Monday, May 23, 2011

Here's a Super Cute Skirt!

The Super Cute Skirt!
       Several weeks ago I was out "window shopping" for ideas. I am always on the lookout for anything that I might want to "figure out how they did that"! I was at a local discount clothing boutique and was totally unenthused as I could find nothing new, clever or stylish . . . until I spied a cute skirt hanging on the back wall. I almost bought it as was under $30, but the sewer in me said, "No, you can make that for probably less and definitely in a much cuter and better quality fabric." It wasn't that it was sooo different, but the fact that it was made out of a knit intrigued me. I have never made a tiered skirt out of a soft drapey knit. Can you believe it? Something I have not done? The fabric really was boring and the quality was just not up to my standards. So, off I went to my favorite fabric shop - lol! Naturally, I already had a a really cool fabric in mind. A wonderful super fine rayon jersey!!! ~ in my favorite color; purple!

See how full it is!
          So, where to start? How did they make it? It was a three-tiered skirt: the top tier was the main part of the skirt with two tiers below being of equal width; each approximately 5" or 6".  I made a few mental notes. I took a picture with my phone and a took a cursory measurement. (I nearly always carry a tape measure in my purse - what sewer doesn't?, but did I have one that day? No!)  So, I proceeded to measure it "the old fashioned way": I held it up to my arm and "measured" the top tier. I pinched the elastic band between the fingers of my left hand while stretching it out to be flat with my right hand. It came just to my arm pit which gave me a measurement of 24". Multiply that by two (front & back) and maybe add in a little bit for a seam allowance ~ Nah, I was going to make this on my serger; no need. As for the length, it should be "finger tip" length: 16" for me. Yes, I am not overly tall! Okay, so add another 1" for the elastic casing at the waist + 1/4" for a seam allowance. Okay, my top panel needed to be 48" X 17 1/4".  As I said earlier the bottom two tiers were each 5-6" in length. I decided to go with 5" due to my height. I wanted the skirt to hit me just below the knee. This cute little skirt was very very full as I recalled. So, I decided that the second or middle tier should be 2 1/2 times the width of the top tier and the bottom tier should be only 2 times the width of the middle tier. After a little calculating with my phone - what would we do without these "telephones"!  Now I was ready to cut.

The fabric needs to be "drapey"!

Top tier: 48" X 17 1/4"
Middle tier: 5" X 120" (the fabric is 60" wide, so 2 strips)
Bottom tier: 5" X 240" (4 strips)

      If you would like to make one of these super cute skirts for yourself:
(A)  measure your hips and add 8" for ease.
(B)  measure what your "finger tip" length is for the length of the top tier
(C)  multiply (A) by 2.5 for the length of the middle tier
(D)  multiply (C) by 2 for the length of the bottom tier.

      Now, you are ready to sew!
(1)  Sew/serge the top tier together at the side seam & serge the top edge.
(2)  Iron down the top edge by 1"; pin and stitch leaving an opening for the elastic. I used 3/4" elastic.
(3)  Sew the middle tiers all together into a big circle.
(4)  Serge one of the edges while running a gathering stitch along the other. Mark your circle by quarters to aid you in even gathering.
(5)  Gather to fit the bottom of the top tier; pin and serge together.
(6)  Sew the bottom tiers all together into a big circle.
(7)  On both edges of the bottom tier serge a three thread rolled hem and stretch it as you sew to cause it to "lettuce" prettily!
(8) Mark your bottom tier circle by quarters to aid you in even gathering. Run a gathering stitch along one edge. Pin this last tier on top of the middle tier overlapping each by about 1/2" or less. Topstitch in place.
(9)  Remove all of your gathering threads.
(10) Insert elastic into casing; adjust to fit you; then cinch it in by 2-3" . Stitch elastic together. Close opening. Now, topstitch down the center of the elastic on top of your waistband. This will stretch it out nicely to fit comfortably.

Have fun Sewing It Up!