BAM Family

BAM Family

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

"Step into Spring" Skirt: Tutorial

It's been a long Winter in Virginia. We finally had our first warm day of Spring today on April 2nd. And Spring weather calls for spring clothes, like this sweet skirt! I've designed and made two "Step into Spring" skirts so far! This skirt is so easy and comes together in an afternoon. 
Want the tutorial? Keep reading!
1 and 1/4 or 1 and 1/2 yards knit fabric (mine is a poly/cotton blend; one way stretch)
Small piece of heavy-duty interfacing
2 inch wide elastic
Sewing supplies

Before you begin:
Wash and dry your fabric. Don't skip this step! My red fabric actually shrunk and got all wonky. I had to be pretty creative about cutting the pieces. If I hadn't washed and dried before I sewed, my skirt would have shrunk and been ruined the first time I washed it. :( 

Measure: Natural waist (mine = 29)
Natural waist to knee (mine = 20. Yep. I'm a shortie)

The pieces you'll need: 
(click on the picture to enlarge and read the captions)
Here's how to cut each piece: First Fold your fabric in half so the stretch goes from side to side, not up and down. 
Measure from your natural waist (smallest part) to your knee. Add 6 inches. 
Measure down and then cut across your fabric at this measurement. Mine was at 26 inches.
 Next, cut your two pieces apart at the fold. Set one of the rectangles aside. 
This is the back of your skirt.
From the Front piece cut a 6 inch strip. Keep the same form of stretch being side-to-side and not stretch up and down. 
This 6 inch strip is your waist band. 
Divide your waist measurement in half. Add one inch. Cut your waist band length to this measurement. 
Mine: 1/2 waist = 15 + 1 = 16 inches long
Cut a piece of interfacing the same size as your waist band. 
The unique thing about this skirt is the slash pockets!  I used this tutorial to learn how to sew these pockets. I drew my own pattern on computer paper. The slash pocket seem intimidating but they are really easy to sew! 

The piece on the left is the outer pocket; the right is the inner pocket. Cut two of each piece. 
 Fold the skirt front in half and use the pocket pattern to cut a curve. You will attach your pockets in this curve. 
All done! You should have these pieces cut for your skirt. 

Let's start sewing! 

Lay the inner pocket against the curve, right sides together (of course on knit, it doesn't really matter). Pin and sew along the curve on both sides. I used a 1/4 inch seam allowance (against the foot).
Fold the pocket over so the finished seam is showing. Press lightly. 
Open up the seam and press the seam allowance toward the pocket lining. 
"Under-stitch" the seam allowance toward the pocket lining by sewing down the seam allowance.
Under-stitching ensures that the pocket lining stays in the skirt and has a smooth finish. 
I was skeptical about this step (recommended in the tutorial linked above) but it really works and looks nice!
Next, fold the inner pockets in so the finished seams are showing. Lay the outer pocket piece on top of the inner pocket. Pin along the outside curve. Sew along the curve only. 

Line up the pocket pieces flush against the skirt edge. Tack down (sew very close to the edge) these three layers (inner pocket, outer pocket, skirt front) to keep the pocket in place. 
Don't tack down the top part of the pocket yet! 
Turn over your skirt to the right side: This is what it should look like so far!
Next, set your machine to the longest stitch. 
Pull the pocket pieces out of the way. 
Sew a gathering stitch between the two arrows. 
Pull your gathers up as tight as they will go. 
Next, fuse your inner facing to your waist band (if applicable). Then fold your waist band in half (inner facing inside) and iron. Next, iron a 1/2 inch fold along one side of length of the waist band. 
Carefully fold in the top pocket pieces on the back side of your skirt and pin to the gathered part. Tack down the pockets to the gathers using a 1/4 inch seam allowance. (Don't forget to change your stitch length back to a normal setting!!) This step also secures the gathering stitches. Trim threads. 
On the wrong side of the skirt, pin the waist band edge that is not ironed. Sew, using a 5/8 seam allowance. Be careful: it will be thick in parts!
Flip the skirt over and fold in the 1/2 inch ironed portion. Pin carefully, making sure you hide all the seams inside the waist band. Sew along the waist band, keeping stitches about 1/8 inch from the edge. 

Your skirt front is all done! Plus you just made slash pockets!! Great job!
Next take the Back skirt and iron a 1/2 inch along the top of the skirt. 
Then, fold down 2.5 inches and iron. This is the casing for the elastic.
Pin and sew, keeping stitches 1/8 from the edge of the fold. 
Cut your elastic. I used this formula: 1/2 of waist measurement (15 inches) minus 3 inches
My measurement was 12 inches. 
Work the elastic into the casing using a large safety pin. Tack elastic on one end. Then push the elastic to the other end and tack. 
The back of the skirt is done!
Pin the front and back of the skirt, right sides together. 
At this point, I had to trim up the bottom of the skirt so the front and back matched. Hey, it's a homemade pattern, after all….
Sew the front and back together using a 5/8 seam allowance. 
Open up the seam at the waistband and sew the seam open at the top and bottom of the waist band to keep the seam smooth. 

Hem or leave un-hemmed as desired. It's knit, after all! It won't ravel. 
I hemmed my blue skirt (the fabric didn't shrink in the wash so I made the pieces 2 inches longer for a nice chunky 2 inch hand-sewn hem) but left the red skirt un-hemmed. I may hem it by machine after I see how it washes. 
Here it is! The "Step into Spring" skirt. 
 My lame attempts to get a picture of myself: Bathroom selfie, shirt tucked...
Then I asked my 6 year old to take this picture: Shirt untucked. Great shot of the outfit but I cut off my head because his vantage point gave me a double chin. And I do NOT have a double chin IRL (in real life)…do I? 
Here is the "Step into Spring" skirt in blue. 
I have already worn this one twice! So comfortable and fun. 

So go ahead, Step into Spring…and make one of these skirts for your own spring wardrobe! 

Please let me know if you have any questions. :)


kinkatink said...

What terrific skirts! Thanks for sharing. I actually just came to your blog to see coffee date dresses, which I'm just about to start one of, but stuck around for a read. I'm a Virginia (well, British, but living in Virginia) mum of boys (four) too!

Brittany said...

Thank you so much for reading...and commenting! Let me know if you make the skirt for yourself. Happy sewing! And keep strong, fellow mama of boys! :)

Carolynn Markey said...

Awesome skirt. you make it look so easy! I totally want to make one, sad that my poor sewing machine is broken right now!

Brittany said...

Sad indeed! :(

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