The Ravinia Skirt from Love Notions is a style that is not fitted nor too voluminous and that ticks many boxes for me. I have made two versions with different techniques and visual impact and have really enjoyed the projects.
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The skirt front has curved pockets with cute gathering there and this is my favorite feature of the skirt. The length can be knee, midi and maxi. Depending on your preference, the waistband options are: curved, yoga and maternity.
The volume of the skirt increased with the length of the skirt, proportionally.
Three skirt lengths are included and these are the finished measurements from the waistband to the hem:
- Knee: 23.5″
- Midi: 31″
- Maxi: 40″
I have made a Maxi skirt and a knee length skirt, both with a curved waistband.
The Ravinia Skirt will look it’s best made with Light to medium weight knit fabrics that drape nicely. I would prefer the lighter options.
The gathers on the pockets will stick out and be bulky if the fabric is to heavy.
Options: Rayon spandex, Modal, DBP, ITY, performance knits, even swim fabric will work. I have chosen rayon spandex for both my versions.
Love Notions has been working through the catalog to include more sizes in the patterns available in the catalogue. The Ravinia Skirt has been re-released to include sizes XS-5X, catering up to a waist of 49.5″ and a hip of 59.5″.
The size is meant to be chosen based on the body hip measurement. There is negative ease at the waist. This is reasonable considering the fabrics recommended need to stretch 25-50%. The fit at the hips is roomy.
I chose size Large. For my maxi version, I added 2″ extra to the length for it to be a true maxi. I am 5ft 8″ and taller than the 5ft5″ drafted height of Love Notions patterns.
For the shorter version, I made the knee-length option without adjustments.
- The Seam allowance is 3/8″
- I use a shallow zig-zag for the main seams to allow stretch. These are the settings: 0.5 width, 2.5 length.
- I use a slightly larger zig-zag to sew the waistband onto the skirt because this modification in settings will allow more stretch this is area that has negative ease and needs to stretch over the hips when the skirt is pulled on. These are the settings: 1.0 width, 2.0 length. The zig-zag is small but visible.
- Other stretch stitches on my machine? no thanks! they take a lifetime to seam rip in the event of an error.
- The curved waistband is cut twice, both for the front and the back. They are sewn together on the upper curve along with a narrow elastic to provide support. The fabrics recommended do not have the strength in their weight nor enough spandex content to have great recovery. Do not skip the elastic on the top….. otherwise your skirt will be at your ankles before you realize.
- When you first look at the front skirt piece and the pocket piece…. you most likely will think there is a mistake. They are not the same shape or size. They are correct, however. The front skirt piece has notches to mark where the gathers need to happen for the pocket entrance. Once you gather this area, the shape will be the same as the pocket piece 🙂
- The pockets are easy to put together, don’t worry. The instructions are great!
- I prefer sewing the binding of the pockets in reverse.
- For the hem, a twin needle with a smaller distance between them works best with light weight knits. I increase my stitch length to 3.5 with great results.
The video on my channel: Curved pockets with gathers and contoured waistband
To see the video I made on my channel that includes all the sewing techniques for the pockets, binding and waistband, see below. Up close footage for you.
Let’s see both
Let’s see both of my Ravinia Skirts. The first is the maxi version. This one was inspired by many stripy skirts I have seen in shops and on Pinterest. I was obsessed with the idea of having the stripes collide in the center and the side seams.
The second is short and made with a subdued tropical print. After sewing the maxi version, I had the idea of modifying the pocket pieces to be fully extended across the front to provide tummy support. This is a reality!
Stripe Play Maxi
I changed the skirt only because I added a center front and center back seam to cut the fabric in different directions. I added 3/8″ to the centers instead of placing them on the fold. Below is an inspiration photo for the look was going for. Navy and white and stripes. Cutting on the bias? no thanks. Cutting on the bias uses too much fabric. I used the striped fabric on the grain-line and the cross-grain to have them vertical and horizontal.
Being totally focused on the details, I also cut the pocket bags separately and with the fabric right sides up so the direction of the stripes would also contrast with the front skirt pieces. This gave me a headache and made me dizzy!
The maxi length is the most voluminous at the hem. Hemming seemed eternal. As the skirt gets longer, it also becomes wider on the bottom. I love the look and how it flows nicely with this rayon spandex.
Because the main pieces were cut in different directions and in a single layer, the shape of the chevrons on the side seams have different angles and I LOVE THAT. Matching these stripes was also very time consuming but worth it.
As soon as I wore my skirt out, I got to thinking how nice it would be if the pockets were transformed to one extended piece that covered the whole front of the skirt. I have sewn these types of pockets on pants before. Specifically the Duet Trousers (VIDEO here) and the Summer Caye Pants (VIDEO here), both from Love Notions. The layers of pockets across the abdomen feels supportive and very comfortable.
My next version accomplishes my vision!
Tummy support hack: short skirt
The original pockets are on on both side seams, like most garments. This leaves an area in the middle of the skirt with only one layer of fabric. I set out to modify the pocket and pocket bag to include them all the way to the center front of the skirt piece. These new pieces would be cut on the fold and cover the entire front of the skirt.
The skirt above is inside out and you can see the black fabric extend from side seam to side seam. This creates a HUGE pocket, but most importantly a layer of support on the tummy that feels very good on.
I used other fabric remnants for both the pocket pieces, to save my main fabric to make a matching top with later. They are the same type and weight as the main fabric.
This short length is my preference and the style I reach for almost on a daily basis. I am a huge wearer of skirt and this one is a delight to have on. The layers of pockets feels amazing.
The pocket bag visible is black and I love the contrast there.
The video on my channel: pocket hack
The little pieces above might not make any sense at all! So, I filmed it all for those who like to see these modifications. To see this done in video format, step by step, see the video below.
I enjoyed both skirts. They are easy to sew and fit. The pocket gathering details is pretty and unique. The curved waistband fits very well and the elastic inside holds it up securely. I will make more short versions for sure and from now on, with the modified pockets for abdominal support.
Make sure to watch both videos on my channel for all the up close sewing footage of the techniques. You can follow along if you need visual support 🙂 Also, you can see the skirt on, in movement and my review.
DISCLAIMER: I Purchased my patterns and fabrics for both versions.
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