Thursday, February 3, 2011

It'll make you want to twirl.

That’s warning number one.  You will twirl if you make this.  Just so you know.  Warning number two:  If you are the type of person that will be totally offended by the fact that I haven’t vacuumed my craft area since right before Christmas (remember it’s in the dungeon basement), then this is not the post for you.  Oh, yes.  And a big thank you to those of you who supported me through the hoedown issue.  I feel much better about my decision made out of necessity to use the eyelet.

For this tutorial, you will need:
MADE’s Circle Skirt Tutorial (cuz I didn’t rewrite her whole thing here)
tissue paper/packing paper for making a pattern
calculator (unless you are one of those much hated math wizz’s)
two different fabrics
thick elastic
sewing machine
lots and lots of straight pins
Start by reading through the initial circle skirt tutorial.  Don’t delude yourself into thinking you don’t need it.  Learn from me.
First you’ll take your measurements and prepare your paper.  I had to put four pieces together to make it big enough.  Obviously this will depend on your measurements.

 Use the equation Dana gives you in the tutorial to figure out exactly what your diameter is.
Use the corner of the paper as your starting point.
Now, use your ruler - if you’re like me all you have is this really lame one... to measure the curve of your waist line.  Use Dana’s method.

Now, figure out how long you want your skirt to be.  I wanted mine to be right below my knees.
Measure out the length with your ruler and draw a line to mark.

Cut out your pattern.  This pattern is only a quarter of the skirt.
(Dana goes into much more detail about how exactly to measure the curves using a ruler.)

Fold your fabric into fourths.  Line the corner of the paper up on the corner of the folded fabric.

**This is when I realized I didn’t have enough yellow fabric to make the whole skirt.  I was sad, but figured I’d just go with it.

Decide how long you want each tier of your skirt to be.  I decided to make the bottom ruffle about 4-5 inches long.  Measure up from the bottom to this point and mark on the pattern piece all the way across using the same method as above.
Here’s a diagram to give you a visual.

Cut along the line you just drew, and save the bottom strip off the pattern piece to use as a pattern later.

Here’s the skirt.

Now, just follow Dana’s tutorial to a t.
I used a zig zag stitch to finish the edge along the bottom of the skirt.

Measure out your elastic to fit your waist.  Sew the ends together with a zig zag stitch, leaving an allowance.

 Fold each end back and sew them down to the elastic band.

Now pin your skirt to the band, making sure the skirt piece is pinned to the INSIDE of the elastic band - or the side that the ends were sewn down to.
Start by pinning the front and back.

Then, determine where the sides are and pin those.

And I’ll share my method for pinning with you, even though you probably already know, since it’s the ONE thing I remember from working in the costume shop.
Always pin from the MIDDLE.  So, find the spot in the middle of two pins and pin that.

Then pin the middle to each side of THAT middle pin.  

And so on.

If you pin this way, you’re less likely to end up with extra fabric you don’t know what to do with at the end of a row of pins.
So, just pin all the way around, using as many pins as you need.  I used a ton, because I was afraid of failing this project for a second time.

And sew, using a straight stitch.

And THEN, when you are almost done - 
ACK!  Discover that your bobbin ran out of thread like an inch into sewing!

Re-pin the whole thing. 

Or, hey, just skip those last two steps if you want.
Ok, sew all the way around with a straight stitch.

And there you go!

Wait, let’s look at that beauty one more time.

And do a side by side comparison, hm?

Much better.

Maybe someday I'll discover how to make the inside as pretty as the outside.  One step at a time, here.

Well, you’re not finished yet - unless you can pull off the circle mini skirt - which I can’t.
Take the bottom strip of your pattern paper that you saved from before.
It would be great if you could find long enough/wide enough fabric to fold it in fourths and just cut the circle out that way.  Chances are you won’t though - I sure couldn’t.  
So I decided to go with two strips of equal size and have side seams.  
First, fold the fabric in half, and lay down your pattern piece on the fold.

Cut around it.
Adjust your fabric and fold in half again, then lay your pattern piece on the fold and cut.
So you have two strips like this:

Now, iron the bottom up TWICE on each strip.

 And hem with a straight stitch.  (I decided the hem would be more manageable if it were in strips and not in a big circle).

Now, sew your strips together.  Line up the edges, right sides together, and sew.

For both sides.

 And you have a ginormous circle.

Now pin it to your skirt.  Lay your strip so that it’s on top of the skirt, right sides together, unfinished edges touching.

Pin the side seams of the strips to the sides of the skirt first (instead of starting with the front and back as you did when attaching the waist band).

Then pin the front and back.

And continue pinning all the way around, using the same method as above.
Lots, and lots of pins.

It’s a BIG old circle, so it’s kind of hard to visualize the exact “middle” and “sides”.  You may have to do some adjusting of pins - like 53 times or so.
Then sew with a straight stitch all the way around.

And you’re done.

Iron the hem down, and iron the seam where the strip and the skirt meet.

Voila!  The very first skirt I have ever made for myself!  Woo-hoo!

Come on Spring!  I’m ready!

*Be sure to check below for all the fun parties I link to!


Morgan//Nuts and Bows said...

I LOVE this skirt! I think that I need to make 1 or 25 of them love love love!! said...

That's so pretty and it DOES make me want to twirl! Thanks so much, I'll be linking to this.

Unknown said...

I LOVE this!!! I love the colors and the white fabric you used at the bottom. You are a very talented seamstress! I am definitely going to try this one out :)
Cami @

KJ@letsgoflyakite said...

This is SO BEAUTIFUL, I needed to see all this yellow goodness today.

Found your project at Tatertots.

Unknown said...

So very cute - did you make the belt as well?

Unknown said...

Thanks all!
Charity, yes, I did. I've made a couple. You can see the tutorial here:
The Svelte Belt

Jenny Hall / Seamingly Smitten said...

Great skirt! I love the bright yellow! Please link up Wednesday for my linky party!

Ginger said...

Very pretty! Thanks for linking up to Mad Skills Monday!

Unknown said...

Love the second tier! I love Dana's pattern. I've made a few for my daughter. Now I just need to add that second tier!!!!

Anonymous said...

So pretty! I love circle skirts too!

Michelle @ Sweet Something Design said...

That turned out great! Such a happy color too.

Emily said...

Love the second tier! This is perfect for some eyelet I have laying around. :)

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