Thursday, May 27, 2010

Basic Skirt Tutorial

A long, long time ago I started a tutorial for this very basic skirt...and then I forgot all about it. (I think they call that Mom-nesia. Sometimes my case is pretty severe. :)) Anyway, Maren kindly reminded me to get my butt in gear and finish it already. So here it is. It's not fancy schmancy. It's just a basic skirt that you can embellish to your hearts content. The great thing is that you can make this for any size. I've even made one for myself. If you have any questions or if I'm not clear in any of the steps, please let me know.

skirt - (waist measurement x 2) by (however long your want it to be)
pockets - 1/4 yard
Elastic: waist measure + 1/2"
bias tape (if desired), thread, sewing machine, etc.

First, decided how big you want the skirt. Measure around the waist in inches (x). Take that number and double it(2x). That is the width of your skirt. Now decide how long you want it to be and add about 1 1/2 inches to accomodate hemming and putting in the elastic. Now cut out your fabric to your specifications. For example, I made this skirt for my daughter. She has a 20 inch waist and I wanted the skirt to be 9 inches long. So I cut out a rectangle of fabric that was 40 inches by 10 inches long (I knew I was putting bias tape along the hemline, so I didn't cut out the extra 1/2 inch.) If you need to use two pieces of fabric to make it big enough that's fine. Just add 1/2 inch to your measurement to accomodate the fabric you'll use to stitch it together.

If you want pockets, cut them out however big you want them. I usually just free hand this by folding the fabric in half and cutting out half of a "u" shape. You can use a pattern piece from a different pattern that you like. You'll want two for each pocket. Also, cut a piece of elastic that is the same measurement of the waist plus 1/2" (mine was 20 1/2 ").

Ok, here we go with the tutorial. It's really easy. Sew the short edges right sides together so you have a tube. Now, you have several options with the bottom hem. You can hem it, add ric rac, lace, etc., or encase it in bias tape.

I chose bias tape.

Hem your skirt, or put bias tape on.

Time for the pockets. Sew both pieces of the pocket together, right sides together. Be sure to leave a small opening at the top so you can turn it. Clip the corners and turn the pocket right side out.
Like so. :)
Iron that baby so it's nice and flat.

Top stitch the top of the pocket to close the opening.

Do the same thing with pocket #2. Decide where you want the pockets to be on your skirt. I like to find the middle of the skirt, mark it with a pin and then measure from that point to be sure they are even. Pin the pockets in place.

Sew your pockets on.

Now it's time to put in the elastic. Since I serged the top of the skirt I only folded it down once a little bigger than the width of the elastic. If you don't have a serger you can fold it over twice (be sure to add another inch or so to the length of your fabric if you choose to do this), or you can sew a zigzag stitch, which acts similar to a serged stitch.

Use the elastic as your guide to fold and pin down the casing. Iron.

Sew the casing.

Be sure to leave a small opening (1 1/2" to 2") to thread the elastic through.

Attach a large safety pin to your elastic.

Thread the elastic through the casing.

When you get it all the way through, pin the elastic together and then smooth out the waist band.

When the waist is the way you want it, remove the safety pin and sew the elastic ends together. Make sure it's secure. I like to put a straight stitch in, back stitch a few times, and then go over it with a zigzag stitch to make sure it won't come apart.

Sew the little opening in your casing closed. You may have to stretch out the elastic a little bit to get it smooth.
Ta da! You have an easy skirt. You can add all the frilly, lovely accessories you want to personalize it to your taste.


molly said...

I happened to have the same material and made this skirt for my daughter. Thanks! I posted it on my blog and referenced back here.

Matt & Kristin said...

Made this one yesterday. I didn't really read the directions, but just the measurements for the fabric. I wanted to use something I had on hand, so I used leftovers from an old duvet cover that I had to make smaller to fit a different comforter. I basically had 10 inch strips, so I just serged all the strips together until I had twice my waist measurement. I found that this was way too much fabric for a skirt for myself and ended up taking out some of it. Even with that extra step, I think it was still a 1/2 hour project (no pockets)!

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