Monday, February 1, 2010

two swallows skirt

I just made this gently a-lined skirt out of the softest pink jersey fabric scrap I had. It is for a 6/7 year old, though I wish it were for me. I thought I would describe just how easy and quick (honestly) it is to whip up a skirt- and only slightly easier for a child's size, so this tutorial is really for making ANY jersey skirt.

1) Fold a piece of jersey so the grain line is running vertically and the right sides are together. Mark the center of the top edge.

2) I used a pair of size 6/7 stretchy pants to determine the waist size for this skirt and centered it on the top edge of the fabric. I added an extra inch on either side and marked the fabric.

3)I decided how long I wanted the skirt to be, marked along the side edges, then drew a line from the waist marking to the bottom edge marking. Because I was using a scrap, the angle of the a-line was determined by the amount of fabric I had. This skirt is on the straighter side of a-line, if you know what i mean.

NOTE: If you are accounting for big sexy hips and booty and like a little extra room, make the angle bigger. The straighter, the more body hugging (which is nice too).

4) Cut from the waistline to the bottom edge. I like using a rotary cutter and a long straight edge, but if you don't have these things, mark the line between the 2 points, and cut. I make a little snip at the bottom edge then fold the fabric in half so my other cut from top to bottom is identical.

Then, while folded, cut the bottom edge. I make a gentle slope up from the center to the edge, so the center is about a half inch longer than the sides.

5) Open fold so the 2 layers of the skirt are still right side to right side and sew the side seams up. With jersey fabric, it is important to use a stretch stitch if the fabric is going to stretch a lot when wearing- kid's play skirts are a good example of this. My machine has a small selection of stretch stitches, and I prefer the one that goes forward 2 and back 1. Zig Zag stitches are also stretchy, and most machines have them.

6) Next comes the Fold Over Elastic- order it online in a million colors from here. I don't know what I did before using this stuff. It is the best! I sew it on using a zig zag stitch usually in the same color as the FOE. First, turn your skirt right side out. Then, fold the FOE over the place where the side seam meets the waistline. I anchor it there with a few stitches, back and forth. The trick to a good fold-over elastic waistband is pulling it before you start to sew- be sure your needle is IN the fabric before you pull. I pull and stitch about 5 inches before re-adjusting my hand and pulling it tightly again. Angry Chicken has a really great tutorial video you should watch first.

7) There are so many ways to make this skirt just right for the one who will be wearing it. You can add decorative machine stitches along the bottom edge. Top stitch a tricot over the seams (I always do. It makes them flat and extra pretty. For this skirt, I used the freezer paper technique to add some swooping swallows. I simply drew the shape I wanted to cut on some Reynold's Freezer Paper, cut them out with a craft knife, then ironed them in place on the fabric. Using a foam brush, I painted over the fabric shapes with fabric paint. Being a hasty crafter, I rip off the freezer paper immediately- I have to know immediately how it looks. The prudent crafter waits until it is dry so there are no accidents. OH, and it is MUY IMPORTANTE to put a piece of paper or freezer paper behind the fabric in case paint bleeds through.


  1. so great! Thanks for writing it out - I love an inspirational tute! Well done you. I am not surprised you want it in your size - so do i!

  2. Wow! This is awesome. My daughter wanted me to make her some skirts and these look great. Not sure how that fold over elastic works.... but sounds like it might be worth a try.

    I love your blog. Your oatcakes are now a staple in this house!

  3. This is great. Just the inspiration I needed to make one for myself!

  4. Nicole, you so rock! I can't wait to make one for my 7 yr. old, Avita!

  5. That's it! I'm inspired to try this as a project for the extended version of our 31 Things challenge. (We've decided when we've wrapped up and posted all the January stuff we will continue on with some new challenges (and the blog??) in a more sedate fashion, maybe one or two/month.) I can't wait! xxx

  6. Cassie, if you can't find the fold over elastic down there, let me know and I'll send you some.

  7. GREAT tutorial! I love the birds. Stop on by and link up at my new Thursday Make it, Wear it party!

    Andrea @

  8. 我又來看你囉~加油^^ 祝你天天順利開心..............................

  9. I have a "thing" for birds right now. Thanks for the great tutorial.

  10. Ohhhhhhhhhhhhh! Leah is so lucky to be the recipient of this beauty. It makes my heart flutter.