The following blog post was done for a SAGA local chapter program. Enjoy!
Years ago I found skirts were fast and easy to make for my daughter. Pair it up with a purchased t-shirt and I had an outfit in a few hours. They are a natural combination. So why were some skirts my daughter's favorites and how did I finally find a skirt to fall in love with.
Follow my journey of the last few years.......
Above are skirts made of 2 rectangles of fabric (cute fabric). The waist band is folded over and sewn down with elastic inserted into the band.
Pros: Quick and easy. You don't need a pattern.
Cons: The waist creeps up and down her waist area and bunches up. The full width of the bottom of the skirt is also at the waistline. I find that she never picks these skirts on her own (even though it is cute fabric.)
These skirts are almost like the first models, pairs of rectangles sewn together. Now the top yoke is not the full width of the skirt making it a little better. This time I folded the waistband closer to where I inserted elastic, which keeps the skirt from shifting and bunching.
Pros: Same as above.
Cons: The waistband still creeps around her waist and I catch her pulling the skirt up and down. I could tighten the elastic, but not many little girls like the feeling of that option. My daughter is very thin, but a fuller figure is not anywhere near the same from the top of waist to bottom of yoke. I found even on my daughter's thin frame a not very flattering silhouette emerge as the skirt gets too small.
This skirt tries to fix some of the draping issues from the above skirts, by cutting the rectangle on the bias. It made the fitting situation a little better, but I didn't think it compared to my winner.
Pros: Tries to ease a little of the drape from the top of the yoked waistband to the bottom.
Cons: Takes up a lot of fabric to cut this from the bias, with little improvement on the drape.
I tried other varieties of skirts. I made this cute skirt from Children's Corner called Katie's Skirt. It is a great skirt, but I found my daughter folding up the hem to make it shorter, so her legs could climb higher or jump farther.
At this point you might wonder why I didn't just put her in shorts......
because I found something she loved.
Sassy Skirt by Children's Corner
I started sewing this skirt like most of us do......following the pattern.
This is view A from the pattern, minus the belt. The top yoke is fitted in the front and back, with elastic in the back waistband to allow easy on/off for girls. I found the elastic in the back was just enough to hold this skirt firmly in place without the up and down motion I found when I used elastic all the way around the waist. View A has two bias-cut skirt layers of different lengths.
View B has the same yoke, but with a double layered gathered skirt at the bottom. This skirt on the left is too small for my daughter now, but it is still one of my favorites.
View C has the same yoke and has two long layers from View A's A-line, bias cut skirt.
From here I started to creatively add to and subtract from this great pattern. I found I could substitute it for the yucky rectangle pattern piece on many patterns. So, here is my first listing of a dozen ways to remake this cute skirt.
1. Pleat the full skirt.
I took the full skirt and instead of gathering it, I pleated the fabric with about a 1" inset pleat all the way around. On a size 7, it makes the pleats about 2" apart. You can play with it until you get your desired effect. This is a very flattering skirt on a young girl.
2. Substitute it for the rectangle waistband on other skirts.
This cute skirt is from Pink Fig and is called Nei Nei. As I was sewing all the ruffles together....and together..... and more of them together, I reached the waistband and found it to be a rectangle. Since this skirt is gathered at the top, I simply replaced the rectangle with the yoke from Sassy Skirt. It was a great success and makes this skirt fall gracefully from the waist.
3. Add a drawstring to the skirt.
I had just finished this cute skirt when Lezette Thomason added a quick tutorial on her website on how to do this. So, I will let her give the directions here.
4. Add another layer onto the gathered skirt for a peasant skirt look.
These four skirts are some of my daughter's favorites. She loves them long and full. I think they feel great to wear and so these skirts are always in her laundry basket. Lezette also gave directions for this skirt, which I actually followed.
The navy blue gingham has red, white, and blue trim for the 4th of July.
The lime green is made from a Robert Kaufman linen. This skirt was a perfect match for what I wanted, so I proceeded with the linen even though I anticipated an ironing event after each wearing. I was shocked to have this skirt look great straight out of the washer. I just hang it to dry and it is ready to go.
The hot pink is made from crinkle cotton. This skirt feels like cotton balls it is so soft. I had never sewn with this fabric before and was frustrated when it stretched as I topstitched. So, I added the elastic all the way around to keep it at a proper size. I did sew the side seams onto the elastic so that the back and front elastic couldn't trade places.
The mermaid skirt from Michael Miller fabric was originally a View B skirt. My daugher protested that mermaids needed long skirts, so I took off the inside layer and added it and a little fabric for the bottom layer. ;)
Now for the complete outfits from this blog's skirts!
1. Pink t-shirt embroidery from Embroidery Boutique.
2. White t-shirt's mushrooms were purchased.
3. 4th of July rocket embroidery from Planet Applique.
4. Flowers and birds embroidery from Stitch on Time and is called "flowerpower16".
5. Mermaid applique from Embroidery Boutique.
6. Yellow t-shirt purchased at Target and pin is self designed.
7. Fushia shirt purchased at Target and pin is taken from Heather Bailey's fabric flower tutorial.
8. "M" embroidery from Planet Applique and is called "Sweet Varsity".
Next week I will add four more ideas to go with this great skirt!