Easy to Sew, Flowing, Elegant Skirt
For some general tips, see Girl's spiral skirt, where I've added images of the pattern piece cutting. This skirt takes a lot of fabric, and Birch Street clothing recommends something that drapes well. The Spiral Skirt pattern is available at BirchstreetClothing.com.
A serger would make this skirt a breeze. Even without one, sewing the pieces together takes about two hours total. The hem is an easy baby hem. I zig zagged the edge, then turned under 1/4 inch. I tried a lycra waistband for my own size skirt (a women's medium), but it neither looked quite right nor held up the skirt enough, so I removed it and put in the elastic waist casing as indicated on the pattern. To see how the lycra waistband looks, see the Girl's spiral skirt review.
The "ballerina" length Women's Skirt
I chose two light weight cotton blend twin fabrics. One fabric has a pattern of butterflies and flowers on it, and the other is plain. My sizing took 12 swirl pieces, so I cut 6 of each fabric. I used the same method as in the girls' skirt where I cut rectangles of fabric just long enough for the swirl, then stacked them 6 on top of each other and cut all 6 at once and marked them with their notches.
I also constructed a matching snood, using the butterfly fabric for the hat part, a white lycra headband, and the "tails" to tie out of one of each of the fabrics of the skirt.
This skirt has become the favorite in the house. We made one in the short form with a lycra waistband for my pre-teen, but neither she nor I liked how it looked on her. It's made from a synthetic crinkle taffeta we found on sale. (Look, the taffeta was the fabric that all the ready-to-wear skirts were made of that season, we live in a rural area, and when your teen demands it, you do it).
The next one was a lot more successful, as dear daughter insisted that she is anti-elastic waistband right now and I volunteered a waistband with zipper. I made the pattern one spiral piece smaller than called for (9 spirals for an xs), added an invisible zipper in the back, and a simple waistband. Here's a picture of the zipper. I added the zipper between two spirals and then continued adding spirals.
I just grabbed the waistband from the Wall Street Skirt pattern, and shortened it to her measurements.
Then I eased the back 3 spirals on either side of the zipper so that the skirt would fit the waistband but the front would not look gathered. The only challenge was putting in a zipper where the seam allowance is normally 1/4 inch.
Add a button above the zipper opening.
For a more "formal" look, I made a tunic vest from a women's vest pattern. Instead of a button front, I cut it on the fold and put a zipper in the back. Adding a little decorative ribbon, it gave a matching look to the whole outfit.
The final results were very pleasing. It's a little more fitted looking, without being tight or revealing. The house favorite is definitely the longer length.
This skirt is great for both casual and formal looks, simple cottons or synthetics, loose or tailored. To purchase the pattern, visit BirchstreetClothing.com.
As I mentioned, I wasn't really all that thrilled with the shorter version of the skirt. After a year I found more of the original fabric, removed the elastic from the waist, and added a panel above the original waistband based upon the back skirt upper panel of the trumpet skirt. I traced a vest I'd purchased several years ago that is long, and made it out of the matching material. Together with the snood I'd originally made, I am now completely satisfied with the outfit. It's comfortable, a great style, and modest.
Sometimes when you need a skirt right away, you can find one one eBay.com. Here are current auctions when you search for spiral skirts: