Hi everyone! Today I am excited to share the beginning of my Ellie & Mac summer skirt capsule. Yes, you heard me right – skirts! I will share a secret with you that will significantly expand your wardrobe without buying any new patterns….which is if you own a few of the awesome dress patterns from E&M, you already have these in your collection. Today I will share my easy peasy process for making skirts from E&M dresses and a few of my makes from dress patterns. And when I say easy, I mean EASY.
What makes E&M dresses so amazing is the variation of skirt options that Lindsey includes with each pattern. So if you own a few dress patterns, you already have the patterns you need to make a wide variety of skirts. There are so many different styles of skirts! If you own the Puff Sleeve dress, then you already own the pattern for a half circle skirt. The Puff Sleeve dress pattern also includes a waistband piece that you can use with this skirt or you can use it with other skirts. If you own the True Beauty, then you already own the pattern for a gathered skirt in three lengths and the new trendy handkerchief skirt. The Monday Morning has a beautiful curved hem style so guess what? You own that skirt too! Also – you can mix and match the waistbands from the pants patterns with the skirts from the dress patterns. When I figured this out, I was like – mind.blown! I can make ANYTHING from these beautiful patterns.
Let me walk you through three easy and versatile skirts I made already this Spring. Chances are – you own the patterns to make at least one of them. Or all three!
First up – I paired the skirt from the Monday Morning dress with the waist band from the Not So Basic pants, which is a simple and comfortable yoga band. Could you measure and cut your own if you don’t own the pants pattern? Absolutely! Just take your waist size and subtract between one and three inches (depending on fabric stretch and your personal preference). But if you own an E&M pants pattern with a yoga waist, the measuring is already done for you. The process is pretty straight forward: cut out two skirts pieces from the dress pattern and the waist piece from the pants pattern. Construct the waist piece and then gather the skirt per the pattern instructions but to the width of the band. Attach the band to the skirt right sides together and hem. You have a new skirt!
Next is my new half circle skirt which I am seriously loving. Cut out two half circle skirt pieces from the Puff Sleeve dress pattern and then from the same pattern, cut out the waistband. I do a little hack here – the pattern calls for two pieces of waistband, one in liner material and one in main, which allows you to construct a more stable band. I cut ONE piece but I double the height, and then I just fold it in half to create the two layers. This works especially well for the skirt because when you do this, you have a finished top edge already. There is no gathering with this one – just sew the sides of the skirt pieces together, set the raw edges of the band against the right side of the skirt at the waist, and attach. It will already fit perfectly since it’s pre-measured to go with the skirt. Hem if desired. Half circle skirt – CHECK!
The last one to share is my new flowy maxi skirt. I use the gathered skirt pieces from the True Beauty pattern. Could you cut out two rectangles on your own and use this for a gathered skirt? Absolutely, and if you don’t own a pattern with a gathered skirt option, you can do this. But if you do own one, Lindsey has already done all the measuring for you so it’s less work, especially if you use A0s or a projector for sewing so you don’t have to print it out. For this skirt option, I decided to use a soft light green elastic and did an exposed elastic waist. This is a fairly simple process – just measure out your preferred waist length, cut your elastic, and then match up the ends same sides together (so don’t overlap as you do with unexposed elastic – you want the stitching turned to the wrong side) and join into a circle with a stretch stitch (I used my serger for this part but you can do a zig zag on a sewing machine). Then gather the skirt top to match the width of the elastic band. Put right sides together (so your elastic seam will be facing you, not facing the skirt) and attach the elastic to the skirt with a stretch stitch. You’re done! Hem if desired – but I typically leave flowy maxi skirt hems raw.
I hope this post has helped you discover some “new” skirts in your pattern stash. If you don’t already own a dress pattern with skirt options, you can pick one up on the many sales E&M has and now know that you will also be getting one or more bonus skirt patterns for free!
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(Written by: Andrea Mulford)