Home heather ross The “surgical gown” skirt

The “surgical gown” skirt

by Clare Mansell
The “surgical gown” skirt

In my post on Friday, I mentioned that I was midway through making a skirt from Heather Ross’s Weekend Sewing and was having some trouble with the errors in the book. After a weekend of frustration and wasted fabric, I can now tell you the full story.

The skirt is the “Yard Sale Wrap Skirt” it looks completely different in the book to any of the made up results on Flickr, but I thought it was worth a shot. After all how hard can a skirt with no zips, no buttons, and no darts be?

On my mother’s advice I decided to use an old sheet to try out the design. I traced the pattern, cut the fabric and sewed the six panels together. At this point I was convinced I had found the easiest skirt in the world to make, and I would be running up another half dozen by the end of the week, and then I wrapped it round me…

Despite the fact the size I was using was supposed to accommodate a waist size up to 14 inches larger than my own (!!) the skirt did not meet round my waist. Back to the pattern to check that it wasn’t a stupid error of mine. It wasn’t.

So I went online and started googling “Yard Sale Wrap Skirt”, lots of mentions of the design taking more fabric than they’d thought, and then I found the extensive “errata” on Heather Ross’s website!

Almost everything about the design was wrong. The amendment said it required two extra panels (which I just about managed to scrape enough fabric together for) and that the waist ties needed to be lengthened by 16 inches each, by the time I had finished cutting fabric, the skirt had EIGHTEEN individual parts… ridiculous!

Despite being rather cross, I carried on, determined to see what it looked like, and when it was eventually complete, I discovered a new problem. Yes, the wrap did now wrap (just) but the overlap was now positioned at the back of the skirt and not the side… hence the surgical gown reference!

There’s no way I could wear it out. I’d be convinced I looked like this (or maybe that’s wishful thinking!) So my planned outfit for today’s Me Made May Monday fell apart, I did however use a homemade bag to transport some stuff to work, just to cover my bases.

This is the second project I have wasted my time on attempted to make from the book, and you’ll be astonished to hear I’m going back for a third, the Everything Tote. If that one fails, then Heather you’re out…

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Caroline Sweeting May 10, 2010 - 2:07 pm

I hate to say this Clare, but something about that fabric says to me ‘first quarter – mid 90’s – curtains’!

Little Island In The Med May 10, 2010 - 2:14 pm

No I’m with you on that, which was why I used it to try the design… nothing wasted as it turns out!

Susanna May 10, 2010 - 4:21 pm

You must have the patience of a saint, I think I would have burnt the book by now!

Jenny May 10, 2010 - 4:45 pm

Thats really annoying when you’ve paid good money for the instructions. You could always avoid the tennis player look by wearing big pants I suppose, but I imagine that’s not the image you are looking for.

Ninny May 10, 2010 - 8:45 pm

Oh, I would have ripped that thang to shreds in one minute if I had to make all the adjustments you made. A skirt with 18 parts? You get kudos for perseverance!! Me, I would have caved the first rip out.


Berni May 11, 2010 - 2:29 am

I made a wrap around last year and it was much more finnicky than an ordinary skirt and whatever I did the hem was lop sided and didn’t match the other part of the skirt. I have yet to wear it

Camelia Crinoline May 11, 2010 - 3:53 am

It is so frustrating when stuff like that happens, obviously the patterns in the book are just badly designed. At least you used an old sheet and didn’t waste good fabric on it.

Minky Magic May 11, 2010 - 2:26 pm

Hi there, I notice you are a follower of my blog and just wanted to let you know that I am having a giveaway this week (ends May 16th) to thank all my followers so if you’d like to stop by and add your name I’ll see you there! Cheers, Marie x


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