Design Variation : Gored Pockets
This skirt, made in cashmere and wool, looks very elegant — however, it looks just as great made from a casual fabric like chambray. The V-shaped details add unexpected style to the simple silhouette, while the expanded pockets give you a place to store things you need close at hand.
Draft the Pattern
1). Trace your basic flared skirt front and back patterns onto drafting paper. Do not add any seam or hem allowances, but do trace the darts. Draft a high waist following the instructions and draw a 2″-wide waistband seamline. Draft the skirt into a six-gore silhouette, but don’t cut the gores apart yet.
2). Draft the waistband. Cut off the front and back waistbands and tape the darts closed to create a contoured waistband. Draw a V-shaped dip at the center of the top edge of the front waistband. Plan for a zipper in the left side seam.
3). Mark the gore panels. Trace the front, back, side-front, and sideback gore panels onto drafting paper. Include registration marks. Remember you can’t cut the gores apart because you added shape to the seamlines.
4). Plot the pocket on the side-front gore, by simply drawing the top and bottom at the desired location. This pocket is 6½” long by the width of the gore panel.
5). Widen the pocket.
a) On a separate piece of drafting paper, trace the side-front gore from the hemline up to the pocket opening.
Draw a vertical slash line through the center, from the top pocket opening to the bottom of the pocket.
b) Spread the opening so the pocket flares slightly. To do this, cut the slash line from the pocket opening to the bottom edge of the pocket. Spread the pieces about 2″. Tape the spread pieces to pattern drafting paper and add a V-shaped detail at the center of the top edge of the pocket. This becomes the side-front gore pattern.
6). For the side-front gore backing pattern piece, trace the side-front gore from the top/waistline edge to the bottom of the pocket onto drafting paper.
7). For the pocket lining pattern piece, trace the side-front gore from the top of the pocket to the bottom of the pocket onto drafting paper.
8). Complete the pattern. Add grainlines (cut the center-front gore on the fabric fold) and registration marks to all of your pattern pieces. Add ½” seam allowance for all the seam edges including the shaped waistband and pockets. Add 2″ hem allowance.
PATTERN DRAFTING NOTE : The pockets on this pattern are drafted to stand out from the skirt slightly. If you don’t like this detail, simply omit the slash-and-spread technique. To make the pocket, you need three pattern pieces: side-front gore backing, side-front gore, and pocket lining. They are drafted from the side-front gore (which is not used as a whole piece to make the skirt).
›› 2½ yards of 44/45″ fabric
›› ¾ yard of fusible interfacing
›› ¼ yard of lining for pockets
›› 11″ zipper
›› Zipper presser foot
›› Hook and eye
›› Matching thread
Sew the French Toast Skirt
1). Cut out the fabric. Use the newly drafted pattern pieces to cut the following:
- From fabric, on the fold: one skirt front/gore, one skirt back/gore, two front waistbands, and two back waistbands
- From fabric, also cut: two side-front gores, two side-front gore backings, and two side-back gores.
- From lining : two pocket linings.
- From interfacing : one front and one back waistband on the fold.
2). Apply interfacing. Following the manufacturer’s instructions, fuse the interfacing to the wrong side of one front waistband and one back waistband.
3). Attach the pocket lining to the side-front gore backing with the right sides and bottom edges together. Stitch along the bottom edge. Repeat for the remaining pocket lining and side-front backing.
4). Attach pocket linings to side-front gores.
a) With the right sides together and top edges aligned, stitch each pocket lining to its coordinating side-front gore piece along the top edge. Trim the seam allowances of the V opening and turn the pocket right side out. Repeat for the remaining pocket lining and side-front gore. If you want to topstitch the top edge of the pocket openings, do so now.
b) Pin the side edges of the side-front gore backing, pocket lining, and side-front gore together. This will cause the pocket to stand away from the pocket backing (as designed). Baste the side edges together. Repeat with the remaining side-front gore backing, pocket lining, pocket backing, and side-front gore pieces.
5). Assemble the skirt front. With the right sides together and raw edges aligned, stitch one side-front gore (with pocket) to each side of the center-front gore. Press the seams open.
6). Assemble the skirt back. With the right sides together and raw edges aligned, stitch one side-back gore to each side of the centerback gore. Press the seams open.
7). Sew the side seams. Join the skirt front and back at the right side seam and install a lapped or invisible zipper in the left side seam.
8). Assemble the waistband and waistband facing. With the right sides together and side seams aligned, stitch the interfaced back waistband to the interfaced front waistband at the right side seam. Press the seam allowances open. Repeat with the remaining waistband pieces to make the waistband facing.
9). Attach the waistband. With the right sides together and raw edges aligned, stitch the assembled waistband to the skirt, making sure the right side seams are together. The waistband seam allowances should extend beyond the zipper opening in the left side seam.
10). Attach the waistband facing. With the right sides together and raw edges aligned, stitch the waistband facing to the waistband along the top edge; make sure to pivot at the V-opening. Trim the seam allowances of the V-opening and trim the corners. Turn the waistband to the inside of the skirt and press. Turn under the remaining raw edges of the waistband facing along the bottom and zipper edges. Hand-sew the turned edges in place along the zipper and opening. You can add three rows of topstitching, ¼” apart, to the finished waistband as desired.
11). Hem the skirt. Press under the hem edge ½” to the wrong side, then another 1½”. Topstitch along the inner pressed edge. Or hem the skirt using your preferred method.
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