The dilemma of reversible fabrics

I know which side of the fabric is the right side, but what if I like the wrong side too? That makes it an unintentionally reversible fabric, right?

This fabric is a delightful Italian linen from a high end English menswear line. I was lucky enough to visit Ditto fabrics in Brighton in the UK last year, and this is one of my souvenirs. The right side is the classic navy and white plaid. The reverse has a beautiful bronze coating.

So, what to do?

I did what any sensible sewist would do. I squeezed two garments out of my fabric length.

And made one of them reversible. (I think that means I made three garments…)

The main garment hasn’t even been photographed yet. The squeezed-out-of-the-remnant-and-made-reversible simple pencil skirt? That’s today’s story!

The hem is fringed.

I zigzigged and then pulled out threads

The waist was finished on the brown side with grosgrain.

I turned under the seam allowance at the waist and topstitched the ribbon on. Hardly noticeable on the ‘right’ side.

The darts were top stitched down too.

The zip was exposed on the navy side

And even a more ‘exposed’ on the brown side

I ran the grosgrain ribbon down the seam underneath the zip, to cover the seam allowance.

Looks like that ribbon goes all the way from top to bottom, doesn’t it?!

The other seam got flat fell treatment

and a bias strip covered slit at the hem.

I love this skirt!

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30 Responses to The dilemma of reversible fabrics

  1. Gorgeous gorgeous gorgeous. True skill!

  2. Tia Dia says:

    I totally love this. And all the details to make it such a perfect two-for-one!

  3. Summerflies says:

    Oh how gorgeous …. you are a clever clogs. I love it too. It looks terrific and two really different skirts. This will be perfect for your trips away…. this really is two for the price of one.

  4. Thimberlina says:

    This is clever! A a perfect way to show off both sides 😀

  5. Christine Schwab says:

    That is a wonderful way to have it all. I am going to steal many of your ideas, and try to channel your can-do attitude. I have gotten stuck in the midst of a few projects trying to decide which side should be the public side. Thanks!

    • SewingElle says:

      This is what the online sewing community is all about. Supporting and learning from one another.
      The light bulb moment for me was the fringed hem. Such an easy way to hem both sides without either looking like the inside, and it would totally work with my fabric. I just took it from there.
      One thing I need to improve is the zip. The zipper pull digs in a bit when I’m wearing it brown side out because the pull is on the inside. I need to add a tab to cover it on the navy side as well as the grosgrain tab I have on the brown side.

  6. Just perfect! I don’t care which side I use to sew it up, just as long as I like it and it’s consistently the side I use – don’t want to mix and match in the same garment! You did a fabulous job with the ribbon and the zippers and hem. I love them! What a great idea!

  7. Lynsey Jane says:

    What fab fabric! Such a great find!! It looks super both ways so making a reversible skirt was perfect. Look forward to seeing what else you have made from it.

    • SewingElle says:

      The main garment is lovely and classic. But not in the same league of sewing satisfaction. Will try to photograph soon. It’s already been worn several times.

  8. Anne W says:

    Very clever, I think you have the best of all options!

  9. accordion3 says:

    Clever you! This is a terrific solution – looking forward to seeing the next garment.

  10. Clever girl – you got a twofer!

  11. Nonsuch says:

    this is brilliant! Love, love, love the fringing and clever zip arrangements.

  12. Christine says:

    I notice you always use Burda patterns, can you tell me why? I I tend to use Vogue but am wondering after looking at all your garments should I give Burda a go.
    Love the new dress from the same Linen and Felicity’s dress as well

    • SewingElle says:

      You’ve picked me well as a Burda fan girl! There are a couple of reasons I rarely stray. The pattern blocks they use for drafting are consistent.
      I have confidence in their sizing and that it will fit my figure so adjustments are minimal, if needed at all.
      Their drafting generally suits my daughter too apart from the bust.
      I like their designs.
      I’ve been subscribing to the magazine for ages so I have lots of their patterns.
      I do occasionally use Vogue patterns…

  13. yummy mummy says:

    very clever Liz, I might borrow some of those techniques. How do you know Grosgrain from the other stuff that looks the same? Where (in Adelaide?) did you get it from? Also would it be good in a broderie anglaise skirt to reduce bulk? Is that the advantage of using it?

    • SewingElle says:

      There is a way to tell. I think it’s related to fibre content. The real stuff is mainly cotton, has scalloped edges and can be easily shaped with steam. Perhaps it’s also called petersham? The cheaper stuff is mainly polyester and not very nice as a waistband: it’s too inflexible. I get mine from the Button Bar. Veronica is a wealth of information.
      I think it would be excellent for a broderie anglaise skirt.

  14. yummy mummy says:

    Not only does both sides look terrific, but the double duty skirt saves room in the suitcase. Just back from Melbourne, where I went fabric shopping, as you do, at The Fabirc Store and Rathdowne Fabrics. I too packed a reversible garment, the rose silk chiffon / silk moire remnant scarf top (Burdastyle Feb 2008, #119).

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