Hot! The “Two Become One” Backgammon Skirt

The Facts

Fabric: Two Gorman Skirts, 1 metre of orange homespun cotton
Pattern:  Waistband; from Gertie’s New Book For Better Sewing, by Gretchen Hirsch
Year: 2011
Notions: Thread, fusible interfacing, rigilene (plastic) boning
Time to complete: 15 hours
Total Cost: ~$115A
First worn: September 2012 – to the Airport,to Ikea for the photos, to lunch, then to the school pick up.
Wear again? Try and stop me!

I think this is my favourite thing that I have sewn. Correction, that I have refashioned.  I love it so.

Back in November of 2011 I first wrote about this Gorman Creation, swooning from the graphic backgammon pattern with its navy and heady two shades of orange with puce, and the $400 price tag.  Luckily, the skirt was way too short for my 40-year-old legs. I sadly walked away. But I didn’t forget.

I visited the Gorman outlet store at Birkinhead Point in February and found the skirt for sale around the $100 mark.

I visited again about mid August and lo and behold, they still had at least three size six skirts priced at $50 – you know what I did don’t you?

Yes, that’s right I bought two to refashion into one.  I spent hours picking them apart, leaving the pleats alone. Tell you what they were the perfect antidote for stomach surgery.  So cheery and happy they made me feel.  That fabric and Mum’s wonderful puddings pulled me through.

Then Gertie’s New Book For Better Sewing arrived and I decided to try out her super technique for a high curved boned waist band – what a cracker   – I do hate it when your stomach rolls push your waist band over. I recommend everyone rushes out and gets some boning – stat! The four pockets were perfect to form the curved waistband. Once I had worked out Gerties sizing (she even responded to my whinge about that on Instagram!!!) I was away.

I faced the waist band with some denim and I thought I would use a piece of that to lengthen the skirt too.  But my sewing partner in crime, Toni, told me I should put on an orange band.  I was dubious to be honest, but I obeyed.  I wanted to use my fave cotton lycra sateen from Spotty, but they had nothing vaguely orange.  I found some corduroy which I nearly  went with that until I found the homespun cotton – something I haven’t sewn with since the 80’s.  It was a nearly perfect colour match and it wasn’t corduroy!  Fantastic. I am so pleased I took Toni’s advice – I love the orange band – what do you think?

As my fluctuating waist size has been meaning all my skirts with fitted waist bands do’t fit anymore,I didnt put a zip in. I just left a small opening and used a hook with several handstitched loops – so I can wear the skirt even on fat days! I am considering using elastic in the back of waistbands – I am so frustrated by this issue. How Nana is that!?

I don’t care if my bottom looks big, I don’t care that it’s from last season. I didn’t even care that I was doing twirls outside Ikea before opening time. I feel amazing in this skirt and I am so pleased that the price came down to a level I was comfortable with that I was there to snap it up!



Trish lives in Sydney and has way more thrifted patterns and fabric than her fair share. She studied fashion design in her former life and sews while trying to not to burn the dinner.


Comments are closed.

  1. very beautiful skirt! and i think the orange band is perfect.

  2. I love this so much! Gorgeous :)

  3. Yay! How wonderful that serendipity and your sewing skills made it possible for you to have a garment that would have been otherwise too expensive! And you made it work for you in a way that the off-the-rack version didn’t (though when you said it was too short for your legs I was expecting it to be really, really short, and it totally isn’t. I definitely think you still have the legs to get away with the skirt without the orange stripe – as fabulous as it is!).

  4. This is seriously one of my favorites, of everything you’ve ever made! And that means I like it as much, maybe more, than your tablecloth skirt : ) So striking, just stunning.

  5. Love it! That fancy waistband is really flattering and the orange is perfect. You know those elastic tabs they put in the waistbands of little kid clothes to accommodate growing? About once a month I wish my clothes had those.

  6. Correction: The full price of one skirt was $229. I got muddled – it would have cost me $458 to buy two skirts – which is the figure I had in my head when I wrote this piece. Apologies.

    And there are several tutorials around the web for best insertion. :-)

  8. I love it! I think the orange is perfect too. I’ll have to check out Gertie’s book-

    You look fantastic! Love the styling-

  9. Very cool skirt! I can see why you fell in love with the print. I admire your ability to create the perfect skirt out of the two you purchased. The additional band around the bottom works really well. You did a an excellent job of refashioning. Love the twirl pic!

  10. Love this–the colors are great. That orange band really makes everything pop.