Obi skirt

If you are waiting for all the scoop on the GBSB, sorry to disappoint, this post is actually about an item I made this year (my first finished garment of the year, yey!!). It does relate a little bit to the Bee, but only just. Managing expectations here, ok?

I’m the kind of girl that is somewhat of a perfectionist and has no patience and wants most thing ‘her way’. And also very stubborn. So far, not much going for me, right? Well, it turns out that all those traits that could make my fiance really think twice about tying the knot, are actually a plus when I’m sewing. Here’s a story about a project that should have ended up in the bin, but I was too pig headed to let go of.

The day before our press briefing for the Bee (see, that slight connection I mentioned), I really wanted to make something new to wear to the meeting. I was going to be in room with 9 of the nation’s best sewers, so better pull my socks up, right? I only had half a Sunday, so couldn’t so anything major. It also had to use fabric from the stash, as I didn’t have time to go shopping and also a pattern I already owned.

While working on the Wardrobe Architect challenge, I came across this type of midi full or half-circle skirt with a high waist that would suit my style and fit perfectly into my future capsule wardrobe. So I decided to try to make up such a skirt for my meeting.

Obi skirt Casual I had a massive quantity of polyester taffeta in my stash that I didn’t mind chopping into and that I would not cry over if it all went wrong. So I started with a circle skirt, nothing crazy so far… But I had the idea of making the waist much wider than I needed to, so I can gather it and attach to a wide waistband. Well, turns out, not a good idea. So around 8.00 in the evening, I had this gathered monstrosity that was waaay too short, waaaay too full and nowhere near what I had in mind to begin with. The only good part were the ties, that I was quite happy with, but poor things, did not have anything to be tied to.


I went to C (my fiance) crying out my frustration, threatening to bin the horror. And instead of being equality horrified, he was pleased that at last I made a short skirt. Skirt length is something we frequently argue about, I hate short skirts, he would have me wear nothing but short skirts! Men!!

So having received no support whatsoever on the ‘bin it’ front (and deep down inside feeling ashamed to throw it away without an attempt of rescuing), I decided to put it in an UFO pile and think about it some other time.

All fine and dandy, but I still did not have anything new to wear the next day. So at 8.30 pm I made the (possibly misguided) decision to cut out a new skirt! I hacked the skirt of a vintage dress I had made before, which coincidently ended up being donated to the charity shop after one wear, as it nearly killed me through suffocation (a story for another time).  And it was all coming together.Obi skirt

By 11 pm I had a skirt, I had lining, I had inserted the invisible zip (learnt my lesson since Episode one trousers debacle), so far so good! But also, I could not be bothered to make a waistband to finish it off, so I had to get creative. I made some bias tape from the fabric I cut off to make the skirt shorter (who said I pay no heed to my beloved?), but because I couldn’t be bothered to reduce the fabric to the right width, so that the regular tape width would result, I ended up with 2.5 cms tape. Which I could not top-stitch to the skirt as per usual. So I had the idea of sort of underlining the tape to the lining only, a good 2 cm below the end top end. But it worked really nicely and I am quite pleased with the result. Definitely an option to be used in the future.

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Obi skirt wrong side detail

Obi skirt detail 1So all I had to do now was hem the skirt and hem the lining and I was good to go. As it was already close to midnight, I went for the cheap and cheerful option, i.e. overlock and turn. Still loads of meters of fabric to go through, twice, so it was 12.30 by the time I finished and gave it a good press.

obi skirt glam 3

But we had a skirt! And I loved it! And the guys at work loved it the next day too. And there were a few ‘ouugh’ and ‘ahh’ from the other bees too, I cannot lie :).

Obi skirt

I definitely want to make this in a more ‘everyday’ fabric, so I will be able to apply my lessons learnt then.

So, my stubbornness paid off for once and the fact that I didn’t give up helped add another piece I love to my future amazing wardrobe (as per my 2015 Wardrobe Architect challenge). Wearing it, I discovered a few minor bugs that I need to fix, but can’t be bothered just yet (the ties should have been cut at an angle so they could be tied obi style more comfortably). Live and learn!

Happy sewing everyone!Obi skirt



  1. 14 February 2015 / 10:25 PM

    I love the shiny blue! I want to add some circle skirts to my wardrobe too! How are you going with going through your closet?

    • Alex
      15 February 2015 / 12:38 PM

      Thank Brit! I think this was originally upholstery or curtains fabric, but that never deterred me 🙂
      I had a massive clear-out before Christmas, but probably will need to do another one. I quite like the majority of my stuff, I just have so many, I don’t get around to wearing them all. I’m going to read your new post now :).

      • 15 February 2015 / 3:24 PM

        You’re welcome! I have only made one thing out of home decor fabric before because I wanted a super specific design on the fabric! It was for a renaissance costume in high school for a choir that I was in. It ended up being really heavy lol but I think it was more like the Renaissance time because of it!

        Wish me luck with clearing out mine 😬

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