Join Nicky Sherwood as she learns how to sew a skirt – with simple ribbon tie waist at Rowan Tree Studio (listed in our directory here)
Housed in a converted stone barn, the bright and airy studio Rowan Tree Studio space is filled with fabrics, trims and a collection of vintage sewing machines – a crafter’s treasure trove – making it impossible not to feel inspired as soon as you walk through the door.
Sarah keeps course numbers small to ensure personal attention, and my fellow dressmaking student was another mum of small children so the three of us instantly hit it off.
Our projects for the two days were to be a simple skirt, a pair of pyjama bottoms, and finally a shift dress. First up was a simple cotton skirt with ribbon tied waist where Sarah demonstrated that it is possible to create a stylish and wearable garment using a very simple pattern and basic sewing skills. Once you’ve mastered how to sew a skirt this way, it’s a technique you can apply to all sorts of different fabrics and looks.
how to sew a skirt with simple ribbon tie waist
Having measured ourselves, Sarah showed us how to create a pattern and cut out the fabric using a rotary cutter (a revelation in itself – I will never use scissors again!). We allowed our waist measurements plus some extra, depending on how gathered we wanted our finished skirts to be.
First off, is sewing the fabric into a tube shape (making sure it fits over your hips before you do) with just a simple seam. Then fold the top over to create a drawstring waistline, and thread through a contrasting satin ribbon for a soft and comfortable fit.
Last stage is to sew the hem to the length you want. It really couldn’t be easier!
Some more inspiration for simple and beautiful skirts to make
I adore the clean, simple lines of the designs in this beautiful patterns book by Naomi Ito
This timeless and simple to make skirt pattern is one of the 18 sewing projects.
What’s great about this simple wrap around skirt pattern is that there’s no zip to contend with – so it’s perfect for beginners. A full circle, it’s designed with a vintage feel and can be tied at the front or back. BUY THE PDF PATTERN ON ETSY HERE:
I know I’m supposed to be sticking to skirt patterns, but I couldn’t resist sharing this cute Summer in London strappy summer dress pattern by Seasons of East. It’s a PDF download and is suitable for intermediate level sewers and above and comes in UK sizes 8-20. BUY THE SUMMER IN LONDON DRESS PATTERN ON ETSY HERE >>
Simple gathered skirt pattern
Available as a PDF or paper pattern, the Amy skirt by Afternoon Patterns is easy to make and great for beginners.
Whilst we’re on the subject of fab Edinburgh-based indie pattern makers Afternoon Patterns, I thought you might like these simple to make tailored Fern shorts too…
Merchant & Mills beautiful simplicity
Love this Saltmarsh skirt from the Merchant & Mills Workbook too
The Great British Sewing Bee is one of my favourite programmes to watch on TV – and now there’s a wonderful new book to accompany the sixth series. It’s all about creating Sustainable Style, with 27 sewing projects and patterns for sewers of all levels as well as lots of expert tips. There’s a guide that de-mystifies the fitting process and expert tips on making alterations and transformations, recycling old clothes, using up fabric scraps and making repairs. A real must-read for anyone committed to sustainable dress-making and sewing.
There are three great skirt projects included: Midi wrap skirt, Mini Scrap skirt and Pinafore skirt transformation.
Tilly and the Buttons and Collette patterns
For sewing patterns, it’s hard to beat Tilly & the Buttons. Love this Dominique skirt pattern design – so wearable and useful. The sort of skirt you’d love for years and years. Would be lovely made in dark denim or a simple stripe linen don’t you think?
Another great place for inspiration is Vanessa Pouzet
Love this very french and chic midi skirt:
And this has to be the perfect femme fatale pencil skirt. The zip scares me slightly, but the effect is amazing isn’t it?
Also love these other skirt tutorials by Cotton + Curls: 15 minute green lace skirt (with helpful video tutorial)
and red wraparound skirt:
This sheer gathered low high tapered skirt is great too…
And how pretty is this modern pleated lace skirt?
Another great source of creative sewing ideas is Ada Spragg. Love these simple to make skirt ideas by Ida – get her tips and ideas on how she made them by clicking through.
Love this sporty luxe skirt – although slightly worried about the title ‘skirt of a thousand pleats…!’ If you’re handier with a sewing machine than me, this could be a great addition to your wardrobe. It’s based on this pattern by Burda
And for simple, classic skirts, this from Just Patterns
And this wonderful free pattern: Wool Wrap Skirt pattern by Purl Soho
Another great resource I wanted to share with you is The Assembly Line. This three pleat skirt pattern is available as a paper pattern here or if you prefer, as a digital pattern here
Rowan Tree Studio is listed in the From Britain with Love directory here >>
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