Friday, 1 June 2012

The "Elastic On The Outside" Skirt (tutorial)

As of now I don't have a brilliant name for this skirt so I am calling it what it is.  I had skirts on the brain because of Skirt Week on Crafterhours.  I had actually made myself stop making the girls skirts for now because, well, they have too many.  But Skirt Week posts inspired me to try to think of something new.  I have done the elastic waist, the tiered, the circle, and even some Oliver and S skirts.  My mind kept drifting to skirts while I was at work yesterday and suddenly I had an idea. 

I have this 2 inch wide hot pink elastic that I have been saving for a while.  I bought a bunch of elastic on Etsy a while ago (which I might never do again due to the shipping cost but the elastic is NICE).   I wanted to make something where the elastic would show. 

This skirt is for my 4 year old who still wears a lot of 3T clothes.  I would call it a 3T/4T.

I started with some plain pink broadcloth (just under 1/2 yard).  Cut the fabric to the length you want plus about 4 inches.  Then cut the width of the fabric to double the waist measurement of your child.  The reason for this is that you are going to stretch the elastic as you sew and if you have too much fabric and a small waisted child, you won't make it around. 

Sew the sides together so you fabric is like a tube. 

Then fold and press the top edge over 1/4 inch to the wrong side. 

Then fold and press about 1 1/2 inches. It doesn't have to be exact because you are going to sew the elastic over the top of this seam.  Pin and sew all the way around. 

Then sew another line of stitches about 1/8 of an inch from the top.  That step is optional but I like the way it looks.

Cut your elastic to the size of you child's waist plus 1 inch.  Sew sides together (wrong side out).  Then sew down the raw edges so they sit flat(you could serge then if you have a serger but I don't have one.  I haven't had much trouble with elastic fraying).

Take the seam of the elastic and match it up with the seam of the skirt.  Pin it ON THE OUTSIDE about 1 1/4 inches down from the top (again, the exact distance doesn't matter too much, you are just going for the paper bag look here).  Pin the elastic in at least four evenly spaced spots.  The fabric is going to look bunched up but you will stretch the elastic as you go. 

Start at the back where you first pinned the elastic to the fabric.  I prefer to start along the bottom of the elastic but it would probably work the other way around too.  Stitch along the edgeof the elastic (backstitch at the beginning and end).  Grip the fabric and the elastic both in front of the presser foot and behind it.  I gripped at the pins.  Stretch out the elastic and feed the fabric through as you stitch the elastic to the fabric.  Repeat along the top of the elastic. 

Finally, hem your skirt.  I folded up 1/4 inch to the wrong side and then abotu 1 1/4 inches again.  I did two lines of stitches again because I like the look.  DONE!

And on the girl. . .
Variations?  Make a ribbon bound hem or add some pockets.  I didn't on this one because I wanted to highlight the "elastic on the outside" feature.  But next time I might add some more details.

If you want to make something like this and you can't find colored elastic, check out this tutorial on coloring it yourself.

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