Tag Archives: Lace Style

Deconstructed Skirt


The inspiration for this skirt came from Lace Style. Yes, it’s a knitting book, and no, there is no pattern for the skirt. I decided to make one.

Image from "Lace Style"

I had a basic “recipe” for a skirt with the Calista Skirt (by Lila Tueller, see sidebar waaayyyy at the bottom for the pattern). So I pulled out the leftovers of a bedsheet I had used to back a quilt for my son and went to work.

I made 5 horizontal panels, with each panel different in terms of texture or fullness or length. I will explain the process below, in case you want to know. I fully expected this to be a test pattern, but I loved it so much, I just wore it as is.

Because of this, there are a few problems with the skirt:

  • The edges fray badly. I like the look of some fraying, but I have to take a scissors to the thing every time it comes out of the wash. It is the nature of the beast with the slashing, so I am willing to live with that part, but I probably should have serged the inside edges.
  • The color. I would not have picked this color for fashion fabric; it’s just what I had on hand.
  • The fabric is heavy. It has multiple, overlapping layers, and it’s a bedsheet.

How I think the skirt could be improved:

  • Maybe cut the slashed panels on the bias to keep the fraying to a minimum
  • Use the serger judiciously. I want some fraying, that’s part of the charm of the skirt. But the serger might be used in places to minimize the fraying. Hell, serger thread in a contrasting color might add to the deconstructed feel of the end product.
  • Consider fabric. Cotton lawn would probably be too thin. And would probably shred after a few washings. Gauze would be crinkly and crumply, which would look great, but might be too loose-weaved to withstand the slashing treatment, fraying into bits quickly. Quilting fabrics might work well, but there is so much going on with the fabric manipulation, a solid is probably better than a print.

You want to make one too, right?

Well, the sky is the limit. It’s really just 5 rectangles of varying lengths stacked vertically and seamed together with 1/2″ seams. The only “must do” rule is, the top panel must be able to clear your hips and fit your waist. I suggest a finished width of your hip measurement + 4″. Then go crazy. Make as many panels as you want with whatever slashing or layers you find interesting.

Here is how I made mine.

The first (top) panel is smooth, as it goes over my belly and hips, and I didn’t want extra distraction there. I don’t tuck in shirts anymore, so I didn’t want a lot of bumps to show through a t-shirt. This panel has a casing for 1.25″ elastic. I cut the panel to be a rectangle 10″ long by 43″ wide.

The second panel was cut 4″ long by 45″ wide. It has an overlay cut exactly the same measurement, which is slashed vertically every 1″. The actual slash is only about 2″ long. You must leave at least 1/2″ unslashed at the top and bottom for seaming this panel to the panels on either side of it. Believe me, you don’t want to have to sew a million loose strips of fabric. To make the slits, I just covered both horizontal edges with rulers to protect the fabric from being cut all the way through the seam allowance, then cut the fabric with my rotary cutter. Rulers also make it easy to keep the slashes straight.

Second panel

The third panel was cut 6.5″ long by 47″ wide. It also has an overlay of the same dimension. The top layer is slashed vertically every 1″, with each slash about 5″ long. I was more adventurous in cutting this layer after experiencing the first slashed panel. You know how when you try to cut pizza you can never quite make it to the edge because the pan lip gets in the way? I realized I could move my ruler further away from the edge and still protect my fabric. This gave me an extra inch of slashing.

Third panel

I cut the fourth panel 4″ long by 68″ wide. I ran 2 lines of basting along the top and gathered it to match the previous panel.

Fourth and fifth panels

The fifth panel is a 3.5″ ruffle, which is actually 7″ long by 80″ wide and folded horizonally. The top edge is gathered and seamed to the previous panel, so no hemming is required. How did I end up with this dimension? It was the top of the bedsheet where the manufacturer folded it back. I simply cut the entire length across the top of the queen size sheet and turned it into the hem ruffle.

The seams where the slashed panels meet seemed a little boring, so I added some seam details. For the top panel, I cut a 1″-wide strip of fabric across the entire bedsheet, ran a line of gathering down the center, and pulled it until it was the same width as the skirt at that point. Then I sewed it over the seam right down the center of the ruffle. For the second panel, I didn’t even gather the 1″ strip. I just sewed it right down the center of the strip to cover the skirt seam. I cut it to the right length when I got to the end.

It sounds like a lot, but really, I finished it all in one day.

I am gaga over the finished product. I would like to make another, but seriously how many deconstructed skirts do I need in my wardrobe?

I actually wore the top and sweater with jeans today, but wanted to show a photo of the skirt on a body, so I just slipped it on and ran outside to catch the fading sunlight. A little too much ruffle going on there for a regular outfit, I think.