Sew… after being inspired by Sam’s (@purplesewingcloud) scallop hemmed Bobbi skirt I decide that instead of just making a plain black denim skirt, that I had already planned to make, I was going to add a scalloped hem to make a plain skirt a lot more exciting.
Pattern: I didn’t want to buy another pattern as I’m trying to use what I already have. I was originally going to make a black Tilly and the Buttons Ness but I didn’t want work out how to add the buttons down the front as well as scallops and then I remembered I had the Sew Over It Erin skirt. You can download the pattern for free here (Simply Sewing issue 22) and if you need instructions you can see them in the images here. Or use any button down skirt pattern you have.
Fabric: Lady McElroy heavy stretch denim in jet black from Minerva (gifted, fabric review available soon on their website).
Alterations: Before we get to the scallops here are a few other alterations I made
Side seams – The shape of the Erin is quite fitted so I straightened out the side seam from the curve down to the hem line extending it by an inch. I probably didn’t need to do this but after working out the scallops it would be a lot of alterations to change it back! If I ever need to take in the skirt I will just grade the side seams making it more A line.
Pockets – I decided I wanted patch pockets so placed the pocket bag piece behind the front skirt pieces, joining up the notches, and taped in place to complete the front skirt piece. I then used the True Bias Lander Pants pocket piece, I already had this pattern but it would be easy to draft your own, to make the pockets. I shortened the pocket to the size 0 length and placed over the front skirt piece and cut the side seam of the pocket to match the side seam of the skirt. Remember to cut lining pieces for the pockets, I used a scrap of cotton fabric, and trim so its slightly smaller than the denim. I was meant to sew them into the side seams but completely forgot so I sewed the lining and denim right sides together around all sides apart from the waistband seam, turn right way out and press. If sewing into the side seam then with right sides together sew along all sides bar the ones being sewn into the side or waistband seam, turn right way out and press. Top stitch in place.
Waistband – I find that a curved waistband fits me a lot better so I used the alterations I had made to the Lander Pant waistband and transferred them across to the Erin waistband. I also scalloped the end of the waistband that would be on show.
Scallops – Sam has a video tutorial saved in her Instagram highlights.
Basically, you need to make a facing for the centre front and hem. When cutting out the paper facing pattern piece cut two, one will become your scallop stitching line template. I cut the facing 2 inch wide, but you can make this as wide as you like.
As you will be adding a facing you may need to adjust the centre front pattern piece depending on how it is constructed. For the Erin the centre front seam is folded over ½ inch and then a further 1 ¾ inch. I did this on the pattern piece and marked on the button line. I then added 5/8 inch, this is now your front skirt pieces.
Find something round to make your scallops and starting 5/8 inch, or your seam allowance measurement, down from the waistband seam draw semi circles onto one of the facing pieces, this is now your stitching line template, and continue to the hem. You may want to adjust the length slightly so that the scallops continue smoothly around the hem. Cut along this line. Make sure that the semi circles meet on the button line, this will be marked on the pattern piece. When deciding on the size of your scallops make sure they don’t finish too close to the edge of the facing as you will need to cut to the stitch line to get a smooth scallop.
Finish: Construct the skirt as per the instructions, remembering to add the pockets! Once the side seams and pockets are done baste on the facing right sides together, basting will keep it in place whilst sewing the scallops. Mark on the scallop stitching line and sew, I used tailors chalk. Cut in towards the stitch line so that you get really smooth curves, turn out, and topstitch. Add the waistband, button holes and buttons, making sure the buttons are in the middle of the scallops, and all finished.
I finished my seams using an over locker and added a #DIYOOTD label.
Future Changes: I would add some back pockets. I think I may even do that to this skirt.