Issue 12  •  Spring 2013

DIY Body Con Miniskirt

Written by Joanna Stein
 Active Image Got curves? Show them off with this plush and stretchy miniskirt. This ’80s throwback is a really versatile piece to have in your wardrobe. Dress it up with a girly tank or bustier (but watch out if you do), or downplay the sexiness with your favorite T-shirt and Converse. Either way you can't go wrong with this comfy and easy to wear basic.
Active Image  Got curves? Show them off with this plush and stretchy miniskirt. This ’80s throwback is a really versatile piece to have in your wardrobe. Dress it up with a girly tank or bustier (but watch out if you do), or downplay the sexiness with your favorite T-shirt and Converse. Either way you can't go wrong with this comfy and easy to wear basic.
Supplies:
• 1 yard of a stretchy fabric (the stretchier the better). I'm using stretch velvet. This fabric is stretchy in all directions, but one direction definitely has more stretch than the other so I'm going to make sure that when I cut the fabric it stretches most horizontally across the skirt.
•Newspaper (or something similar to make a pattern)
•Sewing machine
•Straight pins
•Scissors
•Matching thread
•Serger (optional)

Directions:
1. The first thing you want to do is make a pattern. I'm using newspaper to make mine. It's going to lie on a fold to ensure symmetry so it should look like half the front of the skirt. Keep in mind that there should be an extra 2 inches at both the top and bottom for the waistband and hem. 
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Tip: When making a pattern, you can eyeball it if you’d like, but I suggest using your own measurements. Measure your waist in inches and divide that number by four. Then subtract one to make the width of the pattern at the waist of the skirt. (Since the fabric stretches you won't need elastic in the waist as long as you make it small enough.)

If you have prominent hips, allow for that in your pattern. Measure around the widest point of your hips and again divide by four and subtract one. Measure the distance from your waist to your hips and mark it on the pattern (keeping in mind the extra 2 inches at the top). If you're more boyishly shaped you can get away with being less generous with that curve. Measure from your waist to where you'd like the skirt to end, mark it on the pattern, and don’t forget to add two inches to the length! This skirt is meant to be TIGHT and mimics the curves and contours of your body. Connect the marks you made, trace the shape of the skirt, and then cut it out.

2. Lay out your fabric and check the direction of your stretch. Fold the fabric in half (the fold will be the center of your skirt) and place the straight edge of your pattern along the fold of the fabric. Pin the pattern to the fabric so it doesn’t move when you start cutting.
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3. Cut out your pattern. When you cut you'll want to leave about half an inch on the side for seam allowance. Do this whole process twice so you have two identical pieces cut, the front and back of the skirt. If you have a big butt (work it girl!) you might want to account for that and add on another inch or two to the sides of your skirt for just the back piece.
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4. Place the two pieces of fabric (the outside of the skirt) together and pin down the right and left sides. You’re basically making a tube of fabric.
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5. Sew down the sides of the skirt using a zigzag stitch. Make sure not to stretch the fabric as you sew; that will make it bumpy. After both sides are sewn, cut any excess fabric to eliminate bulk. If you have access to a serger (a sewing machine that trims the seam and encloses the seam allowance with an overlock stitch at the same time), use it! Now you're ready to sew the waistband and hem. 
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6. Pin the waistband. While the skirt is still inside out, start at one of the side seams and fold it over about an inch and pin it. Do the same to the other side seam and pin. Then gently stretch out the waistband (this will help you to see where you should pin the rest of the waistband so it's even). After you've gone all the way around, go back to a side seam and take the pin out, fold the fabric over itself so no raw edges show, and pin this down. Do this to the rest of the waistband.
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7. Sew the waistband. Using the zigzag stitch again, sew around the waistband as close to the folded bottom as you can, making sure you catch all three layers of fabric as you go.
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8. After the waistband has been sewn, try on the skirt and see if you want to adjust the length (at this point your only option is shorter but keep in mind it will be 2 inches shorter than it looks unhemmed). If it's fine, do exactly to the hem what you did to the waistband. Body con miniskirt. Done and done!
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 You can see more of Joanna's work here: manhunt.etsy.com.

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