.

I’m solving both issues by converting my pants into a skirt obviously. I got some green denim scrap cloth I’m going to sew to the pant legs.



As you can see (assuming I've attached this image right...) I’ve already cut open the inseam, so now I’m committed! The faster I sew, the less likely I am to permanently stain my other cargos lol

Thank you to everyone who’s contributed to this thread! Walking skirt and utility kilt were very helpful suggestions for looking up inspiration, and the flat front panel advice was brilliant, that never occurred to me at all.
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Juniper Lunde
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Alright I got about a month’s use out of my skirt before COVID-19 shut down the gardens, and I'm quite pleased with my new work garment! Like people  discussed earlier in the thread, I went for a flat front panel, while in the back I made a pleated design inspired by kilts, walking skirts, and limited yardage. It’s definitely a lot more comfortable to walk and climb around in, and it accommodates my adding and subtracting of layers. It does drag at my legs a little on very windy days, but nothing too bad, and it doesn’t get too windy often where I am anyways. It took me about a week to stitch, sewing running back stitches by hand in my free time. One night some other students were watching Avatar in the common room while I sewed, and I liked the design of the Fire Sages robes, so I made the front panel end in a triangular point instead of a flat edge flush with the pant hems. I think that helps a little with mobility/not stepping on my skirt.

I made a couple of mistakes I still need to fix. I think I should raise the hem so that the skirt is slightly shorter then my pants were, so that it doesn’t drag on the ground so often. I also made a super beginner mistake by folding the raw edges so that they were out of sight, but still very much exposed and raw on the inside. Experiences sewers will predict what happened to those edges after a couple washes and month of hard use: the edges started to unravel and I found my feet getting tangled in threads. Whoops.

I’ve worn it both around the gardens and around campus and, unexpectedly, I’ve gotten a ton of compliments, both by people who wanted to know if I’d made it and by people who seemed to have no clue. One volunteer at the garden even told me that turning pants into skirts had been trendy when she was in high school. Who knew?

(I've tried to attach some pictures. Hopefully they show up.)
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r ranson
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simple skirt tutorial with pockets
 
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My current favorite everyday skirt.

It's a simple wrap skirt made of Latvian linen (bought in actual Latvia on a trip).

French seams inside, so I can actually wear it inside out if it's stained. Or I can swap which panel is in front (since it's mostly the front that gets spilled on). Which makes for four wears before it really needs to be cleaned. And yes, I've been wearing it every other day all summer so far.

It's insanely comfy even in very hot weather, getting softer with every wash,  can accommodate bloating, and the natural ecru hides dust very well (dirt brushes right off).

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My current favorite gardening skirt
My current favorite gardening skirt
 
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