e. (clarice) wrote in egl,

skirt tutorial

A couple weeks ago I posted this skirt and a few people asked for a tutorial. I'm [home sick and watching weird 80s music videos on The Tube and] happy to oblige, but I haven't gotten around to sewing another one so this is illustrated with my mad photoshop skillz. In other words, it may be hard to follow. If something doesn't make sense, please feel free to ask. I tried to be as descriptive/specific as possible, but I know it's a lot harder to tell than show.

Now, onward to --

...But first, this -- I'm posting this pattern for fellow lolis who are newer to sewing. I sell my work from time to time and this is my own pattern and design, so I ask that you please not use this to produce items for sale. ...Okay? Okay. Good.

I'm a really bad judge of difficulty, but I'd say this is a beginner-with-experience or intermediate project. You'll need to sew straight seams with accuracy, cut straight, and be able to fuss with ruffles while keeping them straight. None of it involves tailoring skill (it's all rectangles and gathering), but there is a patience factor. Beginner sewers who aren't sure about pintucks may wish to leave them off (see pattern modifications) or purchase enough extra fabric to allow for mistakes.


*fabric - This skirt takes *exactly* 2 yards, 4 inches as pictured. Purchase more than this based on your needs (2 & 1/3 for just the skirt, 2.5 if you want to make bows, etc)

*lace - ~6.5 yards total (add more for accessories)

*tailor's chalk

*a clear grid ruler - if you don't have one of these, buy one now. It's an absolute must for marking tucks and lace lines. These can be had at any fabric or quilt store, though my favorite is actually an art ruler I stole from my boyfriend. Ideal shape is about 2" x 18", and make sure it has lots of lines (vertical and horizontal) to line up parallel and perpendicular markings.


Fabric is standard cotton length, straight off the bolt. (Make sure you prewash your fabric.) I use a rotary cutter, but this can be done by hand by cutting the pattern pieces out of paper. (Add a little extra fabric if cutting by hand.)


*The finished skirt is approximately the same length as a sweet lolita brand skirt (~19.5" excluding waistband). To increase the length, add the same amount of fabric to each of the skirt pieces (i.e., if you want the skirt 2" longer, cut the skirt front middle 23" long, the side fronts 19", and the skirt back 19"). If it ends up being too long, fabric can be trimmed off the top before the waistband is put on.

*To remove the pintucks, simply cut the skirt middle front to 17" instead of 21". Pintucks are .25" (using .5" fabric each); if yours tend to be bigger or you're not certain, cut the skirt front middle longer than 21". If it's too long it can always be trimmed, but if it's too short you're stuck.


skirt front middle -

Take the skirt front middle and mark the blue lines on this diagram with chalk:

(The red lines are guidelines; don't mark them) Start measuring from the bottom using the 2" - 1.5" - 2" pattern shown. A clear ruler is ideal here to ensure sharp, parallel lines. You should have eight lines in groups of two.

To make the tucks, fold the fabric along the chalk like and press with an iron. Sew in .25" from the fold (on my machine this is right to the inner edge of the feed dog) and press it flat. Repeat for each of the eight pintucks.

Sew lace between the first and last row of pintucks, leaving the middle row empty.

ruffles -

Take three strips of ruffle and sew them end to end (do not sew the last end to the first; leave it flat). This is the first ruffle. Take the other four strips and sew them end to end, connecting the last to the first to form a loop. This will be the second ruffle.

Hem the top and bottom of both ruffles.

Gather each ruffle about an inch from the top, like so -

finishing -

Sew the skirt side fronts to each side of the skirt back. If you are going to put in a zipper, remember to leave some of the seam open at the top.

Chalk a line 5.5" from the bottom all the way across the fabric. This will be the placement line for the first ruffle.

** Stop here and place the skirt pieces side by side as pictured:

The ruffle placement line should line up with where the second row of lace on the skirt front middle goes (the green line; the red lines indicate the lace already sewn down). If it lines up, great! Proceed to the next step. If it doesn't line up well enough to run one continous length of lace around the skirt, sew another piece of lace to the skirt front middle as you did in the previous steps and sew the lace to the ruffle as described below.

Take the first ruffle (the one you didn't sew into a loop) and carefully pin it to the skirt. The gathering thread should following the chalked line on the fabric. Once in place, carefully sew it down directly on the gathering thread line. I prefer to use a shallow zigzag. You will probably need to straighten the ruffle fabric as you feed it through the machine to keep it from getting crooked.

When the ruffle is sewn down, run a basting stitch down each end, raw edge to raw edge, to secure it to the skirt.

You're now ready to complete the body of the skirt. Sew the skirt front middle to each end of the skirt side fronts to form a big loop.

Run a continuous piece of lace across the middle row of pintucks and around the ruffle, again sewing over the gathering thread.

(again, green in this picture.)

Sew the two rows of vertical trim down now, right over the seam between the skirt side and middle.

Finish the raw edge on the bottom of the skirt with a serger or zigzag. Apply the second ruffle roughly a half inch from the bottom of the skirt in the same manner as the first ruffle (only difference is it's a full loop with no raw edge this time.) Apply the lace over the gathering stitch again.

If the skirt middle is longer than the other pieces, trim it at the top now. If the skirt is too long, trim the necessary amount off the top.

Finish with a flat or elasticized waistband as desired.

...Well, I hope that made some sort of sense ^^; If you use this to make a skirt, please post a picture :)

ETA - the original image files were corrupted, but I've saved and uploaded new files from the originals that should load.
Tags: tutorial: sewing
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