Zero waste Clair Skirt

When Liz from The Craft of Clothes released her Clair Skirt I wasn’t sure it was for me as it seemed so pouffy and I thought it might swamp me. Then Wendy posted her version on Instagram and I was smitten.

I dug out my Mum’s long compass, which is pretty old and a tad rusty, but it did the job of drawing my quarter circles really well.

Armed with my waist and hem pattern I headed off to our holiday place and dug out a thrifted doona cover – the other side of my spotted zero waste playsuit, in fact. I knew that this large print was just the ticket for the Clair skirt.

As usual I took no in progress photos, so here I am in the completed skirt.

I didn’t worry about pattern matching but once I had finished it, I did notice that I could have done better!

This is the perfect pattern for a large scale print. I don’t buy too many but I have had a rummage in my stash for another one as I’d love an evening version of this skirt.

I love the fact that the design gives the impression of movement. The bottom of the skirt is quite narrow and a funny shape. The line drawing shows it better than the finished garment.

Construction was quite interesting. A rectangle of fabric was cut in half, one had the waist template applied and the other had the hem template. At this point I was scratching my head, but went with it.

There is a very neat pocket inserted in the right front and then the top and bottom pieces are joined together with the bottom twisted round so it doesn’t align with the front. This gives that bulbous shape.

Liz had written that the long skirt suited stiffer fabrics as the bottom would hold its shape better. I had thought that my doona cover was quite stiff, but it turned out that it wasn’t. I considered my options and decided I didn’t want a floppy skirt, so I underlined just the bottom section, using a piece of another doona cover which was left over from the Sew out of Bed challenge with Magamsewalong.

This little bit of lining made all the difference. Even when I am still the skirt has a bit of body, and I don’t mind that it’s a little bit visible.

The back is quite interesting too, and I really like how the pattern has worked out. There is an invisible zip in there, which I decided I wasn’t happy with after I took the photos, so it has since been removed and reinserted!

The skirt is designed for someone taller than me, I think, but I’m really happy with the slightly longer length on me as I hate my lower legs sticking out. I just checked out Liz’s photos and decided that my skirt looks nothing like hers. But I’m ok with that as I still love mine! Although the skirt is quite wide, it is narrow at the bottom, so I do have to modify my stride a bit. I could have chosen better shoes to wear with it…

I find that cropped or short tops look better with the skirt, although I’m ok to tuck longer ones in. The top that I’m wearing with it is pretty old and is just a shape cut out of a piece of stretchy lace I found at the op shop.

There is a smidge of fabric left over which can be turned into a bag, an apron or a hat, the instructions for which are included, but I haven’t decided what to do with mine yet – I might do something completely different!

I know that the lack of an actual pattern puts people off zero waste patterns, but it is fun to create your own pattern, decoding instructions and doing general problem solving, all of which are really good for the brain and it slows me down a bit, which is no bad thing. This pattern is relatively simple and I am really pleased with the resultant skirt. I’ve already worn it a couple of times and, although it will be too hot in high summer, it’s perfect for our spring weather.


16 thoughts on “Zero waste Clair Skirt

  1. I’m so thrilled you made this Sue, I love how it’s turned out. It’s very suitable for large scale prints like the one you’ve used.
    This is actually my favourite zero waste pattern – I love how I feel when I wear it and someone always offers a compliment.
    You’re right about the kind of top to wear with it . It needs a “low volume” top. Neat fitting jackets also look good, and so does a skivvy + scarf or close fitting jumper+ scarf. For summer, wrap-around tops, shirts with the tails knotted in the front and the zero waste geometric top from my book all work well.

    1. Thank you Liz, I know you said I would like it, but I wasn’t convinced it would suit my shape, but I absolutely love it now I’ve made it and I can’t wait to make a tweedy winter one! and perhaps a tartan one like yours. I feel that this one will be great for autumn too and I’m already thinking about tops and perhaps body suits that I can wear with it. Thanks again Liz!

  2. Your skirt looks fabulous and interesting to see it on you as we are of similar heights. The large pattern makes this skirt so much more interesting, and I thought the shoes were picked as they look like they match perfectly.

    Creating a pattern with measurements is something I have found I do not enjoy so first I am going to check out the other skirts and fabric options.

    1. Thank you Sharon, I did think I might be too short for all that volume but it’s a really good fit – I hesitate to use the word flattering! I find that if I create a regular paper pattern I’m much happier when I’m cutting my fabric. This one is a good one to start with as it’s really simple.

  3. Wendy’s iteration was outsanding for sure and so is yours in this bold print. I love the lining peaking out subtly. Not only does it add structure to the design, but it also adds interest as the little dots are echoing the larger ones on the right side. Georgeous!

    1. Thank you so much dear Hélène, that lining made all the difference! I only did the bottom section as I didn’t want the bulk at the top. Worked a treat!

  4. What a fabulous skirt! Love that you have used a big bold pattern – really works with the design. I have bought this pattern too, but I’m really unsure what fabric to use (not helped as we are going back into lockdown and only internet shopping will be possible). It was good to read your thoughts about what weight is needed for the structure of the pattern. Being autumn over year I’m thinking about wool.

    1. I think wool would be fabulous, and fully intend to make a wool one next winter. I would underline it though, unless it’s thick as it will feel nicer against the skin and will also give it structure. If you have an old sheet hanging around, I’d make a toil from that first as then you’ll understand how the skirt works if your fabric is patterned. You can always dye it or paint it afterwards, perhaps? Let me know if I can help. I’m sure that Liz, from The Craft of Sewing could give you some ideas too. It might be useful to look at her blog post on the skirt as she uses quite a few different fabrics. Good luck! and best of luck with the lockdown!

  5. A great skirt Sue and I can see it being a favourite. Team it with a white tee and white sneakers and you will be totally hip to the groove (Claremont style!). Keep it up, as your followers will be motivated by this one that is for sure.

    1. thank you Thel, I do have white espadrilles that I’ve worn with it, and I might need a cropped white tee. I’ve made a cropped white jacket for cooler weather.

  6. This skirt was so inspiring. I don’t wear skirts – trousers or dresses for me but I rushed over to Etsy to buy this and the dress pattern. Thanks so much for introducing me to this pattern. Your skirt looks fabulous.

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