Have I ever mentioned this super Simple Skirt tutorial I stumbled across via a bloghop to a blog to a blog? Anything putting simple and skirt together is about perfect for me. And this definitely counts! I’m convinced that anyone could do this project with good results.
This is now officially a staple for the Ladybug’s summer wardrobe! I’ve made four of them (average of 30 minutes each) and they’re each a little different because of the fabric I had on hand to work with.
Here’s the low down on how I worked the pattern from the tutorial. It’s clear as a bell all by itself, so you don’t really need my help with it or anything! This is just what I did.
First, I measured her waist. My girl is slim and her waist measured at about 23 inches. That’s the measurement for your elastic, but you want to double that when you measure and cut your fabric because that’s what creates the gather/ruffle/flouncy-ness.
Then measure her for the length you want and add 1-3 inches. One inch is for the waistband and then as much as you want for the bottom hem. The 1st one I did a 1/2 inch, but after that I added more so I could let them down next summer.
So for the Ladybug, I had 46 inches at the waist and 16 inches at the length. Well, low and behold, most fabric is 45 inches wide (which really ends up being 44 inches) so I just went with that. I had a rectangle of fabric 45 inches long, and 16 inches wide. The whole thing took about a 1/4 yard of fabric! Even for fancy fabric, that’s affordable!
As usual I thought reading through it once I knew everything, so the first one I did, I sewed the bottom hem in first. Technically, the directions say put the side seam in first. But it turned out fine, so I don’t think that’s a hard and fast rule.
I just ironed about a 1/2 inch up one long side (I didn’t measure either, just eyeballed it on the ironing board!) and then sewed straight up the long side with a simple zig-zag.
Then I folded the rectangle in half, short sides together, and sewed up that short side with another zig-zag. The tutorial recommends that you serge the seams. I have no idea what that is or means or if my machine does that. So I adjusted to a tighter zig zag stitch because I know how to do that on my machine. You could just double stitch it too. The point is that it doesn’t come out.
Then I ironed the seam flat.
Woo-hoo! Two straight lines and we’re half done!
The waistband I just eyeballed the elastic that I had and folded the top over and ironed it. I estimated to leave room for a zig-zag stitch at the bottom, the elastic in the middle, and a straight stitch at the top. This creates the “casing” for the elastic.
Then I zig-zag stitched the bottom portion of the top hem, leaving a 1-2 inch opening to thread the elastic in. I was careful to put all my start/finish points at the side seam and double stitch all my start/finish points.
After being all done with the zig-zagging, I switched to a plain straight stitch and did a second hem along the top portion of the top hem. This is completely optional, but I liked it to give the waistband a little more shape.
I put a safety pin on one end of the elastic and pinned the other end to the opening so I didn’t lose it. Then I threaded the elastic through the opening and around the waistband and sewed the ends together. The last step is to sew that 1-2 inch opening closed again. I just double stitched it with my machine real quick and VOILA!
Total cuteness in 30 minutes or less!
I’ve got plans to take some great Stampin’ Up! ribbon I have and sew it onto the bottom as a trim, but I hate re-threaded the machine over and over, so I was waiting until I had them all done and then I’ll put on the trim. I’m lazy like that.
This would also be a perfect project to get a girl starting in sewing for herself. The Ladybug is learning hand sewing right now, but this will be a perfect start for her when she starts with the machine…I’m thinking next year.
How old were you when you started sewing?
Did you start with hand sewing or with a sewing machine?