Last fall my mother was wearing a skirt that she said I’d made her many years ago. It was a wool challis border print for which she’d found a new updated top. She suggested that it would be ‘fine’ if I’d like to make her more similar skirts….

So, in January when Michelle** offered two skirt lengths of a green rayon challis foulard print, I jumped at the chance! (Mom has green eyes!)

Green Rayon Challis

Green Rayon Challis

Mom, who will be 80 this fall, measured the old skirt and sent an email with the info:

  • 30″ long (plus waistband) – 2 to 4 inches longer would be better
    1.2″ waistband (serged) with elastic inside
    Pockets inside both side seams
    Bottom width: 58″
    Width of skirt 6″ below waist: 52″
    Hem: 4″
  • I also got her current waist and hip measurements and calculated that I’d need to cut the skirt 39″ long x the width of the fabric (59″). I cut the waistband 44″ x 3″, which is probably longer than necessary. I must have added some long, ‘freehand’ darts at the waistband to reduce the fabric bulk between the waist and lower hip. I really don’t remember sewing the wool challis skirt, so I know it was a quick ‘n’ dirty project, no doubt all serged.

    Initially I figured I’d have to add a side seam if I wanted to make the big pocket bags that I usually put into challis skirt side seams. Or maybe I could just stick with one pocket and one side seam; but with only one seam, I’d prefer to put that seam in the center back.

    My experience with rayon challis (compared to the sturdier wool challis) is that it might be better to make the skirt a little fuller than the original 58 inches and to cut separate pieces for the front and back. In that case, the pockets would be easy to install. I’ll probably move the side seams slightly to the front so the pockets bags will be at her hip bones and thus less bulky.

    I’ll tell you more in my next skirt-making post.

    **For the last two months Michelle has been hosting several regional PatternReview gals at her home for a Sewing-Saturday. It’s been SO much fun to set aside the time to share and help each other with various sewing projects.