Thursday, December 8, 2022

Garibaldi Skirt in vintage cotton

As mentioned previously on this blog, I'm one of the members of the Liesl & Co. Advisor's Circle this year. So, every now and then I take one of their patterns and make something with a bit of a twist to it. One of the new Fall patterns is an A-line skirt with 3 length options, a waistband or facing option, and some wonderful deep pockets, even with a side zip. It's called the Garibaldi Skirt, and it's my latest project! If you want to check out the original post on Liesl's blog, you can find that here.

So I decided to finally use a piece of fabric I've had for ages; my aunt gave it to me years ago (probably about 20 years!), found somewhere on one of her many travels. It's long and narrow, with this large print along one side. I knew I'd have to use it crossgrain to use the pattern but didn't have a clear vision for it. But this pattern suddenly made me remember this fabric and I knew it would be perfect.

The Garibaldi has no front or back seam to break up a print – the zipper is in the side seam. But unlike many skirts with a side zip, this one also has pockets, a must-have for me! The pattern pieces fit onto the print perfectly, with just a bit of care to get the pattern placement right. But because I am so short, I didn’t get much of the solid black at the top of the fabric. But the knee-length version was the one that suited me so I went with it.

I used a vintage invisible zip from my stash (the first one I’ve ever seen that has metal teeth!). This zip was only 9″ long, while the pattern calls for a 12-14″ one. To give myself more room, I installed the zip only on the skirt portion, not into the waistband as the pattern directs. I then stitched a large hook and eye onto the waistband portion. If I'd thought ahead a bit more, I might have added some overlap to the waistband and put a button in, but this works!

The other change I made was to add a lining. This fabric is a fairly lightweight cotton, and it sticks to itself very easily. I thought a lining would solve any issues with bunching as you walk and also add some body to the fabric. I used some basic black lining and just cut the front and back pieces of the skirt from the pattern. I sewed this on in my favorite way to line a skirt – I stitched the lining to the zipper opening, then flipped it inside and basted around the waistband. I then sewed the waistband on and hand-stitched down the inside of the waistband. It might take a little longer, but I really like the control I have when I do it this way, and the finish is very clean and neat.

I love the fit of the skirt. I didn’t have to adjust the pattern much once I’d chosen my size according to the pattern; sometimes, I find skirts hard to fit with my hip/waist ratio, but this was perfect. There are two small darts in the back for shaping and somehow it all worked for me. I love the waistband version (there is also a waist-facing option), and the pockets are just right, nice, and deep. I’m so pleased to have found the perfect pattern for this admittedly unusual fabric.


  1. Hi Melanie, An absolutely beautiful skirt on you. I love your description of sewing techniques, very inspiring. I also have never seen metal teeth on an invisible zipper, but there you go! I am sure you will get so much wear from this one.
    .... Sara

    1. I love finding vintage supplies, they are so interesting! My mom said that she thinks she remembers this fabric coming from Greece. My aunt has been everywhere so it probably did ;) I'm so happy to have found the perfect use for it!


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