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Sew What! Skirts: 16 Simple Styles You Can Make with Fabulous Fabrics
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Sew What! Skirts: 16 Simple Styles You Can Make with Fabulous Fabrics

3.81  ·  Rating Details ·  690 Ratings  ·  77 Reviews
Blending expert advice with inspiring designs, Sew What! Skirts will delight both novice and veteran sewers alike. This spiral-bound book lays flat for easy reference and features full-color photographs of 16 sample skirts, with illustrated step-by-step instructions for completing each one. Encouraging you to experiment with bold patterns and unique fabrics, Francesca DenH ...more
Spiral-bound, 128 pages
Published September 1st 2006 by Storey Publishing, LLC (first published 2005)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Feb 16, 2008 Sally rated it really liked it
I totally want to make myself a skirt or 2 from this book because nothing fits plus size petite gals! The instructions are easy, well written and illustrated and fun.
Oct 05, 2009 Josephine rated it liked it
I wish I could give this book 3 1/2 stars. I really liked the idea and concept of this book, but I ran into some frustrations with it. I made two skirts fromt this book. The first was a drawstring A-line skirt. It turned out pretty good, but I didn't know how wide to make the bottom and they didn't suggest how wide you should make it because they encourage you to "just experiment" and "do it how you like it". Well, if I've never sewn a skirt before I'm kind of at loss for how big to make it. My ...more
Sep 15, 2010 Elizabeth rated it it was ok
Shelves: skimmed
This was not what I thought it was going to be.

This is a beginner book for people who don't want to use patterns. If you are already past the early beginner stage or the thought of sewing without a pattern terrifies you, then this book is probably not for you.

I was looking for a book that would help me create a skirt that fits me well without a ton of trial and error. I don't want to get to the point in my skirt construction that i am having to add extra darts or more fabric to make it fit...
Feb 12, 2008 Kelly rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, clothing
This book gives you a number of skirt styles on which to base your own skirt pattern.

Most of the skirts featured are not long but can be modified to be so. You'll want to make sure that if you're making the skirt longer that you adjust it just right. For instance, with the wrap skirt, I found that the longer you make it, the bulkier and wider (too wide) it becomes, but that the material is not enough to provide modest, no leg-show coverage. Thankfully, I noticed these things before buying and cu
Sep 28, 2009 Jayme rated it liked it
Shelves: crafting, 2009
This was a good basic project book. I liked a few of the skirts and all of them gave me ideas for other skirts that could be made based on these designs. Definitely a good book for anyone who's not a super star sewer and who's looking for some great easy project ideas that don't require a pattern. The beginning of the book explaining how to go about making skirts without a pattern is great as well.
Sep 15, 2014 Meg rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
This is definitely a beginner's book, which I am. Having never tried working off of a pattern, I can't really say that this (only using whim and you're own measurements) is the better or easier way of doing things. I have to say being a beginner, there didn't really seem to be much explanation on to how much flare should be measured in because it was all about doing what you want (but how do you know if that is what you want if you're a beginner?).

I will however, be using tips and the informati
Keller Adcock
Feb 28, 2015 Keller Adcock rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is AWESOME!

I have quilted but haven't sewn many garments. I love that I can make my own pattern to fit ME. These skirts are basic shapes but you can really have fun with the fabric. I've already got 4 of them on my to-do list (right after I get back from a fabric run to Hobby Lobby). What a good time I'm going to have today!
Mar 02, 2013 Lise rated it really liked it
Shelves: sewing
Sew What! Skirts is a clever book. The authors teach a framework for creating template patterns for a variety of basic skirt styles (including A-line, wrap, circle, straight and layered skirt styles), which you can personalize with your choices of fabrics, trim and other design elements. It's a fun and simple system, even for beginners. Some of the designs are quite clever - I've been inspired to dig out a few vintage tablecloths and re-style them as skirts. Some, like the Barbie Dream Skirt and ...more
Danna Riddle
Mar 29, 2015 Danna Riddle rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great basics book

Enjoyed the writing and practicality in this volume. Got some great new inspiration for projects. Loved it. Recommend this for anyone who wants to try sewing for the first time.
Jacel Jones
Jul 26, 2014 Jacel Jones rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ideas
Recommend for any level sewer, great tutorials that covers some basics information for beginners. I like it for nderstanding how to formulate pattern shapes for different styles and tends.
Jul 05, 2016 Dustincecil rated it did not like it
too basic. good for a someone that has not sewn at all...

It says "you don't need a pattern", but then says, "consider making a pattern from a skirt you like"...
Aug 27, 2010 Molly rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sewing-crafts
They had me at the intro where the explained the projects were arranged "from easiest to easy."

There is a very good intro with solid info on getting your hip to waist measurements right so that these skirts you labor over actually fit you properly.

I liked the retro graphics used to introduce chapters and concepts.

Projects I liked and will hopefully make some day:

- Meandering Vines
- Got No Ties (wrap skirt w/o ties)
- Polka Dotty
- Country Charm
- Nature's Child

I also love the generous use of ric-r
Oct 04, 2015 LemontreeLime rated it really liked it
This is actually a pretty ingenious book. I picked it up on a whim for a birthday present and was impressed at what it contained. Well done!
Carey McDonald
Aug 11, 2007 Carey McDonald rated it it was amazing
This summer, I've discovered the domestic goddess within. Don't laugh, I'm serious. Have been trying to teach myself how to sew to some (arguable) success. This book promises that I, too, can sew fabulous-looking skirts without even using a store-bought pattern! How cool is that?!? The book is full of helpful tips and explanations for the beginning sewer--it's got me all psyched to fill my closet with custom-made A-lines in groovy fabrics. And for my friends here on this site--I think we all kno ...more
Omoye Uduehi
Mar 23, 2016 Omoye Uduehi rated it liked it
I liked first. Interesting background info and lovely photos. But the information is too simplistic. If you are not very curvy and all you want is A-line skirts, go ahead. I have almost 10 inches of difference between my waist and hips and so my figure needs a little more structure. I preferred Skirt - a- day by Nicole Smith and though I didn't make all the styles, I found the drafting chapter very useful. It helped me to make my sloper and fit muslin. I've since gone on to modify the s ...more
Jenny K
Apr 03, 2015 Jenny K rated it really liked it
Shelves: sewing-related
Good primer on designing your own skirts.
Jun 21, 2009 Marjanne rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: seamstresses who don't like patterns
Shelves: cook-sew-etc
The best part of this book is that it shows you how to create a handful of basic skirts without using a pattern (though really it's just making your own unique pattern). The skirts themselves aren't anything amazing, basic A-line skirts, circle skirts, peasant skirts, etc. Surely most women would recognize the styles. But I love that you can really make them your own. They are fairly versatile and, really, it's often the fabric that makes the skirt, not so much the pattern. I may actually buy th ...more
Jun 26, 2008 Holly rated it it was amazing
If you've already done some straightforward sewing projects and know how to follow a pattern, this will be a bit easier. Also, as you experiment with creating your own patterns, it's worth doing a muslin (or a mockup with some other inexpensive, reasonably stable fabric). Getting the fit right is a bit harder than they make it out to be, particularly for a fitted skirt. Once you have this down, the book is an incredibly liberating tool; you'll never have to worry about finding the exact pattern ...more
May 24, 2009 Alison rated it it was ok
Shelves: craft-design
This was OK. The gist of the book is that you don't need to buy a pattern to make a skirt. The author shows how to create a basic template for a skirt that's custom-fit, and then shows several patterns that start off from those basic shapes and go in different directions to get you started. I didn't find any of the designs particularly inspiring. I have also been finding that, right now at least, I'm not at a point with my sewing where I can forgo using patterns (heck even with patterns I am hav ...more
Aug 13, 2011 Heidi rated it really liked it
This book teaches how to make your own skirt pattern and how to modify it to get a variety of different looks. I like that I now know how to make almost any kind of skirt I want and that I can customize to make it exactly how I'd like rather than trying to find a pattern close to my idea. There are two basic patterns--an a-line skirt and a pencil skirt. The book also covers a circle skirt, but it is not the basis of many variations. I highly recommend it to anyone who wants to sew a skirt.
Afton Nelson
Mar 28, 2010 Afton Nelson rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
This is a well written, encouraging book on how to make darling skirts. The directions are clear and there are lots of little tips that will surely make things like sewing in zippers and making button holes much less intimidating. The skirts start out very simple and have variations on each design. I will be happy to raise the rating to a 5 if my first few skirts turn out to be as awesome as the book makes me think they will be.
Mar 20, 2009 KJ added it
Hmmmm the format of this book is awesome! Each skirt project is laid out with color photos and clear how to drawings. However, there are no patterns and the book kinda assumes you can make it all happen with tailor's chalk and guts. I just bought two yards of very expensive japanese fabric to make my favorite skirt idea, that has an asian flair. I am DEFINITELY going to go with this project to my sewing teacher!
Feb 11, 2012 Kelly rated it really liked it
I checked this out from the library, but might have to buy it. The sewing terms are defined well. The book teaches how to make a simple pattern so that you can make the skirts in this book that will fit YOU. We made simple wrap skirts to start and they turned out so cute. Looking forward to trying some more of the projects in this book! A great book to motivate you and/or your kids to learn a new skill!
Mar 30, 2014 Dixie rated it liked it
I used the ease formula in this book to adapt the measurements from the A-line skirt class on creativebug.
Sep 18, 2013 Kricket rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, 2013, sewing
the skirts in this book are a little too badonkers for my personal style. there are also no patterns in the book, and i'm not ready to go pattern-free. however, the basic instructions for putting skirts together (found at the beginning of the book) should come in handy. i hope. i'll let you know after i try my first zipper.
Jan 21, 2014 Aileen rated it liked it
Interesting well thought out very helpful for a non sewer, good basic information
Oct 08, 2015 Amanda rated it it was amazing
I love skirts. Don't ask me why--I just do. This book makes it easy to make skirts without having to buy a pattern. I already know how to sew reasonably well, so that helps too. This book is full of cute ideas. All you have to do is find the right fabric and you're set.

if you're curious.
Oct 24, 2008 mathilda_craft marked it as to-read
Shelves: crafts
I'm determined to make some new skirts for my wardrobe. If I can't find what I picture in my head, then I'll make it. Hopefully my sewing will improve... with a little work.

I've been inspired by an old collegue. She made a skirt out of ties and I was very impressed with her creativity. :)
Holly Booms Walsh
Nov 27, 2007 Holly Booms Walsh rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: beginning clothing sewers
Shelves: crafting
This book really inspired me and I cannot wait to try making a skirt (or six!). I read it through but have not had the chance to attempt making anything yet, so I'll leave it at fours tars for inspiration and revise this review if the instructions aren't all they are cracked up to be...
Mar 02, 2012 L L rated it it was ok
There are better beginning sewing books out there, with more information and the same basic patterns. I'd recommend something more comprehensive for a beginner (like SEW U or Diana Rupp's book). If you're not a beginner, this book will be too basic for you.
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