One of my favourite pieces of RTW clothing of all time is a tiered maxi skirt I found on a clearance rack in Target. It’s simple, a throw on piece, and one of my most versatile – worn with tights and long sleeves in winter, and a t shirt in summer. The maxi length always makes me feel a bit more elegant too. I’m on the look out for a wide belt I can wear with it too – Nina Proudman in Offspring style.
The skirt is incredibly simple to construct – three tiered layers, gathered into each other, and an elastic waistband. For tiered skirts/dresses, or any pieces with a lot of gathering, I like drapey fabrics such as viscose to reduce bulk. It also gives the garment nice swish and movement as you move, something I always look for, as along with length, its something that makes me feel a bit more elegant.
For fabric I used 2.5m of Lise Tailor’s Viscose – Giverny. Lise Tailor’s current viscose range has a bit more structure and body than some other plain weave viscoses I’ve come across, so it has the drape without the slipperiness. It also doesn’t wrinkle as much as some other viscoses, which is definitely something to look out for when making skirts.
The Giverny is a pit of a showstopper print. I really love the pattern and colours – a cross between petals and fireworks – and I knew I wanted to make something from it when it arrived in store. As it is quite a busy print, I thought a blouse might be a bit overwhelming. A skirt is perfect.
I cut a standard size 12 and made no adjustments, not even to the length, which is a first for me with maxi length garments. The elastic waistband makes sizing quite flexible, and there is a lot of ease across the hips.
As it is composed of a series of rectangles, construction of the skirt is incredibly easy. The trickiest bit for me was trying to keep the gathers even across the layers while sewing. One trick I have learnt for this is to wrap the strands of the gathering threads of one end in figure 8 around a pin – this secures them – and then evening out my gathers from there. To even them, I hold the top of the fabric (above the gathers) and “wiggle” the bottom of the fabric (below the gathers). In tutu making, this is called “stroking the tulle,” and it helps the gathers lay flat. The other trick I have is to pin vertically, rather than horizontally, and to sew over the pins rather than remove them. My gathers are not quite perfect yet, but these tricks do help – and with a busy print no one can tell anyway.
This is a lovely pattern with good, clear instructions, perfect for a Sunday afternoon sew. Lovely for a bright print, especially for a viscose – this one is going to be on high rotation in my wardrobe.
Find our range of viscoses, perfect for the Amelia Skirt here.