Reversible Knit Skirt Tutorial
Reverse Interlock Knit
After my first successful experience sewing knits during Kids Clothes Week Fall 2014: My Father’s Dragon, I fell in love with knits! That is precisely why I scooped up this wonderful teal colored reversible interlock knit during a sale at Joann’s.
I got so much, that I was able to sew 2 skirts and 1 pullover. I am almost finished with the pullover and should upload the pics soon!
1 Skirt: 2 Ways
1: with a smooth elastic waist band, or
2: with a bunched elastic waist band.
This tutorial will walk you through making both!
But first, lets start with the basics. For this skirt, no pattern is needed. The hip measurement (or where you want the skirt to sit), and the length measurement, is all the pattern you need for this reversible knit skirt tutorial.
- Hip measurement
- Hip to bottom of skirt measurement
- Walking foot
- Stretch fabric needle
- Elastic Band 5/8 – 1 inch in width
Reversible Knit Skirt Tutorial
Step 1: Measure
After determining hip measurement, multiply by either 1.5 or 2 depending on how gathered you wish the skirt to be. Take that number and add 1 inch for the seam allowance. That is how wide your fabric for the skirt will be. **Make sure the stretch of the fabric is horizontal (side to side) to this measurement.
My daughter’s Hip measurement is 25 inches. 25 x 2 = 50 + 1 = 51 inches.
Step 2: Cut Fabric
Cut out a rectangle in the measurements determined above. My rectangle was 51 inches wide by 15 inches tall.
Step 3: Sew Side Seams
Decorative Flat Felled Seam
For a reversible skirt, I like to sew a decorative flat felled seam. To do this you simply pin the side so that the seams match up, and choose a stretch stitch that is decorative on either the front, back, or both. Sew a straight line down the length of the side seam, and trim the excess fabric on one side only. Trimming the fabric on one side will reduce bulk in the finished seam. The longer side will then fold over to the seam edge. Press flat with an iron. Turn fabric over and topstitch, preferably with a stretch straight line stitch (one that goes back and forth). When you turn the fabric over, there should be a decorative stitch the length of the side seam. This step can be repeated on the other side with the fold to even things out. Just make sure to leave out the trimming!
Step 4 (a): Smooth Waist Band
a. The elastic band should be roughly 2-3 inches shorter than your hip measurement for adequate fitting. It is best to measure on the person if possible.
For Example: my daughter’s hip measurement is 25 inches. The elastic band I measured to be 22 inches.
b. Instead of overlapping the elastic and creating bulk, I like to sew each elastic end to the durable piece of fabric as seen below. This reduces bulk, and provides stability. With a short zig-zag stitch, go over the end of the elastic 4-5 times. You can add a third row in he middle if you like.
a. Cut out a strip of knit (with the stretch going length wise) 2 x the width of your elastic plus 1 inch seam allowance. The length should be 1 inch longer than the .
For example: I used a 1 inch elastic waist band, so the width of my strip was 2 x 1 = 2 + 1 = 3 inches.
Fold strip in half and, using the flat felled seam technique mentioned above, sew the strip together to make a circle as seen below:
b. Fold strip of fabric over the elastic to make an encasing as seen below:
3. Attaching Waistband to Skirt
a. Before you attach the waistband, you are going to want to gather the top of the skirt. Simply run a straight stitch with a wide spacing (preferably 5 on the settings) about 5/8 in from the edge.
b. Divide the waistband and gathered skirt into quarters. With raw edges up, and right sides together, pin waistband to skirt (matching quarter markings) as seen below:
c. Sew the waistband to the skirt, with the same decorative stitch used on the side seams, stretching slightly as you go . Make sure you leave enough seam allowance to include a flat felled seam here if desired (turning up toward the elastic).
Trim any gathering stitches and marvel at your masterpiece!
Step 4 (b): Bunched Waist Band
The Reversible Knit Skirt Tutorial for a bunched waist is only slightly different than from the smooth waist.
Go ahead and sew the side seams exactly the same as above, however, we are going to leave out the gathering on the skirt and we will wait until the end for the elastic.
a. Instead of gathering the top of the skirt, we are going to fold it over 3/8 in. Then sew the same decorative stretch stitch for the entire length of the circle.
b. Trim the excess seam allowance and fold the sewn edge over again so that the casing is 1.5 inches (for a 1 inch elastic waist band). Use a straight stretch stitch to sew below the decorative bottom stitch (making sure you leave a 1 inch opening) as well as edge stitch on the top. This will give it a more professional look.
Using whatever method you like, run the elastic through the casing, being careful not to twist the elastic. Once the elastic is threaded through, utilize the same closing technique mentioned above for the smooth elastic band. Once complete, sew closed the opening on the casing.
Now you have a beautiful, reversible knit dress!