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Inner Tube Skirt – Update 4: Pattern Alterations and Cutting the Tubes

This post is part of a creative challenge for May (extended into June) to create a skirt from punctured bicycle inner tubes. You can find all posts in this series here, and my other challenges here.

Pattern Alterations

After the tests I highlighted in my previous posts, I was happy enough to move onto inner tubes. The new material meant a few changes needed to happen to the pattern pieces, though:

  • Remove the seam allowances
  • Determine where the strips would go and how many

Removing seam allowanced was easy, just cutting off 1.5cm all edges that weren’t on the fold. And the skirt was already the perfect length so I left the hem as it was. To preserve the work I’d done on the pattern I made a copy (with some additional length for the hem) in case I wanted another of these out of a normal fabric.

The decide on the strips, I first drew lines down from the darts that were parallel to the grainline on the pattern pieces. Areas left that were too wide for the tubes I had were split up into two or three sections to make them easier to piece. Then it was a simple matter of finding tubes in my stash that were about the right size for each strip.

Because my plan is to butt the tubes up next to one another when joining (as opposed to overlapping them), I needed the tubes just a little wider than the strips so I could trim off the slightly jagged edge I get when opening them up before washing.

It’ll mean a neater finish overall, one that I’m happy to show off in close ups!

Cutting the Tubes

Then I cut the strips as best as I could to match the pattern pieces. Here’s the back:

And here’s the front:

I love that I managed to get some writing and stripes in there. Hopefully it end up as something I can actually wear!

One piece is still to cut: the waistband. There’s part of me that doesn’t think I’ll need it. Another part wants to alter it slightly to be curved so it fits better against my body. It gets attached last anyway, so the delay doesn’t impact anything.

Next Steps

We’re getting to the final stretch: next is assembly!

I fully expect there will be issues when I actually join the tubes together- especially in the length of each strip. Did you notice how wavy the tubes are in the pictures above? That’s because the centre of each strip is longer than the sides – which makes getting a consistent cut really tricky.

I’ll start sewing from the top and will just need to trim when the whole thing is assembled. Depending on how messy it looks, I may put a bottom band on but I haven’t decided.

Next update should be a finished skirt!

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