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paper bag skirt

brown baggin' it.

i've been holding onto the remains of an old khaki skirt for at least 3 years. when it was first purchased (second hand), it was very full with many box pleats. the top edge was enclosed in a thin white binding that was super cheap and worn down. honestly, it was too long, the waist was too large, and the fit was terrible. but the fabric is really interesting- like a lightweight trench, it's a minimally coated thin cotton that doesn't fray. this feature allowed for the top edge to go unfinished.

once deconstructed, i had two large rectangles of fabric, 46"wide by 22"long. gathered fabric at the waistline an unflattering silhouette for my body type. by folding the fabric into deep pleats, the bottom edge still had a large circumference, but the top was slimmer on the hips. a couple rows of 1cm elastic worked well, and mimicked the apiece apart skirt i've had my eye on. here's how it all went down...

folding the skirt:

before adding the elastic to this skirt, it is imperative to ensure it will slide over your hips easily. pin all the pleats together before top stitching any of them and (very carefully) try it. it should be just wider than the widest part of your hips. adjust the width of the pleats to get your customized fit.

Click here for printable pattern

if you would like to finish the top edge of the skirt, it can be hemmed before you mark the interior for the elastic. keep the hem above the top elastic stitch line, because it will be too bulky to sew the elastic to it.

adding the elastic

two bands of elastic are required- one that exactly fits the waistline, and one that sits 2" below it. my elastic is very soft, and once it was sewn to the skirt, it stretched out a bit from what i had cut. when wrapping the elastic around your waist to determine the length, make it a bit tighter than necessary (depending on the stretchiness of your elastic).

each band was made by overlapping the ends of a length of elastic and box stitching them together. mark the band to create 4 equal quarters. pin the top edge of the skirt to keep all the interior folds flat while stitching.

line up the bottom edge of the larger band with the lower line on the interior waistband. pin the sides, center front and center back of the skirt to the marked spots on the elastic.

sew the elastic to the skirt as close to the edge as possible. after the first few stitches, start to stretch the elastic as it's being stitched down. once all the way around, stitch the top edge of the elastic. repeat the same technique to sew the top elastic, lining up the top edge of the elastic under the top line.

hem up the bottom and viola! i may cut down the top edge closer to the elastic- it's a bit more ruffled than anticipated. regardless, it's as easy and comfy as sweatpants and will see a lot of use when i don't feel like putting any effort into getting dressed (that happens quite a bit).

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