Thursday, May 12, 2011

The one I went out on.

So, do you remember this bad boy?

Yep, that's right!  The guy that knocked me out of the SYTYC competition (in the second round, no less!  Darn it.)  Well, it may not have fared will, but you're still getting a tutorial.  So there.

To start with, you will need a sheet.  Whatever size your little body needs... My sheet was queen sized and after making myself and mini a skirt, I still had enough left to make pj pants and a pillowcase top - with some scraps leftover too!  
You will also need a very lame late 80's skirt.  You know the one.  The oh so tapered, strange pleats only in the top front, buttons down the center, bizarrely shaped, could not possibly be flattering on anyone, who thought this was a good idea 80's skirt.  The one that was so very popular we all owned at least three and you can now find them overrunning thrift stores everywhere.  This one:

Please pay no attention to that yellow beaded bracelet in the picture.  I didn't actually do that refashion yet, though I will get to it.  What's that?  Oh, you want to see the hideousness on?  Ok.

A few key features you don't want to miss:  The atrocity of the shape.  The fact that I cannot even button the top button (that's hot, right?) and the awesome yellow and white stripes which was the sole reason I chose to go with this particular skirt in the first place.  I warn you now.  You may see many similar refashions in the future.  I bought a bunch of these scary skirts to play with and only used this one because the pattern and color were my favorites.

So.  I've decided to break this tutorial down into four parts.  As you can see in the first picture, this little mommy & me, mix 'n match, spring skirt combo is comprised of four skirts total - two underskirts and two uh... over(?) skirts.  My idea was to create a petticoat for both my skirt and mini's, though I wasn't entirely sure I could pull off the super ruffly petticoat type thing... essentially what happened was that I created four different skirts that can be worn on their own or together.  All for the cost of one craptastic skirt and one bed sheet.  And what was that cost you ask?  Oh, $3.  That's all.  (seriously, I know!)

Up first in this little four part series is the underskirt for yours truly - otherwise known as "the mama" underskirt.

Now, before we start this here tutorial, I have a little disclaimer.  Ok, no.  I have a few disclaimers.  First, the lighting?  Horrible.  Basement photos.  Blech.  Second, I kind of didn't really know what I was doing.  This particular skirt is so stupidly easy you guys don't need a tutorial for it.  But I figured if I left it out, it would be glaringly obvious.  So I'm doing one anyway.  ALSO, leave it to me to totally flub a ridiculously easy skirt.  But I'm showing you anyway, because, well, because.  I made it, I wear it, and the IDEA is still cute...  

So, basically, I will be showing you what I did while I tell you what I SHOULD have done and instructing you to visit other people's sites who have done this better than me - all with crappy photos!  Yea!

Let's finally start this show, shall we?

Alrighty.  Lay out your sheet, folded in half.  Cut out a rectangular shape from both layers - the length should equal the measurement from your waist to however long you want it to be (duh) and the width should be your HIP measurement plus one divided by two.  Don't do what I've done in the past and use your waist measurement.  YOUCH.  (Despite what it looks like in the photo, the rectangles are actually the same size, I was simply trying to show you that it was two layers.)  My rectangles actually flare just a tiny tiny bit so the bottom is a bit bigger than the waist.  

Now, you'll sew up the sides.  Turn your two rectangles so that the right sides of the fabric are facing and use a straight stitch to sew the length on both sides.  Then, finish off that edge by running a zig zag stitch along the OUTSIDE of the straight stitch.  Trim excess fabric.

Now, fold down your waist a bit and pin/iron,

then run a straight stitch all along this hem.

Fold the same part down AGAIN, leaving a wide enough fold to slip your elastic through - see you're making a casing.

Sew along the bottom of this fold, leaving a small opening unsewn (the part between the two pins below.)

For the scalloped hem, don't do what I am about to show you.  The idea was right.  The execution was all wrong, wrong, wrong.  Ok, I'll just show you.

Use a bowl or jar to trace for the scallops.  Line it up along the bottom hem line and trace HALF of the jar, then move the jar so it touches the drawn line, and trace it again.

 Repeat this all along the bottom of the skirt.

And cut along the lines.

You will please disregard the fact that I lined the scallops up wrong over the side seams.  Yes, you will.  Whether you like it or not.

Here are the scallops all pretty and cut out.

Now, you'll run a zig zag stitch all along the bottom to make sure the fabric doesn't fray all along the scallops.  Hey!  We're ignoring the fact that I did NOT line the scallops up right, remember???  Sheesh.

Ok, so the sheet had some stretch to it - which is great for wearing because it's all comfy, right?  Not so great for those of us who are beginner sewers and have trouble with that kind of fabric...

These are the scallops.  Actually, after ironed they looked a lot better than this.  Trust me.

It is at this point that I would like to refer you to an adorable tutorial I saw for a scalloped dress about two days after I finished this baby.  If only I'd seen it just a bit sooner.  Shoot.  Anyway, it totally demystifies the scallop edge - so much so that I could even probably do it. Probably.  It's by Lady Bird Ln, as seen on At Second Street.  So, go there to see how you should really do a scalloped edge.  

Now that we've got that out of the way...

Cut yourself a piece of elastic that's about 1/2 inch longer than your waist measurement.  Pin a safety pin to the end.

Using the safety pin to guide the elastic, slide it through the casing in the top of the skirt.

Unpin the safety pin and overlap the ends of your elastic.  Sew them together using a zig zag stitch.  I did two rows.

Sew up the little opening in the casing with a straight stitch.

And here is where I admit to you that there are way better tutorials out there for easy shmeezy elasticized skirts you can follow.  Check out this simple skirt from MADE, just size it for you instead of the kid.  OR, this 20 minute skirt from Disney at Ruffles and Stuff.

Now, let's add some pizazz.  Because every underskirt needs some pizazz.  I used a little bit of pom pom trim.  It seemed like the right thing to do.

I pinned it across the front of the skirt, just above the scallops,

and sewed it on with a straight stitch.  I did NOT do the back.  Because contrary to popular belief, there CAN be too much of a good thing.

You can see this underskirt in action here:

And here:

And hopefully tomorrow I will be able to add a picture of what this underskirt looks like when worn alone - since that's the whole point of this mix 'n match thing, right?

For now, I'm going to hang my head in shame over those scallops.  I'll probably fall asleep while hanging my head.  Because it's late.  

Edited to add:
A story.  Ahem.  

I took the kids to the park today, and I wore this outfit:

Yes!  The zebra print underskirt!  You will please ignore the following things: 1. That weird look on my face.  I don't usually smirk like that.  It is the brightest day in history here, and I blame the sun.  Also, I had just run back and forth for the self-timer about 60 thousand times...  2. Those weeds.  Our backyard is pretty much a jungle.  Hoping to take care of that this summer.  3. How horribly washed out it is.  Again, self-timer.  I didn't really get a good look until I was on my computer and I wasn't going to do the whole self-portrait sprint over again.

ANYWAY.  As you can see, the underskirt can certainly be worn by itself with a lovely wide belt to hide the elastic.  I like the coral top for a bit of color and contrast.

However.  After I put it on and looked in the mirror, I thought to myself, "Self, you really look like you're wearing a sheet.  No, scratch that.  More like a pillowcase.  See those pom poms I thought were so fun, totally reminded me of old lady pillows.  Oh, don't pretend you don't know what I'm talking about.

I stared at myself.  I adjusted and stared some more.  I thought, "yes, definitely a walking bed..."

But the kids were going crazy so I threw my hands in the air, said, "whatev" or something like that, and took them to the park.  

Once at the park, it was so stinking hot I thought I may perhaps pass out from sunstroke.  (See, you may not realize this, but here in WI we suffer from something called "the climatic extremes."  Ok, I just call it that.  But it's true.  There's hardly ever any in between.  Either you're freezing your patootie off or you're suffering through 80 degree heat with 90% humidity, and that's not an exaggeration.)  

We played, we took a walk by the lake, we picked up sticks, we ate crackers and cheese and had ice water... and I decided not to complain about the heat and humidity since I've been wanting it for so long.  Spring has finally sprung!  What brought me to this conclusion?  Well, this skirt, however pillowcase-y it is, is VERY lightweight and breathable.  Don't you love a nice, breezy skirt in the summertime?

And that is why I decided that wearing a pillowcase isn't so bad after all.

The end.

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

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