Twin B took some time to get over her fear of the leaves, but eventually she calmed down and then they both had to hold leaves...of course :)
So what we have here is a faux wrap skirt with a darling little applique and a waistband that leans towards paper bag style, but maybe isn't quite so dramatic. We'll call it a little ruffle waistband.
Ready to make one? You'll need:
- 1/4 to 1/2 yard main fabric, depending on size (I used a stretch denim, but any cotton fabric will work)
- 1/3 yard waistband fabric
-scrap fabric for applique (optional)
-1" wide elastic
-Steam-a-Seam Lite or your choice of double sided fusible web for applique (optional)
-Sewing stuff (coordinating thread, scissors or rotary cutter/mat, sewing machine, pins)
To determine the length and width of your skirt piece, take your child's waist measurment and add 10". For my skinny 2T/3T girls, the waist was 19", so I added 10" and got 29". This will be the width of your main fabric cut. For the length, determine your finished length measurement (just measure from waist to knee) and subtract 1". My girls finished length was 12", so I subtracted 1" and got 11". Therefore, my main fabric cut was 29" wide by 11" long.
Start by hemming the bottom of your skirt piece by folding up 1/2" and ironing, then fold up another 1/2" to encase the raw edge and iron. Stitch hem in place. Also hem one short side of the skirt piece in the same manner. Finish the raw edge of the second short side by serging, zig zag stitching, or trimming with pinking shears.
If you are adding an applique, it's easiest to add it before stitching the skirt together. If you don't want to applique, skip down to see how to assemble the skirt.
To start, grab your fusible web. I prefer the Steam-a-Seam Lite for these types of projects. It's inexpensive and one package lasts for awhile! Whatever kind you get, it needs to be double sided (sticky on both sides).
Cut your design out on regular paper. I just googled birdie template and used what I saw to freehand this little birdie, but you can use any shape you like! I've also done flowers, initials and numbers in the past. Once you have your design in the shape and size you like, trace it in reverse on the fusible web liner. There will be two paper lines on the web - you want to trace your design on the part that stays with the web, not the one that comes away easily.
Peel away the not-so-sticky paper liner and press the design onto the wrong side of your fabric (you can just barely see the wrong side of my fabric through the fusible web in this photo). Cut around the edges of your design.
Carefully peel off the second paper line and position the applique on your skirt. It will be movable so you can re-position it until you like it. Once it is in place, press with a hot steam iron for 10-20 seconds until it is fused to your skirt fabric.
Now comes the tricky part - stitching around your applique. You will want to use a tight zig zag stitch and slowly stitch all the way around the outside edge of your applique. A buttonhole stitch works really well for this, but you might want to practice on some scrap fabric first. It takes a steady hand and you need to go slowly. Remember to leave the needle in your fabric, lift the presser foot and then turn the fabric when going around a corner or a sharp curve. Once you are done, it should look like this:
Yay! The hard part is over! Now we just need to put the skirt together. Overlap your two short edges, with the hemmed edge on top. The stitching of your hemmed edge should just cover the unhemmed edge by about 1/8" - 1/4" Pin in place, making sure your bottom hems line up.
From this inside it will look like this. The serged/zig zagged/pinked edge is covering the stitches from the hemmed edge.
Now "stitch in the ditch," that is, stitch right down your previous line of stitches, joining the two ends of the skirt together. Stitch slowly and stay right on track on top of your existing stitches.
When you are finished, the skirt should be a tube and you can't even tell you have two sets of stitches.
To make the waistband, measure all the way around the top edge of your skirt. Mine was 29". Divide this number in half, then add 1" for seam allowance. For me that was 15.5" (29" / 2 + 1" = 15.5"). This will be the width of each waistband piece. Cut two waistband pieces using your length measurement by 5" long.
Stitch the two short ends of your waistband pieces right sides together with a 1/2" seam allowance to form a tube.
Press the seams open with your iron and also iron one long edge of the tube under 1/4".
Lay your skirt out and determine where you want the side seams to be. I wanted my "wrap hem" to show in the front, ending up towards the side of one leg. Mark the location of your side seams with pins.
Flip your skirt inside out and line up the raw edge of your waistband with the raw top edge of your skirt, right side of waistband to wrong side of skirt. Pin and sew using a 1/2" seam allowance.
Flip the waistband up and press the seam up towards the waistband. The left side of the photo shows how it looks from inside the skirt and the right half of the photo shows how it looks from the outside.
Fold the waistband down so it just covers your line of stitching. Iron in place. Your waistband should now measure at least 2" from top to bottom.
To make the ruffle, sew a line of stitches 1" from the top edge, going all the way around the skirt. Then make your elastic casing by sewing another line of stitches as close to the bottom edge as possible, but leave about 2" open to insert your elastic.
Cut a piece of 1" wide elastic to your child's waist measurment plus 1". Using a safety pin, thread your elastic through the casing. Overlap the ends by 1", stitch the elastic together and insert the ends up into the casing. Sew the opening closed and enjoy your new skirt!
More on the tights tomorrow...for now, we're off!