Lawrence is fulfilling all my dreams of swooshy summer dresses and cute tanks. Today I want to show you that the Lawrence Top and Dress can be hacked into a cute tiered skirt, too! You just need to add a waistband to the skirt pattern pieces and we will show you how to do that in this tutorial.
You can make the Lawrence skirt hack using the shorter skirt (view A—two tiers) or the longer skirt (view B—three tiers). The skirt pattern pieces are rectangles and if you do not want to print and assemble them out of paper, pages 10 and 11 of the instructions booklet will guide you on the sizes and number of rectangles to cut out of your fabric.
Drafting the Waistband
Follow these steps to draft a waistband for your skirt. This hack uses an elastic waist so it is comfortable and easy to fit!
Measure the widest part of your hips and add 2” (5 cm) to it to get the final measurement. Since this is a pull-on elastic-waist skirt, we do not measure the actual waist because the skirt will need to go over your hips. The 2” (5 cm) added for ease will make sure you can pull the skirt on and off easily.
Divide your final amount by 4. Add ⅝” (1.6 cm) for seam allowance.
(Your Full Hip Measurement + 2″ ) / 4 + ⅝”
My full hips: 42” (106.5 cm)
Following the equation above:
(42″ + 2″) / 4 + ⅝” = 11⅝” (29.5 cm)
Hence, the length of my waistband pieces (cut on the fold) will be 11⅝” (29.5 cm).
We are drafting the waistband as a two-piece waistband with side seams. Feel free to use just one piece of fabric with a seam at a side or center back! Just make sure to adjust your calculations accordingly.
Decide on the width of the waistband. We recommend using either 1” (2.5 cm) or 1.5” (3.8 cm) wide elastic for the skirt. The wider elastic will be able to hold up the skirt better, but you can use whatever elastic you have in your stash.
- For 1” (2.5 cm) wide elastic your waistband width will be 3.5” (9 cm).
- For 1.5” (3.8 cm) wide elastic the waistband width will be 4.5“ (11.5 cm).
If you have elastic of a different width, the formula we are using to calculate the width of the waistband pattern piece is: [ 2x (elastic width + ⅝” seam allowance + ⅛”) ]
⅛” (0.3 cm) is added for turn of the cloth and wiggle room. We want to make sure that there will be enough room for the elastic in the finished waistband once everything is sewn together.
To cut the waistband out, cut two rectangles on the fold. If you prefer to cut flat, make sure to double the length of the pattern piece.
To prepare the knee length skirt pieces, follow steps 29-32 and 35-37 in the Instruction Booklet. To prepare the ankle length skirt pieces, follow steps 29-38.
Assembling the Waistband
Note: If you wish to add a drawstring to the waistband, now is the time to sew your buttonhole openings at the center front. You can see a photo tutorial on how to do this in our Donovan Skirt sewalong.
With right sides together, sew the waistband pieces together at the short sides. Press the seams open.
With wrong sides together, press the waistband in half lengthwise matching seams and notches.
Attaching the First Skirt Tier
Note: You can assemble all the skirt tiers first before you attach the final skirt to the waistband if you want, or you can attach the waistband first and then add the subsequent tiers. It’s up to you!
Pull on the bobbin threads of the basting stitches to gather the first tier until it matches the approximate width of the waistband.
With right sides together, pin the gathered edge of the first tier to the waistband, matching the side seams. Distribute gathers evenly, pulling on the bobbin threads if you need to tighten or loosen the gathers.
Sew the first tier to the waistband using a ⅝” (1.6 cm) seam allowance, leaving a 3” (8 cm) opening near the center back. Your stitches should land in between the gathering (basting) stitches.
Gently remove the gathering stitches and finish the seam allowances using your preferred method and leaving the gap open. Press the waistband up and the seam allowances towards the skirt.
Determine the length of the elastic by stretching it around your body at the natural waist. Pull until the elastic feels snug, but not too tight. Add 1” (2.5 cm) for an overlap.
Using a safety pin or bodkin, feed the elastic through the opening and into the waistband. The safety pin will help you push the elastic through.
Make sure the elastic is not twisted inside the waistband. Overlap the ends of the elastic by 1/2” (1.3 cm) and sew them together using a straight stitch. Make sure to push the waistband fabric out of the way so it doesn’t get caught. Sew back and forth multiple times to secure.
Stretch the waistband several times to distribute the elastic evenly through the waistband. Try on the skirt to test the length of the elastic. Adjust as needed. Once satisfied with the fit, sew the opening closed and finish the gap using your preferred method.
Using a straight stitch, sew two lines of topstitching along the waistband, ⅜” (1 cm) from top and bottom. Stretch the elastic to flatten the waistband while you sew.
If you want to follow a detailed photo tutorial on how to attach and topstitch an elastic waistband, we have one here: How to Sew and Topstitch an Elastic Waistband.
At this point, you will need to attach the rest of the skirt tiers and hem the skirt. In the instruction booklet, follow steps 42-43 for a knee length skirt and steps 42-44 for an ankle length skirt. Finish off with step 45 for either skirt length to hem it.
That’s it! I am loving how this skirt turned out. It’s so cute in this red gingham linen and it is so comfy to wear. We hope you try this hack and be sure to share it on social and tag us so that we see it!
P.S. You can also add pockets to your skirt! To do so, make sure to follow this tutorial which includes a free pocket pattern piece print out.