Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Simple Double-Layer Skirt Tutorial

Some days it's hard to sew. The fact is, I have so many patterns and so much fabric (note: I did not say TOO much ;) ) that it's just hard to know where to start! Probably why I love testing so much - at least then I have a specific pattern and a timeline (but picking fabric is still a challenge, ha!)

Sometimes my fabric speaks to me - I'll see a piece, and suddenly a pattern will pop into my head. In this case, when I looked at this print all I could see was "pillowcase dress" - and I do NOT like pillowcase dresses.

I've already made one doll outfit from it, so I couldn't do that again. Suddenly inspiration struck - a simple skirt for Natalie! She was asking me today about Minnie Mouse, and this fabric is "inspired" but not literal. Perfect.

Except for one little thing. This fabric is nearly see-through.

All you need: two skirt rectangles, two trim pieces, 1 piece of elastic. (And, you know, a sewing machine and all.)
So here we are. A quick double-layer skirt (this tutorial will be for a size 4/5, roughly. I just measured my daughter's waist, and from her waist where I wanted it to fall (knee length) - so it's really just that easy to adjust. Just use your measurements, add half an inch for the hem (more if you're wanting a deeper hem and no trim) and 2 inches for the waistband.

My rectangles started out 10" x WOF, and 13.75" x WOF. (width of fabric - in this case, 44") I also used a piece of 1.5" waistband elastic, measured directly to my daughter's waist. No bigger, no smaller. In this case, 22.5". Finally, I cut two pieces of pre-ruffled lace trim, WOF.

Serge (don't trim) or zigzag finish one long edge on each skirt rectangle. Press it up 1/4" and attach your trim (or however deep you want your hems to be, if you're not adding trim).

Attach your two skirt rectangles at the top (I just serged the raw edges together), one on top of the other. Then sew/serge your side seams - make sure to match your hems and trims.

Sew your elastic into a loop, overlapping 1-1.5 inches. I sewed a box on the overlap with an X in the middle - it's sure to be secure that way, more than just a couple of backstitched lines.

This last bit's fiddly, but stick it out and you're done (the hemming is done already, remember?). If you have a computerized machine like I do with a start/stop button that you just love - you just might want the foot pedal for this, so you have two hands to guide and stretch the waistband. (Trivia for you - this project was the first time since I bought this machine two years ago that I've used the foot pedal!)

Divide your elastic into quarters and mark the points with pins - do the same with your skirt waist. Match the pins - fold the waist over the elastic 1/4", then pin together.

Now sew around the waistband, streeetttccchhing the elastic in between to fit. Doing this by quarters ensures it'll make it all the way around evenly!

Finally, fold the whole waistband down, fully enclosing your waistband edges and the elastic. Sew about an inch/ inch-and-a-half down, just at the bottom edge of your elastic. You'll have to stretch again as you do this. Throw a tag in there while you're at it, if you have one!

(Easy, right? This is the first tutorial I've made up and sewn myself like this, so if anything's not clear, please - please - let me know!)

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