Custom Style

Sewing that's Retro, Geek, and Chic

Happy Towel Day!

And Happy Geek Pride Day!

Today I’m spending the afternoon working at the little local fabric store and wearing my newly made Star Trek comic print skirt.


I didn’t use a pattern for my skirt. It’s just a basic petticoat-style skirt with an elastic waistband, which I made with rectangles of fabric. (More details in a minute.)


I still have plans to remake a better fitting knit Dandelion top a la TOS style, but I haven’t gotten to that point in my sewing queue.

So I’m just wearing an old store-bought polo I’ve had in my closet for years with my new skirt. The polo’s a bit too long for the skirt, but it’ll do for now.


I’ve had this fabric for months knowing I wanted a geeky skirt out of it. I was even able to print-match across the seams without losing too many inches!


What seam? =)

Here’s a simplified how-to diagram to explain making the elastic-waistband skirt (detailed instructions following):


Mine finished about 19½-inches long (knee-length worn a couple inches below waist) using the following measurements & steps:

  • Cut one 6½-inch tall strip for yoke and three 17-inch tall strips all the width of fabric (mine was 44 inches wide).
  • Sew shorter yoke strip together for center back seam, creating a loop with the fabric.
  • Sew three longer strips together end-to-end (match print if desired and able), creating a loop about 3-times the diameter of the yoke.
  • Hem longer loop with a double-fold – ⅜-inch fold then another ⅜-inch.
  • Fold top of yoke down ¼-inch then another 1¾-inch for 1½ -inch elastic casing. Stitch down leaving opening at center back for elastic.
  • Mark the four quarter points of each loop of fabric on unfinished edges (top of larger and bottom of smaller yoke loop).
  • Gather larger loop and attach to yoke bottom edge with ½-inch seam allowance, matching 4 previously marked points.
  • Insert elastic cut at comfortable length to fit just below waist. Overlap and stitch ends of elastic and stitch casing closed. Evenly distribute fullness around waistband.
  • Stitch in the ditch through elastic at center back and through the elastic in 2 or 3 other places on the waistband to hold it in place.

Here are a couple of sewing tricks I like to use:


Machine stitch a guideline for pressing up an even hem.


Edge-stitch right at the outer fold of elastic casing to help keep elastic from rolling in casing.

This skirt works really well with a petticoat underneath so I pulled out my ‘50s style petticoat (it’s an XL kid’s size so it’s shorter than the period appropriate length).


My husband hates the petticoat look but I love it!


Without petticoat (L) and with petticoat (R).




It required spinning.


We will see how many fabric store customers notice my geekiness at work today or even know what today is. By the way, I always keep a towel in my car – but my dog gets more use out of it than I do.

Speaking of the dog, you might be wondering “where’s Wensley?” because he usually likes to photo bomb. Believe me, he tried but there was a door in his way this time:


And I leave you with this silly picture, because I still like the skirt best with the petticoat underneath:


One to beam out. So long, and thanks for all the fish!

14 responses to “Happy Towel Day!

  1. thevintagetraveler May 25, 2014 at 12:09 pm

    I love this so much! I can’t believe you were even able to match the print across the seam.

  2. Tia Dia May 25, 2014 at 1:49 pm

    It’s perfect with the petticoat. 😀

  3. Vicki L. May 25, 2014 at 2:01 pm

    That skirt is gorgeous, and the petticoat makes it even better!

  4. witness2fashion May 25, 2014 at 2:31 pm

    Petticoat? Yes! (if you still fit behind the counter of the store….)

  5. IngeMaakt May 25, 2014 at 4:14 pm

    I love this! Yay for the petticoat too. Silly husband.

  6. macinic May 25, 2014 at 11:01 pm

    Happy towel day too – v.cute, love the petticoat 😉

  7. sewtigersew May 27, 2014 at 11:59 pm

    Hi Brooke! I don’t know precisely where to post this, but I wanted to let you know that I have given you a Liebster (favorite, in German) Blog award. I think there’s a chance you have more total followers than allowed, but I wanted people to know about how great and helpful you are! Plus, you don’t have too many followers on Feedly, which is what I used to count. 🙂

    My post is here with questions for you to answer if you want to play along. And if you don’t, I don’t mind in the least.

  8. Chuck May 28, 2014 at 9:04 am

    I vote for the petticoat too. That really looks cute and playful. We saw an old episode of the Dick Van Dyke show from 1962 last night and Mary Tyler Moore was wearing a skirt about the length of yours with a petticoat. I miss the old styles. Keep on sewing. Obtw. Love the tennis shoes with the skirt. You’re such a geek. :o)

  9. ShanniLoves May 30, 2014 at 7:42 am

    I like the petticoat too!!

  10. Brooke May 30, 2014 at 9:03 am

    Thank you for all the nice comments, everyone! =)

    I wore the skirt with the petticoat to work and practically got squeals of joy from everyone who saw me in it! When I came home and started telling my husband about my day, he looked at me and said “Lose the petticoat – I can’t take you seriously in that thing.” *shrug* I guess it’s a good thing he didn’t live during the 1950s, hehe.

  11. laurahoj June 6, 2014 at 6:17 pm

    This will be so fabulous with a TOS style dandelion top! (I’m so late to the party, but I’ve had this post open in my browser since you posted it.)

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