Two overskirts

In mid-September I am starting ATS Level 1 classes, and I wanted to get an overskirt or hip wrap to replace my coin belt, as I’d need to travel to class via public transport, and coin belts are heavy, adding to an already heavy bag. Also, I wanted something that would cover my bum while travelling, as nearly every pair of trousers I own have a bit of a see-through problem in the area.

I’d seen a few overskirts, and found a really quick and easy tutorial online, so I tried it. DISASTER! Well, not exactly disaster, but as usual, things didn’t *quite* work for my shape. I’d done a full width (1.57m) of my fabric, a simple black cotton stretch jersey, and about 40cm deep. I even made sure I did a bit of stretching on the sides and bottom edges to get a lettuce effect on them. And when I tried it on, the blasted thing was gaping all over and definitely not sitting properly, and to add insult to injury, all the draping fabric was making my already generous hips into the kind of epic-sized bottom that inspired a certain infamous Queen song.

Thankfully, hubby wasn’t around to start singing to me that he was just a skinny lad never knowing good from bad before he met me, so I had a chance to play a bit further, and came to the idea of trying to make one wrap out of just the front. I marked the middle, wrapped it all around, and noticed it was sitting better, so there was still a chance of making something usable. But the top side was gaping, and the back was also gaping, so I needed to shape it all a bit better for my size. This is what I ended with:

Overskirt pattern, style 1

Pattern for overskirt style 1

I added two darts on the back, and a shaped seam on the side to adapt better to the shape of my hips. Made a few strong stitches just at the joining point and presto! overskirt that not only fitted in a more flattering manner, but also interesting, suitable fall on the sides that didn’t make me look like I was wearing a pannier.

So I took the bits I’d learnt worked, and tried the original overskirt design again, this time with modifications: the draping sides would not be longer than 25cms, the back panel would feature the darts to better accommodate the shape of my rear, and the front and back would be held by strong stitching at the top.

The results this time were a lot better, and very soon this overskirt will get its first class workout. Both overskirts have already been tested and approved by the cats, as befits any black cloth in the house, but I’ll test both skirts in class and practice, and if they work as I hope, I’ll try finding more interesting fabric and making another.

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