15 June 2014

A tutorial for a 3-layer skirt for little girls

Another tutorial for a skirt for a little girl.
The construction of this one is very similar to the previous skirt. The tutorial for it can be found here. 
I used a different method for the side seam (a French seam) and that changes the order in which the skirt is constructed.
I actually prefer this method but it would not have worked so well for the previous skirt because I used lace last time and that makes for a bulky seam.

Again, please measure the child you are sewing for, because my measurements are for my granddaughter (who is not quite 15 months old at this time). You need to measure the waist (and multiply this measurement by 2 if you want lots of width and by 1.5 if you want less width. Anywhere in between is just fine, too.) Length is personal, anywhere from the waist down to the knee or above is fine. Make sure to add at least 1/2" to that measurement, I added 3/4" (1/4" for the seam allowance at the top, 1/2" for the folded over hem).

3 fabrics, 1/2 yard each is plenty
elastic, I used 3/4" wide
1" masking tape 

sewing machine
(serger, if you have one to finish off raw edges. I don't own one, so it's zig-zags for me)
cutting mat
rotary cutter
ruler, scissors, pins, large safety pin (for inserting elastic)

Cut out your fabrics to the desired length. The lengths I used are:
layer 1: 20" x 6.25"
layer 2: 20" x 7.75"
layer 3: 20" x 9.25

Side seam:
Pin together the short ends of the fabric, wrong sides together (yes, wrong sides) and sew with a narrow seam (1/8" or just a bit more).
A little tip here: if your machine is like mine and sucks the fabric into the big void underneath when sewing with anything less than 1/4" seam, use a scrap piece of fabric, sew to its edge and butt the skirt fabric up against it. Much less trouble.


Press the fabric to one side,
fold it over the seam so that now the right sides are facing and the seam allowance is caught in between. Sew with a 1/4" seam allowance (or just a bit more, you don't want any threads showing).
Press to one side again and topstitch about 1/8" away from the seam (this saves on ironing later on, after washing). 

The finished and topstitched side seam.

If using directional fabric, make sure you have the hem on the correct end. Would be a shame to have dogs upside down etc.
Zig-zag the bottom edge (or finish with your preferred method).

Turn under 1/4" - 1/2" for the seam (I eyeball, you could, of course, measure and mark) and sew.

This is my new, absolute favorite method for doing the casing. Unfortunately, it does not work for a single layer skirt. It uses less length of fabric and there are no raw edges showing.
It requires a bit of attention, but it's not difficult.
When I sew the top edge together, I don't have the side seams all in the same place, too much bulk. I'll have two of the seams on one side, off-set just a little and the third on the opposite side.

Layer the three tubes of fabric in the following order:
on the inside will be the shortest layer, followed by the longest layer, with the middle layer on the outside.
If you don't quite believe that this will work (I didn't the first time I tried it), just pin the layers together horizontally for a short length and flip the inside layer to the outside.

Sew along the top edge with a 1/4" seam allowance.
Take your project to the ironing board, flip the inside layer (the shortest one) up and press all seam allowances towards the top.

Pin along the top edge, topstitch a 1/8" away from the top edge.
Next add the masking tape, apply it just below the stitched line. Sew along the bottom edge, making sure to a) leave an opening large enough to insert the elastic and b) backstitch at the beginning and end of that seam.
Casing is done with an opening for inserting elastic.
Insert the elastic, sew the two ends together, stitch closed the opening you left, distribute the gathers evenly. (No pictures for that, I figure they aren't necessary.)
 And that's it. Another little skirt finished.
Obviously, this skirt can be made quite a bit larger to fit older girls as well. You'd need to piece the fabric to get the required width. It would still be quick and easy to sew.

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