All About Skirts 1

Beginners Skirt

A great beginners sewing project!  No Patterns and sewing in straight lines!  Not only are they simple to make they are super cute.
Beginners Skirt e

What you’ll need

  • Fabric, I used a fairly lightweight cotton but most fabrics work fine, just not a heavy fabric
  • Measuring Tape – as there is no pattern you will need to measure one simple rectangle
  • Elastic – 25mm (1”) x Slightly smaller than the waist measurement
  • Safety pin – to thread the elastic through
  • An Iron!!! The most important part to getting a professional looking finish!

 

Measuring

Measure around the waist of the wearer.  For a gathered skirt double this measurement, if you want a little more gather you can do 2 1/2 times or 1 1/2 for a little less.  I wouldn’t go too much less than that as it will restrict leg movement and the ability to put the skirt on.
If you are unsure of the waist measurement then you can always check out http://www.childrenssizechart.com/.  Apologies to the metric users that one is in Inches, but there are many available in cm too.  Google away!  I don’t mind inches my measuring tape has both but I do find it much easier to visualise in centimetres.
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I made a size 8 for Hannah (6 years old) but she is VERY tall for her age.  Pretty good freedom of movement I think!
Width – For a size 8 with a 58cm (23”) waist.  58cm (23”) x 2 = 116cm (46”).
Length – Desired length + 7.5cm (3”) for waist and Hem.  For a size 8 above the knee 35cm (13.75”) + 7.5cm (3”) = 42.5cm (16.75”).
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My Fabric would measure 116cm (46”) x 42.5cm (16.75”)
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Sewing

 

Step 1

I start by overlocking/zigzagging the two short sides. 
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Then fold your fabric in half to make the tube for the skirt, with the right sides facing.  Pin the short sides together and sew with a 1cm (3/8”) seam allowance.
Beginners Skirt (46)

Step 2

Iron the seam flat as shown below.  I prefer this method for this skirt as it doesn’t have the bulk of a seam that is folded double.
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Step 3

Overlock/zigzag the top and bottom.  This will prevent fraying and give a nice tidy finish.  Make sure to keep the seam down the side folded flat open.
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Step 4

Back to the iron to iron in the waist band.  With the skirt inside out I like to fold over the overlocked/zigzagged edge and iron that first.  Then using your elastic as a guide (or a tape measure if you wish) iron in the waistband so that it is just large enough to fit your elastic.
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Pin the waistband in place.  I like to add two lots of double pins to ensure I leave a gap to thread the elastic through.
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Step 5

Sew the waistband using the guides on your sewing machine to ensure you are sewing straight (I used the 30mm (a little more than an inch).  Use a lock stitch or reverse a few stitches at the start and end.  You don’t want to sew it too narrow as your elastic won’t fit, or too wide as you won’t catch the folded fabric.
Beginners Skirt b

Step 6

Elastic!  I use roughly 5cm (2”) less elastic than the waist measurement.  So I needed 53cm (21”) for my average size 8.  It depends on the elastic you use but you want it to stay up.  Thread your elastic through the waistband using the safety pin (or whatever ingenious method you use!). 
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After you have threaded it through some of the way I like to pin the end in place to prevent it accidentally getting pulled in and having to start over!
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Pull both ends out of the waistband to join together.
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Check out my Joining Elastic Three Ways Tutorial, for more info on this step.  For this skirt you can use any of the three options you like.  For this one I have used the easiest method which is overlapping.
Beginners Skirt c
Note: I overlocked (or zigzag) the ends of the elastic first to prevent fraying.

Step 7

If you have a tag/label to add now is the time!  Even if you don’t have labels I like to add a folded over ribbon to be able to write names on.  Wriggle the gather to the other parts of the waist band so the area you are working with is nice and flat, you can use pins to keep it in place.
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Again line this up with the same mark on the machine you used for the rest of the waistband.  Don’t forget to do a lock stitch or reverse stitch or two to prevent it coming undone.  Sew carefully till the hole is sewn up.
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Step 8

Nearly there!  All that is left to do is hem the skirt. Fold over and iron the hem in place, you might like to try it on to make sure it’s the length you want.  (Skirt too short?  Watch this space for a cute fix!).  Again I like to sew the hem on the right side of the fabric, using my sewing machine seam allowance guides to make sure I’m going straight.  I don’t do the double fold over on the hem as I think it hangs nicer with a thinner hem.
Beginners Skirt d
FINISHED!!!  Get ready for skirt 2 very soon!!!