melanie’s garibaldi skirt

Melanie from the Advisors’ Circle is sharing a beautiful Garibaldi Skirt showcasing an amazing vintage print. She made some quick adjustments that really elevated the skirt. Take it away, Melanie!

Woman wearing a handmade skirt, standing outside next to a tree with her hands on her waist.

I have had a piece of vintage cotton border print for ages. I never knew what to do with it – it’s long and narrow, with this rather large print on half the fabric. It was obvious that I’d have to use it on the cross-grain because of the print, but I was never sure quite what to do.

Then along came the Garibaldi! When I saw this pattern, I knew it would be a great choice for a print like this. The Garibaldi has no front or back seam to break up a print – the zipper is in the side seam. But unlike many skirts with a side zip, this one also has pockets, a must-have for me! I laid out the pattern, and it fit the fabric perfectly. But because I am so short, I didn’t get much of the solid black at the top of the fabric! This meant that the knee-length version was just right for this fabric.

I cut it carefully, not wanting to have any unfortunate print placement. It was easy to match up the pocket bags as well, so they didn’t jar the eye. I made only a few small changes.

Close up of fabric matching across the pocket.

First, I was using a vintage invisible zip from my stash (the first one I’ve ever seen that had metal teeth!). This zip was only 9″ long, while the pattern calls for a 12-14″ one. To give myself more room, I installed the zip only on the skirt portion, not into the waistband as the pattern directs. I then stitched a large hook and eye onto the waistband portion.

Close up showing that the zipper is only on the skirt pieces, not on the waistband.


Close up of inside of skirt showing zipper ending before the waistband.

The other change I made was to add a lining. This fabric is a fairly lightweight cotton, and it sticks to itself very easily. I thought a lining would solve any issues with bunching as you walk and also add some body to the fabric. I used some basic black lining and just cut the front and back pieces of the skirt from the pattern. I sewed this on in my favorite way to line a skirt – I stitched the lining to the zipper opening, then flipped it inside and basted around the waistband. I then sewed the waistband on and hand-stitched down the inside of the waistband. It might take a little longer, but I really like the control I have when I do it this way, and the finish is very clean and neat.

Woman wearing a handmade skirt, standing outside next to a tree with her hand in her pocket.


Back view of a woman wearing a handmade skirt, standing outside next to a tree.

I love the fit of the skirt. I didn’t have to adjust much once I’d chosen my size according to the pattern; sometimes, I find skirts hard to fit with my hip/waist ratio, but this was perfect. I love the waistband version (there is also a waist-facing option), and the pockets are just right, nice, and deep. I’m so pleased to have found the perfect pattern for this admittedly unusual fabric.


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  1. Pal K

    Nothing is more amazing and jaw dropping than when I see the perfect meetup of pattern, fabric, and person
    interior finishing is great too
    Love this

    1. I agree!

    2. Melanie

      Thanks for your very kind comments!

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