Tuesday, September 21, 2010

fluffy twirly scrappy skirt tutorial.... finally

i forgot all about doing this tutorial for y'all! i have had the lovely pictures just waiting... and i think i had notes on exact measurements as well.... but, as this particular project was done during the flooded basement/ studio upheaval period of time, that i still remember with dread... well, those measurements are long gone. so instead you get to make this a couture garment-- made to measure ;-) which is best b/c my sizing isn't standard anyway...
the best fabric for this super gathered skirt is a light weight fabric such as cotton voile. i used anna maria horner's little folks. if you do a search for supplies on etsy.com and look for voile you should find some you like. i have made this skirt a variety of ways... but the basic idea is to decide on exactly how fluffy and long you to want it... get a skirt that you can measure to start your figuring.
*you will decide the length from the bottom of the waist band... add extra in for your seam and hem allowance (i used a hemming foot to make a narrow rolled hem, so only added about an inch for hem allowance)... i made a lining and let it hang about an inch longer to add interest.
for the skirt on anna(the skirt in the tutorial process pictures is actually a different one from the one on anna- sorry for the confusion- the one in the tutorial is a newborn size gift i made later) i cut my "scraps" 8 inches long and between 4" and 6.5" wide to add variety. i used 13 different pieces. this is an area where you can really personalize this skirt. you can use one fabric for the whole thing, alternate between two or three prints, or use a wide variety like i did...
*place your "scraps" in the order you like best and then sew them together to get your top layer panel. then cut a lining/under skirt the same width and if you choose, an inch longer. the finished width of the scrappy panel of anna's skirt was 59"... made a VERY fluffy skirt!
*pin the two layers together, both front sides facing up, and sew two long gathering stitches across the top edge. i do this by placing the fabric with the edge at the edge of the foot and making one line of stitches with the needle in the far rt. position and the putting the fabric back where it started and doing another line with the needle in the far lft. position.
* next cut a rectangle of fabric for the waist band. the width of this rectangle will be determined by the width of elastic you choose and the length should be long enough get the skirt on easily...you can measure your baby at the widest spot (her big ole diapered bottom) and probably add about 4-6 inches to that to make it easy to fit over said bottom as you pull the skirt up. the waist band piece on anna's skirt was ~ 27" long.
* lay the waist band fabric over the skirt panel(s) with right sides facing each other. gather the skirt fabric so the the edges of the skirt meet the edges of the waist panel.
*fuss with the gathered fabric until it is evenly distributed along the waist band and pin it together.
* sew the waist band to the skirt.
* press that seam open and the fold the waist fabric over toward the inside of the skirt to make a channel for the elastic... again the width of this channel will depend on the width of your chosen elastic.
* pin fabric so that the edge is folded under and extends just beyond the previously sewn joining seam. (don't know if that wording makes sense... study the picture?)
*sew with the front side facing up so that you can make a neatly hidden seam right along the joining of the skirt and waist band. i go slowly and check the underside frequently to be sure the folded fabric on the underside will be caught in the stitching.
* run the elastic through the waist band channel.
* now you will fold the long panel in half with right (front) side facing inward to close up the side of the skirt.
* sew the waist band closed catching both ends of the elastic in the stitching.
*sew the the top layer closed separately from the bottom layer. this is very tricky to do neatly and completely. all i can say is- try the best you can and know that i am not a professional pattern designer! there may not be a correct way to do this ;-)
* once each layer is sewn closed, all you have to do is hem the bottom of both layers! i highly recommend a hem foot!
ta da!!
once again-- this skirt is different from the one anna is wearing at the very top of the post. it was a newborn size that i made as a gift. it is significantly less fluffy... and as i mentioned before, i lost the measurements... sorry!
i also want to add a note about the waist band fabric. i did anna's with two layers of voile. i scrunches up a lot and i would have preferred it if it had been quilting weight, or voile lined with quilting weight... i have since made a skirt out of old jeans and i made the waist band channel for elastic out of quilting weight with a lightweight interfacing ironed on to help it keep its shape.

*** ok--- please post pictures (or links to them ) in the comments if you actually use this tutorial... it may be poorly done, but i did try and would love the reward of seeing other creations! ;-)

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