Wednesday, February 1, 2012

The Striped Skirt

 I bit the bullet recently and made a "huge" investment. I bought a self healing mat and rotary blade cutter. If you have one or have looked into them you know why I say it was a huge investment. Those things are costly. I just figured it was time and like everything else I convince my husband that I need I use it to the fullest potential so money does not go waisted. Hence a skirt I had been dreaming about for awhile was the first project I made with the new set up.
 Beautiful stripes. (yep I have a thing for stripes) I have always had some issues cutting straight and even lines, especially for straight and even stripes. The rotary cutter and straight edge ruler changed all of that for me and the striped skirt was made! Oh and this one was almost a skirt for me, but I discovered I didn't have a zipper and I wanted a fitted waist with a zipper so we will revisit this tutorial in a week or so when I do a grown up version, although you could totally make an elastic version for yourself if you rather. (whew huge long run on sentence)

So to begin select your fabric. I like using two different shades for rotating stripes but you could use the same tone in different shades for an ombre effect. I used quilters cotton (100% cotton) they have a whole rainbow of colors available most places (for around 5 dollars a yard and it's often on sale)Or you could go white and dye it yourself. Now for cutting the stripes. I made all of my 4 inches long and the width is about 30 inches. (they are folded in the picture) Then for the waistband Measure the waist. Divide it in half and then add 2 inches. So Abbey has 20 inch waist so my waist band piece was 10+2= 12 inches. Cut 2 of each stripe and the waistband so you have a front and back.
 Then with the ruler and rotary blade I just angled the ruler and cut all the stripes. This is why if they are folded they get cut the same on both sides. Make sure you do the same for the front and back strips.
 Then with right sides together sew the strips to each other bottom of one to the top of the one below it and so on.
 It's hard to see in the picture but I also pressed the seam and top stitched the seam so they would al lay flat.
 Then when you have all the stripes sewn together you will add large pleats as you pin the skirt to fit the waistband. I started by matching the middle of the skirt piece and the middle of the waistband and then added 2 inch pleats until the skirt piece fit the waistband. Then sew it together.
 Press the seam flat and topstitch. Then repeat all the sewing of the stripes and the waistband until you have a front and back skirt.
 Then with the front and back pieces right sides together sew down the sides.
 Next fold the waistband down half way. (I serged the top edge to finish the edge but you can fold it under twice if you rather)
 Sew all the way around the waist leaving a 2 inch opening then slip in some elastic. (I just put the elastic around her waist and measured what would be a comfortable fit, not too tight so she can grow a little)Sew the elastic in place to secure.  Then sew the opening closed, hem the bottom and you are done.
 Although Abbey has been so spoiled by pockets lately she was sad that I didn't put a pocket in the skirt. You could easily add an inseam pocket (find help here)
 I just love the big pleats that make it a lovely full skirt that still has clean lines.
And the stripes? Yep can't get enough...


  1. Love the colors, the stripes, and the pleats. Can't wait to see yours! PS I'm really surprised you hadn't purchased a rotary cutter/mat by now. It was one of my first sewing purchases and totally worth it! I got mine on sale at joann's in a set for $25 and I'm sure I've made that money back many projects ago. :)

  2. I love this, too. But like Emily above me, I'm super surprised, that you haven't had a cutter/mat before now. You make such beautiful things--you absolutely deserve it. :)

  3. LOVE it! Can't believe with all the sewing you do you just now got the rotary and mat! (haha- we all sound like broken records!) It makes everything so much faster!!! You will keep loving it :) I got mine when Joanns had all of it 40% off so it wasn't so bad- it was a birthday present to myself and I use it all the time. It has made me get into quilting more because it is less tedious to cut out the pieces. Watch out though- I have cut myself by accidentally bumping my hand into it (and covered some beautiful fabric with blood in the process...oops!), but I tend to be a klutz so maybe that's just me!

  4. Absolutely love this skirt. I also can't believe you haven't had a rotary cutter and mat. It amazes me all the wonderful things you've created without them! I can't imagine cutting fabric without. Thanks for the tutorial.

  5. i saw you on craft gossip! Lovely skirt and the model is super cute! ;)
    Also, great tutorial, thanks for sharing!

  6. I can't believe you went this long without a rotary cutter & mat.... That was the second investment I made after buying a sewing machine. ANd I am not even as good as you. You must have some mad cutting skillz!

  7. After I purchased my self-healing mat from a pricey fabric store, my artist roommate told me you can actually get them at an art store for much much cheaper, he only paid about half of what I paid for exactly the same thing!

  8. OMG!!!!! I am a 100% novice "sew-er" lol and this was my first project!!!! I made this for me niece using 2 tone purple with a mini-sewing machine!!! She loves it. She wont take it off. I have pictures if you'd like

    1. oh I would love to see pictures! I am so glad you made one!

  9. Hi, I´m really big fan of grey and yellow, thx for this lovely tutorial and best wishes from germany Anja

  10. I absolutely adore your projects. I think it is so generous of you to share them like you do. Thanks for your kindness!

  11. the way your web is one of the absolute best places on the Internet to get all inspired and get patterns or ideas to make. Warm regards from a sewing mother in Iceland!! You rock! ;-)


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