I've had so much fun working with Batik fabric since my recent trip to Indonesia. This is another in the series of projects featuring Batik. If you missed any of the prior articles, please have a look at The Ancient Art of Batik Printing for an introduction to Batik as well as our first project, a Folded Shopping Bag from Batik Fabric for more background and a neat beginner project. Given that spring is well and truly on the way now, I thought it would be good to make a tropical-themed skirt for those warm summer evenings out. I've used Batik fabric for both sides of this reversible skirt. You can, of course, use other fabrics of similar weight and texture, but I like the exotic look of Batik.
This is a very pretty reversible skirt, made out of cotton and silk Batik. It will make you feel sexy, happy and slender. I recommend the using cotton twill, or silk batik, or quilting cotton. The back of the skirt will fall below the knee and the front will be 4″ above the knee. Because the skirt is reversible, you're basically going to be making two separate skirts and joining them together to form one really functional garment.
This is a project for intermediate sewers. There are a couple of steps that might be challenging for beginners.
Materials You Will Need
- 1 1/2 yards of fabric, cotton batik, silk batik, raw silk, quilting cotton or cotton twill. (JoAnn‘s happen to be having a sale on Batiks, so you may want to check it out.)
- 1 1/2 yards of a contrasting fabric of any of the above
- 1″ decorative elastic. We purchased ours at Strapcrafts who have a great selection. (OPTIONAL)
- 1 reversible brass metal zipper, 16″ length. (We got our zipper from Coats Thread & Zipper here.)
- sewing thread to match both fabrics
- fusible interfacing (very thin) if you are using quilting cotton
Finished Garment Measurements
Step One: Download the Pattern
The detailed sewing pattern, as well as detailed PDF instructions, are available at here at Craftsy.com.
Download the pattern and print using Acrobat Reader. Assemble it and cut the skirts to the size you require.
If you need help doing this step, please read this article on How to Download and Print PDF Sewing Patterns:
Step Two: Cut the Fabric
Cut the skirt in two contrasting fabrics. I am using raw silk Batik and the leftover cotton Batik fabric from the folded shopping bag post from last week. It is important that you use one fabric that is a bit thicker than the other and that the thinner fabric is the one with the print.
I have added in the pattern the option of not making this skirt reversible. Trace and cut the facing and apply fusible interfacing to the facing.
NOTE: I have not used fusible interfacing at all because my fabrics were reasonably thick already, but I do suggest you use it should you decide to use quilting cotton. This is to create a very crisp round edge.
Step Three: Make the Darts
Sew the darts on both skirts as per the pattern. Make sure they are the same length and width or they will not match at the end when we have to close the skirt.
Step Four: Sew the Sides
Sew the sides of the skirt to the back using a 5/8″ seam allowance.
Take one skirt and fit it to your body. Make sure the skirt sits one inch above your belly button. Pin the side if it is too big. Do the same adjustments to the other skirt. This is the most important step for making sure both skirts end up the same size.
Iron the side seam open on both skirts.
Step Four: Assemble the Reversible Skirt
We're going to be putting both skirts together — sort of a sandwich with both print sides together. The way I have sewn the skirt is with the optional elastic. You don't necessarily need to add the elastic at the waist but I wanted to add a little bling to bring the zipper and both skirts together. The elastic and zipper both end up sandwiched between the two layers.
With print sides together start to sew the waist first leaving the sides open so we can sew the zipper.
Here is what I have done with the decorative elastic. Pin the elastic to the waist, leaving a one-inch margin at the end so it can be folded back to hide the raw edge of the elastic.
Make sure your seams of each skirt line up so everything is symmetrical.
Sew along the waist at 5/8″. If you're using the 1″ decorative elastic, this will mean that the remaining 3/8″ extends up from the edge of the seam to create a nice decorative effect.
Next, we will sew the bottom of the skirt. To make sure everything lines up it is best to drape the skirt on the mannequin or a dress form. I find having and using a dress form is pretty essential when sewing garments. If you're thinking of getting a dress form, please check out our article Thinking of Getting a Dress Form?
If you are using the elastic option, cut the elastic so it lines up with the waist. Make sure both skirts are the same length and one skirt is it is not pulling the other. Pin the bottom and sew.
Fold the skirt where the zipper will be placed and follow the pattern instructions. Start at the corner where the edge of the fold will be.
Step Five: Sew the Hem
Sew the bottom hem at 5/8′ of an inch.
Snip the edge of the curve 3/8″ apart on the seam allowance. This is a very important step so that the fabric takes the curve and doesn't bind or wrinkle.Turn the skirt inside out and iron it completely. Turn in the zipper edge and iron at 5/8″. Place the zipper so the tape shows 1/8″. Baste stitch the zipper to make sure you catch both skirts. Alternatively, you can sew the zipper by hand. Again, the zipper is sandwiched between each of the skirts.
Change to a zipper foot and sew the zipper, being careful to make a very straight stitch. For additional guidance on using your zipper foot, please review our article “All About Zipper Feet“.
Iron the entire skirt on both sides and try it on. Adjust if necessary.
I think this is a very versatile reversible skirt. It will be a great addition to your wardrobe and the perfect piece for going on vacation, a casual Friday at the office, or a great gift for Mother's Day. Go ahead and make one let me know what you think in the comments below.