Sunday, September 30, 2012

Tutorial: Quick and Easy Skirt

I don't normally make clothes, they've never turn out well for me and most of the time it's just cheaper to buy anyway. But I really wanted to try and make a simple skirt for Lily for Halloween. I found the fabric and whipped one up in about 30 minutes! It turned out really cute. My first article of clothing that I would actually be ok with her wearing. 

I made Lily a cute Halloween skirt, then made her this lavender chevron print one below for her birthday party. Sadly, she spilled coffee all over it about 5 minutes into the party. (Not her coffee, her Daddy's.) Arg. I got the stain out, but she didn't get to wear her pretty skirt. 

I thought I would share with you how I made these easy skirts!  I know it's not rocket science, and I'm sure there are better and more efficient ways to sew a skirt, but this is how I did it, so I hope you enjoy!

Gather supplies:
Main fabric and coordinating fabric for trim
3/4" Elastic
Scissors/marking pen/ruler/cutting mat
Sewing machine/matching thread
Large safety pin/straight pins

Step One: Cut main panels
(These are the measurements I used for my 2 year old daughter, who is very petite, you may alter them to fit your little one's needs)
Cut two main panels to 10"x18"

I cut both my pieces at the same time so I could cut down on cutting. (No pun intended. :) )

Step Two: Cut the A-line
To make the skirt a little more A-line, I made a mark at the top of the fabric about 1 1/2" from the right side, then drew a line from the mark down to the bottom right corner. I just used my ruler to give me a straight line. 

 I then folded the fabric in half (remember, there are two pieces there) and cut along that line. 

See? I now have two pieces of main panel ready to go. 

 This step isn't shown, but cut two trim pieces, 3"x18".

Step Three: Attach the trim

Take each main panel and lay it face down with the wrong side showing. Lay the trim piece along the bottom (wrong side showing) matching up the two long raw edges. Pin in place and sew along the edge using a 1/4" allowance. (You will notice that the trim pieces are not cut at an angle like the main piece. I forgot to do that step, so I jus trimmed them to match after attaching them. No biggie.)

After you sew the trim on, open it up and lay it flat, with the right side of your main panel facing up. Iron the seam toward the main panel. Fold and press the remaining long raw edge of the trim piece a 1/2". 

Then fold the entire trim piece up towards the main panel and press. Pin in place. Sew along both of the long edges of the trim piece. I used about a 1/4" seam allowance for both edges.  Sewing along the bottom edge will give it a nice polished look and will keep the trim looking nice even after going through the wash. 

Repeat with the other main panel and trim.

Step Four: Attaching main panels together

Lay both main panels (with attached trim, which you notice, I trimmed to match the A-line angle) right sides together and pin along one angled edge. Sew a 1/2"seam allowance along this edge. 

Open and press the seams open. (I forgot to do this step with this skirt, but you may want to cut the excess seam allowance with some pinking shears or serge the seam first.)

Step Five: Make the casing for the elastic and finish!

Fold the top raw edge over towards the wrong side 1/4" and press. Fold again 1" and press again. Pin in place. This will be the casing for your elastic.
Sew along the bottom edge of the casing as close to the edge as you can. You don't want to make the casing too small or your elastic won't fit.

Once the casing is finished, attach the safety pin to one end of the elastic and thread it through. Be careful not to pull it all the way through. 

**My daughter's waist measured 19", so I cut the elastic to 17". 

Once your elastic is threaded, pull and adjust the casing/skirt so that the fabric isn't all bunched up at one end. Fold your skirt in half (right sides together) and pin along the raw edge. Make sure you catch both ends of elastic at this step.

Sew a 1/2" allowance making sure to back stitch at each end. Trim your seam allowance and any long threads you may see. 

Ta Da!! You have made a skirt!! 

Monday, September 17, 2012

Chevron-Striped Baby Quilt

With baby boy due 4 weeks from today, to say that I have been nesting is an understatement! I've been organizing, cleaning and doing lots of sewing! Some sewing for baby, some for other projects around the house or for my shop. 

For the nursery, I decided to go with aqua, orange and gray. Chevron is my new obsession, so I had to incorporate that, along with some polka dots. 

This being my third child, I hadn't done much for his room, besides make curtains. I decided not to make a bumper or bed skirt this time, since I don't use them for very long. But I really wanted to make him a quilt. 

I chose some orange and aqua chevron from this Riley Blake collection, as well as some coordinating polka dot, also from Riley Blake. While I am not really doing an 'elephant theme' in the room, I have always loved this print so I included that as well. 

I decided to change up the predictable square quilt pattern and do stripes instead. I am so glad I did. Not only did I not have to cut out a billion squares (cutting strips is soo much easier and less time consuming),  I LOVE how it turned out! 

I used just the gray and white polka dots for the back of the quilt and gray bias tape for the binding. I really wanted white, but Hobby Lobby didn't have enough, so gray it was!  I used this tutorial, found on Pinterest, to help me with the corners of the bias tape. It was so easy! My corners usually come out funky looking, so I'm glad I took the time to look up how to do it correctly. 

It's hard to see in the picture below, but I quilted a large chevron design over some of the stripes. This is my first time to actually quilt something, I am so proud! I only had to use my seam ripper once. Ha! 

Can't wait for my little one to snuggle up in his new quilt!

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