Ava Circle Skirt Hack: Woven to Knit
How to Modify the Ava Circle Skirt Pattern from a Woven Pattern to a Knit Pattern
Now, this tutorial will walk you through the specific steps for the #AvaCircleSkirt, but you can also apply this method to any circle skirt pattern. Let's get started.
Grab the pattern here, if you do not already have it.
Step 1. MODIFY YOUR PATTERN PIECES
Now, for modifying a woven pattern to a knit pattern, you begin by eliminating the zipper on the back of your pattern. To do this on a circle skirt, you just need two of the front panels - and completely eliminate the back pattern piece.
Cut out two fronts (these will now be referred to as the FRONT and the BACK of the skirt) in a stretch, knit fabric (with at least 50% stretch).
Next, select View B (the wider waistband option) on the Ava Circle Skirt pattern and only cut one waistband. You do not need a lining or an inner waistband, as we will fold this waistband in half in on itself to create the channelling for our elastic.
If you are not using the Ava Circle Skirt pattern, cut out your waistband to be double the thickness you want the finished waistband to be, plus your seam allowances on each end.
Step 2. CONSTRUCTING THE SIDE SEAMS
Next, follow the Ava Circle Skirt pattern instructions to sew your side seams (with or without inseam pockets). As these seams will not be stretched at all, you can just use a regular straight stitch - but don't forget to change to a stretch, jersey or ballpoint needle. If you are using your overlocker, you do not need to sew a straight stitch first (unless you really want, as it does make the seams last longer and enables you to more easily line up notches. If you are making the pocket version you have to sew the straight stitch first then clip at the pocket corners and serge (as in the instructions for the woven version).
NOTE: If you decide to add inseam pockets into a knit skirt, they MUST be stabilised with interfacing on the wrong side of the skirt sides where you will be placing the pockets. This is to prevent the pocket from gaping open and stretching.
Finish your seams either by serging (overlocking) or with a wide zigzag to provide extra strength to your seams and it just looks a little prettier.
Step 3. THE WAISTBAND CONSTRUCTION
Before you grab your waistband piece, be sure to quarter your skirt. Align the two side seams together so your skirt is folded in half and then mark the centre front and centre back of your skirt.
Grab your waistband and stitch the two short ends together, with right sides together, forming a tube.
Now, we need to quarter our waistband. Holding the seamed edge on one side, fold the waistband tube in half to mark the centre of the tube (be sure to mark on the top and bottom of the width of the band where this centre point is). Next, match up this halfway mark to the seam and fold in half, the ends will be the quarter points. Mark the quarter points.
With right sides together, through all layers, pin (or clip) the waistband to the skirt, matching your quarter marks.
TOP TIP: Match up your waistband side seam to the side seam on the skirt, rather than the centre back, for a more seamless finish.
Mark a 2" gap on the waistband. Sew the waistband to the skirt, leaving a 2" gap, so that you can feed the elastic into the waistband channel. As this area is going to get a LOT of stretch, you need to ensure you use a stretch stitch, such as a narrow zig-zag or the lightning stitch, and if you have a serger overlocking this seam is a good idea.
Cut a length of 1.5" wide elastic to 0.5" (1.3cm) BIGGER than your waist measurement.
**Essentially we want to take our waist measurement and subtract 1" (2.5 cm) so that it fits snugly and then add back in 0.5" (1.3 cm) to accommodate the 1/4" (0.6 cm) overlap of the elastic when we sew it together).**
Attach a safety pin to either end of the elastic and feed one end through the 2" opening in the casing you left. (The other safety pin is there to ensure you do not accidentally loose that end in the casing.)
Make sure that the elastic is not twisted in the casing.
Overlap the ends of the elastic by 1/4" (0.6 cm) and zig-zag to secure. Allow the elastic to feed nicely into the casing.
Close the 2" opening we left by sewing (or serging) the casing closed. Seam finish the casing with a wide zig-zag or overlocker (if you haven't already done so).
In order to secure the elastic in the casing and to prevent it from twisting when you toss it in the washer, stitch in the ditch along the waistband seam (the one you placed at the side seam) through all layers, including your elastic.
Step 4. THE HEM
As knits do not fray like wovens, you do not necessarily need to finish the seams, and that goes for the hem of certain knits. I used a staple scuba knit in this example and decided not to hem my skirt at all (especially since I had limited fabric and it was already shorter than I would have liked).
For hemming knits on a circle skirt, you want to ensure you are creating a narrow hem (anything wide will pucker) by either folding up 1/2" ONCE (remember, knits do not fray so you don't need the bulk of a double hem) and stitching a regular zig-zag, narrow zig-zag or using twin needles or a coverstitch to hem it.
Now your skirt is all done!