Reversible curtain skirt

After making my Decades of Style 1930s Capelet from a piece of curtain I got from REmida, I realised that I had enough left to make a skirt, if I was careful. Whilst unpicking the curtain I discovered that I had used the wrong side of the fabric for the jacket, so it’s nice to have the option of showing the correct side.

But first the skirt and the capelet together. This was made with my pencil skirt block, and I sought the help of Sarah to work through all the options.


We had a lot of fun as we considered how we could make this skirt reversible. Initially we were going to put in a reversible zip, but finding one proved impossible, so that left us with an elasticated waist and a back vent/kick pleat to facilitate walking.


We muslined the back vent, which was an interesting process, checking that it would work on both sides of the skirt. You can see here that one side has an inverted pleat and the other side has a box pleat with a piece of tape to hide the raw edges.


So we felt we had this part ticked off, but I was feeling anxious about what sort of tape I could use for the edges, when we realised that the curtain fabric had a really beautiful selvedge. Sorted!


We also had a bit of an issue with harvesting enough fabric for the skirt. Pattern matching was out of the question, and the only way we could get the front and back out was to make them narrow and then put pieces in the side seams. Originally we were just going to used flat felled seams so that they would be the same on both sides, but those pesky selvedges beckoned and so we sewed them into the seams.


I absolutely love the effect of this.

I tried to find wide fold over elastic, which was also elusive. Annoyingly, I had it in all sorts of colours in my stash, but not in black. I even trawled the inter webs looking for it to no avail. In the end I used some really soft elastic, which I simply folded over enclosing the raw edge and zig zagged it on. Worked a treat.


Instead of hemming the skirt, I ran a line of stitching along the bottom and frayed it out. Unfortunately this means that I get stray threads hanging down. I expect that this will calm down as I wear the skirt more and pull them off. I found this the most challenging part – getting things straight and having even fraying. I don’t think it’s quite right yet, but I consider this a work in progress!dsc08275

I have teamed the skirt with a new black top. It is a lovely wool/viscose blend from Knitwit. I used the Deer and Doe Plantain pattern, shortening the sleeves and adding ruched cuffs. I was going to have a ruched collar, but I realised that I had only cut one cuff and didn’t have enough fabric to make another, so I simply cut down the collar and bound the neck.

The skirt and top are going to form part of my capsule wardrobe for the Sew a Seasonal Wardrobe contest. They should travel well and both can be mixed and matched with other items. I am happy with this outfit and there is one less curtain heading to the landfill!


24 thoughts on “Reversible curtain skirt

  1. This is a great idea! Loving how the selvage makes such a great tape trim. Have been holding on to several curtain panels myself, not feeling happy with the thought of sending them off to wherever.

  2. The kick pleat is really clever and I just LOVE the salvage edge on the pleat and in the side seams. Gives this a really modern edge. Looks great on you!

  3. Another magnificent outfit. The use of selvedge is genius. Finding matching trim is often exceedingly difficult – this solves all of your challenges.
    And I agree with Kate – you rock that skirt!

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