The Archie Bunker Skirt (modified Kwik Sew 3637)

Morning you three toed furry sloths! Oh wait, that’s me. And being a lazy, slothful type I’ve been looking with much interest at friend-Laura’s elastic waistband skirts with much lust in my heart. Last week I came across the near-perfect home dec weight gold and white cotton print at Hancock and thought I’d give the elastic waistband treatment a shot. Here’s the result.

I really love how Jasmine looks with a full-circle skirt!

For this skirt I used Kwik Sew 3637. I added a bit to the waistband by marking 3/4″ from the pattern waistband and tracing. I drew the arc for the new waistband very carefully by tying a piece of twine around a hot pink Sharpie and holding one end of the twine down while drawing the new waistband. It helped to have the giant cutting mat for this – the pattern piece for a full circle skirt is 1/4 of the circle and I just lined the two straight sides of the pattern piece up with lines on the mat and held the twine where those two lines intersected at 90 degree angles. Here’s a picture of what the pattern piece looks like.

I held the twine stable at the lower left corner of the black box. My marking was 3/4″ to the right of the green arc.

I also added 4″ to the hem, using the same marking method and some extra wide christmas wrapping paper.

I’ve made this skirt before – in fact, my most recent effort, the Dewberry skirt is of a remarkably similar print, although of a much lighter weight and shorter, making it a more summery skirt. For anyone interested in using this pattern, please note that it is meant to have a shaped waistband that sits lower on the hip, making it more like a yoke than an actual waistband. I wear mine MUCH higher on my waist than is intended and as a result the size XL fits just fine, even though the waist measurement listed is smaller than my actual waist measurement. So if you decide to make and you go by the waist measurement, the skirt may end up ‘huge’ and not fitting the way mine does!

[Kwik Sew 3637]

I had my doubts about the waistband treatment, not sure the  skirt would stretch with the elastic to fit over my hips, since the appeal of a full circle skirt (for me) is the clean, ungathered line at the waist. Full circle skirts look like doughnuts with the middle of the doughnut  cut to fit and needing a zipper to make the opening wider to pull on. Turns out. the bias of the opening is enough to go sans-zipper if needed! The skirt pulls on just fine, although there’s a wee bit more puckering at the waist than if I had attached a more traditional woven waistband.

The elastic that I used is the 3″ stuff sold by the yard at Joann’s. I initially attached the waistband by putting it ‘wrong side’ together with the right side of the skirt and topstitching the whole shebang with zig zag stitches, but it was hard to do that neatly and after conferring with friend-laura who is the master of the elastic waistband, I ripped and restitched RIGHT sides together. Once stitched the elastic straightens out and lies smoothly, folding the very top edge of skirt under and away from prying eyes. It’s a much neater finish on the inside.

I did a quick topstitched hem with 1″ horsehair braid. Horsehair braid is SO easy to work with and provides such a neat finish and nice control!


I wanted to line for warmth and because I think it helps the skirt to hang a bit nicer. I pawed through my picnic basket ‘o’ linings (what, you don’t all have a picnic basket filled with rayon??) and found some leftover gold lining material. It was a bit shorter than I wanted, so I ended up with more of a half-lining!

I hemmed the lining with the rolled stitch on my serger. Long live my serger!

Served three ways

OK, it’s not like you guys haven’t seen me wearing a circle skirt a million times, but this is my favorite part of reveal posts! And gold and white with black is SUCH a lovely color scheme! Part of my reason for making the skirt was to wear it with Jasmine – I really think that the silhouette is very pretty, although I normally don’t like to wear full skirts with ‘blousy’ tops! As I said in my review of the jasmine, the bias cut of the shirt make it less blousy than one may expect. I hope you enjoy the crazy hair and crazy eyes in this picture.

The waist-cinching nature of the elastic waistband make this PEFECT for wearing with my favorite cami-cardi-combo. BTW, my black and white polka dot cardi is really getting ratty. If anyone sees a decent replacement sweater knit OR RTW version, let me know. And I’ve already rejected the current Torrid offering due to the metallic yarn. Whadaway to ruin a nice sweater.

I thought I’d try the 70′s social worker vibe of black ribbed turtleneck and tall boots. I think it’s an interesting effect with the black waistband, but don’t love. It would be more appealing if I had tried with black boots with heels, but that would be against the spirit of the sloth-friendly, elastic waistband, Archie Bunker apporach to dressing! What’s the point of a stretchy waistband if one is going to add sore-foot inducing heels, right?

The last word (again) – Kwik Sew 3637, Archie Bunker edition

fabric: Home Dec weight cotton from Hancock – this stuff was in the QUILTING section with their ‘fancy’ quilt fabrics, not in the upholstery fabric section. It’s sold on a roll instead of from a bolt, although I think they also have the same print in quilt-weight cotton.

patternKwik Sew 3637

notions: thread, six yards of 1″ horsehair braid, 39″ of three inch wide elastic, #14 stretch needle

time to complete: Just over four hours, altogether. 30 minutes to adjust pattern, 45 minutes to cut fabric and lining. 5 minutes to sew elastic into loop. 30 minutes to assemble skirt and lining and serge together. 30 minutes to attach waistband, take one. 15 minute consult with friend-Laura, 20 minutes to rip, 30 minutes to reattach waistband. 45 minutes to hem skirt and lining.

likelihood to make another?: Oh, I think it’s fairly likely there are more circle skirts in my future.

curvy girl score: I gave this a 7 last time I reviewed this pattern, but I’m raising it to an 8 with the elastic waistband. I love my other circle skirts, but the wider waistband tends to either cinch or fold/gape after a day of wear. Using elastic instead makes it comfy and gets rid of the wrinkling troubles!

And watch out for tomorrow! Lord willin’ and the crik don’t rise, I have a special treat for ALL of us related to these amazing elastic waistbands! Ooooooo…. the mystery… the anticipation… I don’t know how you sloths can stand it. Hey! Are you falling asleep?

That is all. Hit the spacebar and go on to your next post. Long live google reader. And sergers.

 

 

 

 

 

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6 Comments
  • Tanit-Isis
    November 17, 2011

    SWEET! But then, I do love a circle skirt. /sigh. Winter is setting in here and wearing skirts, even with tights, seems really unpleasant to contemplate right now. I am such a winter wimp…
    Tanit-Isis recently posted..La Mode SyoMy Profile

  • Crystal
    November 17, 2011

    A great skirt! I love your garment write-ups, by the way. Styling it three ways and then the pattern rundown/scores. Very helpful and enjoyable.

  • Seraphinalina
    November 17, 2011

    That is such a pretty skirt. I don’t think that fabric would have called my name, but it is really nice as a finished garment. I have some elastic like that in my stash, I’ll have to keep this in mind.
    Seraphinalina recently posted..Home sweet homeMy Profile

  • Michelle
    November 17, 2011

    How do you go about marking hems? I tried having TheHusband help me and that, well it wasn’t successful.
    Michelle recently posted..Perils of IroningMy Profile

  • sarajane
    November 17, 2011

    D’oh! Forgot to say: LOVE the gold “Archie Bunker” skirt. I always check out the home dec fabrics to make skirts from.

  • sarajane
    November 17, 2011

    I don’t think she has sweater knits, at least not the last time I looked, but have you seen Marcy Tilton’s fabric collection? She loves dots and stripes nearly as much as you do. She does have a good selection of plain old tee shirt knits in dots and stripes (and other patterns). MarcyTilton.com

    I too, would kill to find a black & white polka dotted RTW sweater…

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