Design Variation : Twisted Bubble Hemline
Bubble hems are turned under at the bottom of the skirt and attached to a lining, or stay, to create a soft fold and a “bubbled” silhouette. For a more dramatic bubble, draft more fullness and use a stiffer fabric than the skirt shown here. For a more draped look, choose a lighter fabric that falls closer to the body. This bubble hem is twisted for a different take on the design, but you can keep yours straight, if you prefer.
Draft the Pattern
1). Trace your basic flared skirt front and back pattern onto drafting paper. Do not add any seam or hem allowances yet, but do trace the darts.
2). Waistline and yoke. Lower the waistline as desired on both front and back slopers. Draft a yoke design line on both slopers that meets at the side seams and is below the dart points. The yoke shown here is 3″ wide. Plan for a zipper in the left side seam. Once you like the shape of the yoke, add registration marks along the top and side seams, and cut it off along the seamline. Tape the darts on the yokes closed and smooth out any rough corners along the top and bottom edges.
3). Add fullness to the outer skirt. Trace a second copy of both the front and back skirt pattern pieces (with the yokes cut off). Use one set to draft the outer skirt by slashing and spreading the skirt front and back to two times the original width, using the “rocking horse” technique. Lengthen both front and back by 1½”.
4). Draft the lining. Shorten the remaining copy of the front and back pattern pieces by 1½”.
5). Complete the pattern. Add grainlines and indicate to cut the skirt front, skirt back, and yokes on the fabric fold. Add ½” seam allowance to all the seamlines and along the hemlines. No hem allowances are needed.
PATTERN DRAFTING NOTE : A bubble hem requires an outer skirt and a lining. The hem is created by adding flare and fullness to the outer skirt, and then attaching it at the hemline to the lining, which is shorter and has less flare.
›› 2 yards of 44/45″ exterior fabric
›› 1½ yards of 44/45″ lining fabric
›› ¾ yard of fusible interfacing
›› 7″ zipper
›› Zipper presser foot
›› 4 hook and eye sets
›› Matching thread
Sew the New Twist Skirt
1). Cut out the fabric. Use the newly drafted pattern pieces to cut the following:
- From exterior fabric : one skirt front, one skirt back, two yoke fronts, and two back yokes all on the fabric fold.
- From the lining : one lining front and one lining back on the fabric fold.
- From interfacing : one front and one back yoke on the fold.
2). Apply interfacing. Following the manufacturer’s instructions, fuse the interfacing to the wrong side of one front and one back yoke.
3). Assemble the outer skirt. With the right sides together and raw edges aligned, stitch the back skirts to the front skirt along the side seams, leaving the zipper area open on the left side seam. (The zipper extends through the yoke so the skirt opening is only 4″.) Repeat for the lining.
Run one or two rows of basting stitches along the top edge of both the skirt back and front within the seam allowance (but not the lining); break the stitching in the center front and center back so it is easier to gather the fabric. Only backstitch at one end of the stitching. Repeat to add gathering stitches at the bottom edge of the front and back skirt.
4). Gather the hemline. Gently pull the bobbin thread of the basting stitches to gather the hemline until it matches the circumference of the lining hemline.
5). Attach the two hemlines. Pin the hemline of the skirt and the hemline of the lining with the right sides together. If you want a twisted hemline, offset the side seams by 6″ to 8″. Then stitch the seam.
6). Attach the two top edges. Press the seam allowance along the zipper opening of the outer skirt to the wrong side and clean finish the edges. Turn the skirt so the wrong sides of the lining and skirt are together and repeat step 4 to gather the top edge of the skirt to match the lining. Keep the side seams aligned and pin the top edge of the skirt and lining together. The lining should extend by ½” beyond the outer skirt at the center back.
7). Assemble the yoke. With the right sides together and raw edges aligned, stitch the two interfaced back yokes to the interfaced front yoke at the right side seam. Repeat with remaining yoke.
8). Attach the yoke. With the right sides together and right side seams aligned, stitch the yoke to the top edge of the skirt. Press the seam allowance toward the yoke.
9). Install the zipper. Baste the zipper area closed through the lining and yoke only (don’t include the outer skirt in the stitching). Then stitch a centered zipper in the yoke and lining seam. Align the top zipper stop with the seamline at the top edge of the skirt. Leave the outer skirt free.
10). Finish the yoke. Press the left side and bottom seam allowances of the yoke facing ½” to the wrong side. With the right sides together, stitch the yoke facing to the yoke at the top edge. Press the seam allowances toward the yoke facing and understitch. Turn the facing to the wrong side and hand-sew the left side edges of the facing to the zipper tape and the bottom edge to cover the seam allowance.
11). Add a hook and eye at the top of the zipper opening inside the skirt. To keep the outer skirt closed while wearing, sew the remaining hooks and eyes inside the zipper opening of the outer skirt.
FABRIC NOTE : The bubble skirt shown here is made with lining fabric for the inside layer to minimize bulk. If your fabric is lightweight, you can use it for both the outside and the inside layer if you prefer.
SKIRT-A-DAY SEWING Create 28 Skirts
For A Unique Look Every Day