Another three weeks...
So we’re all inside for another three weeks at least while the country battles with and hopefully overcomes COVID-19. We’ve had the weirdest school holidays and the quietest Easter but at least we’ve been blessed with some early spring sunshine.
If like me, you’ve delved into your ‘spring/summer wardrobe’ and found it sadly lacking you could undertake a little dressmaking project to fill the longer evenings. Or perhaps your children are asking for a sewing project?
Here’s an idea.... a skirt to make for your daughter or she can make it herself with basic sewing machine skills. It’s all straight lines of sewing with no complicated instructions. (If you have sons I will have to put my thinking cap on!!)
You will need the minimum of materials, you may find you have most of what you need in your stash already. All you need now is the waist measurement of the intended recipient and the chosen length.
You will need:
~ A width of pretty lightweight cotton. It can be printed or plain, whatever takes your fancy.
~ 25mm wide bias binding to contrast with your fabric; the same amount as the width of your fabric plus a little for joining. You can buy it or make your own.
~ 2cm wide elastic; enough to fit the waist measurement.
~ Some coordinating thread
The amount of fabric you need depends on how long you would like your skirt to be. You will need the length plus 5cm for the top hem. If the finished length of the skirt is 40cm then you will need 45cm of fabric. Yes! You can make this skirt with less than 1/2 metre of fabric, depending on how big your child is!
Fold your fabric in half with right sides together, so the selvedges meet. Using a 1.5cm seam allowance, stitch the fabric along the selvedges, starting and ending with a back stitch to secure your stitching. You should now have a tube. By using a full width of fabric the selvedges mean we won’t need to finish any seams.
Press the seam open so it lies flat. While you’re on the ironing board, press the top edge over to the wrong side by 2cm all the way round your tube. Then press again, this time by 3cm. My fabric has a directional pattern so I made sure I pressed the top so the flowers were growing upwards.
Stitch along the lower edge of your top turning, leaving a gap of approximately 3cm. Stitch again along the top edge close to the fold all the way round, no need to leave a gap this time. This forms the channel for your elastic, the stitching at the top will prevent the waistband from twisting.
Through the gap you have left at the lower edge, insert your elastic using a large safety pin. Feed it through the channel until it’s all the way round the skirt taking care not to lose sight of the end! I don’t cut my elastic to size just yet as it helps to feed it through and safety pin it while you try it for size.
Once the size has been decided, overlap the elastic by 2cm and stitch it together. You will need to pull the elastic right out of the channel to get it under the machine to stitch it. Use a zig zag or stretch stitch, if your machine has one, so the elastic still has some give and the stitches don’t snap when it’s stretched.
Once secured, feed the elastic back through the channel and stitch the 3cm opening up.
All that remains is the hem. You could of course, just press a double hem and stitch it (you will need to allow extra fabric for this, 1cm then 2cm, 3cm in total).
However, a bound hem looks amazing and you can have some fun with colours and contrasts.
Fold and press your bias binding in half but with one edge slightly longer than the other.
Slot the binding over the lower edge of your skirt with the longer edge of the binding on the wrong side of the skirt. Make sure the edge of your fabric sits right down in the fold of the bias binding. Start just before the seam (which is the back of the skirt) and pin and top stitch the binding to the skirt working from the right side. The underside of the binding should get caught in to your stitching.
When you get round to where you started, fold under the end of your binding to form a neat hem.
A skirt in an afternoon, great for summer or over leggings.
Love this skirt? I don’t have any little girls to give it to (Harry didn’t seem inclined to model it for this blog) so I’m accepting bids for it! It measures 52cm unstretched around the waist and is 41cm long.
All proceeds will go to the ‘For The Love Of Scrubs - Our NHS NeedsYou!‘ effort, supporting the NHS by making and supplying scrubs, hats, bags and masks.