Monday, 5 May 2014

My self-drafted knit mini

I’ve been after a tight knit mini for a while now, but it was only after Colette released their new Mabel pattern that I decided that I’d try drafting one myself. Now I haven’t looked at the pattern pieces for the Mabel, so I have no idea exactly what their pattern entails, but I thought I could create a similar look just by sewing a few rectangles together. So I gave it a go, and the result was… well, successful.
Check out that front panel with off-side seams

Here’s what I did it: I took a few measurements – my hips, waist (kinda drop waist) and the potential length of the mini. I then took 2 inches off both the hip and waist measurement as I wanted this mini to be snug and to stretch over my booty and hips. I also decided that I wanted a centre back seam, and a panel at the front – I wanted the side seams to fall a few inches towards the front of the skirt rather than a direct side seam. I’ve seen several ‘panel’ mini’s in a few mags now, so I knew it was the look I was after. It was just a matter deciding on the width of the front panel, dividing my skirt into sections, adding the seam allowance and cutting this baby out.
Ha. A picture of my booty.

For the waist band I took my waist measurement minus 2 inches for the width, doubled the height I wanted for the waistband and added seam allowance to both the width and height. I wanted a 1 7/8 inch waistband, so I doubled it (3 ½”) and added half an inch for the seam allowance (x 2 for the height as it is doubled over). Voila. I had my pattern pieces – all rectangular.

The skirt itself came together really fast…. Super-duper fast. Like, we’re talking, less than an hour fast! Woohoo. That’s my type of sewing! I sewed the 3 skirt pieces together first – and ended up with a tube. I did try this on at this point to make sure it fitted over my booty with just the right amount of stretch. I then folded the skirt in half so I could notch the centre front and the sides. Essentially, I wanted to notch the skirt in quarters.

The waist band I sewed the short ends together, right sides facing to create a band, then doubled the fabric over to enclose the waist band seam. I then notched the waist band in quarters. I placed the waistband over the skirt, right sides facing, matched the notches and pinned it in place like crazy, stretching the waistband (there’s a 7” difference between the waist band and skirt circumference) during pinning.

I sewed the whole thing on the overlocker, except for the hem, which I finished off on the overlocker then turned over half an inch and used a straight stitch with a slightly longer stitch length. I was worried that the straight stitch would stretch the hell out of the hem and distort it, but it seemed to work fine.

That’s it really. I made it sounds more complicated in writing, but really it was a cinch. I’m super happy with this make. It was fast, easy and turned out exactly how I wanted it. And it’s a perfect length to wear with tights and boots without it being inappropriate for work. I’m going to make a few more of these – maybe a straight black one, a grey striped panel one with black back… and anything else that tickles my fancy. Oh, and I got it out of about 50cm of scrap ponte. Win win.


  1. Myra I absolutely love this skirt. The side seams brought to the front is just damn clever. And 50 cm of Ponti? That makes for a stylish, and cheap, work skirt!

    1. Thanks Michelle. I'm thinking I may need a whole wardrobe of these for work. I've already made another in black, but I'm thinking maybe a slightly longer one with a feature panel. And I'm pretty sure I've still got some dead tree ponte - I could dissect my lady bits again :)