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Saturday, March 13, 2010

DIY Elastic Waist Skirt

Here are the intructions for the SUPER easy to make this skirt I wore earlier this week.
Tools and Supplies Needed

-Sewing Machine (Serger Optional)
-Fabric (amount depends on the length and how gathered you want the skirt)
-Wideish Elastic (The circumference of your waist minus 2.5cm (1"))
-Thread to Match
-Ruler
-Pins

Instructions
1.  Decide how full and how long you want the skirt to be to figure out how much fabric you need.  The width of the fabric will help determine how much you need.  The fabric I used was 115cm (45") wide so because I wanted my skirt to be quite full I used the full width for the front piece and the full width for the back piece.  If your fabric is 150cm (60") wide your skirt would likely be quite full (depending on your waist size as well) if you used the whole width as the front and back (meaning that you would only use one piece of fabric to make the skirt instead of using 2 like I did).
If you are using just one piece of fabric you will need the piece to be the width of the fabric by the length you want your skirt plus 1cm (3/8") for the hem, plus the width of your elastic (I used 5cm (2") wide elastic), plus 1.5cm (5/8").
If you are using 2 pieces of fabric you will need 2 pieces however wide you decide by the length determined above.

2.  Take your piece(s) and line the side seams up (if you are using one piece it would be the center back seam) right sides together.  Sew together using a 1.5cm (5/8") seam allowance.  Finish the raw edges of the seam(s) you just sewed by either serging or zig-zagging along the edge.  (I will admit I was lazy on this skirt and skipped this step because the edges of my fabric were already finished...so you can do the same if yours are already finished as well...and they should be if you cut out the fabric correctly!) 
3.  You should now have a very wide tube.  Finish the top and bottom edges of the tube by either serging or zig-zagging.
4.  Turn under the top edge of your tube (towards the "ugly" side of the fabric) the measurement of the width of your elastic plus 1.5cm (5/8")  Be sure to pin generously around.  This is going to make the casing that you slip the elastic into.  I did this on my ironing board because it's alot easier to move the fabric around on it.
5. Sew in about 0.6cm(1/4"-1cm(3/8") from your finished edge.  Basically the more gathered your skirt is going to be the closer to the finished edge you want to sew (This will allow more room for the elastic and keep it from curling in on the inside...hard to explain..but I know from experience).  You will sew all the way around the top of the tube, but leaving an opening large enough for the elastic to feed through at either one of the side seams (if using 2 pieces) or center back seam (if using 1 piece).
6.  Feed your elastic through the opening.  I did this by putting a safety pin on the end I feed through, and I pin the other end to the skirt to make sure it doesn't accidently get pulled through.
So you insert the end with the safety pin into the opening and feed it through the casing until it comes out the other end.  Make sure to NOT get any twists in the elastic while doing this.
7.  Take the two ends of the elastic pint them and sew them together by overlapping them about 1cm (3/8") and zig-zagging them together going over your stitches a few times to make sure everything is nice and sturdy.
8.  Now you have to sew down the opening in the casing.  Do this by pulling the elastic into the casing so there is no longer any poking out, pull the fabric tight and sew the hole closed.
9.  The final step is to hem the skirt.  Turn under the bottom edge 1cm being sure to pin generously.  Sew down just slightly in from your finished edge.

All Done!!

(Yes I wear my pink fuzzy slippers around the house ALL the time!!)

Here are some extra tips to make sure your skirt turns out perfect!!
-Allow extra length on your fabric to make sure you don't make the skirt too short...When you get finished step 8 try the skirt on to see what length you want it, and then hem accordingly.
-If you accidently cut the skirt too short you can lengthen it my adding a band of fabric around the bottom...do this by cutting a band twice the length that you need to add plus 4 times the seam allowance by the width of your skirt.  Sew it into a tube the same width as your skirt.  Fold the tub in half (so it's now half the length you started with).  Then sew it onto the bottom of the skirt making sure to match up you seam(s).
You could also do this with a matching or contracting fabric for a fun look.
-A lightweight fabric is the easiest to use for this project...the heavier the fabric the chunkier the waist will be, and the gathers won't drape as nce.  Silks, Satins, and Jersey Knits will work best for this project.
-If you want to use a sheer fabric add an underlay in a non-sheer fabric.  Cut it a bit shorter than the sheer fabric so it won't peek out the bottom.  You would sew the skirt together by making a tube of your sheer fabric and a tube of your non-sheer, layering the sheer tube over the non-sheer and sewing the rest of the skirt (as one skirt) according to the instructions above.  The only things is you would have to make 2 hems.

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