Years ago I bought a midi skirt that turned out to be a surprisingly good investment for travelling. In even the most conservative countries, if you cover your knees you will avoid uncomfortable stares and unwanted attention, and you don’t need to worry about offending anyone at religious sites. A full cotton skirt is both a comfort and a delight to wear as you enjoy delicious exotic breezes or tuck it beneath you on the beach. Can you tell I’m dying for a holiday? I’m thrilled to be packing this.


The second I saw that leaf pattern, it was love.

My mum helped me to make this skirt, so this post isn’t a a proper how-to, more notes that might help someone/me recreate something like this garment if they wanted.

I bought 1.5m of cotton and there was almost none remaining. Notions are a zip and a hook and eye.

We started out by measuring my desired length for the skirt, which was just below the knee. We cut two pieces of fabric that were as wide as the fabric and about 75cm long I think. Making sure the leaves were all facing the same way, I sewed up the side seams, leaving a gap at the top of one of them for the zip.

Note on pattern matching: This is a huge deal in the Great British Sewing Bee and I wanted to show off to mum that I knew about it. Mum described this pattern as having no ‘nap’, a word she uses to mean ‘obvious pattern repeat sections’. The term is used differently on GBSB. Anyway, the point is that with a busy print like this, you don’t need to worry about pattern matching. Ahem.

Anyway, the zip I chose from mum’s bread bin of zips was an invisible one. These are harder to put in than a normal dress zip and require the use of the machine’s zip foot. The key to making sure the zip truly is invisible is sewing as close to the teeth as possible. How we achieved this was by sewing once to secure the zip, then going back over it again closer to the teeth. I think you can see what I mean in the photo below. We stitched in yellow.


Now it was time to put in the box pleats. We had nearly 90″ of fabric to reduce to 30″ (my waist measurement… don’t judge me) so in the end we needed 16 1.75″ pleats. Mum sewed them down 6″ so there wouldn’t be too much fullness around the tummy.

I then pinned them all open.



And then basted them ready for the waistband.



We used a 2″ strip of fabric which was interfaced, sewn double over the right side and then doubled again and sewn to cover the raw edges behind.

I pressed a 1cm hem, folded it double and pressed it again, then top-stiched.

Clear as mud. Now anyone can create their own skirt assuming they know a former professional seamstress and have 8 hours on their hands!