Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The making of. Betty Jackson Style paper bag skirt. Vol 02

The idea of creating a muslin was to really try out the design idea. I had no clue if it would work so I didn't spend much time trying to second guess my drafting.. it was time to go for a 'test sew'

If you haven't read my drafting post, I'm trying to recreate 'Betty Jackson paper bag skirt'.
I recommend reading it before you start this one to see my attempt to draft it.

The construction was a breeze. I apologies for the photos as I was sewing in the evening and my living room light sucks. Sorry I didn't photographed every step. ( Booo... I was distracted watching TV )

With fabric on the fold, I cut front panel A and front panel B on the grain. So I had Side AB with the 15 cm square from the right and the mirror version of the square from the left.

I started by sewing each AB panel separately, making sure I clipped the curves and square ends.

Them I pinned and sew the centre seam. I think I will make this seam disappear by cutting the panel B on the fold for the final garment.

Then I cut the back panel as a whole on the fold and I redrafted and repositioned the dart making it smaller. Pressed to the centre.

I drafted facings for the front and back to enclose the elastic and I wanted to try blind hem. You can see by the pile of scraps below it didn't work.  My machine sews catching the wrong side, making a extra pouch.

I saw millions of videos and followed my own machine tutorial but it didn't work. Oh Well.  Reluctant I went for a very similar colour thread. I will have to figure it out before the final garment. ( Note that I did that on the following day- a bit better lighting- hurray.) 

Top stitched the skirt. I know it's a muslim but I'm details freak.

Once sewn, the casing was ready for the elastic. I used 5 cm ( 2 inches) wide.

Looks quite funny untied!

So, how does my muslin compare. Did you think I did I good Job?

I made a few notes for future alterations that I feel it would improve even more this skirt but I'm so out of time to make another skirt for the contest.

* Updated*

I wanted to share the inside construction so If you plan to try this method is clear how I sewn it.

I recommend also that you make the waist longer, so instead of facing you can just roll it down inwards, like when you sew pyjamas. It would make the elastic casing much faster.

Do you think I should enter my wearable muslin?

lots of love,


  1. I think you did awesome! Really looks similar. I look forward to seeing the real one. Good job!

  2. Wow- you are really getting there. I love the whole idea, maybe go for a shorter length, as on the original model. One thing I would do differently is to actually pleat the skirt panel and add a zipper at the back. Just I find elastic quite bulky in my experience. But then, the squares hide it well, it looks very elegant. I am on the verge of stealing the idea! And I am sure you will look super cute in this style, somewhat like one in your OWOP

    1. Thanks Juliette. I do think a shorter style would look much better and I hope I have time to make it in time.
      I think I will reduce the volume of the skirt too, make it shaped more like a tulip shape as you mention and use the elastic only on the front. I actually feel very smug on cracking that design. I can see many attempts until I fully develop this pattern. I saw you use software on pattern making. We could develop this pattern together and make it available for free download. Fancy that??

    2. LOL- I spend all evening playing with my Pattern Editor doing just that!!!!! But I did it as a rectangular with shaped squares on sides. PM me on Facebook your final decisions on the style and I will try to develop it. I want one of them also,for sure!

  3. That's a very pretty skirt Rachel, you are so clever and talented x

  4. Rachel..this skirt is adorable.You did a fantastic job..Love it.

  5. Hi Rachel! You did a very good job! I've sent you some photographs by email so you can check the original pattern that I found.

  6. I'm a bit behind on my blog reading, so I'm just getting to read this post now. I think it's a great twist to a simple skirt, and I'm thinking that it may look cool on an A-line or pencil skirt too! I may give it a try sometime soon.


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