Thursday, January 16, 2014

Kwik Sew 3513 - knit maxi skirt completed!

My first garments of the year are finished! It has been a while (months!) since I've made myself anything to wear and whenever that's happened, I like to get back into sewing with something EASY. And what is easier than a knit skirt, right? So easy, that I made three versions of the same pattern.

On my 2014 project plan list to make this year is a maxi skirt. Up until now, I only had one maxi skirt in my wardrobe (which is technically a few inches too short to qualify anyway). Kwik Sew 3513 seemed like a great pattern for a maxi skirt if a few more inches were added to the length.

Using a Kwik Sew pattern is a first for me. It's well written (not that instructions are needed for a skirt this easy!) and has clear illustrations.  You just sew the front piece to the back at the sides. Then sew the sides of the two waistband pieces together, fold the waistband tube in half so that the raw edges meet and then sew the raw edges of the waistband to the top of the skirt body. Hem, and you're done.

Kwik Sew 3513 is GREAT pattern for a beginner (or someone new to knits) because it's such a simple design and also because Kwik Sew has information and tips for making the skirts with a regular sewing machine or a serger. I opted for using only my serger from start to finish. In fact, these are the first things I made with my new-to-me Babylock Evolution serger/coverstitch machine! More on my upgrade in the future!

Based on reviews at, I cut these skirts out 2 sizes smaller than the size my measurements correspond to. I was nervous to follow the suggestions of other reviewers, so I only cut and sewed one up at first just to make sure going down 2 sizes would work for me. And it did! I practiced first on View B in a tan and cream floral print. View B hits just below the knee for me if I wear the waistband at my true waist. If I wear it at the hips, then of course, the hem falls a couple of inches below my knees. In this photo, the waistband is at my waist. In the photo at the top of this post, I'm wearing it at my hips.

There is no elastic called for in these skirts. So the folded over waistband is what holds up the skirt and it needs to be snug to keep the skirt up. The material for the red skirt is a looser knit (it's lighter in weight and slinkier - is that called less stable?) so the skirt isn't nearly as snug in the waistband as the other two skirts. In fact, by the time my little photoshoot was over, I was inching the red skirt up and I now need to take off the waistband and take it in so it stays up when I wear it. But that's a function of my fabric choice - not the pattern.  View A is this mid-calf length which isn't my favorite length but for some reason I have a lot of skirts this length, lol. But I wanted to put this red fabric to a good use and get a feel for how long it was on me before I attempted the maxi skirt. The fabric is a little on the sheer side (I'm not sure of what this fabric is called but it's a very stretchy, thinner knit with some texture) so I lined this with a lightweight black knit (probably ITY Jersey). First time lining a knit skirt for me! Having a lining under the red makes me wonder if that's what might make the skirt pull down too. Any thoughts?

And then, onto the maxi skirt! I added 7 inches to View A. This made it long enough to wear with heels when the waistband sits at the hips (as in the top collage photo). If I pull the skirt up a bit and have the waistband sit at my true waist, then I can also wear it with flats or just have more of my ankles showing (as in the photo below). Win, win either way! The fabric content (I think ITY jersey) is a more stable knit than the red and I had no problems with it staying up.

The skirts were all finished off with a 5/8" hem - pressed first and then stitched with a narrow two needle coverstitch.

These skirts are pretty much only an hour project (okay, two hours for me since I'm slow at pressing the hem before coverstitching!) so I'd be tempted to sew more, but three will probably suffice for this year.


Lisa said...

These skirts are great. You will be able to get so much wear from them. The hems look great. I'm bookmarking this for some Summer skirts.

Beth said...

I love these skirts, especially the first one. I would be just as nervous about cutting a pattern two sizes smaller. I think this a challenge that I face and that it can sometime lead to procrastination. My sewing time is limited, but I don't want to waste it making the wrong size. It leads into a vicious cycle. Oh well. Sorry about going off on a tangent. :)

Joy said...

All 3 skirts are lovely and look very easy to wear. It's nice that you're able to make them look so different, so that you can whip up the same pattern and not get bored!

Vanessa said...

Ok, your three skirts look amazing!! Great job! Also, I would love for you to do a review on the Babylock Evolution machine. I am thinking about adding a coverstitch machine to my sewing room since I enjoy sewing knits.



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