Aug 30, 2010

Vintage Pillow Case Ruffle Skirt Tutorial

Today's lovely tutorial is from Amy of Lil Bits and Berries, such a cute tutorial.

I thought I would share with you one of my favorite skirts to make for a little girl. It is super easy, if I can do it, anyone can. It is made from thrifted vintage pillow cases.

As much as I love to sew, I am self taught and to be honest, quite lazy. I want instant gratification. I am sure that if any real seamstresses out there read this tutorial it will make them cringe! LOL!

Here we go! My daughter is about a 2T - 3T, but I also made one for my step daughter who is 8 and wears a size 8. Same instructions, just adjust the measurements.

I started by cutting off the bottom half of a pillow case. The bottom finished end becomes the hem of the skirt. For my older daughter I cut it up higher, for the little one, this will do.
I then cut a few strips from pillow cases the long way. Basically, the strips for the ruffles should be at least twice or more long as the skirt's circumference.

Fold over the edge of the strips double, and press. If I were making this as a gift I would do the same on both sides of the strips, but knowing my kid will most likely spill grape juice or something equally staining on hers in short order, I don't bother.
Also press your seam for the elastic. Make sure you measure the width of the elastic! Haha, Lesson learned.
Sew the seam for the elastic, leaving an opening.
Measure the child's waist and cut the elastic 1/2 an inch longer or so. I stick a safety pin on one end of the elastic and feed it through.
Sew the elastic, really, really well.
Then close up the opening and voila! The skirt part is done! Kinda cute like this, but let's keep going!
OK I forgot to take a photo, but go ahead and sew up the strips. Yawn, borning, I just zone out during that part.

Here comes the really fun part! Elastic thread! Hand wind your bobbin with elastic thread. Don't pull on it, just wind it with no tension. I have seen tutorials on how to hand wind the elastic thread onto a bobbin, but it's pretty self explanatory.
Pop the bobbin in and start sewing down the full length of each strip. Most people use the technique for shirring. I'm lazy and use it to make ruffles.
If your strip is long enough, and you want it extra ruffle-y, you could do two rows. I just did one and this is what I ended up with.
Do that for each strip and then pin the bottom ruffle onto the skirt.
Now just simply stitch in the ditch, couldn't be easier. Do make sure to pull the bottom skirt layer tight as you sew the ruffle on.
Leave a little on each end and then flip the ruffle up.
Put the right sides together and stitch.
Rinse and repeat for each ruffle, working your way up.
That's it!
I decided to make my top ruffle from some eyelet trim, just to give it a finished edge, but on others I have not. You could do some ricrac or trim or leave it!
Vintage pillow cases aren't the only things you can use! Look around and see what else you could recycle! On one skirt I ripped the ruffle off a curtain I had shoved in a cupboard. 

Of course, a matching skirt for mom would be so cute made from vintage sheets!
All that's left to do is watch a sweet little princess enjoy wearing it!
Hope you enjoyed the tutorial! Let me know if you have any questions!

Thanks so much Amy!


A. said...

Oh. My. Goodness. Cuteness freak out going on over here!! And you are a total genius with using elastic thread for gathering. I have GOT to try that.

sewingseeds4U said...

Very cute. I need to hit the thriftstore for some cute pillow cases. What's the best way to really give them a good washing? Patty

sandandstarfish said...

this is beyond adorable! i can't wait to cross off like 10 things on my to-do list so that I can try this!! so cute!

Cody said...

I love this!! I have been looking for a shirt to make for my daughter's birthday and I have found it here!! Thanks for posting!

A Girl said...

omg! I have seen this skirt a 100 times but it is too cute made with vintage sheets! Love how you gathered the ruffle with elastic thread. I am definitely going to have to try this. said...

SUPER cute and what a fun conversation piece! I'll be spreading the word.

kimmie's quilt's said...

I just love this tutorial thanks so much for posting it!

Yaya and Papa said...

I'm so SAD! I am now a followwer of your creatively cute blog and was hoping to enter the giveaway--it says open until the 8th....ooops-guess I'm late by a day! Cute blog though; glad to be following.

Haylee said...

Your fabrics are gorgeous!
Officially adding this skirt to my project to do folder. :)

Francine Johnson McGee said...

So adorable!! I just LOVE this skirt!! I want to make myself one!