Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The Little Skirt

My son's school is in need of some more dress-up skirts so I volunteered to make a couple for the 3-year olds. I had never made a toddler skirt before but I wanted to learn how as my daughter loooooves "twirly skirts". {I wish you could hear the way she says that - it's just so cute!}

One request from the school was to have some more, um, "boy-geared" skirts as the boys like to get in on the dress-up action just as much as the girls. {I mean really, who doesn't like to twirl?!} So I took my kids to Beverly's and they both got to pick out their choice of fabric for the two skirts. This first skirt is from my son's choices...

Sneak to the bottom to see what he really thought of it at first!
* two 1/2-yards of coordinating fabric
* 21-inches 3/4-inch elastic {I wanted the finished waistline to measure 20"}
* coordinating thread

1) Cut top {in my case, checkered} fabric into 6" tall by 30" wide.

2) Sew short sides together using 1/4" seam. Press the seam open.

3) Choose a top and bottom to the fabric and turn down 1/4" seam at the top. Repeat and turn 1" down.

4) Sew the fold down, being sure to leave a 1.5" opening at some point.

5) Feed the elastic through the opening and thread the elastic through the waistline.
6) Overlap the elastic by 1/2" and stitch the ends together. This is where I've found this stitch to be particularly helpful:

The top of your skirt will be done at this point. There are a lot of options now in regards to design. I wanted a country look, to match the fabric, so I proceeded to...

7) Cut TWO sheets of bottom {in my case, patterned} fabric to 30" wide by 9" tall. You'll need TWO. Sew the shorter sides together and press seam open.

8) Sew a basting {long, lose} stitch around the top edge of the bottom/patterned fabric. Pull the bottom/bobbin string to gather the fabric. 

{General rule of thumb is to use twice the fabric length for your final fabric measurement. i.e. We want the fabric to gather to the length of the top/checkered fabric length of 30" so we're using 60" of fabric to gather.}

9) I pinned the "wrong" sides together at this point because I wanted to raw edges exposed, for the country look. 

In hindsight, I think I would rather have the bottom/patterned raw edge exposed but keep the top/checkered edge hidden. Thus, next time I would pin the wrong side of the bottom/patterned to the right side of the top/checkered, leaving a 1/2" seam.

10) Sew the bottom and top fabrics together, staying just off to the side of the basting stitch. Pull the thread from the basting stitch out.

11) Turn 1/4" of the bottom hem over. Press and/or then fold over again and stitch close the bottom hem.

12) Cut 2" wide strips of top/checkered fabric. I wanted to make a tight, gathered hem here so I used about six fabric strips of 2" wide by 30" long.

13) Run a basting stitch along the fabric, just off the center of the fabric. {When you sew the strip onto the hem, you'll want to sew in the middle of the strip.}

14) Gather the fabric by pulling on the bottom/bobbin thread to your desired tightness. Pin.

15) Sew gathered fabric onto the skirt, sewing down the middle of the strip. Pull out the thread from the basting stitch when you're done.


"Boys don't wear skirts, mom!"
A fun little country skirt for dress-up, hanging out, or going out. Really, these basic measurements and steps open the door to many skirt possibilities.

I'm making a different skirt from my daughter's fabric next - Really excited about this one! What toddler skirts have you made??

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