It’s a cold, gray and intermittently rainy day… so typical of April weather in the Pacific Northwest. I am so tired of the damp and am dreaming of sunny days that will soon be here. I will be ready for the warm weather once it arrives, now that I have completed my underskirt to go with my white linen dress. It turned out just as I had hoped; it’s pretty, it adds interest and best of all it has the practical purpose of providing a lining to what is otherwise a very see-through dress. See-through dresses are… well… embarrassing and while wearing a nylon slip under a natural fiber sundress might sound like an option for some, in my world slips and sundresses somehow just won’t do. And so you see, I really had no choice other than to make my own cool underskirt.
1) I started by searching through my pattern library for something I could modify to my needs. I found what I was looking for in this skirt pattern by New Look.
2) I chose a rayon lining which is perfect for warm weather, because it breaths, and doesn’t cling, and is quiet (I don’t like to hear a rustle of fabric unless, of course, I’m in my tafetta gown at the cotillion). I stitched the side seams and serged the edges for a clean finish.
3) I determined the length and width of the “fashion” fabric (fashion fabric is meant to be seen) I wanted to attached to the bottom of lining (lining is meant not to be seen). I didn’t want it to be a full ruffle, so I eliminated much of the width from the original pattern piece.
4) Then the side seams were stitched and serged.
5) After the side seams were completed, I stitch three rows of machine basting (the longest stitch setting on your machine). The first row was stitched at 3/8″, then at 5/8″ and the last at 3/4″. Once the three rows of basting were in place, I began to draw up the threads to create gathers, securing the end threads on a pin.
6) With the ruffle gathered to the desired width, I pinned it to the lower edge of the skirt lining.
7) I then sewed the ruffle to the skirt lining using the 5/8″ gathering line as a stiching guide. Once the ruffle was attached, I removed the 3/4″ line of basting .
8) Next I created a casing at the top of the skirt to run elastic through. I turned down enough fabric to allow for room to slide my elastic through plus a little extra so I could tuck the raw edges under the fold to create a finished edge.
9) Then I stitched the casing leaving a space open for elastic insertion.
10) Then using a bodkin (a sewing tool designed for pulling elastic or cording through a casing… a safety pin will work in a pinch) I inserted the elastic pre-measured to fit my waist. Once the elastic was through the casing I stitched the ends together and stitched the casing closed.
11) And here we have the finished underskirt ready to be worn on the first warm day that comes along. I think this might be quite a versatile piece and I may be able to wear it with some other things I have. I’ll be making a visit to my closet to see what else it might go with.