Category Archives: Resources

Ladies panel skirt

Skirt Sew Along – Variations

Welcome back to the final installment of our skirt sew along. You can find the pattern here, the sizing chart here and the basic tutorial here.

Once you’ve mastered the basic skirt you might want to consider making a few variations to get the most from you pattern. There are a LOT of things you can do to make the skirt unique to your style and I’m going to show you two simple ideas to create totally new looks from the one pattern.yellow full skirt

Our first skirt is created by cutting each pattern piece twice to give it the fullness of a twirly skirt. This one is made from a vintage sheet so the softness is amazing.  To help the elastic stay in place I sewed across the casing at each panel seam. The photo below indicates how long my row of stitching needed to be. sewing elastic across casing

You could also achieve this look with a voile fabric or even soft bridal tulle for a fun tutu skirt. It will work for quilting cottons, but keep in mind there’s a lot of fabric bunched up in that elastic.


A video posted by @verydebra on

The second skirt I made was from denim with a simple raw edge applique. The seams are top stitched in a contrasting colour to match the kitty panel and I used HeatNBond to secure the panel before stitching around it twice. The denim is quite heavy for the elastic, so you might like to use a stronger elastic. I figured I could get away with an elasticated waist for this denim skirt since I’ll always wear a top to cover it. denim kitty skirt  

  A video posted by @verydebra on

The kitty panel is from Cat and Vee and is printed on a beautiful linen fabric. The denim is from E&M Greenfield  denim kitty skirt detailYes I prewashed my denim.

Here’s a few more ideas you might like to try.

Thanks for sewing along and don’t forget, if you’re sharing on Instagram, to use #skirtsewalong and #thesewquiltyworkshop so I can see what you’ve created.


Ladies panel skirt

Skirt Sew-Along – The Fabric

Welcome back – today we’re going to discuss what fabrics are going to be best for the panel skirt (you can download the PDF here.)

Firstly – how much fabric will I need? And what about elastic? Between 1.2m and 1.5m of fabric and however much elastic you need for your own waist. I like to work with the rule: waist measurement – 10cm = cut elastic. This pattern uses 2.5cm wide elastic.

Ideally a mid weight fabric will work best for this skirt. So this could be

  • cotton and cotton blends
  • linen and linen blends
  • cotton/polyester blend
  • light denim
  • rayon

As long as it’s not too thin or stiff, any fabric will be fine.

A directional print - I wouldn't want my birds upside down now would I?

A directional print – I wouldn’t want my birds upside down now would I?

BUT – if you’ve fallen in love with a voile or something sheer you can still use it – but you’ll need a lining.  This could even become a design feature – think about using a contrasting lining such as yellow under a pink chiffon to create a peach shade.

You could even get away with a firm knit fabric – just make sure it doesn’t have too much stretch and that the stretch runs across the skirt NOT down (or your skirt will end up around your knees after the first wearing.)

In the tutorial next week I’ll be using a quilting cotton with a non directional print. This means it won’t matter which way I place my pattern pieces, as long as they run parallel to the selvedge. If you chose to use a print with a one way design then it means you need to place the pattern pieces carefully to ensure you don’t end up with any upside down flowers/kitties/text/whatever.

This border print will look great along the hem - but only if it matches at the seams.

This border print will look great along the hem – but only if it matches at the seams.

If you chose to use a border print or stripe then you need to be aware of where you place the bottom edge of the pattern pieces and take notice of how the hem will look after its been sewn up. The skirt pattern we’re using in this sew along does have a slight curve to it – but not enough to make it look too odd. Just make sure the lower corners of your  pattern pieces line up on the same line along the border. Do you need to match the stripes? Make pencil lines on your pattern pieces to help guide you.

These stripes will look effective once they're matched at the seams.

These stripes will look effective once they’re matched at the seams.

Taking the time to be aware of all these subtle differences will go a long way to making your skirt look professional and will result in a skirt you’ll love. Have fun with your fabric choices and come back next week to follow the tutorial.

And don’t forget to request an invite to The Sew Quilty Workshop where you can see what everyone else is making and use the #skirtsewalong & #thesewquiltyworkshop hashtags on Instagram.

Ladies panel skirt

Skirt Sew-Along – The Pattern

So the time has come to download our pattern!

I’ve been working away all day grading it for you since the last time I graded it I forgot to save – d’oh! There are nine sizes – 8-24, and they’re colour coded for ease of use. There are 2 options with the printing

  1. an A1 size paper option where you can save it to a USB stick and take it to a copy shop (like Officeworks in Australia.) It should only cost you a few dollars to print and will save you heaps of time if you hate taping all the A4 pages together.
  2. or the standard A4 pages (12 in total) for you to print at home and tape together.

Here’s a photo of how the tiles fit together. It really isn’t that hard to do, you just need a bit of space and no kids/pets/well meaning partners helpers 😉

pattern layout

As you can see, the first tile has the size checking squares. It’s always a good idea to print off that first page and check those are correct as any discrepancy here will mean your whole pattern will be out.

The first eight tiles are the centre front/centre back panel and the last four are the side panel. I left a space between the pieces so there were less pages to join, in other words 1 – 8 doesn’t need to be joined to 9 – 12.

Here’s the A1 file – Ladies Panel skirt A1

Ladies-Panel-Skirt-8-24 A4 (12 pages)

Very Debra Women size chart 6 – 24

Join the Facebook group here.

So, off you go! Download and print away and please leave a comment below, or send an email, if you have any troubles. Share the fun on Instagram with the hashtag #skirtsewalong and #thesewquiltyworkshop.  I’ll be back tomorrow with a run down of what fabrics are going to work best, and a few you may not have thought of.


basic tote with a zip

Basic Tote – Adding a Zip

Following on from the basic tote pattern the other day, I’m going to show you how to line the bag and add a zip to the front pocket. Adding a contrast pocket could be a great way to use up precious scraps or more expensive fabrics.

To fit neatly, the zip should measure no more than 25cm. You can use continuous zipping like I did, or if you’re using a ready made zip you might need to trim some of the excess tape from the ends.bag with zip 1

  1. 1 pair of lining pieces  – use the main bag pattern piece and trim 2.5cm from the top edges
  2. 1 x back bag – I’ve added some iron on woven interfacing since its a light weight quilting cotton
  3. 1 x bag front – interfaced the same way
  4. 1 pair of straps
  5. 3cm x 27cm – used to cover zip inside pocket
  6. cut 2 squares to cover the ends of your zip 2.5cm x 2.5cm
  7. front pocket – with fusing as main bag pieces

Once you’ve got your pieces fused and ready we need to work with the zip. bind the ends of your zip so it is no more than 25cm in length. binding a zip end

Sew the zip to the pocket piece and use piece 5 as a facing to cover the zip tape.bag with zip 2

Mark where the zip needs to sit on the front bag piece and flip the pocket over. Line the zip up with the pins and sew the second side of the zip onto the main bag. bag with zip 3

Sew the back bag to the front. You need to get close to the zip ends, but don’t stitch over them.

Sew the lining and leave an opening in the bottom edge. Pin the straps at the notches (as per the basic tote pattern) and tack or stitch to the bag. Fit the bag inside the lining as shown. Match the side seams and sew the bag to the lining. bag with zip 4

Pull the bag through the opening in the lining and arrange the lining back inside the bag. Sew around the top – just on the lining edge – to form a hem. Sew the opening closed on the lining. bag with zip 5

And you’re done – how does it lookbasic tote with a zip collage?

Share a photo on Instagram with the hashtag #toteallypimpinproject and be sure to check out what Linden and Rachael have made too.

And remember to pin this into your business ideas folder.