I've been wanting to try one for a while, and when I saw this gorgeous rayon knit at Fabric Mart last month, I decided it would be perfect for this project. Here is it is as the dress on my dress form:
And here it is as a skirt on me!
The pattern is New Look 6379. It is a super easy pattern with just two pieces for the skirt- the waistband and the skirt itself. You can make the skirt straight or with the handkerchief hem, and I decided to try the handkerchief hem to have fun with the stripe of the knit. The rayon knit is very stretchy, so I did need to cut a couple sizes smaller than normal.
There is elastic in the waist, near the bottom where the skirt attaches to the waistband. This helps to secure it as a skirt, but does nothing to secure it as the dress bodice! I'm pretty sure that if I wore this as a dress, I would be constantly worried that it would be falling down. So, if you try this pattern as a dress, I'd recommend sticking with a fabric that has a high lycra content, and great bounceback- something like a swimwear or active wear fabric might be a better choice!
The hem looks complicated, but it really is all just straight lines that when hanging down, form this unusual hemline. Here you can see a little more of what the skirt piece shape is:
But left to hang loose, it looks like this from the side:
I knew that I wanted to wear this with a black tank top, and found this pretty pattern in my Burda magazine from July of 2007. If you have this issue, check it out! It's a fun tank with a twist. I made it using a jet black rayon jersey from Fabric Mart also. I also made a white tank version, but it looked a little too pajama like, and I decided that I liked the black version much better.
The construction is very clever. The front has very long straps that you knot and then attach to the back. You cut a second front piece that ends just below the bust, and this serves as a facing for the strap, neckline and armhole area of the front. Really, really fun to sew!
Have you tried making a convertible skirt pattern? Although I probably won't be wearing this as the dress, I really do like it as a skirt, and will be making more! It's super quick and easy, and great for a skirt with a little something different.