Sewing Your own Skirts

General discussion of skirt and kilt-based fashion for men, and stuff that goes with skirts and kilts.
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AMM
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Sewing Your own Skirts

Post by AMM »

Is there anyone else besides me at the Cafe that sews his (or her) own skirts?

And would like to share their experiences, ideas, tips, latest projects, etc?

-- AMM
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crfriend
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Post by crfriend »

I've done a couple. There's really not much to report, though; just two 17" minis with a basic wrap design and elasticised waists. (Three, if you count the one I made for The Wife.)
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boca
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Post by boca »

AMM -

I have only made one skirt, which was a converted pair of jeans. It eventually turned into a 26 inch a-line skirt. here was my basic steps:

I cut off the calfs from the jeans just below the knee. I then cut open the inseam all the way through the crotch. Next, I sewed the front all the way down to the hem, overlapping the crotch fabric in front. I then sewed the back and left a 8 inch or so slit. I played around with varying the length of the slit by using safty pins to constantly adjust it until I found the right length.

That is the only experience I can note, but good luck with your own sewing adventures! I know there are many others here who have had a fair more amount of experience sewing their own skirts than I have.

-boca

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Post by Eagle 95 »

I've made myself two, though both looked more sloppy than them joes. The first skirt was a converted pair of jeans, and the second skirt was made from denim I bought at Walmart. I've worn both skirts around the house, and wore the second one out several months ago, though I made a couple mistakes: first, I forgot to wash the denim before I began cutting, and second, I wound up making the waist too wide, so I'd need a belt regardless.
I've been putting off making a new one until I felt I could get it right. I've figured out that way, and I've had plans drawn up for a while now, so I'm buyin some more fabric in a couple days.
Shoot, the original reason I decided to get a sewing machine was to make jerseys I design, though I've only made something wearable three times. The second of three is the only one I still have on me, as I got lazy with the first and third, which ruined the look in both cases...though I figure it'll finally come together for jersey #4 as I learn from my past mistakes, keep in mind what I got right, and try out a couple new ideas, basically the same approach I intend to take with the new skirt.
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Since1982
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I have

Post by Since1982 »

I've been sewing my own skirts for about 20 years. I also have converted about 6 pairs of jeans into skirts. I also buy Lane Bryant A-line skirts and convert them into straight skirts. I bought a Euro-Pro Computerized Sewing machine that has a self threading feature that rocks. Any pictures of me on the site in a skirt has been of skirts I either sewed from scratch or modified from jeans or Lane Bryant skirts. Once you know your measurements it's very easy to make straight skirts. Just make sure the hem is the same circumference as the waist is. Hence "straight" If the hem is less than the waist is then it's called a "pencil" skirt. A-line skirts are easy to wear with or without an underskirt/slip. Straight or pencil skirts don't really need either. Once you get to making gored, broomstick,tiered, peasant or full skirts then you really need to think about wearing a slip underneath for modesty reasons. I like to use an opposite colored slip to whatever color skirt I'm wearing. Like if I'm wearing a dark skirt, ie: Black, Navy Blue or Dark green I use a white slip, a white or tan or khaki skirt gets a black slip. I don't wear a slip in a way to purposely show it but if it slips down from my waist inside then I get "It's snowing down south" comments, 'specially at Bingo. I just laugh them off and head to the mens room to fix the problem. :)
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AMM
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Post by AMM »

One thing I've noticed is that if I make the skirt the same length
(from the waistband) all the way around, the hem ends up being
lower to the ground in the front than the back. (As measured with
a yardstick, standing up straight and looking into a full-length mirror.)

Some of it is what the Utilikilt guys call the "beer-gut factor", but
even when I make sure that the waistband is level all the way
around, there's still some effect. My theory is that it is because
the skirt drops straight down in the front, but has to go out a bit
at the sides and back to get around my hips/butt.

The last two skirts I made, I have made the front about 3" (7 cm) shorter
than the back, and it doesn't look like it's shorter in the front,
it just looks even, and my yardstick confirms it.

On the other hand, I picked up a 20" skirt from Goodwill, and it looks
longer in the front than in the back.

Anyone else had this experience?

-- AMM
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Post by kiltair »

AMM,
If you look carefully at pants, then you also see that the waistband is lower in front than at the back.
For skirts, there's a very easy solution. In sewing shops they sell a special 'yardstick' (that creates chalkmarks at the height you want your skirt to be. If you skirt is nearly finished (not yet hemmed), then put on the skirt and use this skirtmarker to define an even line...

Quite easy, only for kilts it's a bit more difficult.. :) as they are not hemmed (at least not as the last step)

Greetings,
Jan

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Post by AMM »

kiltair wrote: AMM, If you look carefully at pants, then you also see that the waistband is lower in front than at the back.
I've noticed, but it doesn't look like more than an inch (2--3 cm) I've been looking at 3--4 times as much for my skirts.
kiltair wrote: For skirts, there's a very easy solution. In sewing shops they sell a special 'yardstick' (that creates chalkmarks at the height you want your skirt to be. If you skirt is nearly finished (not yet hemmed), then put on the skirt and use this skirtmarker to define an even line...
I've been trying to put most of the adjustment at the top (I think Utilikilts does that, too.) My theory is that since the asymmetry is at the top, that's where the correction should be. Particularly for tiered skirts; otherwise, all the horizontal seams will be tilted except for the hem.

As for the hem marker, since most of the skirts I've made so far are fairly full (4.5--5.5 radians), it's hard to get a good floor-to-hem measurement. Every time you turn, the skirt settles in a slightly different configuration.

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Post by skirttron »

You know, I'd like to try sewing a skirt, but my wife would be surprised I wanted to use her sewing machine, and I'd be afraid of her kilt-tolerance wearing thin.

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If you're serious about making skirts

Post by DanR »

If you're serious about making your own skirts, you need to spend the money on this book:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0321034236/sr=8-3/qid=1154455401/ref=pd_bbs_3/102-6387616-2837708?ie=UTF8

Not cheap, but if you want the stuff you make to look right, you need the best pattern you can get your hands on first before you ever take scissors to fabric.

There's a reason why the waistband is lower in front on a man's skirt or pants; It's called male anatomy. It's one of the ways men are different when making skirts for them. Our musculature is slightly different and your skirt pattern needs to accommodate this. CitySkirt products did take this into account; A lesson learned the hard way.
Dan Richardson
The CitySkirt Company

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AMM
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Post by AMM »

DanR wrote: ... It's one of the ways men are different when making skirts for them. Our musculature is slightly different and your skirt pattern needs to accommodate this. CitySkirt products did take this into account; A lesson learned the hard way.
Can you elaborate on how skirt patterns for men need to be different?

I've made several skirts, and the only differences I've noticed are:
  1. Women's skirts tend to assume that the hips are much larger than the waist, so you can just pick an approximate waist measurement and let the skirt sit on top of the hips. My hips are only a few inches larger than my waist (when my stomach is empty :) ), so I need a belt or a fairly tight waistband.
  2. The need to have the skirt longer (~3" in my case) in the back than the front, if you want the hem to be the same height all the way around. (But I've noticed that women's skirts vary -- some are lower in the front than the back, and some are lower in the back -- sometimes by as much as 6 inches!)
One caveat is that I only make fairly full skirts, whereas I notice that CitySkirts has only fairly straight/tight skirts.

-- AMM
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Post by stevemark65 »

I have been making skirts out of men's shorts by ripping out the inseams and re-sewing them into a skirt. It has been working well but I would like to have some mid-calf or ankle length skirts. Has anyone ever converted slacks into skirts? I assume that one would have to buy 2 pairs and cut up one pair for filler material. Any tips?

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An easier way

Post by Since1982 »

In my opinion, pricewise as well as pocketswise Lane Bryant or http://www.LBcatelog.com has a deal that's really great for men. Plus if you're slightly portly like me, no one sees you buying it and says anything unfriendly. It's item # 31-32713-777 for 34 inches long or #31-33720-777 for 32 inches long. The first one is called their "Average" and the second is called their "Petite" for 5' to 5'2" people. IF a 5'2" woman was to wear a 34" skirt it would drag on the ground. I'm 6'1" and buy the "petite" length. It comes to the top of my calves about 3 inches below the knee. I buy the cotton twill material. I originally bought the denim, but their denim is very very thin and weak. Their twill on the other hand is very comfortable sturdy material, it comes in White, Black, Khaki and Navy Blue. Size 14 to 24 is $16.99 in either Average or Petite. Just a thought. I hope it helps. The only sewing I do to these is, I close the back vent which is fairly high and since they come as A-line, I make them straight by sewing the back seam so the hem and waist match. :)
I had to remove this signature as it was being used on Twitter. This is my OPINION, you NEEDN'T AGREE.

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I've been skirted part time since 1972 and full time since 2005. http://skirts4men.myfreeforum.org/

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Post by mushroom »

Something that I have come up with in the past while... (try it ... you might like it...) most men's stores offer free alterations. I have never tried this but it might work.
Go into an establishment that only deals in men's suits. Ask if they offer alterations (most do) .
Then request that the pants be altered so that the inseam is opened and then sewen together at the front and back to make a skirt. Best bet would be to to have it hemmed just below the knees (maybe 2 inches or so) with a 6 inch kick pleat at the back. This may be more than the person doing the alterations is williing to do but we have to start somewhere( pay the extra... it might be worth it^!!) I don't know what this will accomplish but it wouldn't hurt to try.
Any comments are welcome.
It's MY skirt... and I'll wear it anywhre I please... thank you

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Post by binx »

I've found an alterations shop that will hem a kilt/skirt with 2" longer in the back, 1" on each side. This works great for me.

binx

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