Yay a sewing tutorial! I receive a lot of requests for sewing tutorials and I do want to do them but they take a lot more time to prepare and it can be hard to make patterns which actually resize to any body type and shape correctly.
So I thought we would start it off with the most basic skirt possible. There are no zippers, no overlocking, no buttons, no waist band sewing, no anything. As long as you can sew in a straight line you can make this skirt.
It’s great because it’s extremely versatile too, you can use this basic pattern for so many different types of skirt and styles. Make it longer for a basic Lolita style skirt, make it shorter and sit higher on the waist for the kind of Gyaru skirt that’s been in all the magazines recently, make several layers or ruffles for something more fairy kei. It all depends on fabric choice and how you decorate it.
Mine isn’t any particular style, just the bare basics so you can see the idea and run with it.
I used some left over fabric from curtains I made.
Measure a piece of elastic around where you want the skirt to sit on your waist. It should not be loose but not pulled either. Add another 3cm or so on to that measurement so it can easily overlap the ends. Make sure it’s stretchy enough that you can easily get it over your hips to put the skirt on and off.
Next cut two long rectangles of your fabric. It needs to be as long as you want the skirt plus around 5cm. The measurement on the long side should be minimum twice the length of the piece of elastic you cut earlier. You can make it even wider if you want, this will result in a more floofy ruffled skirt.
Place the bad sides of the fabric together and stitch down the short edge on one side. You should either fold the seam over again and stitch in place or zigzag stitch down the edge to prevent it from fraying later.
They should form one very long rectangle now when unfolded.
When scrunched to the same length of the elastic it should look like this.
Now we need to make it an even ruffle. Some machines have a ruffling foot and some people prefer to do this by hand.
The easiest way for a beginner to get an even ruffle is to use the gathering technique. Anchor the thread at one end of the side you want to ruffle. To anchor sew straight then reverse the stitch back up the line you made then continue down again the correct direction. This will prevent it unraveling later.
Sew a straight line right down it around 1cm from the top. When you get to the end, don’t anchor it and sew right off the edge.
Cut the threads to be quite long. Grab the top thread with your hand and gently push the end of the fabric away. It will begin to gather up on the thread. Keep pulling the thread and pushing the fabric until the gather is the length you need.
If you have weak thread I would suggest sewing two stitch lines to gather because it can be really frustrating to get almost to the end and have the thread snap!
Ok so you should gather the top so it’s as long as your elastic is when stretched out. To find this out, lay the fabric down and stretch the elastic with your hands over the top, if they’re roughly the same length you’re good to move on to the next step.
Now we need to sew the fabric and elastic together. Place the gathered end of the fabric (right side up) on top of the end of the elastic. Anchor them together with a couple of stitches.
As you sew them together you should use one hand to stretch the elastic out under the gathered fabric. It can be a little tricky to get the hang of but I find this gives a much better result that zigzaging unstretched as some people prefer.
Try to keep your stitching as straight as possible but don’t stress too much because this will all be covered later.
You should have just enough fabric to go the length of the stretched elastic so stitch to the end and tie off.
So now you’ve got a big long ruffle attached to a piece of elastic.
At this point you want to pull out the gathering thread you used because it should all be securely on the elastic now!
Up close the raw edges look pretty crappy so we’ll hide them now
The easiest way to do this is to take a piece of lace and stitch it on either side of the raw edge. The top stitch line is on the elastic and the bottom is on the gathered fabric.
You want to stretch the elastic out as you go again so the lace will ruffle up when it’s unstretched. Sew on either side on the lace and you’ll end up with something like this:
See that the ends of the fabric are totally incased? That will help prevent fraying so the skirt will last longer.
Now we need to finish off the bottom of the skirt. I had some left over lace so I folded the bottom of the fabric over to create a seam and stitched the lace on too. You can add anything you like here which fits the style you’re aiming for. Just make sure you either zigzag the edge of the fabric or fold the seam over twice so the edge is encased that way it won’t all come undone in the wash!
Now all you need to do is sew down the side and it’s finished! Fold the skirt in half with the good side in. Stitch down the side starting from the elastic and moving to the bottom seam. Make sure it all matches up well otherwise you’ll get an odd shaped skirt. Either zigzag down this edge too or fold again and stitch so it’s not exposed.
Turn it around the right way and you’re all finished!
Now you have a cute skirt and the know how to make one in any style you like!
See I told you it wasn’t that hard!
Very easy once you get the hang of it so you can make them quickly!
Of course keep in mind that if you made yours out of curtains like I did you should probably avoid taking your photos in front of the same curtains or else you will suddenly have the awesome ability to camouflage!
Fail. Either way I hope you enjoyed the tutorial and let me know how you go with it! Can’t wait to see what you guys make!