Sunday, February 21, 2010

Marc Jacobs-inspired Rosette Jersey Skirt

I love this skirt!  It was really simple to make: the only time-consuming part was making the flowers and even that was made easier by the fact that everything is jersey, so you don't have to finish anything!  I used a heavy weight jersey for the skirt itself since I wanted it to be warm enough to wear this winter, and a light jersey for the flowers, so they were easy to sew.  The only real problem I ran in to had to do with the shape of the skirt, and that was easily fixed.

I started by cutting 3 rectangles: 1 for the body and 2 for the top and bottom.  Here was where I messed up: I didn't think about the fact that I didn't want the skirt to be the same width at the waist as as the bottom.  As you can see in the actual picture it's more of an A-line, although a slight one.
To fix my mistake I ended up adding a triangular panel in the back that added about 6" to the bottom hem, but kept the top the same width.  Here's what it looked like when I was getting ready to attach it to the rectangular panel:
This problem could have been avoided if I'd stopped to think and either a) cut a large rectangle as wide as the bottom needed to be or b) cut a trapezoid.  But this worked just fine and you don't really notice the back panel.
Here were the final measurements for my 3 main pieces:
Body panel: 36"x15" plus triangle 6"x15"
Top piece: 36"x5"
Bottom piece: 42"x5"

Next it was time to ruffle and pin and sew and ruffle and pin and sew...35 flowers total!!!  I cut the strips 24" long and about 1/2"-3/4" wide.  I didn't worry about them all being exactly the same thickness or exactly the same length once ruffled.  Once the strips were ruffled I pinned them to the skirt, using as many pins as possible to keep them in place while I sewed them on.
This part was definitely slow going.  I would recommend putting the rosettes as close together as possible...touching or almost overlapping.  I left a small space between each of mine and when the skirt is on it stretches and they're further apart.

Once all of the rosettes has been sewed on came the easy final steps: attaching the bottom and top.  I couldn't tell on the original but I thought that they looked thicker so I decided to fold the fabric in half and have strips of about 2 inches (although after trying them on once pinning I preferred a slightly smaller piece on the bottom, about 1.5").  This also had the added advantage of not having to do any hems!  I just folded the long piece in half lengthwise (wrong sides together) laid them on the body of the skirt (right sides together) sewed together with a stretch stitch and trimmed off any extra!  Finally I folded the skirt in half (right sides together) and stitched up the last hem--I just used a straight stitch for this since the skirt won't be stretching lengthwise.

A word about working with stretch fabrics: think long and hard before you cut about which way the skirt will be stretching.  Twice I cut too soon only to realize that the fabric was stretching lengthwise, not along the width as I wanted it to.  I'm sure this is something you get the hang of the more you work with fabrics like jersey but I'm not quite there yet.

I can't wait for the "warm" weather this week (45 degrees!) to wear my new skirt!

Update: After pressing the hems I realized that the waist of this skirt is way too big.  The flowers make the skirt fairly heavy so you need a pretty tight waist (using the jersey's natural stretch) to hold it up well.  I'll do some re-hemming of the back hem or maybe some darts tonight to fix it.

Up next: Joann's just had a huge sale and I got a bunch of patters and fabrics--more spring/summer appropriate but it'll get warmer soon, right?  I also have another shirt makeover in the works that should be up soon.


  1. I read this and then had to scroll up again--I was like, "oh, I get it, it's jersey!!!" Of course! I wouldn't have thought to do it of jersey! Sounds so comfy. I wore a comfy stretchy cotton skirt yesterday to celebrate the nice weather... aaaaaah... great knock-off!

  2. Love it ♥ It could also be done with another (light enough) material for the skirt, and then the jersey for the flowers. Just me thinking lol ;)

  3. I love this. I'm going to make one for my daugther for spring! We have some delicious Chez Ami knits that would work great.

  4. I think this is such a clever knock-off. These "unfinished" flowers are popping up everywhere this year! Darts sound like a simple solution,
    make it the width you want for the bottom. Try on and pin 4 darts, 2 in the front and 2 in the back.
    You will probably need a friend to help with this.
    I am going to try it for sure!

  5. That's gorgeous! I have some grey jersey that would be perfect for this, yay :D

  6. to gather fabric without basting, set the tension dial to 9 or so (the highest it will go) and simply sew with a normal straight stitch. the fabric will gather like magic. if you go slowly, it makes light ruffles, if you sew fast, it makes thick ruffles.

    did you know your sewing machine could do that?

    love your skirt. i will try to replicate that look...(imitation is the highest form of flattery, right?)

  7. This is great - the rosettes are so popular right now. There's another way to achieve a similar look to this, and I think it's quite a bit easier! There's a tutorial on how to do it here: