Monday, October 24, 2011

Tutorial: Simple Circular Skirt or Ballet Skirt

This tutorial has been a long time coming, sorry to those who expressed an interest in it months ago, but better late than never right?
Way back in march I made a ballet outfit for a special wee girl for her birthday and blogged about it here.  Miss K loved it and here some photos of her that her Mum has kindly told me I can share :-)

So this whole Blogtober thing got me to thinking that I should finally get around to writing up this tutorial.  First of all some disclaimers.  This is the first tutorial I have written so I will do my best but no guarantees.  Secondly like I said I made this back in March so I will try to remember everything as accurately as possible.  Thirdly even with my science geek background this will take more of a "roll with it" than a "rigorously scientific" approach :-)

This tutorial is for a simple circular skirt on a waistband.  Here I have made it as a wee 'ballet' skirt but you could easily make it for any kind of dress up or even as a simple skirt.  The size is completely tailored to the measurements of the child so it is completely versatile from baby to adult if necessary.
Materials required:
Fabric - This sort can be made in most fabrics however fabrics with a loose weave such as chiffon may 'drop' to give an uneven hem over time.  Here I used a taffeta lining.  How much you need with depend on the measurements of the finished skirt.  It's probably best to read through the tutorial and work backwards to work it out from there.
Tape Measure
Velcro (hook and loop) or whatever kind of fastening you wish to use.
Interfacing for waistband if wanted.

1. Measure the child (or adult) the skirt is for.  You will require a waist measurement (taken over whatever layers the skirt will be worn over) and desired finished length of the skirt from wist to hem.

2. Fold the fabric in half salvage to salvage, then fold it back along the length of the fabric as shown below.  You can adjust these folds to avoid fabric wastage later if desired.
3. At this stage you need to decide if you want the skirt gathered at the waistband or not.  If you do then you need to decide how much.  From memory I had this skirt slightly gathered so took the waist measurement and multiplied it by about 1.25, for a full gather I would multiply by 1.5 to 1.75, this will be your 'skirt top measurement'.  (NOTE:  If you are using a heavy cotton or any heavier fabric I wouldn't gather too much as there is a lot of fullness in a full circle of fabric anyway and it can get quite heavy).  If you don't want gathers simply use the waist measurement here.  Divide the 'skirt top measurement' by 4 and place a tape measure on the fabric in a rough circular shape to achieve this measurement as shown below.

4. Mark the ends of the tape measure on the fabric and measure the distance from the corner to this point.
5. Add this number to the total desired length of the skirt plus approx 1-2cm for a hem.  Take this new total length and measuring from the corner cut a quarter circle from the fabric.

6.  Now repeat the quarter circle cut from the corner with the measurement taken in step 4 to form the waist.  That's the skirt part cut out :-)
7.  Cut a strip of fabric for the waistband the length of which will be the waist measurement plus approx 8cm for overlap and the width twice the width of the desired finished waistband plus 2cm.  If you want to interface the waistband for support apply the interfacing to one half (lengthwise) now.
8.  Make a slit in the back of the skirt down from the waist approx 8-10cm (or longer if it is for an adult, remember this will allow the skirt to be puled up over the hips) and finish the raw edges of this slip, I overlock but this isn't necessary.  Then if gathering run a long gathering thread around the waist of the skirt and gather to finished waist measurement.

9. Pin waistband to waist edge of skirt folding the finished raw edge of the back slit towards the inside of the skirt.  The waistband is pinned with the right side of the waistband fabric to the wrong side of the skirt, so pin it to the inside of the skirt.  The waistband will have a slight overlap (1-1.5cm, your seam width roughly) at one end and a large overhang at the other end of the waist.
10.  Finish the raw edges of the waistband.  The picture here actually shows the skirt inside out, sorry it's hard to tell the right and wring side of the fabric I used.
11. Fold the waistband in half the stitch remembering to fold up the seam allowance of the free edge to the outside as shown.  Stitch the ends of the waistband.
12.  Turn waistband in the right way and pin in place on the right side of the skirt turning under the seam allowance as you go.
13.  Carefully topstitch close to the bottom of the waistband.  Then stitch down the finished edges of the back slit as shown below.
14.  Finish raw edge of hem, turn up and stitch.
15. Apply velcro to waistband and you are all done :-)
Please let me know if you have any questions about this tutorial.  If you want anything clarified please ask, and if you find this useful I would love to see pics of your finished skirts :-)  Enjoy and happy sewing.

1 comment: