Making a reversible skirt gets you two skirts with the effort of making one – just turn the skirt you have inside out and you have a completely new skirt and no one will know they are the same. This is a pattern for making a full skirt with a big flare with an elastic waistband and the reversible principle can be applied to other types of skirts too.
It is basically nothing but a lined skirt but because of the way it is made and as you will be using a good quality fabric for the inside lining skirt, you can use both the inside skirt and outside skirt. A 1″ wide elastic waistband is used for this skirt.
The skirt needs a lot of fabric because of its flare – 6 meters or so all together and is better sewn in a very drapey fabric -like Chiffon, Crepe, Georgette etc. And a fabric with prints and patterns are preferred because the fabric joint used for the flare would not be noticeable. Use complementing colors and not contrasting colors so that even if the inner skirt peeks out, it would not look odd.
Step 1 Prepare the fabric for making the full skirt
For making the full skirt pattern you need a fabric with a lot more width than you normally get- usually fabric comes in widths like 36 inch and 44 inch with 44 inch being the normal width. You have to increase this width by joining another piece of fabric along the width edge to make it suitable to sew this skirt.
Buy about 3 meters of fabric for the outer skirt and 3 meters for the inside skirt.( This depends on your height and hip round as you will see in the formula below) This yardage is for a skirt length of about 36 inches ( a free size long skirt length) and till a hip round of 44 inches
Here A-B is the selvedge of the fabric and is also the measure of (Length you need for the skirt + Your hip round divided by 3 + 1 inch). You need to get the same measure on the width side as well – but unfortunately it is not – so you have to join extra fabric there.
Take the outer fabric – Cut out 2 meters and 60 centimeters from this fabric.( This depends on the length of A-B) Now Cut this fabric by half. You get two fabric pieces for the front and back.
Take the balance 40 centimeter fabric you have and cut it by half. You get two 20 cm long fabric .
Sew this fabric piece along the width of both the fabric you have cut for the outside skirt.(E-D in the above picture) – This is a necessary step to make a full skirt as the normal fabric pieces do not have the width to cut the flare. Finish the edges. Press the seam allowance open ( This is not optional – pressing keeps the seam unnoticeable).
Do the same steps for the inner skirt piece as well. You now have 4 square shaped pieces for making your reversible full skirt
( A fabric saving tip is to cut the pattern first on the available fabric and then join the extra width from the cut away fabric pieces – this will save about 1/2 meters of fabric or even more. But this requires some patience and I would not recommend this to newbie sewists)
Step 2 Cut fabric as per Full Skirt Pattern
All these 4 pieces are then to be cut the same as the pattern given below.
A-B = Hip round divided by 3
B-C = 37 inches (This is for a free size skirt length) or the length you need for the skirt plus 1 inch ( for top edge seam allowance and for rolled hem)
Step 3 Join side seams & Make outer skirt and inner skirt
Keep the front and back skirt pieces right sides to the inside and stitch the side seams. You have your outer skirt now.
Do the same with the inner skirt.
Step 4 Prepare Elastic for waistband
Take a 1 inch or 3/4 inch elastic band – fit it around the waist – it should be a snug fit and be able to ease down the hips. Cut it out and Join the short edges to form a tube as in the picture above. Give only a very small seam allowance or better to make a french seam so that the edge stitching is concealed even when you use the reverse side.
Step 5 Join the skirt and the Elastic for waistband
Turn your outer skirt right side out and inner skirt wrong side out. Insert the right side out outer skirt to the inside of the wrong side out inner skirt.
Keep the waistband you have made inside the top edge sandwiched between the outer skirt and inner skirt top edges.
It is better to divide the waistband by four and pin it to the corresponding middle of the skirt top edge – this way you would have even gathers all along the edge. ( Ignore how I have pinned – I have pinned the elastic to the outside -you can keep the elastic to the inside properly and pin in place)
Stitch the elastic and the skirt together; sew exactly in the middle of the elastic. As you sew, Stretch the elastic.
When everything is finished the elastic waistband will gather the skirt top edge.
Turn the skirt rightside out – the seams of the skirt pieces will be facing each other and both the sides look neat.
If the skirt is uneven at the hem, cut the bottom edge to match. Both the inner skirt and the outer skirt should match. You may have to hang the skirt for a day or two to see the true hem because the fabric may stretch and hang differently after some time of hanging.