Tuesday, April 04, 2006

A "twirly skirt" how-to

My daughter, Aubry, loves "twirly skirts" and I decided to make some for summertime so she can wear them instead of shorts. Mine was so easy and inexpensive that I thought it would be a good "how-to" post. The fabric and notions cost me $5.00 and it took me less than an hour to make. This would be a perfect beginning sewing project. My daughter wears size 4 (she is four years old) and I made the skirt to be 12 inches long when finished. If you want to try to convert the measurements to a larger size I will leave some instructions at the bottom of this post. If you need more help, just email me!

I started with one yard of fabric and a package of 3/4-inch wide elastic:

Since I wanted Aubry's skirt to measure 12 inches when finished, I needed to add 3 extra inches to that measurement for the elastic casing and the hem, so first I cut two 15-inch strips (12 inches plus 3 inches) along the cut-edge of the fabric (these will be as long as the width of your piece of fabric--usually about 42 inches):

Then I sewed the ends together (the short ends), right sides together, with a 5/8 inch seam:

I trimmed my edges with pinking shears ( this will help prevent fraying):

Then I ironed open the seams open:

Here is what I ended up with (it looks like a tube):

To make the elastic casing I turned the edge under 1/4 inch and then again 1 inch"

Sew the casing close to the edge and leave a 1-1/2 inch opening to put your elastic through:

Do the same thing for the hem, but only turn the fabric under 1/4 inch and then about 3/4 inch:

To thread your elastic through the casing, put a safety pin on the end and begin to push it through:

To keep your end from going inside the casing, tack it down with a safety pin:

After your elastic is through, secure it by sewing over it a few times:

Now all you need to do is whipstitch your casing closed, trim your threads and then your little girl can wear it and twirl:

In order to make this skirt for bigger girls, you just need to follow the same instructions, but use more fabric. Here is how to figure how much fabric you need:

--Take the measurement of how long you want the skirt
--Then add 3 inches to that measurement (for elastic casing and the hem)
--Times that measurement by two (because you will need to cut two pieces for the skirt--see the 3rd picture in this post)
--That measurement is how much fabric you need to buy.

Here is an example:
--If you want your finished length to be 17 inches, just add 3 inches (this equals 20 inches) and then times that number by two (this equals 40 inches). That means you need to by 40 inches of fabric. Since I like to buy a little extra, I would buy 1-1/4 yards (which is 45 inches of fabric. Then follow the instructions using your own measurements.

I hope this isn't WAY too confusing!

Have a great day!