Thursday, July 6, 2017

Skirting the Issue

I'm thrilled to be a part of Skirting the Issue this year. Skirting the Issue is such a wonderful cause. Simple Simon & Co and Project Run & Play are the amazing blogs behind this brilliantness. For all the information on Skirting the Issue, click over here.

I'm going to show you have to take the skirt portion of your favorite dress pattern and turn it into a separate skirt. This is such a quick and easy modifaction that you can do to pretty much any dress pattern. I'm going to be using the girl's Bluezette from Love Notions. I love this high low hem and used the ladies' version it as a skirt in the past for my teenager's homecoming dress last fall.

First, you need to measure you child to determine how long you want the finished skirt. Since most dresses have the skirt portion starting at the natural waist and most kids like to wear their bottoms at high hip, we will have to adjust the length of the skirt. For my friend's daughter, I want the front hem to be approximately 13" from the waist. We are adding a 2" tall waistband, so the skirt portion can be 12" long. Don't forget to add the hem! The amount will vary per pattern. If you pattern has a 1" hem allowance, the skirt would be 12" long in this case.

Because of the shape of my skirt pieces, I simply removed the excess length from the top of the pattern piece. Some patterns have a shorten/lengthen line you can use to adjust the length. 

After you determined how tall your skirt pieces need to be, cut your skirt out and assemble per the pattern instructions.

Now, let's make that waistband! We will be making a yoga style waistband. You will need some knit fabric that has great stretch and recovery. I prefer cotton lycra for this.

Measure your child's waist/high hip, where they will wear the skirt at. Subtract 3" from that measurement. That is how wide you need to cut your waistband. I want a 2" tall band, so double that and add 1/4" seam allowance and I'm cutting my waistband 4.5" tall. My friend's daughter has a 21" waist. So, my waistband is 18" wide. Because my fabric has great stretch and recover, I didn't add in the 1/2" for seam allowance. (1/4" for each side) If you don't want to do all this math, you can also use the knit waistband measurement from a pattern that you have that fits your child.

After you cut your waistband, sew the short ends with the right sides together.

 Then fold tube wrong sides together with the raw edges lined up.

I'm using the Bluezette pattern, which is written for a woven skirt. This style of skirt requires that I gather the upper edge of the skirt before attaching the waistband. If the dress pattern you used for your skirt piece requires you to gather the skirt before attaching to the bodice, you will have to gather your skirt before attaching to your waistband.

With the skirt inside out, slip the waistband into the skirt matching up the quarter points of the waistband and the skirt top. Pin into place with raw edges aligned.

Stretching the waistband as you go, attach the waistband to the skirt. Be careful NOT to stretch the skirt, just stretch the waistband.

And there you have it. A skirt from your favorite dress!

Note that the girls' Bluezette pattern does not have a seam down the back piece. I needed to piece the back piece to work with the scraps I was using for the project.

Seriously, how sweet is she?!?! 

She hammed it up for my camera! I may have to steal her more often. 

Now you can take all your favorite dresses and create all the skirts!! This same technique will work for women's dresses also. ;) So you can make skirts for all ages. Ladies, teens and girls.