It’s “Nothing But Bottoms” over at the Ellie & Mac Patterns headquarters this week, and I’m excited to share one of my favorite Ellie & Mac patterns for your lower half! The paperbag waist trend first caught my eye last year, and I made a super cute pair of paperbag waist shorts last Spring. This year, I decided to try out the same detail in a skirt!
This pattern is made for wovens, so it gave me a great opportunity to dive into my fabric shelf and choose to work with some of the quilting cotton I’d purchased early in my sewing days. When I first discovered that I loved sewing, my eye was drawn strictly to novelty print quilting cottons – fun, unusual, and easy to work with. It checked all my boxes! While quilting cotton isn’t my go-to substrate anymore, it is still such a nice palate cleanser from time to time, so this project was a welcome addition to my sewing queue!
I narrowed my selection down to two fabrics in my stash… One was a simple geometric pattern in a more neutral color palette, and the other was this fun Sahara Desert inspired coral print with all kinds of animals on it. I’d just finished watching Tiger King just a few days before, so it is entirely possible that Carole Baskin’s exclusively animal print wardrobe may have been a factor in my choosing, but I think I made a great decision! This is going to be a super fun piece for warm weather days!
The skirt was pretty easy to cut out and put together, which is always a plus in my book! My sewing time tends to come in short bursts these days, 30 minutes or an hour every other day or so, and it took me 3 days of work to get this fully assembled. Quilting cottons, like I mentioned above, are always such a pleasure to work with – they stay where you press them and don’t shift around when cutting and pinning, making for fairly quick work. While wovens normally call for a closure of some sort, the elasticated waist detail negates the need for that with this pattern.
There are a couple of different length options included in this pattern – mini, mid-thigh, and knee length. Ellie & Mac Patterns are standardly drafted for a wearer of 5’5” height, so I chose the mid-thigh option but did not make the lengthening modifications called for for my height (5’8”), knowing this would leave me with a length somewhere between mini and mid-thigh. The only deviation I made to the pattern instructions was to use ¾” elastic rather than 1” elastic, only because that is what I had on hand! Though I did sew up the waist sash, I am always more fond of the look of a belt, so that’s how I ended up wearing this. I love that a black belt pulls out the black details in the fabric, and I think it highlights the waist detail even more than the sash would have!
This style pairs best with a fitted top – I find it is a flattering pairing that really makes the fun waist detail pop! My solid black V-neck tee and this slightly cropped Rosalinda Top (which I actually made to match those paperbag waist shorts last year!) are my two favorite matches so far. I love the way the yellow pairs with this fabric, and I’m actually in the process of cutting out some tiny baby rompers out of my leftovers from this skirt, paired with a yellow-gold gingham!
Skirt: handmade by me
Pattern: Ellie & Mac – Paperbag Skirt
Fabric: Hawthorne Supply Co. – Sahara Desert in Coral by Katy Tanis (now sold out)
Brother XR9500PRW Sewing Machine
Brother 1034D Overlocker / Serger
Schmetz Universal 70/30 Needles
Dahle 36×48 Self-healing Cutting Mat
Though the pattern used in this post was generously provided to me by the awesome team at Ellie & Mac, all words and opinions expressed are my own, as always! Links provided throughout this post may be affiliate links – if you choose to purchase any products through these links, I may receive a small commission, at no cost to you. This simply helps me justify the costs of my sewing habit and the time it takes to share it with you!! Happy Sewing!
- XX Elizabeth