Pattern Review – Sofilantjes Liv Skirt

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Sofilantjes Liv Skirt a

I bumped into an indie designer by the name of Sofilantjes while checking out Dutch sewing blogs.  She has some great designs and patterns for sale in English and Dutch too.  She even has a free pattern for the Liv Skirt.  So I thought I better test this one out!

Sofilantjes Liv Skirt (5)

The Liv skirt uses knit fabric with a contrast piece for a shallow pocket.  I love the look of the pocket but they are quite small/shallow.  Next time I would either make them a little bigger so that they are more useful or have a faux pocket just for the look.

Sofilantjes Liv Skirt (19)

I think it’s safe to say she likes it!  Always a bonus bonus when you’ve gone to the trouble to make it for her!  As for the sizing it was pretty spot on for Hannah who is 7 years old and measured up perfectly for the size 7/8.  If you are not a fan of short skirts then I would a little length to the pattern.  Hannah is quite tall so I would add a little more length on the next one.  But it will look great over a pair of leggings or stockings too.

Sofilantjes Liv Skirt d

I used a piece of fabric I found at the Salvation Army Store for 50 cents and the contrast polka dots came from my stash.  You might recognise it from my Ruffle Knit Tube Skirt!  I used a double needle for the binding on the pockets, joining the pocket piece and for topstitching the waistband.  I attatched the waistband using a small zigzag stitch and finished the raw edges using the overlocker but zigzag would have worked fine too.

Sofilantjes Liv Skirt b

The Sofilantjes Liv Skirt was a uncomplicated make.   The pattern comes with seperate instructions which are fairly straight forward if you have a little experience.  I think a new beginner may struggle a little with the small diagrams.  There are only 6 pages to print and the assembling is nice and easy!

Sofilantjes Liv

All in all I really enjoyed this make and the skirt is very cute!  I will be keeping an eye on Sofilantjes to see what they do next!

Ruffle Knit Tube Skirt

Ruffle Knit Tube Skirt d_www
You might recognize this fabric from my Pencil Skirt!  Hannah liked it so much and wanted one for herself.  I had a few remnants left over so thought I’d give it whirl.
Ruffle Knit Tube Skirt c_www
Well as cute as it is it is a little too short for a 7 year old!  It’s not really a wear tights underneath kind of skirt either…

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Simple solution add a knit ruffled hem!
I don’t know about you but I think that is much cuter, and a better length for a little girl!  And extra brownie points as it now twirls!
Now for the tutorial, well tutorials really!

What You’ll need

  • Fabric – Knit mine is ruffled but any knit you like is fine!
  • 25mm (1”) Elastic for the waistband
  • Thread, Pins, Measuring tape etc
  • Sewing Machine
  • Overlocker (Optional)

Step 1 – Measure and Cut your fabric

You will need to measure the pieces there is no printed pattern.  You need the waist measurement, Hannah’s is 21”.  You don’t want the skirt too tight but not too lose either.  Take the waist measurement and add 3 inches (this is for a size 7/8) if yours is much bigger add a little more, or if smaller add a little less.  Roughly between 3 and 5 inches as a guide.  Due to my fabric size restrictions I did two pieces with two side seams, you can just to do a single seam if you like.
 Ruffle Knit Tube Skirt 1 (2)_www
I was restricted in the length too but you can make yours any length you like.  A great way to work it out is to measure a skirt that you already have.  Take this measurement and add 3 inches for waist and hem allowance.  Or you can use an online chart to get the average measurements!  As a quick example Hannah’s is, 21” + 3” = 24”.

Step 2 – Overlock Bottom Edges (Optional) * Only for ruffled fabric

Ruffle Knit Tube Skirt 1 (4)_www

Overlock the underneath layer as it is difficult to hem the ruffled fabric.  You can just leave it raw most knit fabrics won’t fray, it’s up to you!

Step 3 – Pin and sew the side seams

Ruffle Knit Tube Skirt 1 (5)_www
With ruffled fabric you need to be very careful when pinning to make sure it lines up and the ruffles are not caught up the wrong way.
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Repeat for the second side.
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If you overlocked and are not hemming you will need to tuck in the ends of the thread.  This just prevents it coming undone while wearing.
Ruffle Knit Tube Skirt e_www

Step 4 – Adding a Waistband

Cut your elastic 2 inches smaller than your waist measurement, for example Hannah’s is 21” – 2” = 19”.
Ruffle Knit Tube Skirt 1 (12)_www
Join the elastic using zigzag so that it sits nice and flat.  I have a full tutorial on that here.
Ruffle Knit Tube Skirt 1 (13)_www
Pin the elastic evenly on the inside of the waistband.  I use the seams and pin the elastic in quarters to ensure it is even.  I showed all the steps in the Colour Block Rugby Shorts tutorial in Step 5.
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Sew the elastic in place using an overlocker (or zigzag works great too), just be careful not to cut the elastic with the overlocker!
Ruffle Knit Tube Skirt 1 (16)_www
It should look a little like this!
Ruffle Knit Tube Skirt 1 (17)_www
Fold the waistband over and pin in place.
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Sew the waistband in using zigzag stitch, stretching the fabric as you go.  There you have it a perfect waistband without any chance it is going to twist inside the casing or roll up for that matter.  All big plusses in my world!

Step 5 – Hem

If you are hemming go ahead and do that however you like!  You can just fold over and zigzag or use a double needle.  Another cute finish is a lettuce hem which you can do using your regular sewing machine.  Check out Step 9 below for the details!

Step 6 – Adding the ruffle hem

 Ruffle Knit Tube Skirt 1 (30)_www
Cut a strip of knit fabric twice the length of the original fabric.  This allows for the ruffles!  I cut mine 48 inches (Hannah’s waist 21” + 3” allowance equals 24” x 2 equals 48” for this piece.  I made mine 6 inches wide to get the length I wanted.

Step 7 – Gather one long side of the strip

 Ruffle Knit Tube Skirt 1 (31)_www
I use a very easy technique to gather fabric.  Only one line of stitching and minimal pulling.  Set your thread tension as high as it will go (mine is 9) and your stitch length as long as it will go (mine is 4).  Then sew straight down one long edge (top) about 3/8” in from the side.  And there you have ruffles!  DON’T lockstitch and leave the threads at the start and end long.  You can pull on one thread (I find the lower works better for me) to make the gather tighter, or you can wriggle it along to loosen it off.  Again I have a Superhero Cape tutorial with all the photos and instructions!
Ruffle Knit Tube Skirt 1 (32)_www

Step 8 – Sew

 Ruffle Knit Tube Skirt 1 (33)_www
Now if you were doing this from the start you could attach the ruffle hem before sewing the side seam(s), it’s probably a little easier but as all layers stretch it’s not too bad this way!  Sew the side seam either with the overlocker or zigzag.
Ruffle Knit Tube Skirt 1 (34)_www
Pin the ruffle hem in place under the bottom layer of the skirt.
Ruffle Knit Tube Skirt 1 (35)_www
Ruffle Knit Tube Skirt 1 (36)_www
Sew the new hem in place with zigzag stitch close to the edge.
Ruffle Knit Tube Skirt 1 (37)_www
Here is the inside, not super tidy but not too bad for a fix up!
You can stretch out the seam so that the gathering stitch snaps.  That way the skirt will still be stretchy with the zigzag.  You can unpick it if you really like, but I’ll deal with it if any stray threads come lose later!  It won’t cause it to unravel the zigzag is holding it securely.

Step 9 – Lettuce Hem

Ruffle Knit Tube Skirt 1 (39)_www

Fold up the hem by about an inch, and pin in place.
Ruffle Knit Tube Skirt 1 (41)_www
Set your machine to zigzag and the stitch length to F, for me this is just after 1.  As you can see above I had it set at about 1/2 but that was to wide, so I reduced to F.  Sew on the folded edge so one side of the zigzag goes around the folded edge.  It also helps if you pull the fabric from the front and back while sewing.  This is just to hold it taught don’t pull it through the machine.
Ruffle Knit Tube Skirt 1 (42)_www
There you have a wiggly lettuce hem!
Ruffle Knit Tube Skirt 1 (43)_www
Just trim off the excess and you are finished!
Ruffle Knit Tube Skirt g (2)_www
Great simple summer staple and so comfortable and stretchy!

Contrast Hem Skirt + French Seams

French Seamed Contrast Hem Skirt (41)

I have a wee obsession with French Seams at the moment!  I just love the neat finish and how simple it is.  I also like that you can make a very professional looking garment without an overlocker/serger.  Which is great if you are just starting out with sewing and a standard machine is all you have.

Contrast Hem Skirt a

I made the Contrast Hem Skirt as part of my All About Skirts theme back in July this year.  I loved this simple skirt.  It has a nice contrast which I always like and this gives it a great look with only sewing straight lines.  It is the perfect project for a beginner.  So I thought it was time I did a French Seam version!

French Seamed Contrast Hem Skirt b


What you will need

  • Fabric – One main and one contrast.  You can make this without the contrast too.
  • Elastic 25mm (1”) wide
  • General Supplies – Thread, pins, iron
  • 112cm (44”) of double fold bias binding (optional)

NOTE: Always lock stitch at the start and end of each seam.  Lock stitch if you have the function on your machine, or sew a few stitches and reverse over them to prevent the seam coming undone!


Step 1 – Measuring

This skirt is made by measuring the fabric rather than using a pattern.  If you want to make more than one it would be quicker to draw your pieces on paper and cut them out.  Then you would only have to measure once!

French Seamed Contrast Hem Skirt (39)

I used standard size chart that I found online.  There are so many you can just Google it until you have one that is in the measurement units you like working with.  This one I have used in the past.

Lets work out the width first.  For a size 4, the waist was 56cm (22”), for a nice full gathered skirt you need to double this number 56cm (22”) x 2 is 112cm (44”).  We do not need to allow a seam allowance even though we are using French seams as there is plenty of gather a centimetre or inch isn’t going to matter.

Now the length.  You need to decide how long you want the skirt to be.  Then add 12.5cm (5”) to that measurement.  You can make the contrast hem any size you like but as long as both pieces add up to the desired length + 12.5cm (5”) you will be fine!

French Seamed Contrast Hem Skirt (38)

I decided to hem the bottom in bias binding, if you like the look of that then you can reduce the add on from 12.5cm (5”) to 9cm (a little over 3.5”).

My skirt is a short one to wear over tights, finished length it is 25cm long.


Step 2 – Cutting

Using your measurements cut out your pieces.  If your fabric is wide enough you can cut it in one piece.  If like me your fabric is too narrow, then you can cut it in two parts.


If you cut in two pieces you will have two side seams, if you cut in one piece you will only need to do one side seam.

French Seamed Contrast Hem Skirt (2)

Note:  Do the same for both fabrics.  So if one is too narrow then cut both fabrics in two pieces.


Step 3 – Sew Contrast and Main Fabric together

French Seamed Contrast Hem Skirt (3)

Pin the the two pieces together with wrong sides facing each other (right way around – the opposite to how you would normally sew a seam).

French Seamed Contrast Hem Skirt (4)

Sew this with a small 1/4” seam allowance.

French Seamed Contrast Hem Skirt (6)

Press the seam to one side.  It will usually want to go in one direction just roll with it for now!

French Seamed Contrast Hem Skirt (7)

Fold the fabric closest to you (red one) over top of the contrast and line up with the edge of the contrast fabric.  So that you are pressing them both flat at the seam.

French Seamed Contrast Hem Skirt (8)

A little easier to see the finished result in this picture.  It should now be right sides of the fabric facing each other.  Next you need to sew down the seam again using a 3/8” seam allowance.  I don’t use pins for this as it has just been pressed in place, feel free to pin it if your fabric isn’t pressing well or you just prefer it!

French Seamed Contrast Hem Skirt (9)

This will encase the raw edge in between the two seams.  Press again, with the seam folding towards the bottom (hem) of the skirt.  Gravity will be pulling it this way when it is being worn!

French Seamed Contrast Hem Skirt (11)

If you have any threads sticking out of your seam like above,

French Seamed Contrast Hem Skirt (12)

pull them gently and most of them will come out.  If not trim them with scissors as close to the seam as possible while gently pulling on the thread.

French Seamed Contrast Hem Skirt (13)

You can’t even see where they were!

Repeat this step with the second piece if you cut in two pieces!


Step 4 – Sew Side Seams

French Seamed Contrast Hem Skirt (14)

Pin the side seam together starting from the seam in between the two fabrics.  You need that point to line up, it doesn’t matter if the top of bottom edge isn’t perfect.

French Seamed Contrast Hem Skirt (15)

You sew this in just the same way as the first seam.  With wrong sides of the fabric facing, sew the seam with a 1/4” seam allowance.

French Seamed Contrast Hem Skirt (16)

After pressing it will look like this.  The seams don’t line up perfectly at the bottom but don’t panic this is the inside.  Sew with a 3/8” seam allowance as before.

French Seamed Contrast Hem Skirt (18)

Here is the same seam folded out after sewing.  Pretty happy with the way that lined up!

Repeat for the other side if you have one.


Step 5 – Waistband

French Seamed Contrast Hem Skirt (19)

Fold over and press the waistband by 1/2”

French Seamed Contrast Hem Skirt a

Then fold over and press again using your elastic as a guide.  You want it to be a little bigger than the elastic so that there is room for the elastic to fit inside the waistband.  I like to cut my elastic before doing this.  You will need your waist measurement in my example 56cm (22”) and subtract an 2.5cm (1”) from that.  So my elastic is 53.5cm (21”) long.

French Seamed Contrast Hem Skirt (24)

I again don’t pin this (I probably should!) but I do pin the centre back to leave an opening to thread the elastic through.

French Seamed Contrast Hem Skirt (27)

Change the thread to one matching the main fabric (or contrast if you like!) and sew the seam slightly larger than than the 1” line on your machine.  For mine the 30mm mark lines up perfectly.  Leave the gap between the pins open!

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Using a safety pin feed the elastic through the waist band.

French Seamed Contrast Hem Skirt (31)

Pull the elastic out so the skirt is as gathered as possible.  The more elastic you have pulled out the easier it is to sew together.  There are several ways to join elastic together, I have a post on that here!

French Seamed Contrast Hem Skirt (33)

As you can see these days I tend to overlap the elastic a little more (1 1/2”) and don’t sew right on the edge.  Either way you like really, my kids have clothes with all the different methods and I haven’t had one come undone yet!

French Seamed Contrast Hem Skirt (34)

Stretch out the skirt so that the elastic pops back inside.  I like to get the open area sitting fairly flat so I use pins to keep the gathers away!  I usually sew the tag on before sewing the waistband but this works too.  Just sew the gap closed lining up the end of the first seam with the needle on your machine.

French Seamed Contrast Hem Skirt (35)


Step 6 – Hem the Bottom

French Seamed Contrast Hem Skirt (36)

I decided to bias bind the hem, if you do this make sure it is a nice soft bias binding.  If you want instructions on attaching bias binding I have a post called Struggling with bias.

French Seamed Contrast Hem Skirt (38)

You can always hem as normal.  Fold and press over by 1/2” and again just like the waistband.  Only you don’t need to make it as wide as it won’t need elastic inside it..  I like a quite narrow hem on these skirts so it is not too bulky.

French Seamed Contrast Hem Skirt (40)

There you have a skirt that looks good enough to wear inside out…well almost!

What is your favourite way to finish your seams?

My First Knit Pencil Skirt For Me!

I found this lovely ruffled knit fabric at…you guessed it my local charity shop for $2.  I knew straight away I wanted it to be a pencil skirt for me!


It’s a very stretchy knit with layers of ruffles all the way down the fabric.  I just the loved the movement it gave and the flattering look I hoped it would create.


Not to mention I have a bit of a thing for grey!  Last winter just about everything in my wardrobe was grey, so I have been trying to mix things up a little more since!

What you will need

  • Fabric – 1m (roughly 1 yard) depending on the width of your fabric and your size.
  • 25mm (1”) wide elastic – Length of your waist measurement
  • Yep that is all!

Note: I sewed the whole project in zigzag!

Step 1 – Cut fabric

I roughly followed Dana from Made Everyday’s video tutorial for pencil skirts.  I didn’t follow it exactly (never have been one for instructions!) but I really like her method for measuring the pattern pieces.  Super simple and works great!


The only change I made to the cutting was to only slope in the waistband and leave the bottom square.  I think this gives my body shape a more flattering fit but do what you think will suit you best!

Step 2 – Sew the sides


As simple as it sounds just sew straight down the sides using zigzag or a stretch stitch of your choice.  With the ruffles on mine I had to pin it very carefully to ensure they stayed in place.  I would do this for matching patterns or stripes too, otherwise with a plain fabric just go for it!  I also overlocked the raw edge, as the edge of the ruffled fabric was quite untidy and I’m fussy like that!

Step 3 – Waistband

I sewed the waistband slightly differently than Dana.  I wanted to be able to determine the finished size before sewing.  I did not want it to be at all snug, as the elastic digging in is not my favourite look and something I’ve had to work round since the kids err shall we say ‘softened’ my mid section!  So I measured where I wanted the skirt to sit, mid rise I suppose you’d call it.  And made the elastic the same length.


The point of the elastic isn’t really to hold the skirt up as the fitted stretch style stays up pretty well on its own, it’s more to stabilize the waistband and stop it rolling over.


As you can see I had to trim the top ruffle off, so that it didn’t roll up on the outside.  I joined the elastic ends together and pinned in place before sewing.  In the same way as I did for the Merino Baby Pants Tutorial.  Except I used the overlocker for  attaching the elastic the first time round.  I love it!  Very neat and tidy and super stretchy!  Then I folded over and zigzagged around again, just as Dana did in the video.

Step 4 – Hem

Well to be honest I didn’t hem mine at all!  With the ruffles it seemed better just to leave it be, being knit it won’t fray anyway.

Pencil Skirt For Me a

Now I just can’t wait for the weather to warm up so I can wear it!  It’s super comfortable and I just love that I actually made something for myself (not the kids) that I will actually wear ♥

What is your favourite self made piece of clothing?

Adding a Yoga Band Waist

I was shopping a little while ago and saw some floral fabric on the clearance rack, turns out it was a skirt. But it was shorter than I would normally wear, maybe with tights I thought!  For a whole $2.49 I thought well just give it a try!

Yoga Band h

I got it home and tried it on and with the elastic waist, I had a stunner muffin top going on.  Do you call them ‘Muffin Tops’ too?  Just in case that’s a kiwi thing, its that skin/fat roll you get over the top of a tight waist band usually with low rise pants/skirts.  Ever since I had kids elastic waists have not been my friend!

Not wanting to waste the skirt and since I do like the fabric, I thought a yoga band waist should fix it!  Yoga band waists are much more forgiving and you can wear it folded or flat, allowing you to make the skirt longer too.  Yoga Band Waists are great for maternity clothes or altering your existing clothes to fit while you are pregnant too!

What you will need,

  • Fabric – It needs to be stretch (the original skirt/pants don’t but the band will).  Mine is Cotton/Lycra Blend.
  • Overlocker/Sewing machine
  • Matching thread
  • And That’s it!!

Step 1

Cut off the original waistband, you can unpick it if you like but with the overlocked edge that would have taken an eternity!

Yoga Band a

You should be left with the skirt minus waistband, the elastic and the fabric casing of the old waistband.  Sometimes these two will be sewn together, but that doesn’t matter.

Yoga Band (4)

Step 2

Try on the cut off waistband for size, mine fit perfectly and was 42cm (16.5”), double this number 84cm (33”) and decide how wide you want the band to be.  Remember it will be folded double to make it.  I decided on 44cm (17.25”).  So my pattern size for the band is 84cm (33”) x 44cm (17.25”).  I am quite tall (176cm – a little over 5’ 9”) so you can make it smaller if you like!  You can also measure your waist and go from there, you may want to make it a few cm/inches smaller than your waist measurement to allow for the stretch.

Yoga Band (5)

Step 3

Cut out your fabric (didn’t take a photo of that but I’m sure you can cut a rectangle out all on your own!), make sure the stretch is going across the waistband! Pin the two ends together with the right sides facing each other.  Overlock/sew them together, at this point a stretch stitch is not necessary as the stretch should be going the other way.

Yoga Band b

Step 4

Fold your waist band half over so the two long sides line up, much like when you are making cuffs.

Yoga Band (8)

Mark the middles and ends with pins, pinning the two layers together.  Make sure to unroll the fabric if like mine it has rolled up on the edges.  See photo below, it’s a little hard to see the pins I won’t use yellow ones next time!

Yoga Band (9)

Step 5

Place your skirt inside the new waistband, right side facing out, and line the edge up with the edge on the waistband.  All three cut edges should line up.

Yoga Band (10)

Yoga Band (11)

Step 6

Use the for pins you have already put in to pin the two together.  In my case I had four seams in the skirt (middle back and front, and both sides), if you only have two you will need to find the middle between each one to pin the other pins in.  Now work your way around putting pins in the middle of the gap each time, you may need to stretch either layer to make it line up that is fine!

Yoga Band d

Step 7

Overlock or sew with a stretch stitch (or zigzag) around your waist band, making sure you are catching all three layers!  I had to take it slow and unroll the edges as I went to be sure they all got caught in the seam.

Yoga Band e

And that’s all folks!!  It’s as simple as that!  Turn your skirt/pants around the right way and you are finished!


You can wear it with the band folded over, it feels nice and secure and still flattering on the waist.

Yoga Band g


You can also wear it unfolded or flat I suppose you’d call it!  It gives extra length, and I like the fitting around your bottom and flaring our after that look!

Yoga Band f

Either way I’m going to get plenty of wear out of a $2.49 skirt, when summer finally comes!!!

Upcycled Dress into Girls’ Skirt


Pretty gorgeous I think ♥  Hannah loves it too, which is lucky since it’s for her!  It is still the middle of winter here but might as well get ready for summer early.

My sister in law was having a clean out of her wardrobe and kindly let me have a look through before she got rid of them.  There were plenty of great things in there, more to come!  I quite liked this dress but I am no NZ size 8 and never will be!  I thought it would make an even nicer skirt for Hannah.  I considered keeping it as a dress but since Hannah has strawberry blonde hair, I decided it would be better with a plain top in between the hair and that colour! ☺

I will give you a quick run through of how I did it!  I don’t think you’ll need a full step by step tutorial, it is very simple!

Cut the skirt part of the dress off, and overlock/zigzag the edge.  Mine had a lining layer I just cut and sewed them together.

Upcycled Dress to Skirt a

Fold over the overlocked/zigzagged edge, iron in place.  Then fold over again and use elastic to measure size of waistband, mine is 25mm (1”).

Upcycled Dress to Skirt bSew the waistband in leaving a gap for the elastic, thread the elastic through, join it how you like (Joining elastic three different ways), and close up the gap you left for the elastic.  For more info on this step check out the Beginners Skirt Tutorial!

Upcycled Dress to Skirt d

I kept the original waist ties from the dress, ironed them and folded the cut end in, and then in half to match the width of the waistband.  I lined them up with the side seems and sewed them onto the outside.  Right through the elastic (it will help stop the elastic twisting in the waist too).  I went over it twice to make it secure and use a lock stitch/reverse a few stitches to prevent it coming undone.

Upcycled Dress to Skirt c

There you have it!  A super simple way to make a gorgeous skirt.  Once summer rolls on I’ll be sure to add a few photos of Hannah wearing it!  Keep an eye out on Instagram!

All About Skirts 4

Flat Fronted Skirt

I have just added the Expandable Pocket Tutorial and now for the skirt I had in mind for it!

Flat Fronted Dress a

What you will need

  • Fabric (amount depends on size)
  • 25mm (1”) Elastic
  • Expandable Pocket

Step 1

Measure the waist size for the skirt.  Or see the first All About Skirts Tutorial for the link to the sizing charts.

I am making a Size 4.  This has a waist measurement of 21” and for an above the knee length 10.75”.  I have done this one in inches as that it the units on the sizing chart I use.


Front Piece

  • The waist is 21” divide by 2 = 10.5” add 1” = 11.5”
  • The Length is 10.75” add 3” = 13.75”
  • Front Pattern Piece needs to be 11.5” x 13.75”

Back Piece

Is much simpler!  It is the waist measurement by the desired length.  So for the Size 4 it is 21” x 13.75”.

Step 2

Pin the side seam and sew with a 3/8” (1cm) seam allowance, then overlock or zigzag the edge to prevent fraying.

Flat Fronted Dress b

Repeat with the other side seam!  It should look like this ☺


Step 3

Iron the seams flat and overlock/zigzag the top and bottom.

Flat Fronted Dress c

Step 4

Fold over and iron the overlocked/zigzagged edge, then fold over again to make the waistband.  If you are using patterned fabric make sure the waistband is at the top!  Use the elastic as a guide, I have left a little more room this time as I want to topstitch the top edge of the waistband.

Flat Fronted Dress d

Step 5

We will sew this waistband in two parts.  The back first then after the elastic is inserted the front.  Mark your two seams with pins so you don’t sew to far!  If you are pinning the whole way around (I don’t if it has ironed well) then put two pins on each seam to highlight the stop.


Sew the back waistband using the guides on you machine to keep it even.  Then topstitch the top of the waistband the whole way around.

Flat Fronted Dress e

Step 6

Time to insert the elastic.  Starting at one of the side seams feed the elastic through till only a little is still visible.  Pin this in place so it doesn’t pull through!

Flat Fronted Dress f

Step 7

Time to sew the elastic in place.  Sew on the right side of the waistband so you can see what it will look like.  I start on the topstitched line on the top of the waistband and sew down the seam to the second line of stitching.  Then with the needle in the fabric life the presser foot and spin it around to sew back to the top edge again.  Remember to lock stitch or reverse a few stitches at the start and at the end!

Flat Fronted Dress g

By sewing on the top of the waistband it is much easier to keep it looking tidy.  Here you can see what both sides look like.

Flat Fronted Dress h

You can safely remove the pin after that!

Step 8

Feed the elastic the rest of the way through the back waistband, and repeat the above for that side.  As you can see the pin is crucial this time in holding the elastic in place.


Step 9

Sew the front part of the waistband, again on the right side of the fabric using the same guide on your machine you used for the back!

Flat Fronted Dress i

Step 10

Just about there!!!  Well you are actually finished if you didn’t want to put a cute little expandable pocket on it, but I do!

Pin the pocket in place.   I have gone for one pocket on the front left side, slightly closer to the middle than the side seam.  But you can put them wherever you like!  I just use a couple of pins but go nuts if you feel like it.

Flat Fronted Dress j

Step 11

Sewing the pocket in place,  I like to sew a little triangle at the top edges to prevent the stitching pulling out or the fabric tearing.  A little square would look cute too.

20150726_120205Pocket Top Triangle

There are probably a hundred ways to do this but I will show you what I do.  Start on the top corner (1), sew down the side to the seam on the bias binding (2), then reverse back up to give it strength (3).  Then with the needle in the fabric I spin it round to sew along the top edge to (4), then with the needle in again I spin it round to aim back at where the side seam and the seam on the bias meet (2).  Then carry on sewing right around the pocket (5).  I like to leave the needle in the fabric to turn the bottom corners too.

NOTE:  I find it much easier to use a smaller stitch length, this allows you to be more accurate as it is more likely you will line up in the right spot.  Also I often turn the needle by hand for the last couple stitches as you have much more control than with the foot pedal!


I will have to find a wee model so you can see what it looks like on!

All About Skirts 3

Ruffled Hem Skirt

Ruffled Hem Skirt a

I will take you through the additional steps for this skirt and you can follow on the rest with the Beginners Skirt Tutorial.

This time I made a Size 2 Skirt so I will use those measurements in this tutorial.  You can change the measurements easily to make a different size!

What you will need,

  • Fabric – can use two different ones like I did or just one
  • 25mm (1”) Elastic (2 inches less then waist measurement)

Step 1 – Measure and Cut

Measure and cut your fabric.  For this one I used inches but have included both inches and centimetres, that is why the decimal places.  It doesn’t need to be accurate to the last millimetre!

For a Size 2 – Waist 52cm (20.5”) and length to knee 22cm (8.75”), substitute your own measurements for a different size.

Ruffled Hem Skirt Chart 2

Piece One – Waist x 1.5 by desired length (will get to that in a minute!)

Piece Two – Waist x 2 by desired length

Ruffled Hem Skirt (2)

Desired Length!  Work out the finished length you want the skirt to be.  You can measure one you already have, of measure the wearer or look it up online there is a link to one on the Beginners Skirt Tutorial.

In my case I want it to be on the knee which for a Size 2 is 22cm (8.75”).  Now we need to add an allowance for the waistband, fabric join and hem. I add 7.5cm (3”), if you like a larger hem add more!  So the total length 30cm (11.75”).

To alter this for your size you need to work out the finished length you want and add the 7.5cm (3”) seam allowance.  The ratio I work from is roughly 70% for the top piece and 30% for the ruffle hem.  So for one more example if you would like a 25.4cm (10”) skirt, then your top piece would be 17.8cm (7”) and the ruffle piece would be 7.6cm (3”).  As with most things, this is purely up to you!  If you want a larger or smaller ruffle go for it!  As long as the total adds up you can do any amount of each as you like.

Step 2 – Ruffles!

Ruffle the bottom piece.  I ruffle the easy way, where the sewing machine does it for you!  Set your thread tension as high as it will go (on my machine it is 9) and set it to the longest stitch (on mine 4), see the photo below!

Ruffled Hem Skirt b

Sew one straight line close to the edge of the fabric, I used the edge of my presser foot as a guide.  Leave plenty of thread at both ends of the fabric.  DO NOT lock stitch or reverse at the beginning or the end!!!  I have other tutorials with ruffles you can check out Superhero Cape and Gorgeous Girls Dress.

You can wriggle the ruffles along the thread, if you need to to pull on just one of the free threads help it along.  You need to make the ruffled piece the same length as the top piece of fabric, and fairly evenly spread.

Ruffled Hem Skirt (7)

Step 3 – Sew the pieces together

Lay the ruffled piece on top of the other piece, both pieces right sides facing each other (photo below!).  Pin in place, and sew with a 1cm (3/8”) seam allowance.  You should be sewing on the outside of the line used to pull the ruffles so you won’t see it when its folded out.

Ruffled Hem Skirt c

Overlock or zigzag the edge

Ruffled Hem Skirt d

Step 4 – Iron

As always you really need to iron to get a good finish on your sewing!  Iron the seam up so that it sits against the non ruffled side of the seam.

Ruffled Hem Skirt (12)

Step 5 – Topstitch

Topstitch the seam to keep it nice and flat.  I also really like the look of the top stitching, it gives the skirt a great finish.  See!!!

Ruffled Hem Skirt (14)

Step 6 – Side seam

With the other skirts I have folded out the side seam to reduce the bulk, but with the ruffles I prefer to sew the side seam as one.  This just means you sew the sides together and then overlock/zigzag rather than the other way around.

Ruffled Hem Skirt e

Sew the side seam with 1cm (3/8”) seam allowance, then overlock/zigzag.  Try your best to line up the ruffle seam!

Ruffled Hem Skirt (19)

Ruffled Hem Skirt h

As you can see it ended up the perfect length I wanted.  It is going to look great on a gorgeous little girl ♥

Step 7 – Follow on

Time to head over to the Beginners Skirt Tutorial and follow on from Step 3!

One more handy little tip…

Ruffled Hem Skirt f

Write the size on the back of the label!  If you are anything like me the projects go way ahead of what you need.  So can end up being a little while before they go to their new owners, and it can be hard to remember which size which one was!  Before I used labels I used to sew in a piece of folded over ribbon for this, it also helps the child work out where the back of the garment is.

I hope you are are enjoying all the skirts!  Still a few more to come!