June 9, 2010

Make It: Easy As Pie Summer Skirt

So remember back in the day when I said I would totally post a tutorial for that grey pleated skirt I made? And how I said I had the perfect pink cotton to make it with?

Well... I may have "accidentally" used that fabric for another skirt. So it might be a while longer before I post a tutorial for the pleated skirt. Oops.

But in my defense, I did make another totally awesome - and I think more wearable - summer skirt, and I took a bunch of pictures so I could show you how to do it yourself!

Do you forgive me? :)

Easy As Pie Summer Skirt

This skirt is so easy you'll want to make ten of them! I have some left over elastic so I'll definitely be making another one! All you need is a long piece of fabric and some extra wide elastic and you're all set! Well, plus pins, thread, and a sewing machine. :)

I started with a piece of fabric that was 60 " long (30" folded over). you could also use two 30" pieces, in which case you'll have to sew two side seams instead of one. I cut mine to be 16" wide, which is the length of the skirt plus a little for seam allowance, but you can make yours as long or as short at you want!

 This is actually the fabric that was left over after I cut mine 
  - since it's clearly more than 16" wide  -
but I forgot to take a picture of the fabric I used 
before I started sewing it, so just use your imagination :)

If you want to make a french seam (with no exposed edges), fold the fabric in half, wrong sides together, pin and sew about a 1/4 inch from the edge . (If you want to just do a regular seam, fold it right sides together, pin and sew).

Now you have what is essentially a very wide and not very tall fabric tube. Turn the tube inside out, and pin down the seam you just sewed, and top stitch over it. 

Make sure that your stitch is a little more than a 1/4 inch from the edge so that the exposed edge on the inside gets sewn in. I hope that makes sense, because I don't know how to explain it any better.

You've just sewn a french seam, which doesn't leave any fraying edge exposed:

Now you have a very wide, not very tall, fabric tube with a lovely french seam! :)

Now we can start with the elastic belt. Measure it around your waist, at the height you want the skirt to sit, making sure to stretch the elastic a bit, but not too much. You want it to not slip down, but you don't want to make it too tight. Cut your elastic to the right length, and then pin the raw edges together, and sew the edges together, making sure to back stitch at the beginning and end to secure them well.

Now set your machine to the longest stitch with a low tension (a "ruffle" stitch) and sew all along one of the open edges of the fabric tube, making sure not to back stitch on either end. Pull one of the threads to evenly gather the fabric until the tube has the same circumference as the elastic loop. 

(I don't have a picture of this step because I suck at life :)

With the fabric turned right side in, pin it to the right side of the elastic loop. In other words, you should have the elastic loop with its seam facing inwards, and then you should pin the right side of the fabric to the top edge of the elastic loop. I'm really sorry this picture sucks so much, the lighting in my room chose this moment to go a little crazy.

Making sure to keep the elastic stretched as you sew, sew the gathered fabric to the edge of the elastic loop.

Now you have an unhemmed skirt. Try it on ans see how long you want to make it. I wanted a 1/2 inch hem, so I marked a line 1 1/2 inches from the edge.

Fold over once and press.

(sorry these pictures came out vertical - blogger kept turning them!)

Then fold over again and pin.

Sew down the hem with a coordinating thread. (Clearly I could learn to sew a straighter line!)

And you're done!

Put on your new Easy As Pie Summer Skirt and go enjoy summer!

And please let me know if you have any questions or uncertainties! 
My explanation made sense in my head, but I can't guarantee it will in yours! :)

p.s. I completely forgot to mention it when it was posted, but last week Lauren featured my Grosgrain Ribbon Belt Tutorial on her How-To Wednesday series. Go check it out and tell me what you think! :)


leigh ashley said...

yay!! i love this julia! so cute!!

Miss Koree said...

whoa!! EASY PEASY!! you make it look so simple, but i'm sure if I sat down to do this, i would be so impatient with myself and just give up! haha.
have a great wednesday!!