Monday, September 13, 2010

Making Do Mondays - Basic School Skirts

I spent an entire afternoon, a couple of weeks ago, taking inventory of the girls' closets and drawers. I pulled out all the hand-me-downs and last fall's clearance purchases for Bee and dug out all the spring clothes that I thought might still fit Belle. I laid them out all over each respective child's floor (I should have taken a picture of THAT!) and made a list of what was missing. Here's my list:

Bee: NOTHING! Between Belle's hand-me-downs and the super amazing deals I found at the end of the season last year she has pretty much everything she is going to need this fall. I'm sure she'll get a few new appliqued long-sleeve onesies too, since there just happen to be several in her size waiting in my stash, but all in all, she's set:):):)

Belle: Long-sleeve tees, leggings in basic colors, warm "comfy" pants in basic colors, and heavier "comfy" skirts. We don't even bother to buy this kid jeans anymore because she flat-out refuses to put them on...I'm still wondering whose kid this really is!

Thanks to a neighbor who "drug" me out to the outlets at 9pm on tax-free weekend (she really had to twist my arm!), the tees, leggings, and pants were taken care of in less than an hour...primarily because the stores closed at 10:) But there was still the issue of the skirts that are Belle's preferred daily attire.

I raided the fabric stash and cut out a gazillion skirts. I was amazed at all the fun fabric combinations I was able to come up with. And because a size 3T skirt takes less than half a yard, I could have kept cutting for days. But since, I actually had to sew all of them I decided that 10 was my limit...yeah, I know that's a little ridiculous, but she LOVES skirts and I LOATHE doing laundry.

So here's the basic tutorial for the skirts.
1. Measure the length that you want the skirts to be. In our case, 11 inches from waist to the middle of the Belle's knee.
2. Add 3 inches (1.5" for hem and 1.5" for elastic casing). This is the total length of fabric that you will need for the skirt. In our case 14". Commit that number to memory and you can start playing.

3. Basic skirt:
a. For a basic skirt, cut a piece of fabric that is 14" long and the width of the fabric. Be sure that you have trimmed the selvage off.
b. Fold the fabric hamburger-style with right-sides together. Sew using 3/8" seam allowance down the short side.
c. Turn right side out and press in hem and elastic casing. To do this, along both the top and bottom edges, first fold in 1/2" and press. Then fold in another 1" and press.
d. Hem the skirt on the bottom edge. I like to add two rows of stitching just because it looks a little more professional.
e. Stitch the bottom edge of the elastic casing, leaving a 1" gap to insert elastic.
f. Use a safety pin to thread elastic through the casing. Elastic should be 1-2" smaller than your child's waist.
g. Sew ends of elastic together and tuck into casing.
h. Finish stitching last 1" of casing closed.

4. For Hem-Band Skirt (see Cow example):
a. Cut main skirt piece that is length minus 3 (in our case 14-3=11) inches by the width of the fabric.
b. Cut hem band that is 7 inches by width of the fabric.
*** At this point, be sure that your hem band and skirt pieces are EXACTLY the same width. You may need to trim one a little.
c. Fold hem band in half hot dog style (or lengthwise) and press fold well.
d. Make skirt using Basic skirt directions, but omit hem.
e. Open fold of hem band and refold hamburger style with right sides together.
f. Stitch short sides together to form a large cylinder. Be sure to use the same seam allowance that you used in making the body of the skirt. Refold hot dog style with wrong sides together.
g. Slip skirt into hem band with raw edges matched and folded edge up toward top of skirt.
h. Sew around skirt 1/2" above raw edges. Finish raw edges with tight zigzag stitch or serger.
i. Fold hem band down into place and press well.
j. Top stitch just above hem band, all the way around the skirt.

5. For Skirt with Pockets:
a. Make skirt using Basic Skirt Directions.
b. For EACH pocket - cut 2 rectangles 1" bigger than your desired pocket size (you can make the pockets any size you want). If you are making 2 pockets, then you need 4 rectangles.
c. For each pocket, put the 2 pieces right sides together and stitch all the way around the 4 sides, leaving about 2" open for turning.
d. Turn each pocket ride side out and press.
e. Pin pockets in place on skirt. PIN WELL!!!! Be sure that the opening in the seam is on any side of the pocket EXCEPT the top. It will get stitched closed when you attach the pocket.
f. Sew around the two sides and bottom of the pocket. I like to backstitch a few times on both of the top corners so they are less likely to pull away from the skirt when little hands and shoved down in there.

You can continue making variations...patchwork, stripes, pocket styles, etc. until your stash is destashed or your machine is kaput:) Just stick to the length measurement that you committed to memory at the beginning of the process and have fun!

Giving Credit Where Credit is Due: The artwork on the pocket skirt is NOT my original creation. I borrowed the design from which sells adorable hand-carved stamps. I fell in love with this Super Girl, but preferred embroidery to stamped design for this particular project. I never intended to display her, sell her, advertise her etc. and only shared her today to illustrate the pocket design.

1 comment:

  1. Saw your link on elsie marley. What great projects you have here! Love that skirt in pic #1!

    I've added you to my blog subscriptions.

    Have a great day!