From vintage chic to relaxed boho
I chose this beautiful Dashwood studio Riverside rayon from Doughty’s with a classic fit and flare dress in mind. The black base is makes it ideal for the transition from winter to spring, allowing me to pair with tights and boots on cooler days, as well as the advantage of being lightweight for the warmer temperatures. This is a high quality fabric with good saturation of colour, has washed well, and does not crease anywhere near as much as cheaper viscose alternatives.
I was all set to make the Simple Sew Sienna with a Ruby circle skirt; something which would look great in this fabric as it has a beautiful drape whilst having a nice handle. Just before I made the cut (I had even prepped the pattern) I had to go and have a surgery to fix a fractured hip.
When I am in recovery mode, I like to wear loose clothing. Medication can cause some serious bloating and I look for comfort in my clothes as a priority. I am a big believer that how I dress reflects and affects my mood. Although I have my regular post op joggers and baggy uni t shirts, personally it does me no favours for this to me my repertoire for what is often a 6moth+ rehab. So basically, I needed some secret PJ’s!
There is a skirt in my wardrobe that I love to wear as it has a flat front and elastic back waistband. This doesn’t feel restrictive on the days that my tummy can expand sometimes 3 inches.
Looking thorough the Simple Sew patterns on my shelf I saw the Grace dress and skirt. Upon first glance, you wouldn’t equate it with ticking the boxes of what I wanted. As well as the elastic back, I wanted maxi.
The Grace skirt is a simple gathered skirt, with a waistband and zip at the back. The front was exactly as I wanted. I therefore cut the front skirt pattern piece and waistband according to the pattern, but lengthened to maxi. Simple mod.
As there is so much ease allowed in the skirt already, the skirt back could remain the same.
You could also cut the back pieces on the fold instead of cutting two, as you do not need to insert a zip into the centre back. (something I forgot to do!) Just remember to remove the seam allowance.
In order to be able to pull the skirt up over my hips, the back waistband pattern piece would need to be made wider. To create an elasticated back waistband, I extended the existing waistband to be the full width of the skirt back piece.
Sewing it up is straightforward. The back and front are sewn together (don’t forget the pockets!) with gathering stitches on the front only. You can attach the front section of the waistband as described. The back waistband will be attached without gathering as they are the same width and the elastic provides the gathers
Once the outside of waistband is on, cut and secure the required amount of elastic to one side at the side seam. Attach a safely pin to the free end of the elastic. Sew the waistband facing as normal, leaving approximately 2” gap to feed the elastic through.
Using the safety pin, pull the elastic through the open facing, and sew to the side seam. Close the remainder of the waistband.
Distribute the gathers at the back and hem as required
So there you have it; an easy to wear elastic skirt from the Simple Sew Grace!
Choosing a fabric that has fluidity really makes Marie’s Grace Skirt hack work and a rayon is perfect for the job due to it’s lightweight, floaty properties. Doughty’s range of rayons is a thirteen strong collection, with a range of grey, navy, black and mustard background combined with both muted and colour popping designs. If you’d prefer to stick with the original pattern, rayon would work equally well for a Grace Dress and you can find more detail below on back of the pattern envelope.