Spotlight had this wonderful rabbit fabric – in fact they had a couple of different colour and layout options on the same theme. I picked some up to make a skirt for Ness (age 4) thinking, well, I’ll have a pattern somewhere that suits it.
Famous last words. When I looked at my patterns though none seemed right so I decided to wing it a bit. I’d made a few skirts in a simple style but wanted 2 layers. Of course, being for a 4 year old, the twirlier the better. Other than that, the plan was to keep it simple. Until my young co-designer got in on the act. After careful negotiation, we reduced it to a layer each of ricrac and ribbon plus a tulle ruffle at the bottom (I swear that took me longer to figure out than the rest put together, I could have done it a much easier way looking back).
I made this skirt as I went along… a few bits I could improve next time – hey, I’m a sewing novice so there’s plenty of scope to refine this! Hopefully I’ll be doing a matching top tomorrow – another one I should have just done without consultation, because now there’s some serious negotiating needed if I am to get this done without tears (mine or Nessie’s) before Easter. D’oh!
First up I cut the fabric: 2 waistband pieces, each 4 inches x 15 inches (inc 1/4 inch seam allowance). This is for size 4 – should be easy to adjust. You could use hip measurement and add around 4 inches plus seam allowance, then divide by two, for the width – maybe add an inch to the height for upward of age 6ish. Or try just measuring a similar skirt that fits, when extending the waistband to full stretch, then add seam allowance.
Top layer I did 9.5 inches depth x 31 wide times two. I just went with roughly double the waistband length. I wanted this layer to be an inch shorter than the bottom layer, so that was cut at 10.5 x 31 inches (times two pieces). For taller girls you will want to make it longer of course.
For mine I also cut 2 pieces approx double the width and 3 inches deep of tulle, this is optional and does slow down finishing a bit.
Next I sewed the short sides of the waistband right sides together and finished the edges, then did the same for the top and bottom layers of the skirt.
I also finished the lower long side of the waistband and the top of both the top and underneath layers.
Next I ironed a 1/4 inch fold on the waistband and then a 1 inch fold. I stitched close to the edge of the lowest part of the casing, leaving about an inch unstitched for the elastic.
Next I hemmed the top layer of the skirt. I sewed a long basting stitch about 1/4 inch form one long edge of each piece of tulle (do not back stitch), then pulled the bobbin thread gently to create a ruffle, gathering to fit the bottom of the skirt. Next I ironed a fold 1/4 inch from the bottom of the bottom layer and then another 1/4 inch fold. I positioned the gathered tulle into the 2nd fold (facing the end of the tulle towards the waist at this point – sorry no pic of that) and pinned it, then stitched.
I then folded the tulle back so that it peeks form the bottom of the skirt and basted it down before positioning a ribbon around the bottom of the skirt and stitching it (this also then stitches the tulle into place neatly). Would have been fine to just hem or to add the tulle without messing around folding it into the hem as it does not fray and doesn’t need finishing – but this worked too.
I also added ricrac to the top layer at this point. Then I sewed a gathering stitch to the top of both the upper and underneath layers of the skirt and gathered them to fit the waistband. I put the layers (inside out) with the right sides facing the right side of the waistband (waistband on the inside) like this:
I pinned the layers into place and then stitched them. Turned right way in, it will look like this:
I cut a piece of 3/4 inch elastic one inch longer than Ness’s waist measurement. Next I put a safety pin on one end of the elastic and used this to ease it through the waist casing. I overlapped the elastic by around 3/4 inch and stitched a square to reinforce. I evened out the casing around the elastic until it was even and then stitched the casing closed. Et voilà! Hopefully I’ll get a pic of it being modelled in the morning amidst the chaos.
Well, my experience of blogging is less than sewing but I’ll try to get up to speed soon and get this looking a bit prettier! Meantime, if you use this, I’d love to see pics.