May 16, 2011

Summer of No Pants: A Skirt Tutorial from Sew Serendipity!




Here is my skirt tutorial from my book, Sew Serendipity, as my guest post for the Summer of No Pants. You can sign up for a Sew Serendipity book giveaway here. I decided to start with the Ruffled Skirt and add a pocket from another variation. I used two prints from Poodle, a great collection from Jennifer Paganelli of Sis Boom for Free Spirit Fabrics. The dot is from Michael Miller. I will take you completely through construction according to the instructions in my book. The embellishments are the added pocket, ruffles, and fabric flower.

You may be thinking,"How can I use this?" Simple! You can apply the ruffle idea between seams on ANY skirt or dress pattern as well as dressing something up with a great fabric flower. You might even get industrious and design your own pocket for a paneled skirt. Think outside the box!



Let's get started! First, cut the pieces from the fabric. Notice that the pocket piece is flipped. I only needed the left side pocket and wanted to fussy cut the fabric. That's why I like tissue...you can see through it to do that sort of thing.

Now that the pieces are cut out, it is time to add the fusible interfacing to the wrong side of the facing pieces and sew them right sides together at the sides. Press the seams to one side and serge the lower edge. Set the facing aside for later!



Next, cut some strips for the ruffles. I made my strips 2" wide. Cut off the selvedges, then fold the strips in half widthwise wrong sides together and press.

I used my ruffler attachment set at every 6th stitch and gathered up one of the strips. LOVE this foot! It is worth its weight in gold!

Here, I have shown you the difference between a pressed ruffle and one that isn't....can you guess which is which? This is why I press my ruffles!


Now it is time to add the ruffles to the upper and lower edges of one of the pocket pieces, against the right side of fabric. I just follow the line of stitching that was created from ruffling the fabric strip.






Add the other pocket piece, right sides together and stitch along the upper and lower edges. Turn the pocket right side out and press, then edge and topstitch the finished edges.


The pocket is added to the left side front piece next. I stitched close to the edge on the sides and on top of previous stitching along the lower edge.



It is time to add the ruffles to the center front and back pieces. Just line up the raw edges with a bit of ruffle extending beyond the upper and lower edges, then stitch in place.



Add the side front and back pieces to the center front/backs. I serge these seams after stitching for a neat appearance. Press the ruffles toward the side pieces, then edge and topstitch the seams. Notice on the center back, the straight edge is serged and ready for the invisible zipper.

I am NOT showing the zipper installation here, but you can visit my "Don't Fear the Invisible Zipper" tutorial on the sidebar. Lots of people have been very successful with their zippers using this method!


Wow....like magic that zipper is in place now! Sew the front and back skirt pieces right sides together along the side seams, then press the seams to one side.

Add the waistline facing to the upper edge of the skirt, right sides together. Notice how the zipper seam allowance has been opened out with the facing. This will be folded in once the stitching is completed.



After stitching, trim down the seam to 1/4" and clip to ease the curve. I always understitch my facing seams. This is done by turning the seam toward the facing and stitching close to the seam line on top of the facing. This prevents the facing from rolling to the outside during wear. Once the understitching is complete, turn the facing to the inside and press.



Open the facing out once more along the center back and fold in the edges of the facing and press, then fold back inside once more.





Edge and topstitch the top finished edge of the skirt, then stitch in the ditch on the side seams to secure the facing. Now it will stay in place during washing and wearing!



Add a ruffle to the lower edge of the skirt, starting at the center back seam against the right side. Notice how I left the first part of the ruffle free. This is so I can join the ends of the ruffle before sewing it to the skirt.


Once most of the ruffle is in place, I stop and fold back the ends of the ruffle and press. Then, open out the ends and mark those creases. Align the creases and stitch together. Trim down the seam and finish attaching the ruffle to the skirt.







Make the lower section of the skirt by placing them right sides together and stitch the side seams. Press seams to one side, then add it right sides together to the lower edge of the skirt on top of the ruffle. Stitch in place.



Press the ruffle down to rest on top of the lower skirt. The seam allowance is pressed upward. Edge and topstitch this seam. Add another ruffle (this one is 4" wide, then folded in half before adding to the skirt) just as the other ruffle was added.



Press and topstitch the seam.


Now for the flower! I cut one 1 1/2" wide strip and folded it in half just like I did for all the other ruffles, ONLY this time, I pressed a small amount at each end to the wrong side for a neat finish. When I gathered it, I set the ruffler for EVERY stitch so it would have a tighter gather. Once gathered, I pressed it flat and began rolling it up.




Once it is rolled up, I used a double threaded needle and hand stitched the layers together. Leave the needle attached once the stitching is complete. See the difference between the flower that has been steamed and the one that hasn't? I like to think that my iron makes these "bloom"!


Use the attached needle and thread and stitch the flower to the lower right seam.

This skirt is ready to wear! I hope you found some inspiration to make this YOUR summer of no pants!

Happy Sewing....

31 comments:

Μαiρη said...

Είσαι καταπληκτική!!! Σε ευχαριστώ που μοιράστηκες την ιδέα σου μαζί μας! Τις ευχές μου από την Ελλάδα!

Deborah Hays said...

GREAT, great pictures!! Thanks so much for sharing!

Stephanie Lynn said...

Love the colors and prints you picked! A great visual tutorial. :)

Margaret said...

I ordered this book last week now I want it even more. Oh, when will the mail carrier get here with it?

veronique said...

What a nice surprise today!
I discovered your site and sewing patterns not long ago, and decided to purchase your book which I received today in France - I just could not wait to get it either and this is such a wonderful "sewing appeal"!
It is so nice and seems so easy that I want to sew it all. So this pictured tutorial is just what I needed to be more confident and start - the trickiest will be to find the right fabrics, now...

McKee Family said...

Lovely photos, pretty fabric...this post is a treat for the eyes! And an inspiration too! =)

Michelle said...

Super cute! and great detailed instructions!!

Rachel said...

I absolutely love this skirt; it's actually the first project I'm going to make from the Sew Serendipity book (I got it for Christmas - it's about time!) One question, though... I would like to shorten the skirt because I'm only 5'3" and I think the calf-length would reach the floor on me. Any tips or suggestions?

Kristy said...

Gorgeous!!!

365daysofsewing said...

I am all about a no pant summer! Often skirts are way more comfortable than pants, especially in the summer.

Kay Whitt said...

Rachel,
Please refer to the beginning chapter on altering the pattern pieces. There is a way to shorten the skirt pieces by folding up a pleat on the tissue. Let me know if you have any other questions!

Lisanne said...

Last week I made your Monique dress and with this turtorial I know if I make this skirt(yup I have the book) I will get on a bit better, Thank you, I shall make a skirt next week. Love your choice of fabric and it's sewn so beautifullly. Lisanne xx

casserole said...

This is such a beautiful skirt! I linked to your tutorial on Craft Gossip Sewing:
http://sewing.craftgossip.com/tutorial-ruffled-summer-skirt/2011/05/17/

--Anne

GG said...

OH how I want that ruffler! Love the frabic choices, again! I am so happy you used your book! I love to see how others used your patterns with their own interpretations.

Carla Hegeman Crim said...

Gorgeous skirt...love the fabric combo (of course)!!! So great seeing you at market, sweet talented lady!

Terri said...

AWESOME tutorial! Makes me itch to sew!!! Blessings!

Mama Lusco said...

Thanks for the wonderful tutorial. I recently purchased your book and am looking forward to making some clothing for me!

My8kidsmom said...

I love this book! This skirt is a the list to sew this week :)

Lisa - Alterity Button Jewelry said...

What a great tutorial, Kay! Just love your skirts :)

a_bone_to_pick said...

Hi Kay, I got your book a couple weeks ago, and I love it SO much- but i've hit a snag. So i have one question that may clear it up for me.I made the muslin for one of your skirts, in size XL. When I tried it on,one of my usual issue happened- Long story short, my waist is an XL, maybe even a L, but my hips are XXL- but it's because of my bubble butt- not hip width.

This is my curse even when buying RM clothing. So normally I could just make the XXL, and nip in the waist with darts... but with your pattern, there s a facing. My question is, how to deal with the facing? Should I use the XXL, and make darts in the waist AND facing? Is there a special way to handle this, because I can imagine the darts with the facing and interfacing making some serious lumps and bulk. Maybe i'm overthinking it? I'd be so happy if you could make a suggestion, so i can move forward.

Kay Whitt said...

Hey "A bone to pick"!
Here is what I would do (this is also suggested in the alteration section of the book). I would taper the pattern pieces from the hip down to the size you need in the waist when you are cutting out the pieces. Of course, I recommend making the muslin again to see how this works. You might want to try this treatment on the side seams first and see what that gets you. If that does not take in the waist enough, then you could taper in the seams to either side of center front and back too. This does mean that your facing will need to be tailored to fit the adjustments. The best thing to do there is to get the skirt seams sewn and then make yourself a new facing piece based on the skirt size at the top. If you will email me through my website, I can walk you through that process. However, I think you can experiment with the alteration technique I have suggested first to make sure this will work for you, then we can tackle the facing to fit....no darts!

a_bone_to_pick said...

Kay, thanks for your reply. I have cut out a new muslin and will try your suggestion this week. I saw in the book where you talked about tapering in there but it didn't click in my head somehow. Your answer about just making the facing to size of the smaller waistline does make sense. If I can't figure it out, I will definitely email you. Now I have a starting point. Once again, thank you so much, for the advice and such a great book.
Regards!
- Alexia

patrice said...

I just LOVE and ADORE your book!!
I have already made 2 skirts, and every time I wear them people stop and ask me where I got them. Your instructions are easy to follow. I love your tutorial on putting in a invisible zipper.
I am thinking of sewing a coat for the fall.
Thanks again

angelina_lover said...

That is just awesome!
You did a great job on the skirt, the tutorial and I love your fabric choices

sissyjane said...

I just finished my first skirt from your fab-o book! I love, love, love it!!! Now I'm looking forward to the "bag" book. I'm a bag lady!

MeliMel said...

I really think you should consider making a tutorial video series. I would love to become a better sewer, but all the videos I can find are outdated or just aren't my style....seriously, you should try to get your own show!!!!!

Little Bird said...

Your designs are so pretty! Just what I have been looking for but could not find in the regular "pattern books". Thanks for sharing your skills and sense of design.

Regina said...

i forgot what all my pants look like!! i just finished making that skirt, i love it and the pattern was so simple to follow. nice!!

nana said...

Oh my gosh!!! I had the Diane wrap dress in my cart and the canadian postal service went on strike!!!! It is just too costly to use Fed Ex,soooooo, I have to wait for this beautiful pattern. I hope I win it!!!!!

Hi! My name is erica. Would you be my friend? said...

Wow, you made that look easy, and yet I know if I went to do it it'd be a mess! :) Maybe someday I'll try a skirt, thanks for the how-to!

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