Sew the Giselle with me: the skirt, hemming and elastic

Welcome back to the final day of the sew with me series! Today we’re making and attaching our skirt, yippee!


Once again, I’m doing things differently to the instructions. This isn’t because I think the instructions are bad – it’s just a reflection on how I like to sew, which is very much how I cook: skim the recipe, and go about it my own way. So, follow the instructions if you wish, no judgement here.


To start, I edge finished all of my skirt pieces, before sewing in my gathering stitches. Rather than sew the side seams first, I prefer to work with as little bulk as possible. So I left all four skirt pieces separate and gathered them individually, before sewing the side seams of the top and bottom tiers, and then joined the two together.

Sewing the side seams of my already gathered skirt pieces


Confession: I had gathered the skirt lining too, but the gathers from the lining and outer combined to make one serious amount of poof, right where nobody wants it. So, I ripped that out and added a self (ok, ok, Mama Gypsy drafted) skirt piece that was a simple a-line, taking into account the fact that the bodice back is wider that the bodice front to accommodate the elastic.

Waaaay too much floofyness with a gathered lining. Here’s a photo of me sewing some understitching, hoping it would restrain it. It didn’t.


For the lower tier, I repeated this process, gathering first, side seams second, attaching to the upper skirt. From there, it was a simple case trying it on to check the hem length, before hemming – I opted to be lazy and machine sew mine. If the maxi skirt is too short for your liking (it’s perfect for 5″2″ me), you could consider adding a third tier!


The final step is the elastic. I admit that I’m not very experienced with sewing elastic, but the instructions make the insertion easy and unscary. I used a 1″ wide piece of elastic, because it was the only elastic I could find in my Mum’s sewing room, also because it worked. Why? Remember my boob extension? Well, I kinda forgot that because I had added to the bust piece, that I’d need to lengthen the back bodice piece to keep everything even. Serendipitously, the extra length was accommodated with a 1″ (2.5cm) strip along the lower back, perfect for elastic!

So, rather than sew down the centre of the elastic, I stitched along the top and bottom, and am very happy with the result. It makes my whoopsie look perfectly intended!

Give your dress a final press, and you’re done! If you’ve fallen behind, don’t despair! Tomorrow we meet Kati, the designer behind Kate and Rose, so you’ve got another day to finish, photograph and blog it here on The Monthly Stitch, on the 25th October, by 24:00 UTC (What does that mean?). I’ll be posting a round up for you all to ooh and ahh over on the 26th (New Zealand time), before the winner (as chosen by Kati) is announced on the 28th.


Thanks so much for joining me – I hope you enjoyed the make as much as I did! I can’t wait to see your completed Giselle! Here’s mine, in it’s magenta and chartreuse floral glory:

A big thank you to Kat for the photos, and thank you to all who joined me! Don’t forget to get your Giselle loaded before the 25th!

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