In an effort to salvage this adorable fabric that is too grown up for my toddler, I went searching for another easy skirt pattern and found one that really did call for just one yard. However, I’m starting to learn that one yard can be measured in different ways. I’m thinking it’s time to ask one of my sewing friends for a little tutorial. The second skirt pattern seemed a little risky because her fabric was cut differently from mine and her tutorial wasn’t as detailed, so I thought I could combine both sets of instructions and go from there. I want to give credit to both bloggers because both made a terrific skirt, so I recommend you visit their sites to learn from their expert advice. I’m just showing you how and why I modified theirs to create mine.
o 1 yard of light-weight cotton fabric
o 1 ½ inch elastic, approximately the same length as your waist
o measuring tape
o sewing machine with matching thread
o possibly a seam ripper
Step 1: I cut two rectangles by cutting my yard in half, so they measured 21 ½ inches long by 35 inches wide each. (I wish my hip measurement was still just 35 inches.) These measurments should work for sizes 2-8.
Step 2: I then matched the sides up with the good sides facing each other and sewed the first side seam giving ½ inch allowance and ironed the seem flat. I repeated with the other side. See, this is where these expert tutorials are so helpful. I would have thought to sew the hem next.
Step 3: Back to the iron. I ironed what would become the top of my skirt by first folding the fabric down ½ inch and ironing flat and then folding down another 1 3/4 inches and ironing it flat again. The instructions from the etsy blog suggested two inches, but my elastic was not as thick as hers, and the instructions on the 20-minute tutorial said to make sure the casing wasn’t too large for your elastic.
Okay, have you ever read some totally ridiculous warning on a product and wondered, “What sort of idiot did that to make the company have to print such an obvious statement as a warning?” The first one that comes to mind is the “do not use hair dryer in the bath tub” warning. Well, here’s my warning: Before sewing the casing, be sure to separate the skirt, so you don’t sew the two sides together. Otherwise, you’ll end up with a fat pillow case instead of a skirt. Now I’m sure you didn’t need that warning, but sadly I did. Yup, I admitted I was an extremely novice sewer, and now I’ve proven it to you. Okay, assuming you are smarter than I am, we can move on to step four.
Step 4: Now that the casing is complete, we are ready to move on to the hem, so back to the iron. Fold the fabric over ½ inch and iron flat. Then fold again another ½ inch and iron again. Next, top stitch the hem in place. (No, I didn’t make the same mistake twice. I may be an amateur, but I’m not that dumb.)
Step 5: Let’s tackle the elastic. First, measure it around your waist where you want your skirt to rest and cut that exact length. Next, thread it through the casing. They recommended putting a safety pin on the first end, but that only seemed necessary if you were using a narrow strip of elastic. Since mine was 1 ½ inches, I didn’t need it. Once I got it through, I safety pinned the elastic together, overlapping about ½ inch and tried on the skirt to make sure the width worked. In my case, it was too big (yeah!), so I trimmed it up 2 1/2 inches and tried again. This time, it fit perfectly, so my recommendation is to cut it about 2 inches shorter than your measurement and try it on.
Step 6: Once you sew the elastic together with a ½ inch overlap, you are ready to sew the rest of the casing closed. I found it easier to pull the fabric around to make sure the scrunched up parts weren’t close to where I was sewing.
Step 7: Fidget with the fabric around the elastic so you get an even distribution of fabric. Does that make sense? You just don’t want to have one section more scrunched up than another. Then try on and model in front of your significant other, best friend, favorite pet, or whoever will ooh and ahh the loudest. Twirl and enjoy! You have made a skirt.
I paired mine with a fitted t-shirt and am looking forward to wearing it for all to see tomorrow. The t-shirt was a BOGO free special, the fabric was on sale for $6.50, and the elastic was under $2, so I basically got a brand new spring outfit for less than $10. I’m so excited about it that I plan to buy another yard of fabric to make another. Thank you Bret Bara of http://www.etsy.com/blog/en/2011/how-tuesday-sew-a-skirt-in-one-hour/ and Kathleen Frances of http://grosgrainfabulous.blogspot.com! These ladies really know how to sew, so I urge you to check out their blogs!