Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Tuesday Tutorial: Ruffle Skirt

I measured Big E's waist (20.5"), hips (25") and length that I wanted the skirt (10"). I purchased 1/2" elastic for the skirt. I cut my fabric 31" by 10 1/4" for the skirt and 40" by 2" for the ruffle. Remember to pre-wash and iron your fabric so it doesn't shrink on you when you wash the completed skirt!

1. For the ruffle, fold one long edge 1/4" twice and sew a straight seam. On the opposite long edge, baste the longest stitch your machine will do to help create the ruffle. Do not back stitch.
2. Pull the thread on the bottom (the bobbin thread) to create a ruffle that is the length of your fabric (in my instance, 31"). This takes a little while so just be patient. Try to make the ruffle the same all the way down the fabric.
3. Press 1/4" along one long edge of the skirt fabric. Make sure you press it well so that it stays in place.
4. Pin the ruffle to the edge that you just ironed. I made the edge of my ruffle all of the way to the top of the folded raw edge. I did this so that my basting stitch would be covered. This was a laziness move on my part, I didn't want to have to remove the basting stitch later.

5. Sew on the ruffle, pretty close to the edge. Do this slow as the ruffle wants to move.
6. Turn the fabric over and sew another seam close to the folded edge of the pattern fabric. Try to get your seams straighter than mine are (eek).
7. Fold over the waistline of the fabric about 1 1/4". Sew a 1/4" seam along the top.
8. Sew another 1/4" seam along the bottom of the waistline.

9. Attach a safety pin to one end of elastic that is the size of the waist.
10. Insert the safety pin and elastic into the waistline.
11. Keep moving the safety pin until the other end of the elastic is at the first end of the fabric. Don't pull it all the way through or you'll have to just take it back out and start again.
12. Baste the elastic and fabric together close to the edge.

13. Keep feeding the elastic through until you get to the other side. Use the safety pin to hold the elastic in place while you baste the other edge.
14. put the raw edges of the skirt together, right sides touching. Pin it together.
15. Sew all the way along the raw edge and down through the ruffle at the bottom. I cropped this picture so you couldn't see all of my messy, crooked seams on the ruffle.
16. I decided to zig zag the raw edge, thinking this would help with fraying and make it look nicer. I wish I had a serger for this part.
All done! She really liked it.
Disclaimer: I am just learning to sew. I'm hoping that my basic ways of doing things will help someone. I probably don't do it the best way or the perfect way, but you all are learning with me as a new sewer. I apologize to all of you expert seamstresses who are shaking their heads in shame right now :) - please feel free to give me tips [in a gentle and kind way, of course].

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  1. Amy, Great job!!!! I absolutely love the fabrics you use - gorgeous!!! Did you pick the fabric to match the shirt? It's perfect!

    I am BY NO MEANS an expect seamstress. I am self taught as well and have only managed a few sundresses, pillowcase dresses and simple totes. One thing I learned (only by trial and error and someone else pointing this trick out to me) is this: if you want to keep your ruffle from having a hem at the bottom, simply cut the fabric 2x + 1/2 inch for seam allowance the length you want the ruffle to be. Then simple double the fabric up (rough edges to rough edges) and sew both rough edges onto body of skirt. This will make the ruffle totally thread free. It's actually less sewing and gives a bit of a cleaner ruffle. Then all you have to do is a zigzag finish the rough edges.

    I probably made this as clear as mud and I'm sure you probably can tweak this to make it even better than I do it. :-)

    Love all of your stuff!! Going to order some jewelry as soon as I get some "freebie" money of my own! :-) You are so incredibly crafty - I'm envious!

  2. Thanks Rachel - I'll have to try that!!


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