I love this bird print fabric, it’s floaty and the vibrant birds and foliage just scream of a sunny beach holiday, however it can be a little tricky to sew with. I ordered it to make myself a tunic dress for summer and I was left with almost a whole metre spare once that was complete so when my niece asked for a matching skirt I could happily oblige.
|I love the contrast of the cream and the bright birds|
Children don’t want to be restricted so simple elasticated waistbands are an easy and comfortable option, also allowing for the skirts to grow as the little ones do. This skirt needed to fit a tall six year old so it was bigger than the previous skirt I’d made but I followed the same basic method, albeit making allowances for the slippery fabric.
- I measured the child’s waist size and the distance from waist to knee, adding a good few extra inches to the waist size (to avoid an uncomfortable pencil skirt effect) and a couple of inches to the length from waist to knee to allow for the hem and the elastic channel.
- Next I cut a rectangle of the fabric according to these measurements, making sure I’d left plenty of allowance for seams, elastic channel at the waist, and finishing etc.
- First on the list for sewing was the side seam, folding the fabric right side to right side.
I folded over the top edge of the fabric and ironed it, leaving a good allowance
for making the channel for the elastic to go in, before running a top stitch
around the edge.
Sewing along the folded top edge
on the inside I had to make a channel for the elastic to go in so I folded up
the rough edge of the fabric I’d just stitched down and then ran a top stitch
along it, leaving a gap wide enough between the two rows of stitching for the
elastic and also (very importantly) leaving a gap of about two inches to
actually thread the elastic through!
The elastic channel ready to go
- Cutting the elastic to the right size determined how comfortable it was so I measured the elastic on a relaxed tummy and adding a bit extra, as well as an extra couple of inches for sewing the elastic together.
- To make it easier to work the elastic through the channel I secured the loose end of the elastic to the entrance of the channel with a safety pin and clipped another safety pin to the end of the elastic I was threading through, it gave me something solid to hold while working it round inside the fabric. I used 1inch wide general purpose elastic.
the elastic was through I secured the ends together with a stitched square and
cross over the two loose edges to make a strong loop. To close the channel I folded
up the open edge and stitched a neat line of top stitch, the skirt was now finished
minus the hem.
Securing the elastic
complete the hem I simply folded up the edge and then folded in the raw edge
and ran a straight stitch round it so it was neat from both the inside and the
The finished skirt
There you have it, basically the same process as before but a bigger size and different thread tension due to the lightweight fabric. Mastering this basic design means that I can always make matching mini me skirts for my nieces…whether they want me to or not!
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