I will take pretty much any excuse to dress up. Dinner party? Dress up time! Wedding? Gotta find a new outfit!! Celebrating our anniversary after two years of not having a change to do anything to mark the occasion? You know I was dressing to the nines for this one!
As a result, I have collected a range of dresses appropriate for more formal occasions. But, I just didn’t really want to wear any of these dresses. I wanted something new. I had see full-length ball gown like skirts all over Pinterest, and I really felt that I could make one myself.
The overall construction is almost exactly like that of The Kate Skirt, only much longer, fuller, and gathered as opposed to pleated.
I didn’t make an official tutorial, but I’m going to walk you through the general steps in case you want to attempt one of your own.
I purchased 3.5 yards of a 60″ wide stretch taffeta. The stretch is inconsequential. It just happened to be the taffeta that had the right shade of pink/magenta that I was going for. I used nearly ALL of the 3.5 yards.
After washing, I took the fabric and folded it in half and then cut down the middle, so I ended up with two pieces that were 60″ long by 63″ wide.
Then I took one of the pieces and cut it in half again(this will be the two back panels). Now you will have three pieces that are more than likely REALLY long(unless your legs are longer than 5’…haha).
I cut off 12″ along the bottom to make the waistband and the ties(6″wide for the waistband, 6″ wide for the ties). I made(and later attached) the waistband EXACTLY the same as I did for the Kate Skirt.
My skirt had pockets, which I did the same as for the Kate Skirt, only I had huge panels of fabric that I was sewing together.
There are different ways to gather material. One is to sew a long loose stitch along the area you want gathered, then pull on one of the loose strings. I’ve never had much success with this method as my strings always break and I can’t get my gathers to be even. For this skirt, I cut a piece of twine about 6 inches longer than I wanted the waist to be. I tied a knot about 3 inches from each end so that the distance between the knots was the waist measurement(28″ in my case).
I hand stitched one end of the knot to the right hand side of the back seam and then the rest along the edge of the fabric. I folded the fabric edge down and over the twine, and made a little “pocket” for the twine. Once I had the whole length of the twine encased in fabric, I pushed the fabric down the length of the twine and tada it was gathered! I kept doing this till I went around the whole skirt and got to the left side of the back seam. I tied the two ends of the twine together then sewed on the waistband, and then cut the twine where I had knotted the two ends together.
I inserted the zipper and hemmed the bottom and the skirt was done.
I made the sash by sewing two 6″x63″ pieces together to make one piece that was 6″x126″, folded it in half, right sides together and sewing up all but 1 side, then flipped it inside out and used heat n’bond to close the open end.
The technique is really easy, but what can cause difficulty is the shear amount of fabric you’re working with.
The end result is totally worth it though. For less than $30, I had a gorgeous ball gown skirt that made me feel like a princess.
If I were to do my wedding over, I would make these skirts for my bridesmaids to wear(probably not in this bright pink though!).
I got multiple compliments throughout the night(one lady even stopped her car on the side of the street to tell me she loved my outfit).