Oct 4, 2011

{A Skirt…it’s sew simple!} Seriously, I'm not kidding!

Up until now, I’ve never actually sewn clothing. My sewing repertoire has been limited to pillows, placemats, table runners, and hemming curtains…but never clothing! And there’s a reason…I’m not very good at it…sewing that is. In the last couple of years I’ve been trying to teach myself to sew. I bought a machine from Overstock.com for about $75 and started making pillows. I didn’t know the rules, or the lingo, and sewing just allows me to save a buck by making my own stuff.

Okay, so as y’all know, I am not claiming to be a seamstress here, by any stretch of the imagination, but I did give sewing a skirt a chance. What did I have to lose? (Except a few bucks by wasting fabric, but I could always turn the fabric into a pillow, placemat, or something…right?) I wasn’t even going to blog about it, but Justin thought it turned out pretty good and that I should share it with you all! (Isn’t he so thoughtful?)

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So, using the “dress tutorial” from the Trip over Joy blog, which I found on Pinterest…I gave it the old college try!  I changed it bit to make a skirt, instead of a dress, and am very happy with the results.

What you will need:

-fabric (about 1 ½ yards – 2 yards, depending on your size and the length of the fabric)
-black thread and thread to match your fabric
-sewing machine
-2 inch elastic band (sized to your waist, but buy a few inches longer for extra just in case)
-pins

Note: This is a “high waist, gathered skirt---to be worn with a tank or shirt (tucked in). I will wear mine with a black tank and a black cardigan, with black, peep toed pumps.

Step 1: Cut your fabric. You will need to identical pieces, and I just used rectangles for this.

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  • Width: This will depend on your waist size, but add a few inches for gathering.
  • Length: Again, this depends your size. Go longer, though…you can always trim the length later. The length should be at your knee, but if you’ve got great legs, by all means…GO SHORTER! But since I’m in my 30’s, I’m gonna keep mine age appropriate.

Step 2: Hem the two pieces of fabric on the two sides using your matching thread. Trim the extra fabric.

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Step 3: Make the waistband: sew the cut ends of a 2 inch elastic band together using black thread. Trim the extra elastic.

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Step 4: Pin the top of the two pieces of fabric (the skirt) to the inside of the elastic waistband. Gather the fabric as you go and pin, pin, pin…the more pins, the merrier!

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Step 5: Sew the top of the fabric to the inside of the elastic waistband using black thread.

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Step 6: Try on, and pin to mark your desired length.

Step 7: To finish the bottom, I didn’t want to use a regular hem with a knit fabric because I couldn’t achieve a “crisp” ironed finished look…so I used a zigzag stitch on my machine. Sew VERY CLOSE and VERY SLOW at the edge of your fabric and it will give the edge an “almost” scalloped look using your choice of matching thread or black thread. I used black to tie the edge into the black elastic waistband.

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Step 8: Tah Dah…you just made a skirt! Pat yourself on the back! Congrats!

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Do you want to go the extra mile?  Before Step 3, you can choose to cover your elastic band with fabric! (This is what I did with my skirt in the photo!  But this is optional and really not necessary.  I actually made two skirts using both methods, and they both look great!)  The elastic covering can be a coordinating fabric, the same fabric, or black fabric. Just cover the elastic band and hem along the edge. Be careful not to sew the actual band into the fabric, because you want to move the fabric so the seam is in the middle of the back of the elastic. You will then pin the top of the skirt directly on this hem. When you wear the skirt, your sewed hems will be hidden under the elastic waistband.

If you’re like me, you’ll have nightmares about wearing this in public and it unraveling, and then dropping to the floor.   I’m left standing in a group of people in my skivvies and I wake up in a sweat.  Yes, I’ve had this dream.

I actually did face my fears, and wore this out in public…twice! It didn’t unravel and I didn’t embarrass myself by ending up standing there in just my skivvies!  I was so relieved in this photo that my skirt was still on…

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And now for the shoes…

I LOVE these (actually, lusting over these)…
Jimmy Choos (Isabel) for $500. OMG…there is no way I can buy these. I’ve got “The Kid’s” college to save for, and not to mention I’m back in school as well! But I do admire the simplicity of these shoes…gorgeous, right?
The Look for Less…
ALDO for $35 on Amazon. I know, I know…you shoe people out there will probably think they’re terrible, and I know the quality of the Jimmy Choos cannot be beat, but I’ve got bills to pay people!

5 comments:

  1. Allison CunninghamOctober 4, 2011 at 10:47 PM

    Very nice!

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  2. I love the skirt it looks great!

    I think that the fears of wearing the skirt in public can be overcome with a few strategically placed safety pins :-)

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  3. Hello Erin!

    I found you through IKEA hackers, and I am one as well ;) Love your blog, and especially the mudroom wardrobe, I will definetly remember this as I try to make something similar to my hallway ;) Thank you so much for the inspiration!

    I have added you to my international bloglist, ad are looking forard to visit your page again for more inspiration.

    Greetings from Norway!

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  4. Love the skirt, Erin! You did great! I'm a huge fan of ALDO. It's always my first stop when I'm looking for a new pair of dressy boots. (Read: not shit kickers...)

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