Friday, May 13, 2011

The overskirt. Is that an actual thing?

Ooooh, I'm ma-ad at blogger.  Totally screwed up my posting schedule AND my darn blog spreadsheet.  At least I know there are many of you out there dealing with the same frustrations.  So... on to the post that should have been posted like two days ago.  (gr.)

That's right!  We're still going over the Spring Skirt Combo and today we're moving on to the Mama Overskirt portion of the project.  I love this skirt.  Just saying.  And, no, it's definitely NOT constructed perfectly and I STILL love it.  So there.

Just so you know, same disclaimers from this post apply.  Don't judge my crappy photos, my super messy basement, my weird expressions or my unphotogenicness.


So.  Lay out your totally out of style 80's skirt.  Measure from the bottom up to get the length you need and mark it with a washable fabric marker.  This obviously depends on how tall you are, so I'm not going to give you a measurement or anything, but I wanted mine to hit me around my knees.  Cut straight across the skirt where you marked.  I used a rotary cutter, made it so much easier. 

So, you've got a large rectangle like this, with buttons holding the front together.

Unbutton it and lay it right side down.  Fold the top down a teensy bit and iron it,

Then fold it down again and iron it.

Pin and sew with a straight stitch.

Now, I do not know how to sew.  I make stuff up as I go and sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't.  I know I should follow tutorials, and most of the time I wing it.  So I don't know if this is how you should actually create pleats, but this is how I did it.

First, this requires a little math.  Which I stink at.  You'll need to measure across to see what the width of the top of the skirt is and then measure around your waist to see what width it needs to be.  Then you can calculate how big to make your pleats based on how many you want.  Or vice versa.  You get it, right?  

My pleats ended up being about one inch folds, two folds per pleat.  So about 2 inches-ish per pleat.  Don't get it?  Here:

Notice that the skirt is still right side down.

First, grab the amount of fabric you want in the pleat - for me, about 1 inch.

And then lay it down flat to the left. 

Pin it in place on both sides of the fold.

Now, grab the same amount of fabric again - about an inch - starting where the first fold ended and

Lay it flat to the right.  

And pin both sides of the fold.  

Depending on how many pleats you want and how big your pleats are, you may put your pleats right next to each other, or space them out evenly all around your skirt.  My pleats were right next to each other around the front and then spaced about an inch apart in the back.  So, continue pinning your folded down flaps - or pleats - all around your skirt.

Then sew a straight stitch all around the skirt - I did this with the right side of the fabric UP.

And this is what it looks like from the front.

Now, we need to make a waistband.  Because the top of the skirt it ugly.

I just made some bias tape out of some fabric.  For the next few pictures, ignore the fact that the bias tape is super long.  I wanted to make the waistband an actual sash but it looked BAAAAD so I cut it off and made it a normal waistband.  

So, measure out your fabric to go around your waist, plus about three inches-ish.

Iron the sides into the middle.

And then iron it in half, with the folded-in sides on the inside.

Now, sandwich the top of the skirt in the bias tape, so the folded edge is the top of the waistband.  Pin the waistband all around the top of the skirt.

Starting at an end, use a straight stitch to top-stitch all around the waistband.  So you'll be sewing around a long skinny rectangle, all in one stitch.  Just place your needle and lift your presser foot on the corners to turn the fabric.

The extra three inches of width is so the waist band overlaps, like so.  You'll want to position it this way when you pin it, should have mentioned that, sorry.  Then you'll just hand sew some hooks and loops to the waistband for closures.  Please ignore the fact that mine are not centered on the waistband.

Now, you're done sewing!  Just iron those pleats to make them really stay.

You can see this skirt in action here:

And here, while my kids pet some random stranger's dog.

And as per the last post, stay tuned for some photos of this skirt ALONE, sans underskirt.  Coming soon.

Edited to add:

Well, I DID lead you to believe I'd be posting some photos of the overskirt all alone in it's glory.  And so, as much as it pains me, I am sharing the following pictures.  Remember what I said about the whole "ignore the grimace" thing?

So, obviously you can wear this skirt alone - nothing underneath.  Er, well... you know what I mean.  Sheesh.

However.  I would like to point out that in photo 1 I am not actually asleep and dreaming of a day without children and in photo 2 I am not actually trying to hold back some vicious vomit thinking of the next 10 days with mr STILL GONE for work.  Even though that is what it looks like.

I was simply trying to look all photo-y.  Please, for the love of everything holy, someone out there give this woman pointers.  Do it now, or you will never see me model anything ever again.  How do you look down in a photo without making it look like your eyes are closed?  How do you make yourself not look 75 pounds heavier than you actually are?  How do you stay away from the "triple chin"?  How do you POSE FOR PHOTOS without looking RIDICULOUS???  And furthermore, how do you remember everything you have to do to NOT look ridiculous while you are doing it?  Oy.

And just in case you were wondering what those super cute things on my feet are?  

Only the cutest shoes ever - courtesy of Payless.  Love.

(At least my feet look ok).

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


Becky said...

You are correct, it is called an overskirt! and your pleat technique was also pretty accurate. heres a tip though (if you want it of course)...for your waist band if you want a sturdier one, dont use bias fabric. also you can get a piece of grossgrain ribbon (the 1" or wider stuff with the lines down it) and put it in your waistband...makes it good and strong.

scrapinbabygal said...

Wow you are super talented!! and the matching skirts is such a wonderful idea!!

lisbonlioness said...

I don't know what you are moaning about, you look stinkin' adorable to me! Love your mad skills, I am scared of sewing machines. They know so much I don't know! :(

Spunky Junky said...

So cute! I love the matching idea....I just don't think I could put Punk in a dress...hahaha.

I am featuring you on SJ tomorrow.


Honey I'm Home Blog said...

You are obviously a kindred spirit since I am also struggling with Blogger, I have these yellow shoes too, & {best of all} I love your projects. Maybe I'll tackle something like this for my granddaughter & I. Thanks for inspiring me!

Warmly, Michelle

Rebecca said...

This is great! I pinned it and look forward to making one myself. :)

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