Aug 1, 2010

The Baby Shower Skirt

Todays darling tutorial is by my blog  friend Amanda of Little Cumulus  Need to make one for miss Scarlette!!!

How about a little tutorial for a cutesy blink-and-you’re-done baby skirt? These have been my go-to baby shower present lately…so much so that I have accidentally given skirts I made using this method to two different friends who were in fact expecting, um, boys. Whoops.
This quickie project is well-suited to all levels of sewists; even the beginningest of beginners can tackle this little number with confidence. You’ll be cranking these out in 20 minutes flat before you know it. To make this skirt, all you need is:
Main fabric – 3×30 in.
Coordinating fabric (for the waistband) – 4.5×30 in.
17 in. of 1/2 in. elastic
Safety pin
All the seams in this project are 1/4 inch unless otherwise specified. Ok, let’s go!
First, sew your two pieces of fabric together, right sides facing. You don’t have to pin, no matter what your mother told you. Really.
We don’t want that pretty little seam to fray after it goes through the wash, so let’s give that little sucker a zig-zag finish. Set your machine to 1) the widest zig-zag stitch possible, and 2) to the narrowest stitch length possible. Sew along the seam so that the “zig” part of the stitch (as the needle comes down on the left) lands on the fabric — and the “zag” part of the stitch (as the needle comes down on the right) lands just beyond the fabric, like so.
It’s an extremely inexact and very forgiving technique; if you don’t get it perfect, no one will ever know. Here’s how it will look when you’re done.
You’ll notice that the fabric I’m using has frayed edges; that’s because they’re cuts from vintage sheets. When I’m using sheets as fabric, I always rip the fabric instead of cutting it — it’s so much easier than wrestling with a giant sheet on a cutting mat. Ripping fabric is also an extremely effective stress-reliever. Ahem.
Next, we’ll go to the ironing board. With the skirt wrong-side up, press the seam towards the top of the skirt (just a matter of personal preference; I think it looks prettier from the front this way). Now press both the top edge and the bottom edge in by 1/4 inch. I just eyeballed it.
Press the top edge down again, this time by another 3/4 inch (this leaves room for you to insert elastic later). Then fold the bottom edge up by another 1/4 inch and press.
Now we’ll stitch down both of those hems. But when you do, start your stitching in a couple of inches from the edge, like this.
Leave a few extra inches at the end, too.
Now we’re going to sew the sides of the skirt together to make a tube. Place the short ends of the skirt right sides together, and flip out the hems, like so, before you sew up that seam.
Zig-zag finish that sucker!
I forgot to take a picture of the next step, but it’s simple: flip the bottom seam back in place and stitch it all the way shut. When you’re done with that, attach a safety pin to one end of your elastic, then thread it through the waistband.
Once you’ve got the elastic threaded all the way through the waistband, overlap the ends and sew back and forth across the elastic a few times to make it good and strong.
Now you can stitch the waistband shut, adding a tag (I used a tag from a vintage sheet) if you’d like.
All done! About as simple as it gets, right? Now you’re ready to whip up a whole stockpile for all those baby showers! (Just be sure they’re having a girl first.)
It’s easy to adjust the size of the skirt by using slightly wider pieces of fabric; just keep the length of the fabrics at 30 inches (or longer, just not shorter) for any size you want to make. That way, you can make these sweet little skirts for every little girl on your list.
I know there are about a billion little girl skirt tutorials out there — I just thought I’d add my voice to the chorus. Hope you enjoy!

Thanks for sharing Amanda!


Bellgirl said...

Gorgeous! ANd that little blue and green one at the end would be lovely for those two boys ;)

I love ripping vintage sheets too- my son hears the sound and says "I want to tear some farbric too!" said...

That's darling and I love how easy it is! Thanks so much, I'll be linking.

sandandstarfish said...

Oh my gosh I love this!!! thank you so much! It's put on my to-do list :)

secret cake said...

Love the vintage stripe/floral combo!

Amanda Drietz said...

I love all of your skirts Amanda!! You are an inspiration to me!

Kathleen said...

So cute & so easy! I have to go make one or ten.