Wednesday 15 March 2017

Reformation -Inspired Floral 3-Piece (Skirt + 2 Tops)

photo Floral3PieceDIY8_zps6ctd9lih.jpg
There's only 1 thing better than a 2-piece and that's a 3-piece. If I can make a dress in two parts I always will - multiplied usage, infinite possibilities. In this case the guy at the fabric store upsold me and with the 4.5m of floral I had, it was only logical to double up on the tops.

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photo 0 Tools_zpsvuuhgoid.jpg
Fabric (I used a 100% cotton, for maxi skirt and 2 tops I went through almost 4.5 m)  |  Scissors  |  Pins  |  Elastic (enough to go around the waist)  |  Thread & sewing machine


I. First I cut out my skirt pieces. Two like the one shown below for fullness in the skirt.
photo 1 Cut skirt half_zpsjchvkwwc.jpg
II. Then placed the two pieces right sides facing, and pinned one side together, sewing down the side and zig-zagging the raw edge.
photo 2 Side pinned_zps3fzia68z.jpg
III. Then cut out my looong ruffle piece. Given that the total length of my skirt hem was about 180 cm (2 x 90 cm), and I did a 1.4 multiplier for the ruffle, my total ruffle length was about 250 cm. To get the overall skirt length I wanted, I made the piece 20 cm wide.
photo 3 Ruffle_zpsr7cec4mi.jpg
.. Then zig-zagged one of the long edges and added a basting stitch, pulling the bobbin thread after to gather the ruffle. I gathered enough so the total length came down to the length of the hem.
photo 4 Ruffled_zpsqsbuvrtd.jpg
.. And then pinned the gathered ruffle to the hem, right sides facing. Sewed in place.
photo 5 Ruffle pinned_zpsibyzgakr.jpg
IV. Next, I went to the waistline and gathered it with a basting stitch just like the ruffle, only less - to a total waistline length of about 100 cm. This measurement depends on your hips - best way to find it out is to make a circle out of your measurement tape, and pass that up and down around your hips. It needs to pass comfortably - for me that's 100 cm.

Then I cut out a 100-cm long waistband piece (7 cm wide), and sewed that onto the waistline, right sides facing.
photo 6 Waistband_zps2x7szk9p.jpg
At which point I had this. I pressed a 1-cm fold at the other end of the waistband, and folded it in half to match the first seam that attaches it to the skirt.
photo 7 Waistband attached_zpsabvplmoj.jpg
V. Next I completed the other side seam:
photo 8 Side seam_zpsy1zydf8d.jpg
.. And because I'm lazy and hate pushing elastic through casings, I like to first insert the elastic and then sew the waistband in place. Boom!
photo 9 Elastic_zpsluvs5clf.jpg
This is what I had after doing the stitch almost all the way. At this point I tried the skirt on, tightened the elastic to a comfortable fit, sewed the ends together, and then completed the stitch. Lastly, I finished the hem with a double-fold.
photo 10 Waist band_zpsw6tupjbj.jpg


I. Here were the first pieces I had cut. Note quantities to make the top fully lined - two for the front, four for the tie-ups at the back (2 for each side), and two for the long rectangular piece which made my shoulder straps.
NOTE: I made this top in 5 'sections' - the front, the sides, and the tie-ups. You could also accomplish the same in only 3 sections - the front, and a longer piece on each side (that wraps around and ties at the back). I cut mine in 5 sections to be more economical with my fabric. In this dress you'll see a similar top, where I made sides/tie-up pieces from single pieces.
photo 11 Top pieces_zpsqhwtlzf8.jpg
II. Then I created my shoulder straps using the method showed in this post. I sewed them in place on one of the front pieces as shown with the dotted line below.
photo 12 attach shoulder straps_zpsspwttvfw.jpg
.. Then I layered my front pieces, right sides facing, and sewed along the neckline like this. Note the shoulder straps were sandwiched between. Then turned right sides out and pressed. I repeated this with the bottom edges so only the sides were unsewn.
photo 13 Layers sewed_zps9u1lbos9.jpg
III. Next I cut out 4 rectangular pieces for the sides:
photo 14 side pieces_zpsxiksuvjs.jpg
IV. And cut the 4 pieces for the tie-ups in the back into shape like this (the fabric stretched a bit when ironing, hence the 43 cm length from above vs. the 45 cm in this photo). I took 2 of these at a time, and sewed them together right sides facing.
photo 14.5 tied part_zps9bsq7iwb.jpg
I turned the tie-up pieces (looking like elf's hats) right side out and pressed. Then took two of the small rectangular side pieces, and placed on each side, right sides facing the right side of the elf-hat-shaped piece. Sewed around as shown below.
photo 15 Attached_zpsityocxui.jpg
.. Aaand just flipped the rectangular pieces over and pressed. After that, I pressed small folds at the sides of the front piece, and inserted the end of the elf-hat-extended piece in between there. Then just pinned that in place and sewed a straight stitch to attach together. Repeated for the other side!
photo 16 In between_zpsdbkkamk6.jpg
Finally, I tried the top on and determined how long the shoulder straps should be, and sewed them in place.

Since I still had fabric left, I also made a basic tee to go either with the skirt or on its own (in the pics towards the bottom).
photo Floral3pieceDIY_zpss9hgzm1q.jpg photo Floral3pieceDIY2_zps8jnadu7m.jpg photo Floral3pieceDIY7_zpsq3lnye7o.jpg photo Floral3pieceDIY3_zpsu823olzc.jpg photo Floral3pieceDIY1_zpsadvbxnds.jpg photo Floral3pieceDIY5_zpshpf3nubj.jpg photo Floral3pieceDIY4_zpswgycfl3c.jpg


  1. Wow, I love this! I think this will go onto my sewing list for the summer. Thanks for the tutorial!

  2. Thanks so much Birgit! Glad you liked it:)

  3. Love this so much!! Thank you for this blog!! Can't wait to start trying out making my own stuff. Just wondering if it would be much different to put the tie-up at the front? Or if you could do one for next time! I love the look of the tie at the front to make my bust look fuller but not sure how to achieve this. Anyway thank you again for all that you do :)

    1. Hi Ellie! Sorry for the super late response, I totally missed your comment. In fact, I have worn this top with the knot in the front too and it works fine for me (as I don't have a very significant bust). If you are more curvy the change I would recommend is making the two pieces that tie up wider. Take a look at this project where I did what you are describing for the top part:

  4. Hello Julia, love it! But quick question is it normal that the skirt is shorter at one end (75) and longer an the other(90)? Thanks

    1. Hi there, I cut the skirt at a slight A-line to give the hem more volume - this is why the waistline was 75 and the hem 90 cm. If you want less volume, you could just cut a straight rectangle as well.

    2. Oh right I see! Thank you^^!


I would love to hear what you think and learn about your DIY adventures! If you use one of my tutorials, tag me on social @contour_affair, I'd love to see!


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