Tuesday, June 14, 2011

How to make a skirt

Look, I made a skirt! With pockets!

It was actually really easy (except that I messed up a few times- I was feeling fat and made it too big.)
Do you want to know how to make one, too?
{You all probably already know how to do this, it's not that difficult, but I've not made something like this since high school home ec. so I did it and now I'm showing you. No big deal, but kinda it is. Just go with it.}
I followed this tutorial, from Freshly Picked. Her instructions are a lot better than mine, but whatevs, I'll pretend like I know what I'm doing and tell you anyway!

Need about 1.5-2 yards of fabric
Elastic, I used 2 inch wide
Coordinating fabric for the pockets (you need enough for 4 of these)
Measuring tape/straight pins/sewing machines help too

Measure yourself- your natural waist, and your length where you want the skirt to hit. I wanted mine right at my knees (I over-compensated and it ended up a little below my knees, I may re-hem this later, I'm not sure.)

Cut your elastic about a half an inch more than your waist measurement.

You want your skirt width to be at least 1.5 to 2 times the size of your waist measurement (i.e. the elastic) so I cut 2 pieces twice my waist measurement. (Next time I only plan to do 1.5 times my waist, not 2. Twice the size makes it a very full skirt, which is fun for little girls, not necessarily bigger girls with big thighs.)

Start with your two pieces of skirt fabric. Find the top of your skirt.

Cut out 4 pockets out of the coordinating fabric. Make sure you do two on one side, and two on the other, so when the right sides touch they work on both sides of the skirt. (I have no picture for this part, but you can print out a pattern for the pocket from the link above, from the Freshly Picked tutorial, or you could just wing it.)

Pin your 4 pocket pieces on both edges of both pieces of your skirt, right sides together. Pin them on the edge 3 inches from the top.

Sew the pocket pieces using approx. a 1/4 inch seam (or whatever you want.)

Press your pocket pieces back. (You should now have two pieces of skirt with 4 pocket flaps- one on each side!)

Place your two skirt pieces together, right sides together.

Sew using a 1/2 inch seam along the side of the skirt and around the pocket. Do this for both sides.

Now turn your skirt out and press the seams. Now look at your pretty little pockets!

Sew your elastic together using a 1/4 inch stitch. If it is too loose, make another stitch a little tighter, about 1/2 inch. With right sides together, section off your skirt and pin it to the elastic. Try to align your stitch on the elastic with your hem on the skirt, cause it looks nicer with both seams together.

It was at this point that I tried to wrestle away my measuring tape from Abs. No such luck. She was having a grand time with my excess fabric, too.

Anyway. When you start to sew your elastic to your skirt, make sure you stretch the elastic as you sew. This gives your skirt the give it needs. I put my needle in the fabric:

And sewed one stitch (I was afraid that stretching it right off the bat would break my needle, so I stitched the one stitch to anchor it a little.) Stretch your elastic so it matches your material and it lays flat.

I took this picture after the fact so you could see that once you stretch out the elastic it takes out all of the pleats and is easy to sew- just hold back the end of your fabric with your left hand and feed the needle with your right hand. I got a pretty even stitch, but I still got a little pucker here and there, can you see it?

The tutorial above advises to zig-zag stitch over your straight one at this point, to secure it and make sure it doesn't fray. This step could be skipped if you have a serger and serge the seam before you attach it to the elastic. I don't have a serger. I did a zig-zag though, and I feel like if you don't care if it frays in the wash, you could skip it. Even if it does fray a little, it'll be on the inside.

I finished my hem. I ironed the bottom of the skirt 1/4 inch and then folded another 1/2 inch and pressed again. Then I stitched two straight lines, because I thought it looked more store-bought that way (even if the rest of the skirt looks totally homemade!)

Ta da! You're done! You've made a skirt!

You should probably ignore my bad posture and cheap mirror.

I made a mini-me version for Abby, too.

For hers I used one long piece of fabric instead of two, and created a casing for elastic and sewed it up rather than have it exposed like mine. It fits her, but she doesn't have anything that matches it.

 Actually, either do I. What would you wear with this material? Black, yellow? Plain white? How should I wear it?
There you go peeps. A silly little skirt tutorial. Are you still my friends?

1 comment:

  1. the pictures of abby at the end are very funny. hannah made some skirts like this last summer and wears them all the time. i guess i'm not really in a position to fully appreciate the wonder of a skirt with pockets.


You are awesome enough to comment