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The Sparkle Skirt (Christmas 2016)

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I love simple, quick sewing projects that produce a big effect. This season I have been playing with gathered skirts using elastic that is exposed. Pictured above are my granddaughters in skirts that took about an hour each to sew.
WARNING… This skirt will generate holiday enthusiasm. As soon as they got their skirts on, they started to rattle off their Christmas wish lists. I snapped the picture as AV was on item 99 of her list… my Little Pony something rather. 
 
Here’s what you need to sew the skirt…
Materials:
  •  fabric about 3/4 yard for a girl and about 1 1/3 to 1 1/2 for an adult (see amounts below) 
  •  elastic waist band (this amount is the same as waist measurement) 
  •  thread
  •  You will also need scissors, pins, a measuring tape and your sewing machine.  

     
    Measuring and Cutting…
    1.  Measure your model’s length. Measure from where the skirt will be worn on the model (waist or hips) to the finished length. Now double this number and add 4 inches. Example… my model’s measured length is 13 inches. So I need 30 inches of fabric (13 x 2 and add 4 inches), about a yard.

       

    2.  Measure the waist (or hips). Get an exact measurement at where the skirt will be worn and then cut the elastic that length. The elastic will grow when you sew it but we will make up for that by over lapping the band an inch when we sew it together.

       

    3.  Cut the fabric into two pieces from selvage to selvage. See the diagram below. You will have two wide narrow pieces. The back and front are the same size. For my model these were 15″ x 44″. Cut off 1/2 inch (the selvage) on all short sides of the fabric.

       

     
    Sew…
    1.  Sew the short ends ( selvage ends) of the fabric together, right sides together. You will make a large tube, about 80 or 84 inches total. This amount doesn’t need to be exact. When sewing the sides, you can sew it right sides together and finish the seam with a zig zag stitch or serge the seam if you have a serger. I really like my Juki M0-1000 serger. It sews, trims and finishes the seam in one step.

       

    2.  Finish the top of the skirt with a zig zag stitch or serger (the top and bottom are the same, so you can decide which to make the top and which is the hem). Remember to pay attention to directional fabrics. You don’t want your foxes upside down. 

    3.  Sew a row of basting stitches 1/4 inch from the top of the skirt, on the front. Stop at the side seam and then start up again at the back. The back and front pieces of the skirt are gathered separately because it is easier to get all that fabric bunched in two parts.

    4. Sew a second row of basting stitches 1/8 inch below the first row of basting.
    5.  
    5. Remember to adjust the stitch length to its highest setting for your basting stitches and then turn it back for hemming your skirt.
    Making the band…
    1. Sew the waist band into a circle. Over lap it on itself 1 inch and sew it at the cut edge. I use a zig zag stitch and it hardly shows on this textured gold band. I like to sew both cut edges of the elastic. Some elastic waist skirts use the technique of stretching and pulling the elastic as you sew it onto the skirt. I don’t like this because I think it turns out messy and I usually break needles. So I gather the skirt and then sew it onto the elastic with a zig zag. Much nicer finished product and very worth the little effort.  
      1. 2. Divide your waist band into 4 equal
      parts and place pins for markings. (Pin at back, center front and sides).

     

    Attaching the band…
     
    1.  On the fabric, grab both tails of basting threads on the wrong side of your skirt. Pull the tails and slide the fabric until it gathers up enough to fit the waist band.

        

    1. Now divide the gathered part of the skirt (top part) into 4 equal parts. Pulling the gathering threads to make the fullness even all around.

       

    2.  Match the fabric and the elastic waist band up. It takes a lot of adjusting to get the fabric evenly dispersed and sized to fit the band. Place the gathered skirt into the elastic band. Let the elastic band just hide the basting stitches. And pin that baby like crazy. I like the pins on the outside so that I can see them when I sew.

    3.   Sew the elastic waist to the skirt with a zig zag stitch. I sew on the outside of the elastic so that I can get the stitches even. 

    The last step…
    Hem your skirt. Turn under to the wrong side, the bottom edge, 1/2 inch and press with your iron. And then turn it under again another 1/2 inch. Top stitch the hem and you are done!!
    This skirt works great for bigger girls too!
     
    Here's the one April made in her very own Bound Fabric.
    I made one in rayon for me. I like how this fabric drapes and doesn’t add bulk to the hips.
    I hope you will enjoy making this skirt. Stop in to see our samples up close and personal. And if you have questions, don’t hesitate to ask.
    Happy Sewing,
    Anita 

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