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Thursday, June 30, 2011

I Promised A Skirt, And A Skirt You Shall Have.

I am going to get to see my cousin and Uncle for the first time in many many MANY years.  And coincidentally, they day we have planned to meet will be his little girl's 7th birthday.  Now how could I meet this little one for the first time without having the best birthday outfit ever in hand...so here is part 1, a paper bag skirt.  You can make this for any size, adult or child and here is how.

I thought I would show you the finished project so you would know what you were working for.  I wish I had a model for this part but when I made Revel try it on (yes I made him) he wasn't going to dare let me take his picture..lol.

I started with a pair of pants that I borrowed from a neighbor that was the size I was told she wears.  I laid them on top of the fabric I was going to use.  And yes this is the same fabric as the dress and you're probably tired of looking at it, but it was already hemmed (bc it was a sheet) and I love the color.

Cut around making sure to leave plenty of room.  Make sure to leave room at the top for the ruffle too.  Remember, it will be gathered at the waist so it doesnt have to be SUPER accurate.  Then you sew the front and back together (which are matching rectangles).  Make sure to sew them right side together if you have a right and wrong side which I do not.

I used a half inch seam allowance.
You can't really tell in the pic but I just sewed straight down each side.  I used the top hem of the sheet as the bottom hem of the skirt...cuts down on the steps huh.  So now this is totally optional and completely for detail only.  I like to sew the seams down using a differing thread color for a little splash of color.  I also find it finishes the seam a bit more and won't unravel.  I was told the birthday girl's fave color was pink so I chose pink to do my topstitch in.  Here's how I did it.
This picture is a little fuzzy but you can tell I ironed open the seam and stitched with the pink at about a quarter of an inch.

This is the finished product...cool huh?  it looks great on fabric with patterns...I try to pick the most obscure color in the pattern and use it to topstitch with.
Now you're going to get your hem gauge out and your iron and we're going to work on the top.  First I iron a hem at about a half an inch.
When you get that done all the way around, we're going to hem it again at an inch so the raw edges won't show like this.
You can go ahead and stitch it as close to the ironed edge as possible, mine was about 1/8 of an inch.  So next we are going to make the casing for the elastic. As for the length just make sure you cut it plenty long.   You need to measure your elastic width and add a half an inch on each side (so 1 inch total) for the hem.  Now I always make this mistake so trust me when I tell you that you need an extra 1/4 of an inch for ease.  Just trust me.  So the equation goes like this:

elastic width (mine was 1 inch) + 1 inch ( for hem) + 1/4 inch for ease = total casing width (mine is 2 1/4)

So Next you're going to iron 1/2 inch on both sides for the hem.  Trust me, it will work out.
We're getting to the end people...stay with me here...stay with me.
Okay now we're goign to sew that bad boy on and we're going to start with the top seam.
When you're done, go ahead and sew the bottom as well leaving a small opening to insert the elastic.  I then cut the elastic about the same length as waist of the jeans I started with and using a safety pin, threaded it through the casing. Close up the opening and WALA!  You've got a paper bag skirt!

Hope someone finds this the least bit useful or inspiring.  Happy sewing!

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