The Problem and Solution Skirt

Problem and Solution Skirt

This whole skirt was one problem/solution after another.

Problem: Sometime before 2006 I bought white, narrow-wale corduroy fabric. It sat in my stash in Atlanta, in Minnesota, and in Virginia.

Solution: Dye it a nice, autumnal wine color.

Problem: Although I wet the fabric completely, the dye pot was too small and the fabric dyed unevenly.

Solution: Make a gored skirt.

Problem: I don’t have a pattern.

Solution: Make a half-circle skirt in four panels to account for the unevenness of the fabric.

Problem: I don’t have enough fabric.

Solution: Do eight panels.

Problem: I can only do eight panels if I flip the pattern over and that makes the pattern pieces run in opposite nap directions.

Solution: Alternate naps in each panel, then any light differences will be intentional looking.

Problem: I sewed four pairs together, and then sewed two of those pairs together and now the down-nap is against the down-nap.

Solution: Make the nap alternate two by two and make sure to put the back zipper between two down-naps for better butt wear.

Problem: I did this and topstitched the seams, and some of the fabric didn’t get caught in the top stitching and I didn’t pink it beforehand.

Solution: Just tack the fabric down to the other seam with a blanket stitch.

Problem: Good idea, I’ll do that later. I need to insert my zipper and I always have a weird method for invisible zippers and no matter how much I iron, I can’t get my zipper to turn out.

Solution: Your method works, even if you have to stitch multiple times. The stitching will show on the wrong side, not right, so stitch it and move on.

Problem: I put in the zipper and discovered this skirt is one full panel too big for my waist. And I’ve already topstitching the seams and don’t want to rip stitches. In corduroy. Which I’ve never worked with before.

Solution: Baste and pull it up under the waistband.

Problem: Ah, yes, the waistband. I don’t have enough fabric to cut bias strips for a waistband.

Solution: Cut four pieces, line up the seams with every other gore, and move on with your life.

Problem: Great idea, but since one edge of each piece was bias, my hem is completely uneven.

Solution: You cut it long for a reason. Hang it up for a week, then use your chalk marker to do the hem.

Problem: The chalk marker keeps giving me different readings and now I’ve cut and I’m afraid I’m going to keep cutting and it’s going to be like a bad haircut—too short.

Solution: Fold the skirt on the center front and center back seam, and make sure the hems line up. Cut, and get over it if the hem isn’t perfect.

Problem: It worked! I have no more problems. Now what am I going to worry about?

Solution: Start sewing something else.


I finished this skirt last night (except for tacking down parts of the seams, which I’ll do later) and I wore it to work today. I got a dozen adult compliments and a half-dozen kid “compliments,” which tells me it’s a win.

Several people asked me where I bought the skirt. I told them I made it and they were rather surprised. When I explained that I did the gores to make up for the uneven dying, they told me they thought I bought it dyed that way.

I solved the white corduroy purchase mistake. I sewed on corduroy for the first time. I drafted a pattern for the first time. I’m pleased.

Problem and Solution Skirt
Why am I standing pigeon-toed? Don’t know.

One thought on “The Problem and Solution Skirt

  1. Comment from: Helena [Visitor] ยท
    It looks great! I love your solution. :)
    03/11/11 @ 10:46

    Comment from: admin [Member]
    Helena, when it comes to hobbies, I am rather lazy deep down. I’d rather find a way to solve a problem than to rip out and fix the problem. Shh, it’ll be our little secret. ;)
    03/13/11 @ 00:56

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