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roll-top skirt

shev | Posted in Patterns on

hi! I’m looking to sew myself a skirt from swimsuit fabric as a cover-up I can actually swim in!

I could just make a simple tube skirt with an elastic waist, but I find the “roll-over” waists very attractive. they are wide and soft and can be folded over, or the skirt can be tugged down. I’ve seen this kind of waist on wide pants recently.

does anyone know where I can find a skirt pattern like this – or how to draft a pattern myself? it could be a separate waistband, or perhaps I could just elongate the top of an a-line pattern at an angle (back out I mean)?

ideas, please!



  1. Josefly | | #1

    There's a gaucho pants pattern at VoguePatterns.com that has the rolled waistband you're talking about. It's not as wide as some of the ones I've seen in ready-to-wear, but I think you could adapt it.


    Only view C of the pattern uses the rolled waistband. Hope this helps.

    Ed. to add: McCalls Pattern also has rolled waistband made from tubular knit:


    Edited 6/11/2007 10:36 pm ET by Josefly

    1. MaryinColorado | | #2

      cute patterns.  I have a rayon gaucho with a wide rib knit waistband that is so comfortable! 

      On the McCalls pattern, can you suggest a fabric substitution for the recommended sweatshirt fleece?  I am thinking maybe a cotton knit, what do you think?  Mary

      1. Josefly | | #3

        The cotton knit sounds like a nice substitute to me. I found some bamboo knit that feels just wonderful, but it is pretty lightweight; it might work for the wide gauchos, but I don't know how it would work for pants.Concerning the fold-down, rolled waistband on these patterns. do you see any problem in just making that piece longer than it appears in the pattern, to allow for more fold-down? Is it shaped, tapering in at the waist, and out again for the fold-down part, or does the stretchiness of the fabric not require shaping? What do you think?

        1. berniejh | | #8

          Do you think I could use the Vogue roll top pattern for a woven fabric with just a bit of stretch i.e. denim, but still use the stretch for the roll top? What adjustments would I need to make to convert from stretch to woven fabric?

          Edited 7/2/2007 5:28 am ET by berniejh

      2. Teaf5 | | #5

        Do NOT use cotton knit if you are going to swim in it!! As soon as you hit the water, the cotton knit will absorb ten times its weight in water and will lose every bit of stretch! As a fifteen-year-old who made her own swimsuit, I learned this at a pool party. As soon as I jumped into the deep end, the suit swelled, drooped, and dragged; I treaded water frantically till a friend got a beach towel to cover me.If you don't want to use swimsuit fabric (multi-stretch synthetic) use a 100% polyester knit. Cotton is wonderful for almost any other garment, but not for ones that will get wet!

        1. shev | | #6

          thanks, friends, for helping me out here.I liked the waist in those gaucho pants, I'll look for that pattern.I will be sewing the skirt in swimsuit fabric with swimsuit lining.I wasn't able to find the skirt construction ideas on the jonson site - do you have a link?I'm hoping to make up an a-line skirt pattern, or perhaps just make a tube skirt with an elastic waist? any faves?thank again!

        2. MaryinColorado | | #7

          What a great story!  Now that you have recovered that is!  I had made many ice skating costumes, so thought a swimsuit would be so simple.  Miss smarty pants (me) thought I didn't need to read the instructions, fabric recomendations, or layout. 

           The suit wasn't stretchy enough on the lenghth so it wouldn't fit anyone.   Was about to throw it out when one of my daughter's friends came by, she was so short in the torso, she could never find a suit to fit her.  It was perfect!  She got a free suit and was thrilled! 

  2. Cathie | | #4

    If you go to Christine Jonson's pattern site, she has a section where she tells you how to adapt skirt patterns, adding this tube section. Sounds very comfortable, and the stretchy "tube" can be added to a knit, or drapey rayon, and for sporty or dressier wear.

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