I know I’m going to lose half of you when I mention that this project involves an actual sewing machine because I realize that “no-sew” is super-chic these days. But, I also know there are some of you who truly do want to know more about sewing. And every once in a while if you want to turn out something that will last & is functional, you’ve just gotta break out the machine. So, today I’m showing how I made this little skirt for Lola recently. Warm weather seasons are the perfect time to try your hand at sewing with lightweight cotton prints. And this skirt is cute & simple, too. I prefer not to use patterns when sewing, but rather figure things out as I go, which is what I did for this skirt. And you can, too.To determine how much fabric you need to buy, you’ll need to start with a little math. (Don’t worry–your first grader could do this.) Decide how long you want the skirt to be & that will help you figure out how much fabric you need. For this skirt, take the finished skirt length you want, then add an extra 1.5 inches to the top and bottom (for a total of 3 inches) to allow for the waistband & hem. For example, I wanted this skirt to be 12 inches long when finished, so I took the 12 inches, added the extra 3 inches & ended up with 15 inches as my cut fabric amount. (See, it’s easy)You’ll also need another 1/4 yard of a coordinating fabric for the ruffles, and a length of 3/4 inch-wide elastic for the waistband.Next, measure your child’s waist. Then, take that number & multiply it times 1.5 to determine how wide to cut the fabric. For example, Lola’s waist is 20 inches, so I knew I would need the fabric to be 30 inches wide. Remember, you’ll be using a front & back piece to the skirt, so to get a total of 30 inches, that means I needed to use (2) 15-inch wide pieces, which would total approximately 30 inches when sewn together. (Remember, nothing has to be too exact…no rocket science required.)So, when I cut my skirt pieces, I cut 2 pieces, each 15 inches wide by 15 inches long.The first thing you do after that is place the right sides together & sew up the sides & press the seam open with an iron.Next, press down the top raw edge of the skirt 1/2 inch all around. Then, fold it over another inch & press all around. Repeat this process for the bottom edge as well.Now, you’re ready to sew the waistband! Sew the top hem very close to the edge of the fabric to create the passage for the elastic to go through. Leave an opening between where you started & stopped the stitching to allow room to feed the elastic through.Next, use your child’s waist measurement & add a couple of extra inches to determine the length of elastic you need to use. Then, pin a large safety pin onto one end of the elastic to help lead the elastic through the waistband, being careful not to let the end of the elastic get pulled through as well.When you have fed it through, sew the two ends together & snip off the extra length. Then, tuck it into the waistband, & sew the opening shut.Then, sew the bottom hem.Now you have an actual skirt! To add the final touch of the shabby ruffles, cut about 3 or 4 strips across the length of your coordinating fabric, approximately 1.5 inches wide. Then, sew a gathering stitch up the center of each using a large stitch length setting on your machine. Then, pull the end gathering thread to create a ruffle.Then, pin the ruffle into place on the bottom of the skirt. You will probably need to use more than one length of ruffle on each row to get it to go all the way around. Once the ruffles are pinned in place, just sew them onto the skirt. (Don’t forget to adjust your stitch length back down for normal sewing.)Don’t worry about the raw edge of the ruffle. That gives it the shabby look & the threads will stop unraveling after a few washings.That’s it, y’all! I know this sounds long and complicated for some of you, but if you follow these steps, you’ll see it’s not really that hard. If you have questions, I’ll try to help. You may even want to use this idea to make a matching barrette or headband!Don’t be afraid! Just get out your machine & give this skirt a try! You’ll be proud of your accomplishment, and if your little girl is anything like mine, she’ll flip over it.I’m sharing this project with a few of these crafty sites. Check them out!
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