Wednesday 8 August 2012

How to Make a simple Princess Skirt with a Split

Materials: fabric, ½ inch elastic, thread, scissors, ruler, pins, sewing machine, chalk, iron, safety pin

I know there are lots of tutorials on how to make a simple elastic waistband skirt, but I wanted to do all the basic how to’s here on this blog too - so it can be a sure one-stop for all Sistren. 
The elastic waist skirt is great because it can be grown into, it can be made in any fabric you wish, and it can always be used as a template for other styles like a frill skirt or a dress. If you are making a  skirt past the knees, then you need a split. Realistically little girls do a lot of jumping and running, and will want the extra leg room. If the skirt is only about 12 inches long, it doesn’t need a split. That is more 2T-3T sizing.
The basic method to making this skirt is to take the following measurements and then apply a simple formula. Waist, hips/buttocks, length. Take the hip measurement and add 3, then divide by 2. This is the width of your skirt that you will cut out already inclusive of a ½ inch seam. So you are really adding 2 inches to the hips measurement, which allows the garment to slide on and off.
Eg: here are my daughter’s measurements. She 4 ½ yrs
Waist = 20
Hips = 22.5 (round up to 23)
Length (waist to desired length) = 15
Formula for skirt length:- add 2 inches for hem and casing 15+2 = 17
Formula for width of skirt:  23 + 3 = 26    26/2 = 13
Formula for elastic, take away 1 inch:  20-1 = 19
The skirt I am making is therefore a rectangle that is 13 inches wide and 17 inches long. 

Note: at this point you can decide to cut your fabric with two pieces, or cut the rectangle inclusive of the fold, so it would be a one-seamed skirt. If using thicker fabrics it might look better with two seams, with simple cotton knock-around play skirts, one seam is fine. They really don’t look different, however. 

I am making a denim skirt with this tutorial, demonstrating the 2-seam skirt. But I am only inserting 1 split. If you want to do 2 splits, you just repeat these steps on the second side.

First lay down the fabric flat, right sides together, and mark out your rectangle.

Pin together and cut out the rectangle. The splits are added when sewing up the 1 seam or the 2 side seams for the skirt. So draw in the ½ inch line on 1 side, and for the next side stop 5 inches up from the bottom (do this both sides if doing 2 splits).

Unpin. Serge or zigzag all the edges that will fray.
Pin the pieces back together, right sides together again.
Stitch up one side, then stitch up the other side stopping at the point where the split starts. Reverse stitch here. A space with two flaps is left.


Iron out the 2 seams. But this time you are pressing it open right down to the end, including the open flap. You will be bending both sides back in the same ½ inch that the seam itself has. 


 Next, make the hem. To make the hem, press in and pin the two ½  inch folds that make up the hem, starting at the right side and going around to the left. Pin in place.

 Straight stitch all around, completing the hem.

Though they are pressed in place, and now stitched in place at the bottom by the hem, you still have to sew in the two side flaps that are open to make the split:
Starting the at the bottom right hem, sew up to the top of the split, lift up presser-foot, turn skirt to side,

Sew across that short ½ inch space above the top of the split – reverse and come back again to secure it. 

Lift the presser foot and turn the skirt again, stitching down the left side to the other hem. The split is complete. 


Iron the split and hem.
Iron in your elastic 1 inch casing. You can tuck under the zigzag edge as another small hem, pin in place. Or, you can leave the zigzag or serged edge exposed – either way no one will see it and It won’t fray.

Starting at the seam, sew the elastic casing being sure to keep the line as straight as possible, but leave about 1 ½ inches free to insert the elastic.

Cut the piece of elastic, mine was 19. Attach a big safety pin to the elastic and insert it into the casing. Make sure the elastic isn’t twisted, join at ends and sew together going back and forth three times with a zigzag or straight  stitch. 

Spread the skirt out properly and using a straight stitch, close the elastic casing.

Iron out all the seams.

You’re finished!

So sorry my photos were so light and dark, but I tend to sew at night so the flash was kind of making everything light.

Here is a picture of the one seam skirt:

Sis. Ila

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