Monday, March 10, 2014

The One Yard Skirt

One yard of fabric is all it takes for this puppy. Just one--or less. This skirt pictured was actually about 3/4 yard--I got the end of the bolt.  And it is so cute and comfy! You will love making it!

Here's what you need to make a size 2- size 10 skirt: 

1 yard of fabric-- I used cotton here. A cotton-poly blend, knit, or just about any fabric you would like a skirt made from would work.

Thread in color that matches fabric

Elastic Thread--If this is new to you, no worries!  I explain how to use it in the instructions.

Paper/cardboard to make your pattern--Breathe. It's not complicated, I promise.

1. First, on your paper/cardboard draw an isosceles triangle with a 6 inch base that is 18 inches tall. Cut it out.
2. Now use a measuring tape to measure around the widest part of your hips. If you are 39-42 inches, your fabric width will need to be 44 inches, which is a standard piece of fabric and you don't need to trim it at all if your fabric is that width. If you are less than 39 inches, you can trim it down an inch or two, though it will still hang nicely without trimming. If you have a larger 56+" width fabric, trim it to 44 inches. 

3. Now lay your fabric out as one big sheet, unfolded. Trace and cut 4 of the triangles on the bottom of the fabric. Use as little fabric as possible by tracing them close to each other rotating them .

4.Once you have 4 triangles cut, trim the remaining fabric so it has a straight edge.

5. Divide the width of your fabric by 4. (Say your fabric is 44" wide, your answer is 11.) Now measure and mark every 11 inches across the bottom of the fabric with chalk.  You should have 3 chalk marks evenly spaced.

6. Now center the base of 3 of your triangles on each of the marks, so that the base lines up with the bottom of the fabric. Mark with chalk 1/2 inch below the top of the triangle. 

7. Set the triangles aside. Now cut a slit from the base chalk mark straight up to the mark above it. You will have 3 long slits.

8. Pin the 3 triangles into the slits, right sides together. Make sure to line up the base of the triangles with the base of your fabric. Sew the triangles to the skirt with a 1/4" seam allowance. The fourth triangle will be pinned to the two sides of the fabric, turning the piece into a skirt. Pin and sew up the edges above the triangle, closing the gap.  You should now have a skirt with a huge waist. 

9. Now for the fun part--the elastic thread.  I learned to use elastic thread from this video.

I like this brand pictured best, but others work well, too. The basic how-to is: put the elastic thread on your bobbin,  use regular thread on top, and widen your stitch length.
I ironed the top edge of the waist under like I was hemming it, then I used the elastic thread and sewed it closed. I continued to sew 10-12 rows of elastic. As the fabric gathers, don't try to straighten it out to feed it under the needle. Just let it go. I learned this the hard way a while ago. 

The outside of the waist will begin to look like this. 

The underside of your waist will look like this. See the thick thread? That's the elastic.

10. I learned this through trial and error. The very top of the waist may look a bit frilly when you are done. This can be fixed...

Do one last row of elastic stitching right along the tip-top edge of your waist. This will help draw in that froofiness. :)

11. Iron the waist. This step is skipped on several of the tutorials I have seen online. The one I linked to does include it. Ironing the elastic "shirred" waist will give it a truly finished look and shrink up the elastic. Don't worry, it will still stretch. But it will fit much more nicely. (Please overlook my old, stained ironing board cover in the picture. I should have put the iron there to cover it.)

12. Hem the base of the skirt. If you want it shorter, cut it. If you want it longer, uhhhhh, sew something onto it to make it longer. Hopefully you know how to hem. 

And you're done!!
Isn't it cute?!

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  1. Very cute! I do have some elastic thread somewhere that I never learned how to use. I might have to bust it out soon to make this skirt! Pinning to my sewing board. Stopping by from Behind the Seams via the Two Uses Tuesday bloghop! Hope you have a great week!

  2. Cute! I never would have thought a bout doing panels like that :0)

  3. I've never tried the elastic thread like this for a skirt waist, you've made it look easy. Thanks