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

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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 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 DenHartog and Carole Ann Camp provide simple guidelines for translating body measurements into panel dimensions. Create a custom-tailored wardrobe that fits perfectly and showcases your unique and personal style. 


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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 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 DenHartog and Carole Ann Camp provide simple guidelines for translating body measurements into panel dimensions. Create a custom-tailored wardrobe that fits perfectly and showcases your unique and personal style. 

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

  1. 5 out of 5

    Sally

    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.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Josephine

    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 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 skirt ended up being too big, but I had used cheap fabric to experiment with anyway. When I make it again it will be perfect. I also made the half circle wrap and it turned out perfect except the ties. It doesn't tell you that you should make one longer than the other, so I messed up there. Someone here said that it doesn't overlap enough and isn't very modest, but I didn't have that problem with it. Mine overlaps across my whole front from hip to hip. I can sit cross legged on the floor in it and it doesn't show any leg. I really like the skirt, it's very comfy. So, overall I really liked the concept of this book, but it requires a lot of thought on your part. It's fun and fulfulling to know you created not only a skirt, but a pattern for it. It's just a bit frustrating when they don't give you enough directions. If you're not sure of something, I would advise experimenting with cheap fabric before cutting into something expensive.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    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... 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... it defeats the purpose of making your own clothes. I've been thinking a lot recently about skirts and how they are constructed, The geometry and trigonometry involved. I think I'm doing better on my own.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Kelly

    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 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 cutting fabric. I would have also liked information on putting in slash pockets.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Jayme

    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. 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.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Omoye Uduehi

    I liked it....at 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 I liked it....at 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 sloper into a wrap skirt and a peplum skirt.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Raechel Henderson

    This is a solid sewing book. The spiral bound design is convenient; you can have the book open to the page you need while you are sewing. The retro design is cute but doesn’t get in the way of the writing. While it is a basic sewing book, it starts right off telling the reader to familiarize themselves with their sewing machine and various presser feet. As an experienced sewist this wasn’t an issue for me, but newbie sewists might have wanted a bit more hand holding. That aside, the rest of the b This is a solid sewing book. The spiral bound design is convenient; you can have the book open to the page you need while you are sewing. The retro design is cute but doesn’t get in the way of the writing. While it is a basic sewing book, it starts right off telling the reader to familiarize themselves with their sewing machine and various presser feet. As an experienced sewist this wasn’t an issue for me, but newbie sewists might have wanted a bit more hand holding. That aside, the rest of the book is easy to follow with instructions that make sense. What I really like about this book is that the skirts are pattern-less, or more accurately the instructions teaches readers how to draft patterns to their own measurements. As someone who has spent her entire sewing career focusing on designs for bodies that don’t fit “off the rack”, this tickles me pink. Teaching sewists to start with pattern drafting, and in a way that isn’t intimidating, is awesome. The patterns run the gamut from simple A-lines to tiered skirts. Each individual project also includes ideas on alterations, fabric substitutions and ideas on how to tailor the skirts to individual taste. Speaking of taste, some of the skirts weren’t my style (like the “Barbie’s Dream Skirt”) but there were so many more that suited me just fine. There’s going to be at least a half dozen designs that will pique others' interest. This is one of those books that is a good addition to any sewing library. It’d be a good choice as a gift for a new sewist looking to branch out into projects that don’t require training wheels.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Ligaya

    Fun book that shows how you can easily make a skirt to suit your style. I'm not sure how a total newbie would fare with these instructions, though, because the author does assume some sewing knowledge. Lots of illustrations, but more photos would be helpful. This book will inspire you to try something totally different and fun! Fun book that shows how you can easily make a skirt to suit your style. I'm not sure how a total newbie would fare with these instructions, though, because the author does assume some sewing knowledge. Lots of illustrations, but more photos would be helpful. This book will inspire you to try something totally different and fun!

  9. 4 out of 5

    Karin

    This one had legitimate patterns as well as simple guidelines, so lots of room for creativity. Still thumbing it a bit, I liked it a lot, and it was published by Storey, once again solidifying my faith in their books.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Michelle C.

    Good resource for beginners This book is a primer for sewing skirts from scratch, including drafting patterns to fit. Great for beginners. I think it’s a good jumping off point once you understand the basics.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

    Gained some ideas, but nothing that I couldn’t have figured out on my own just by putting the book down and heading into my sewing room.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Lise

    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 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 ruffled skirts, are a bit 'girly' for my taste, but then again, variety is what makes fashion so interesting. Go ahead and buy this book. You'll enjoy it and you'll be on your way to creating a terrific skirt wardrobe in no time.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Molly

    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 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-rack in this book. I love ric-rack! When I am ready to sew my own clothes, I will check this book out of the library again!

  14. 4 out of 5

    Carey McDonald

    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 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 know what you'll be getting for your next birthday gift if this book delivers on its promise!

  15. 4 out of 5

    Holly

    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 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 you want for a skirt.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Alison

    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 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 having trouble).

  17. 4 out of 5

    Marjanne

    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 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 this one day because it seems so practical.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Meg

    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 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 information in the book to make some skirts.

  19. 5 out of 5

    KJ

    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! 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!

  20. 4 out of 5

    Afton Nelson

    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.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Kelly

    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!

  22. 5 out of 5

    Heidi

    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. 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.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Sabrina

    Flipping through this book, I'm seeing lots of neat skirts I could probably make for myself and my daughter. I like the wrap skirts & Nature's Child skirt. I know my daughter will like the Polka Dotty & Asian Dream skirt. So far I like what I see, and the directions are very simple. Can't wait to start sewing! Now I need some fabric! Flipping through this book, I'm seeing lots of neat skirts I could probably make for myself and my daughter. I like the wrap skirts & Nature's Child skirt. I know my daughter will like the Polka Dotty & Asian Dream skirt. So far I like what I see, and the directions are very simple. Can't wait to start sewing! Now I need some fabric!

  24. 5 out of 5

    Kricket

    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. 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.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Keller Adcock

    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! 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!

  26. 4 out of 5

    Stacey

    I got a copy of this book using a gift certificate I got for my birthday. I gave up on trying to get it from the library. I am so inspired to create fun skirts and want to drop all of my other projects and start sewing.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Holly Booms Walsh

    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... 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...

  28. 5 out of 5

    Jeannette

    Sew what! Skirts take you through 16 different skirt styles, instructing you how to make your own pattern by taking your own measurements. It's guaranteed to fit. It has simple enough instructions that even the most novice can benefit. Sew what! Skirts take you through 16 different skirt styles, instructing you how to make your own pattern by taking your own measurements. It's guaranteed to fit. It has simple enough instructions that even the most novice can benefit.

  29. 5 out of 5

    mathilda_craft

    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. :) 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. :)

  30. 5 out of 5

    Amanda

    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. 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.

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