Monday, October 7, 2013

How To Make An Easy Skirt



My daughter is getting ready to leave for her mission in Guatemala and we have had trouble finding dresses and skirts that are the right length.  I thought that I would take the opportunity to teach her how to make an easy skirt with no pattern.  I have another post that is similar, so many of the examples will come from that post, but it is still the same directions, just bigger.


I first measured my daughter from her waist to her knee (23 inches).  Then I measured around her tummy (30 inches). 


Length of the skirt:

When I measured the length for the piece of fabric and I added about 4 inches to the measurement that went from the waist to the knee.  My daughter measured about 23 inches from the waist to the knee., so I added 4 inches to make it 27 inches. Obviously, if you want it to be longer than the knee, add fewer inches.  Shorter, then just subtract a few inches.  Just make sure you have about 4 extra inches to allow for the hem and the elastic waist.


Width of the skirt: 

Then for the other measurement around the waist she was about 30 inches.  I doubled that measurement (plus a few extra inches).  I cut two pieces of fabric that were about 33 inches.  Sewing them together would make that 66 inches.

The more full you want the skirt, the wider you cut your fabric.  

The less fabric, the less full that the skirt will be. 

You need enough fabric to fit around the hips, plus a few extra inches to allow for movement.

Too much fabric and it will not fit in the elastic. 

If you want very full skirt you will need to cut your material different which is not in these instructions.


I had two pieces of fabric that were 33 inches wide by 27 inches long.  I place the two pieces of fabrics with their right sides together and sewed the two side that were 27 inches together creating two seams.  It should make a big oval of fabric when you sew them together.

Above is an example of one of the seams.

Place it on the ironing board and fold over the top about 1/4" and iron it down.  Do this all the way around the fabric.

Now fold the fabric over again, this time make it about the size of your elastic plus about 1/4".  Iron it all the way around. A good elastic size is 3/4"-1 inch. 

Repeat the same process to the other side of the skirt.  First fold the material over about 1/4", iron, fold again at about 1 1/2", iron again.  This time it will be the hem. 

Now it is time to sew.  First we will work on the waistband end.  Start out by stitching as close to the edge as you can on the bottom fold of the fabric.  Stitch almost all the way around, but stop about two inches from where you started.  This is the hole that you will be putting your elastic through.

I like to sew a second stitch at the top of the fold, close to the top edge of the fold.  Make sure you sew all the way around to point where you started.  This step is not necessary, but I think that it just looks a little more finished, plus it keeps the elastic from folding.

Now turn your skirt around to the side with the hem.  Place your needle as close to the fold as you can.  Sew all the way around the fabric to sew down your hem.  When you get to the spot where you threads are overlapping, do a little bit of back stitching to lock in your threads.  That way they will not come lose.

Some people like to use a hem stitch for this or a hand stitch so that the thread is invisible.  You certainly can do it however you would like.

Now for the elastic waist.  Cut the elastic to the length that you need.  put a safety pin at the end of it.  This you will push through the waist band.  Just to be safe, safety pin the other end to the skirt.  This will keep the elastic from pulling all the way through.  I have done that a few times.  Keep pushing the safety pin around the waist until it comes out the other side.  Sew the elastic together (make sure there are no twists in your elastic).  Then sew up the hole that is left in the waistband seam. 



Now my daughter has a new skirt, just the right length for her mission.  She covered the waist band with an elastic belt that we found at Charming Charlie's.  We have since found several great belts on Amazon.

How to sew a striped skirt
My daughter loved the above skirt so much that I made her another one.  This time I used the scraps from our t-shirt quilts and made a striped skirt.  I took the scraps and sewed them together in rows.
Width of the skirt:
 I took 2 1/2" strips and sewed them in one long strip until they were 66" long. The last strip around the waist I made wider then the strips at the bottom of the skirt.  You can see that in the picture.
Length of the skirt:
Then I sewed each strip together lengthwise to create a pattern (see above).  When my pattern reached the 27" that I needed I was done. Here's what I did:
My pattern of 2 1/2" strips came to 12".  I needed 15 more inches to get to my 27" length.  I used a strip of fabric that measured 15" (That is the dark blue at top)that got me to the 27" that I needed.   
Then when I had the right measurement for my skirt(66" x 27"), I sewed the skirt in the same way that I showed you at the top of this blog.  I think that it turned out cute and it will help my daughter remember the quilts that we made just before she left on her mission.  Plus, it cost almost nothing because we were using scraps of material.

Here it is on my daughter.  I think it turned out great! Then I made her another one as you can see below:

Here she is in Jalapa, Guatemala wearing the same skirt:

After she left on her mission in November, I decided to surprise her with a bunch of skirts that I made her for Christmas. 
Here they are below:

Here's my daughter in Guatemala City with her batch of missionaries wearing the skirt that I sent her for Christmas:

I also decided to make some for my daughter-in-law, granddaughter and her doll. 

For the vertical striped skirt is just cut a bunch of fabric strips at about 6 1/2 inches wide and then sewed them together until the reached the right size.

I trimmed the bottom edge so that it was even with the rotary cutter.  Then I sewed on a strip of fabric along the bottom:

 And then double folded the top for the waist band and added the elastic. I also folded and sewed the bottom for the hem. 
Super easy!

Then for the daughter and the doll I just scaled down sizes of the strips to fit.  For the doll, just measure around the waist and then double that.  Then measure from the waist to the knee and add about 1 1/2".  Make the waist band and the hem only 1/2" and use 1/4" elastic.

The brown skirt shown in the demonstration is a skirt that I made for my granddaughter.  I made a couple of matching shirts to go with it.  Just click on the picture to see how I did it.

LDS Primary Treat Bags With Free Tutorial and Printout

Here is an easy way to make a treat bag that can be used for Primary. The printouts are below the instructions.  Just click on the printout to make it big.  Right click and save it into your pictures, or copy and paste it into your word document.  Make it to the size of an full sheet of paper.

 Here's how to do it:
 First print out your picture in the middle of the page of paper.  You can use whatever color paper that you think would look the best for your graphic.
2. Turn the paper over to the back side.  Mark it at 3" and at 8".  Then put a line of glue across the bottom of the paper.

3.  Fold the paper at 3" and then again at 8". 

4. Put a line of glue where the two papers overlap on the back seam and put another line of glue across the bottom of the bag.

5.  Fold over the bottom of the bag about 1/2", making sure that there is enough glue to secure it shut.

6.  Use a fancy pair of scissors to cut off the top of the bag.  I used pinking shears, but you can use anything.  You can even omit this step.

Now fill your bag with treats.  I hope you have a fun party.  Let me know how yours turned out.

Here are some printouts for you.  Just click on the picture to enlarge, then just right click on your mouse and save them as a picture.  You can either print them out from your picture program or from your word program.

I also have some Halloween ones.  Just click on the picture below and it will take you there: