Project #116 – Pattern-Free Hiking Skirt

I believe that skirts shouldn’t be saved just for church and the office, and they certainly don’t have to be uncomfortable and restrictive. I wear skirts while doing yard work and skirts while helping friends move. It might be a little eccentric, but a good knee-length skirt looks much more flattering on my pear-shaped body (Thanks for the big butt, Cuba!) than a pair or shorts or most pants. Plus, the right skirt is more comfortable than pants. Almost all of my skirts are designed so that I can squat in them, leap in them, and run in them. Usually, my casual skirts are made of tougher materials like denim or corduroy. Of course, I always wear a pair of shorts underneath for modesty’s sake and so that I can do all that squatting and lifting without worrying about showing people London or France. I’m happy to say that I haven’t worn pants for two weeks, and if I play my cards right I won’t wear them at all until October.

So, the plan is to go hiking tomorrow at McConnell’s Mill Park. The trails are a little rougher and narrower than most of the state parks around here, but because it is an hour north it is like traveling a week back in time, season wise. I would like another chance to see the tree blooms.

I designed today’s skirt to stand up to the terrain, but it was already late so I needed something I could make in an hour or so. I used about 1.5 yards of gray denim. Basically, the skirt is a big trapezoid (two, actually!) with a slightly curved top and bottom. The top is the width of my fanny, plus a few inches, so that I can take it on and off easily. The height is the distance from my waist to my knee, plus a few inches for the casing of the elastic at the top and the hem at the bottom. The bottom can be as wide as you want it; mine is about 1.5 times the length of the top.

The waist is 1 inch elastic. As I’ve said before, I used to be anti-elastic (too sweatpanty!), but I changed my tune when I realized that I will inevitably get fatter as I age and it would be nice to have clothes on hand that still fit.

Oh, and my skirt also has pockets, which are optional, I talk about how to insert them here. Pockets are the best; you won’t regret it if you add some.

After cutting out your pieces, lay your two trapezoids like sides together and sew up the sides, accounting for pockets, if you have any. Next, roll down a casing at the waist a little larger than your elastic and stitch it into place, leaving two inch opening. Insert your elastic and once you have it in place stitch it together and clip the excess. Sew up the opening. Hem. (Confession: I have not hemmed my skirt yet.) Fini!


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