Here are the instructions for the three pattern hacks we used to create our Winter Wrap Skirt.
Our starting point
We used View B of Simplicity Pattern 8699 for our Winter Wrap skirt. We liked the button fastening as well as the simple asymmetry of that front wrap panel.
We made up a toile of View B to see how it looked. We decided that the design was more like a pencil skirt, whereas in AW19, this type of skirt tends to take the form of a structured ‘A’-line. We also felt that the length needed to hit just below the knee to reflect the season’s trends – and that in doing so it would skim the top of a pair of knee-high boots.
This is what our toile of View B looked like:
We also felt that customers would expect a lining in a winter skirt, partly as a means of finishing the skirt but also to enable the garment to hang well and move across the body without riding up or sticking to tights.
This is what our Winter Wrap Skirt looked like once we’d made these adjustments:
Our tweaks were all quite simple and we think they brought the design right up to date.
To carry out the pattern adjustments in the first two sections, you’ll need some sheets of pattern paper (newspaper will do just as well!), a ruler, a pair of scissors and some sticky tape or a glue stick. A set square will help; alternatively you could use a piece of card with a right-angle in one corner.
NOTE: If you’re using more than one of the pattern hacks, then it’s important to carry them out in the order given!
Hack 1: Lengthening the skirt
Each of the three main skirt pattern pieces (Left front, Right front and Back) has a pair of horizontal adjustment lines running across it. These are the lines to cut across when you lengthen the skirt.
Starting with the Right front, cut across the pattern piece between the two adjustment lines. Yes, really!
To lengthen the skirt you’ll need to insert a piece of pattern paper between the two pieces. Tape the top pattern piece over a piece of pattern paper (or newspaper) as shown.
The finished length of View B is 51cm. We decided to lengthen our skirt by 15cm. Decide on the length you want to add to your skirt and mark a line at that distance from the bottom of the pattern piece.
Place the top edge of the bottom of the pattern piece along the line you’ve marked.
Use your ruler to make sure that the grainlines on the top and bottom piece are aligned, and that each side of the pattern piece is aligned with the top piece.
Once you’re happy, stick the bottom piece in place and draw a line down each side of the pattern piece to connect the top and bottom pieces.
If you’re planning to widen your skirt, then don’t cut around your pattern pieces just yet! Repeat this process for each of the remaining two skirt pattern pieces; the Left front and the Back.
Once you’ve done that, you’re ready move on to widening your skirt.
Hack 2: Widening the skirt
Starting again with the Right front pattern piece, you’ll see the hip line marked down the left hand side of the pattern.
Using your ruler, mark a point at the side seam of the pattern piece which is level with the hip line.
Mark a point level with the bottom of the pattern piece, but 5cm out to the side.
Using your ruler, draw a line joining the hip mark on the side seam, to the extended hemline mark at the bottom.
Draw a very slight curve from just above the extended hemline mark, into the original bottom of the side seam.
You’ve created a new side seam cutting line that will gradually widen the line of the skirt, down from the hip to the hemline. It won’t affect any of the fitting above the hipline, or your fastenings. Cut out your adjusted Right front pattern piece.
Transfer the hip mark on the side seam of the Right front pattern piece to both the other pattern pieces so that the side adjustment will start at the same point on each pattern piece.
Replicate the length and side seam adjustments on the Left front pattern piece and the Back pattern piece. The Back pattern piece is cut on the fold, so a single adjustment to the side seam on that pattern piece will be reflected in both its side seams.
You can now use your adjusted pattern pieces to cut out your fabric and assemble your skirt, following the pattern instructions, up to and including Step 18.
Hack 3: Adding a lining
If you decide to add a lining to your Winter Wrap Skirt, you’ll need to proceed to the end of Step 18 of the printed pattern instructions as usual. Complete that step so that you have your Yoke (aka waistband) facing pieces sewn together.
Step 1 – Cutting out the lining
You’ll need to cut one of each of the three main skirt pieces from your lining fabric as follows, replicating the length/hemline width adjustments you made for the main part of the skirt.
Skirt back – cut one on the fold as before
Left front and Right front – fold back the facing section of each paper pattern piece at the Fold line for your pattern size as shown below.
With the facing folded under, cut one of each piece from your lining fabric.
Step 2 – Assembling the lining
Mark up, sew and press the darts in your lining pieces, just as for the main skirt.
Sew together the sides and back of the skirt lining pieces, again just as for the main skirt. Press the seam allowances apart.
Step 3 – Attaching the lining
In the same way as you attached the Yoke (or waistband) to the main part of the skirt in Step 18 of the printed pattern, pin the top of your assembled lining to the bottom edge of the Yoke facing, right sides facing.
Stitch the lining to the Yoke facing, leaving 7.5cm of the Yoke facing free at each end.
Once stitched, press the seam allowances down.
Step 4: Attaching the Yoke facing
Follow the instructions in Steps 19-20 of the printed pattern to attach the Yoke and Yoke facing, including the understitching of the yoke facing.
When pinning and stitching each end of the Yoke facing, turn up the seam allowance at the end of the Yoke facing, as instructed by the pattern. However allow it to turn down at an angle behind the skirt facing, keeping the lining well out of the way.
Clip, turn and press the Yoke as instructed in the pattern in Steps 19-20. By turning the Yoke out the right way, your skirt lining will automatically drop down inside the skirt, right side facing out.
Instead of Step 21 of the printed pattern, pin and baste the bottom edge of the Yoke facing to the inside of the skirt. For our hack, the seam allowance of the Yoke facing should be pointing downwards behind the lining.
Working from the outside of the skirt, carefully stitch along the seamline of the Yoke and the skirt. (This is called ‘stitching in the ditch’ – there are lots of videos of this available online!)
This stitching will secure all the lower edges of the Yoke to the top of the skirt and the lining, but with minimum bulk.
At each end of the Yoke, stitch across the angled seam allowance of the Yoke facing. You may not catch the very end of the seam allowance in your stitching where it turns up into the Yoke; this can easily be secured by hand stitching.
You can now proceed with the final Steps 23 – 24 of the printed pattern instructions
Step 5 – Hemming and finishing the lining.
Once the main skirt hem is complete, pin, baste and stitch the hem of the lining to 1cm above the finished hemline of the skirt. We used a machine stitch for this process and your kit will include thread to match your lining in order that you can do the same.
At the top of each facing, fold the edges of the lining underneath then press and pin in place. They should cover the lower edge of the end of the Yoke facing, as well as the inside edge of the facing of the skirt itself.
Make sure that the folded edge of the lining runs in a straight line down the skirt facing, and that it lies behind the end of the buttonhole. Stitch the folded edges of the lining in place by hand.
And that’s it! You’ve lined your Winter Wrap Skirt and it’s ready for a final press before being taken out on its first outing!
We hope you enjoy wearing it – and please just drop us a line if you have any questions or feedback on our pattern hacks or any other aspect of your Winter Wrap Skirt Kit.
We hope you have a warm and stylish winter!