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Posts Tagged ‘skirt’

Y’all know from my previous post that I’m constantly scouring magazines for of-the-moment pieces to copy…er, um…sew myself. Well, my latest project centered around three trends on the runway this spring and summer:

Floral + Pastels + Maxi skirt

Like this Alice + Olivia skirt from Neiman Marcus .. which sells for $698! Oh that's reasonable for my grocery shopping excursions!

Like this Alice + Olivia skirt from Neiman Marcus .. which sells for $698! Oh that’s reasonable for my grocery shopping excursions!

With this in mind yet wanting something waaaaay cheaper…aka. more casual … I came up with this……………………

My version: $27 … and took about 20 minutes to sew!

My version: $27 … and took about 20 minutes to sew!

And in case you’re wondering, here’s how YOU can make one too:

Grab some lightweight fabric and 2" elastic. The fabric should be the length from waist to hem + about 5". The elastic should be long enough to go around your waist comfortably.

Grab some lightweight fabric and 2″ elastic. The fabric should be the length from waist to hem + about 5″ x 2. (you’ll be cutting two identical rectangles – one for the front and one for the back.) The elastic should be long enough to go around your waist comfortably.

It's ideal to have someone else measure you..but let's face it - 8 year old boys aren't exactly the most reliable source. So, here's how I estimate the length.

It’s ideal to have someone else measure you..but let’s face it – 8 year old boys aren’t exactly the most reliable source. So, here’s how I estimate the length. PS: it’s a little known fact that messy rooms make for more accurate measuring.

Fold your fabric over, lining up the folds. Measure where you'll cut.

Fold your fabric over, lining up the folds. Measure where you’ll cut.

You'll have something like this. Two identical rectangles.

You’ll have something like this. Two identical rectangles. (The sparkly Tom’s are not necessarily going to occur…)

With right sides together, sew up both sides - my photo shows how a serger seam will look. Remember, if you use a sewing machine, your sides will look a little different

With right sides together, sew up both sides – my photo shows how a serger seam will look. Remember, if you use a sewing machine, your sides will look a little different.

Now you're going to make the elastic casing at the waistline. (It doesn't matter which end you use - they're both the same…whew!) You don't want the excess seam allowance creating bulk around your midsection, so I suggest making the casing just wide enough to cover the elastic and hold the seam…not too much longer.

Now you’re going to make the elastic casing at the waistline. (It doesn’t matter which end you use – they’re both the same…whew!) You don’t want the excess seam allowance creating bulk around your midsection, so I suggest making the casing just wide enough to cover the elastic and hold the seam…not too much longer.

I serged the raw edge of the casing; however, if you use a sewing machine, remember to have enough width to tuck under about 1/4" …like this.

I serged the raw edge of the casing; however, if you use a sewing machine, remember to have enough width to tuck under about 1/4″ …like this. 

Press the casing. Sew all the way around EXCEPT - leave a hole to thread your elastic through. Thread your elastic… and before you close up that hole - make sure the waistband fits! I was worried that I'd get the elastic too tight and then it would push out my muffin top, so I cut my elastic huge, then kept cutting away until I liked the fit.

Press the casing. Sew all the way around EXCEPT – leave a hole to thread your elastic through. Thread your elastic… and before you close up that hole – make sure the waistband fits! I was worried that I’d get the elastic too tight and then it would push out my muffin top, so I cut my elastic huge, then kept cutting away until I liked the fit. (yes, it’s inside out right now!)

My length was just right, so I simply used a rolled hem from my serger for the hem. If you're using a sewing machine, just hem as needed.

My length was just right, so I simply used a rolled hem from my serger for the hem. If you’re using a sewing machine, just hem as needed.

And you're done! Bam! Look at you!

And you’re done! Bam! Look at you!

I really really love this skirt! It’s super fun to wear, very comfortable, very forgiving of the figure, and even sexy if you ask me!  I’m wearing it to an Arcade Fire concert tonight…I’ll share photos of this little ditty in action tomorrow!

A NOTE ABOUT THE FABRIC YOU CHOOSE: in order for this skirt to "work" be sure to select fabric that is: flowey, lightweight, etc. and also that is pretty wide. The reason it works so quickly is because I chose 57" fabric which gave me 104" of skirt…give or take. Something narrower will change the dimensions. Make sense?

A NOTE ABOUT THE FABRIC YOU CHOOSE: in order for this skirt to “work” be sure to select fabric that is: flowey, lightweight, etc. and also that is pretty wide. The reason it works so quickly is because I chose 57″ fabric which gave me 104″ of skirt…give or take. Something narrower will change the dimensions. Make sense?

Alrighty, here’s the breakdown:

TIME: Literally 20 minutes, maybe shorter!

COST: I bought 3 yards of $13.00/yd fabric that was 30% off, so a total of $27! That’s a little bit better than $700…but maybe I’m a weirdo!

I hope you’ll make one of these…. I’m confident you’ll thank me!

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What should you do when you have 9 minutes to kill …. think, think, think.

You could clean your bathroom.

You could clean out your refrigerator.

You could jog a mile.

OR —— YOU COULD MAKE A SKIRT JUST LIKE THIS!

I really really made this in less than 10 minutes!

If you got ten minutes to spare, read on for how to whip this up and have 30 seconds to spare.

Grab a skirt that comes close to the size you’re wanting and lay it on top of your fabric. Keep your fabric folded just like it comes. I knew I wanted the new skirt longer than the current one, so as you can see I left room at the bottom.

Then just cut out a rectangle-ish piece of fabric. You can see that I cut it a little longer at the top to accommodate the elastic casing, and again, I made it longer at the bottom. (yes, you can also see that I didn’t worry about making it a perfect rectangle. This is a summer skirt – it’s going to be flowy, relax a little!

Fold the fabric right sides together and align the selvedge edges. Serge or sew that edge. (the other edge is the fold so there’s no need to sew – score!)

Next, serge or narrow hem the top and bottom edges.

Your bottom edge is done, finished, bam! The top edge now needs an elastic casing, so fold over the top edge and press.

Sew all the way around the elastic casing, leave an opening at the side seam to insert your elastic.

Use the sample skirt to determine how long to make the elastic. I made the new skirt’s elastic slightly longer than the sample so Ellie can keep growing. (just squint if you’re having trouble seeing the blurry image!)

Using a safety pin, thread the elastic through the casing, then sew closed. Bam, your skirt is finished ….. AFTER you press down that side seam. Look at your clock – it should say approximately TEN MINUTES has passed!

The skirt you see here technically took 14 minutes – but that’s because I was taking photos along the way.  I wanted to see the “real” time so I made a second skirt for my other daughter using exactly the same process.  That time was 9 minutes!  I’m trying hard not to spit my Lacroix out of my nose because this is SO exciting!

This fabric makes me smile – I know they’re technically pears, but they make me think of lemonade!

Would you believe that each skirt cost me less than $2!?!? That’s cheaper than Savers people!

Now, yes, I know that this skirt is a total bare-bones skirt.  BUT WHO CARES!!!!????!!!!  If you pick out fabric that you love, you don’t need crazy ornate patterns, just let the fabric speak for its self!

Here’s the breakdown … and you seriously won’t believe this:

Time:  have I been stuttering?  In case you missed it, these skirts take 9 minutes!!!  (In the effort of full disclosure, I used a serger.  If you use a regular sewing machine, you might choose to do a double folded hem which will add about 2 minutes to the total.  Not bad if you ask me!)

Cost: Under $2!  I bought my fabric on sale for half price making it $3.50/yd.  The longest skirt was cut at 18″, making it $1.75 for fabric.  I had the elastic on hand, so I added just a quarter to the price since I didn’t use much.

These are awesome for a summer fun wardrobe that you don’t spend much on … you’ll be sooooo happy to let them get these all dirty and rotten because the expense and time burden are so super small.  Also, these are awesome for inexpensive but powerful birthday presents!

Lastly – you really really really can do this for a grown up too.  I am working on one for me as I type this – since my serger thread ran out, I thought I’d post the first two first.  Either way, it’s still a 9 minute skirt!

Go grab nine minutes, half a yard of fabric – and have fun!!!

Oh, and by the way – I’m certainly NOT the first person to create a fast skirt … for more ideas on making quick skirts (and a million other things, check out my friends over at All Free Sewing … every tutorial is free and easy!  I love this website!)

 

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Sometime around Thanksgiving, I just-so-happened to be in a fabric store with all their Christmas fabric on sale for 60% off.  I mean seriously y’all…how can you afford NOT to purchase SOMETHING!?!

I’ve been using one of these fabrics throughout the holidays in just regular off-the-bolt form.  I hung it over a door to serve as a backdrop for fun photos.  I placed it over a table to serve as a table cloth, and I’ve used it as a makeshift tree skirt.  But, the real reason I bought this fabric was to become something for Ellie and/or Rosamund.  I knew I wanted to use some sort of creative energy to make something I’ve never made before….after all, that’s the real Christmas sewing spirit, right!?!

I came up with THIS:  A Saloon Skirt

I don't know what the official name of this kind of skirt it, so I'm calling mine a Saloon Skirt. It reminds me of skirts I've seen in western movies! Except - they probably didn't wear green/red/maroon huge polkadots...but they would've if they could've!

Here's the side view ... and what give this skirt it's personality. The seam allowances are sewn down to create two casings on each side. Those casings are given ribbon which is then tied at the bottom after the fabric is rouched. I just love this angle of the skirt!

I’m certainly not the first person to make this kind of garment, but this IS the first time I’ve made one myself.  I didn’t use a pattern, I just used the technique as best I figured it could be done.

The awesome thing about this skirt – it can be for a GROWNUP just as easily as for a LITTLE’EN.  I’m already thinking of a linen version for me!

If you’re intriqued—– read on for a free tutorial.  It’s the same tutorial no matter what size you make.  The only difference in the sewing is the size of the rectangles that you start out with.

To begin, cut yourself 2 rectangles of fabric. For my 4 year old, I cut the fabric approximately 30" wide and I have no idea how long. sorry. For your skirt, you want it to be no longer than waist to floor length...probably a little shorter. Keep in mind that you'll be scrunching up the sides so you MUST make the beginning rectangles longer than your desired finished length.

Now, you have to hem the bottom edge of both pieces. It may seem weird to sew the hem first, but you must for this skirt.

Next - sew the sides together ...BUT START AT THE BOTTOM, matching the hemmed edges. Usually I recommend sewing garments from top to bottom...but allow me a crazy diversion here! You want your sides to match up perfectly. Sewing from the bottom up will allow for this! NOTE: use a wider seam allowance than usual so you can be sure to fit your ribbon through there.

It's been a while since I've said this ... say it with me ... "If you don't have time to press, you don't have time to sew!" So now go press your two side seams open. I also like to tuck the sides at the hem inside so that they don't get any ideas of peeking out after washing.

The next step is to create the casings for your ribbon drawstring. Do this by topstitching your seam allowances closed. I always prefer to sew with the rightside facing me ... but if you're unsure of yourself, you can get by with sewing on the wrong side...just this once! This could help you enclose that seam allowance more easily.

Cut yourself 4 equal-length strips of ribbon (or you could make ties about of fabric). I cut mine about 2 or 3 inches LONGER than my skirt.

This picture is hard to make sense of ... but I'm threading my ribbon through the casing using a large and long safety pin. Start at the top and thread the ribbon all the way through to the bottom. Each side will have 2 ribbons.

After you've threaded your ribbon, be sure a little bit is peeking out at the top and secure them in place with some stitching. Then you can trim the excess. (only at the top!)

At the bottom, just let your ribbon excess hang out. You can trim it once you've tried it on and know how long or short you want the ties to dangle. DO NOT secure the ribbon here, let it remain loose .

Now make your waistband casing for the elastic..leaving the opening to thread your elastic through.

Insert elastic and close up the hole. You are ALMOST FINISHED...HOLLAH.

Hold both ribbon ties in one hand, and push up the fabric with the other. Keep pushing up the fabric until you get it to the right height. Tie the ribbon into a bow. Repeat on other side. Give yourself a huge hug...you made yourself a super-fun drawsting Saloon skirt!

Here's what the side will look like. For this skirt, I wish I had large black Satin ribbon on hand, but this narrower version will work.

Ellie's going to wear this with a long sleeved black T and black leggings. What's awesome is, when she tried it on she said, "Wow, this is the coolest skirt EVER!" Mission accommplished!!!

Just in case you missed it, here is the full view again!

and just for grins…I had to add a tattered rose headband!

This was really fun to make.  I am pretty sure more of these are in my future…I’m wanting a long one for me to wear with my riding boots.  Hmmm…I need to get of this computer STAT!

Here’s the lowdown folks:

TIME: This took a bit of time, but I think it’s because I was figuring it out as I went.  I’m guessing for an experienced sewer – about an hour.  For a newbie – about 2 hours.  But the 2nd, 3rd and 4th versions will go much much faster!

COST: about $5 if you have ribbon and elastic onhand.  YOWZA YEAZERS!  About $8 if you have to buy everything assuming you stick with sale priced fabric!

There you go…will you make one of these, please!

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Oh my stinking goodness y’all – I don’t even remember the last post I made … much less my last tutorial!  It has been steadily increasing in crazy around here.  Strangest thing has been happening.  My baby doesn’t sleep ALL DAY anymore.  Weird.  I might need to take her to the doctor.

Anyhoo…tonight….because I’ve been developing hives from non-blogging-activity….I decided I simply MUST share a really fun (and of course FAST, CHEAP AND EASY) project for baby girls in your life.

Believe it or not, but in about 15 – 20 minutes, you can turn a cheapo / boring onesie into a faboulous, one of a kind DRESS…. like this…

Here’s how to do it …

Start with a Onesie. Duh. (sidenote: you'll probably want to choose a size bigger than your baby)

Fold the onesie in half lengthwise. (this is sort of optional, but folding in half guarantees that the sides are cut at the same place)

Cut that onesie at the waist. Of course, I just guessed where I wanted to cut...but feel free to measure if you're into that sort of thing.

When you open the two halves up, this is what you'll have.

Now, pull out some great fabric that you've had in your stash for a while. I chose a very lightweight cotton print ... but just about anything will work. Heavier fabric will produce a fuller skirt! Cut a rectangle - I use the entire width of the fabric and cut a length of about 12-18"..but again, I don't measure. I wanted the skirt to be long, but any length will work.

Join the two selvege edges, sew. Then, finished the bottom hem of the skirt.

Sew a gathering stitch / basting stitch along the upper edge of the skirt.

Now you're ready to assemble your dress. Take the bodice of the cut onesie and turn upside down.

Turn the skirt wrong-side-out, pull the gathers, and then pin the skirt to the bodice - right sides together.

Now take the bum half of the onesie. turn it wrong side out - making sure to put the back side with the back side of the bodice -t then pin. You will have a sandwich: Inside - bodice, right side out. Middle - skirt, wrong side out. Outer - bum, wrong side out. Sew three layers together using a BALLPOINT needle.

And you're done! That's it y'all. I mean seriously - let me hear you holler - AWESOME!!!

And...if you've got an extra 5 minutes, add a fun fabric flower for an added punch. If you don't have time, don't ever think about it again - no big deal!

I love this more than just simply making a skirt because everything it attached - so much easier to create an outfit!

Seriously - loook at your watch. If you've got 20-30 minutes and a ballpoint needle, you can DO THIS!

Here’s the breakdown…

TIME:  Like I said – about 20-30 minutes…unless you can’t decide on a fabric!

COST:  About $2.  TWO DOLLARS!!!!  The only cost is the onesie because you probably have enough fabric on hand to make the skirt!

I think I need to go now because I want to make about 30 more before I go to bed.

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Somewhere and somehow I got it in my head that for Mother’s Day it would be so fun to wear something with my children’s initials.  Most people would choose a necklace or a bracelet, right?  What did I choose?

A SKIRT!

This skirt won't be for everyone, but I really really loved wearing it!

I decided that a skirt bearing the initials O, E, and R was the only proper way to identify myself as a proud mom on my special day….so I used a technique known as Reverse Applique to make it happen.  Basically, reverse applique means that instead of placing something on TOP of something, you instead cut a hole out of the main piece and sew fabric underneath.

Read on for more specifics:

Start by making your favorite (ie. the easiest!) skirt pattern. Finish it up, including the hem. Then, go to the computer and play with different fonts, select the size and style you like. Print out the letters you want to use. Place them on the fabric and trace.

Squint your eyes and move your entire face to the screen - you'll see the outline of the letters. I used a good, old fashioned ink pen. Some might suggest a fabric pen, but blah blah blah. You're gonna cut outside the lines so it doesn't matter! Just be sure you don't use anything that bleeds!

Now, just start cutting right outside the lines. You'll want to use a pair of scissors small enough to not get in your way! I love my little tinies.

You can see here that I'm cutting outside the drawn line.

After you've got it all cut out, place it on your workstation (mine is also referred to as "an ironing board") and try out various different fabrics for underneath. You might be surprised what ends up being your favorite. For instance - I just KNEW i was going with this combo....

...But then again...maybe not! I thought the pattern on the blue was too large to make the letters clearly identifiable...keep trying...

I decided on a nice cinnamon solid fabric. After you decide, pin the skirt to the underfabric very carefully. You need to pin around each letter, making sure that the underfabric doesn't shift around.

Then, with a short stitch (about 2.5 or 3) sew around all the edges of the letters. You can lower your feed dogs if you like, but I keep mine up. Who has time to press a button?!:!

When you're all finished, turn the skirt wrong side out and trim away the excess underfabric. I used pinking shears, but hey, it's underneath- do what you want!

Here's my subtle little tribute to my not-so-subtle little darlings!

One more thing - I chose to use buttons for the holes in the R and O rather than cut out the little buggers and sew 'em on. I like the vintage vibe it gave the skirt.

So, that’s it!

It really was that easy – the hardest part was getting the courage to make the first snip with my scissors.  After that, it’s breezy.

Cost: the fabric was $3/yd on Etsy – so about $6 since I used scraps for the underfabric and had elestic on hand for the waistband.

Time: Oh gosh, I forgot to keep track…I’ll guess about an hour.  Maybe a little more.

I hope you’ll make one … and yes, send me pictures!!!

 

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I don’t know if you’ll believe this, but I still have atleast 3 more onesies from Tiffany to make little matches for…but I’m pretty sure they’re all 12 month old sizes, so hey – I should have a few months to get to those, right!?!

So, I took a break last night to create my “Going Away” outfit…not exactly the same as my wedding night going-away dress, but maybe I’ll be less nervous in this outfit!  =)

I have gained 30 pounds…so I have NO IDEA what size I’ll be after getting this baby out in the open.  My babies tend to run on the small side – Owen: 6.14 and Ellie: 6:9 … so that leaves me with a lot of this weight still attached when I leave the hospital.  SO fun!

I am completely tired of all things maternity, so I simply can’t handle the thought of wearing my maternity jeans out of the hospital…so I decided to make a flowy skirt with an elastic waist…problem solved…so long as I made the elastic big enough, right!?!

Here’s what I made….and what follows is a tutorial, hopefully showing how easy this is!

My hope is that by using this bold, bright print..I can disguise my flaws. But more probable, if I look pretty fluffy, I can blame it on the bold bright print! (It's one piece of fabric with one seam down the side, and 3 rows of skinny elastic at the waist)

How to make this little number:

Start with very soft and lightweight fabric. I would stay away from something as heavy as quilting weight cottons... I don't want to brag, but my fabric is from a market in Paris... isn't yours? It's a very soft and almost sheer cotton. The lightweightness of this will keep it flowy and small. Anything heavy will be a little too fluffy in my opinion.

Keep the original fold of the fabric in place, and then also fold the fabric lengthwise so that the raw edges meet. (You can see the fabric fold at the top, raw edges on the right, selveges are at the bottom.) As for how much fabric...I just went with what I had which was about 72" of 45" wide fabric. I recommend measuring around your hips, and cutting about twice that.

Next, you're going to sew the raw edges together making one big circle. To do this, grab the selvege at the bottom, unfold the fabric so that the wrong side is facing you. See the next picture. (In this picture, you see me bringing up the selvege from the bottom. The raw edges are still on the right side)

So look closely...raw edges along the right side. The original fabric fold can still be seen horizontally in the center of the fabric, and the selveges are now are the top and the bottom. Wrong side is facing me, so this means I have the fabric folded so that right sides are together.

Now sew up those raw edges and fold back down along the original fold of fabric. You have just made a fabric tube...with one seam running down the inside of the tube. See the seam on the right. There are two folds - the natural fold that came with the fabric on top, and the fold over at the left which just shows that it's a tube.

Normally I would go ahead and hem the skirt at this point..but since my selveges are nice and fun, I'm going to allow them to work for the hem. So the next step is to sew the elastic casing. I chose 3 rows - you can do as many as you like. I might add more later...One thing I had to correct: I recommend graduating the openings sizes...meaning, the opening for the bottom row of elastic should be wider than the for the top row. It was very difficult to get that top row of elastic through the tiny openings of the other rows, so I had to take my seam ripper and make it bigger. I hope that makes sense. (also note: i wanted a little ruffle along the top, so I sewed a full row of stitching with no opening about an inch from the top fold. Then I began sewing my casings.)

Cut 3 strips of elastic - all the same length - and insert them into the casings. I chose to do one row at a time, closing that row's casing after each one. You might be able to do all three at the same time with 3 safety pins...I might try that next time!

After you clean up your loose threads and close up those casing rows...you're finished! Here's the waist band - how nice and flattering, huh!?!

I think it looks super cute as a babydoll mini or tunic ... but not quite yet with these soon to be post-maternity legs!

This is how I'm envisioning leaving the hospital .. fun new skirt (NOT MATERNITY!), button-up & button-down shirt to make feeding easier, and cardigan to help me feel less frumpy. I am certain I need to hem it so that it doesn't look too dowdy, but I'm going to stare at it a few more hours before I do that! Unless, of course, my water breaks!

Stay tuned to see if:

1. I end up packing my bags in time to include this,

2. It gets hemmed, and

3. I made the elastic long enough to fit me after baby!

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Each time I’ve sat down (or stood up, actually) to create a bottom piece for Rosamund, I’ve also created a piece for Ellie.  I’m not ready for her to be a middle child, feeling left out, yet!

I haven’t taken pictures of the others yet, so I’ll start with this one…it’s inspired by Rosamund’s Rockstar look which was inspired by Erin Tyrrell’s onesie!

I simply cut out motifs from gorgeous fabric scraps and appliqued them to a super simple skirt.

I couldn't resist adding a little heart on the back!!

To make it…no pattern necessary…

If you look closely, you can see all the details here...1. cut the length of the fabric that you need. I use the full width of the fabric for ellie, then cut it long enough to be hemmed and to include the elastic casing plus a little ruffle at the top. I have no idea what length I used, sorry! 2. sew up the sides (the selveges) 3. form the elastic casing at the top, leaving a small hole for the elastic to be insterted. 4. hem. place your appliques and sew. (most people like to use Heat 'n Bond, but I don't b/c I love fabric softener too much. Instead, I just sew them right on, sometimes I use a small piece of stitch witchery to hold it down. 5. insert elastic and close up the seam. 5. Press everything, especially the seams. You're done!!!

a little look at the applique details

I’ll try to grab a shot of her wearing it – so far, this is one of my favorites!!

Okay, til next time!  (Coming soon…I’ve just created my “Going home from the hospital look”…I know, how vain is that!?!  I should be preparing the room, the house, the kids…but instead I’m sewing a look for me…GUILTY!

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