Monday 11 May 2015

How I made a simple reversible child's skirt

      I’ve made a couple of children’s skirts now and thought it was time to try something new, which is where the idea for a reversible skirt came in. A friend of mine has an adorable little girl who is one part sugar plum fairy and one part rocker on a motorbike, so I thought a reversible skirt might be the perfect way to bridge both sides of her personality. I found the rocker fabric first at Abakhan, this great green, red, black and white skull print with roses: it was ideal.
Bought by weight, a selection of printed cotton

     To contrast this I wanted something super girly so I looked online and found a great pink butterfly print on eBay, bold enough to contrast against the strong design of the rocker fabric. Both were a medium weight cotton so very easy to cut and work with.
The butterfly side
     The process was very similar to how I had made my previous skirts so it was simply a case of adjusting my method slightly.

  • 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 rectangles of the fabrics 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 seams, folding each piece of fabric right side to right side and sewing straight down the side edge (each separately, the fabrics were not attached at this point). 
  • Second I put the loops of fabric right side to right side and stitched along the top on the wrong sides (making sure the patterns were the right way up), before turning the fabric the right way round and running a top stitch around the edge. 
  • Now, I had to make a channel for the elastic to go in so I made sure the fabric was as flat and even as possible and ran a top stitch over the right side of the fabric, about two inches down and parallel to the top edge. This left a gap wide enough between the top of the skirt and the second row of stitching for the elastic and also (very importantly) I left a gap of about two inches to actually thread the elastic through from the inside. 
  • Cutting the elastic to the right size determined how comfortable it was so I measured the elastic on a relaxed tummy and added 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. 
  • 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 stitched a neat line of top stitch along the gap to conceal the elastic completely, the skirt was now finished minus the hem. 
  • To complete the hem I simply folded up the bottom edges and tacked them right side to right side, leaving a gap to pull the skirt back through after, as it makes the skirt turn inside out. I simply then stitched along my tack lines (removing my tacks afterwards) before turning the skirt the right way round and then top stitching along the bottom edge to help the fabric look neat and flat at the bottom, as well as the close the gap where I’d pulled the fabric back through.
    The great fabric contrast

    The funky rocker/biker side

     So there you have it! This very simple skirt is fantastic, giving flashes of another funky fabric underneath once worn, and the double layer of fabric also gives the garment the strength needed to sustain the energy of a toddler. I will definitely be doing this pattern again because it effectively means I can make two skirts in one short amount of time – what’s not to love! This also means it’s great for summer holidays when versatile clothing means fewer items in your suitcase.

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 – you can also find me on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram!

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