Wednesday 15 April 2015

How I learnt to sew a very simple child's skirt

     Most of my sewing is inspired by the fabric, with a design formulating in my mind after seeing a pattern that I simply have to work with: this project was slightly different. I’d bought some blue chambray fabric quite cheaply from RegencyRags through eBay because I liked that it is reminiscent of denim but with all the lightweight comfort of regular cotton. These qualities make it easy to work with but also fantastic for children’s clothing because it’s quite flexible and not too restrictive or heavy for little ones to wear.
The finished skirt - very basic and easy design
     Making this skirt was incredibly easy too, here are my step by step tips that might help you to make your own!

  • I measured the child’s waist size and the distance from waist to knee, adding a good few extra inches to the waist size: at least an extra 8 inches, some people say as much as double the waist size, but I'd probably say no more than half the waist size added again. You can use your own judgement depending on the fabric, as a too thick fabric would create a very bulky waistband if, but you need enough to avoid an uncomfortable pencil skirt effect. Don't forget to add a couple of inches to the length from waist to knee as well to allow for the hem and the elastic channel. 
  • Next I cut a rectangle of the chambray according to these measurements, making sure I’d left the allowance for seams, elastic channel at the waist, and finishing etc. 
    Measure twice cut once!
  • First on the list for sewing was the side seam, I found it a bit hard to determine which was the right side of the fabric (or if it even had one) so I just picked a side I liked and stuck with it before sewing straight down the inside of fabric, so the fabric is now a loop with the stitching on what will become the inside of the skirt. 
  • Second 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. 
  • Now, 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 to fit between and also (very importantly) leaving a gap of about two inches to actually thread the elastic through! 
    Top stitching requires the right colour thread
  • Cutting the elastic to the right size determined how comfortable it was so I measured the elastic on a relaxed tummy and added a tiny bit extra, for sewing the elastic together: it's important the elastic isn't too loose or too tight.  
  • 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. 
  • Once 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. 
  • To 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 outside.

     And there you have it! Incredibly easy, I made this skirt in about two hours and that’s in a busy home environment with plenty of interruptions, so I think that shows how basic it was. The chambray fabric was fantastic to work with – sewed easily and didn’t disagree with the machine – and the finished result is comfortable, practical and very versatile because the blue/grey colour goes with nearly everything. Considering how expensive some children’s clothes can be, this was a great way to make something that’ll get plenty of wear for a very low cost.

All blog content and photos are Copyright of Charisse Sayers Proofreader & Copywriter I welcome all feedback and would love to know your thoughts so please get in touch, comment, share, like and generally get involved!

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