Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Tutorial!! Stack My Ruffles Skirt

This is my favorite skirt that I made for the "Summer of No Pants" challenge by Hideous, Dreadful, Stinky. It's the most fun and funky of the 4 skirts I made and I can't wait to wear it out!!

Let's get started! You will need:
 1 yard of main skirt fabric, mine is red.
1yard of an accent fabric for the ruffles
1" elastic
Sewing supplies: machine, thread, etc.

First we need to get some measurements. All of these measurements will be for your main, or solid colored fabric. Measure around your waist first, and double it. This is the width of the skirt. This will give a nice gather to the skirt once the elastic is in.

The second measurement we need is the length of the skirt. I wanted mine to be short and flirty, so I measured mine at 15". Now if this is to scandalous to you, please add as much length as you like! Now...we're not done with this measurement. Decide how fat you want your wasteband to be. (this is the red colored portion on top of my skirt in the picture). You will need to add this length to the total length of your skirt. Confusing...I know.

This should help. I wanted my skirt length 15". I wanted an 8" red waistband at the top of my skirt. I cut the length of my skirt 23". I used the length of my fabric for the width, so I have a rectangle that is 55" x 23". This is the main skirt piece.

Now we need some ruffles. Cut along the length of your patterned fabric, 5" wide, to make strips for the ruffles. If you want more ruffles on your skirt than I have, you can make them thinner, you'll just have some more sewing to do. I made 6 strips in total. This will make 3 ruffles.

Now...Let's get sewing!!

I made my ruffles first, because it's a little tedious and I wanted to get it out of the way. Start by taking two of your strips and place them right sides together. Sew the strips together along the short side to make one very long strip. Do this with the other 4 strips. You will now have 3 very long pieces of fabric.

You can serge or hem the long end of one side of each ruffle. Since I am not blessed with a serger...I sat and folded my fabric under 1/4", then another 1/4", and sewed until each strip had a neat and pretty hem with no raw edges.

Now that you're pulling your hair out from those long stitches...let's do it again! Now, on the other side of the strip from where you just hemmed it, you need to run a long basting stitch. I set my stitch length to 5, and sewed all the way along the top at 1/4" inward. *Do Not Backstitch!!*

Once you have run your stitch, pull on the thread that came from the bobbin (the bottom thread) and gather your fabric. You will need to gather it to the same length as your main skirt fabric's width, so 55" for mine.

Once you're done you'll have three ruffles, hemmed and ready to go!!

Now, take the fabric for your main skirt piece. Hem one long side. Fold under 1/4", then again 1/4" to hide the raw edges and sew.

Now we attach the ruffles! I laid my first ruffle down and let the end of the ruffle overhang the bottom of the skirt fabric by 1/2". I wanted to hide the base fabric, but not lengthen my skirt by putting the ruffles on too low.

Pin the end of the ruffle to the side of the skirt on both sides. Then pin every few inches to hold the ruffle in place while you sew it on to your main fabric piece.

Here's a shot of where I placed my ruffle

Lay your second ruffle on top of the first one. Only overlap enough to cover the stitches on the bottom ruffle. Pin and sew on to the main fabric. Do this with the 3rd ruffle as well, making sure you cover the stitches on the second ruffle.

Now you should have several inches on top of your ruffles of skirt fabric. This is where we make the waistband. Fold the top of your skirt fabric over until it reaches the top row of stitches on your ruffles. Fold under 1/4" and pin in place. This will hide all stitching and give you a nice clean edge.

Pin all the way across and stitch the top of your fabric to the top of the ruffles. This gets a little thick, so keep your hand on your skirt to help feed it through your machine.

The next step is optional, but I think it gives the skirt a more finished look. I topstitch around the top of the wasteband before making the casing for my elastic.

Now we need to make the casing for the elastic. I like to make sure I've got plenty of room to thread my elastic, so I lay it on my fabric and mark where I need to stitch my casing. This is just for a guideline. Then  run a stitch across the wasteband to make the elastic casing.

Measure around your waist and cut your elastic to fit. You may want to add 1/2" for overlap to sew the elastic together. Place a safety pin in your elastic to help you guide it through the casing.

Start feeding your elastic through the casing, making sure not to twist it. Hold on to your other elastic end so you don't lose it!!

Once you've fed the elastic all the way through, make sure there are no twists, overlap the ends and stitch them together securly.

Now comes the fun part! Getting it all sewn up together!!

Flip your skirt inside out and line up the top and bottom of the skirt. Pin together.

Grab the bottom of the first ruffle and match it to the ruffle on the other side. Pin this together. Do the same for the other two ruffles. This will make sure they match up when you sew your skirt together.

Now pin together the main skirt fabric from the bottom, all the way to the bottom of the elastic. Sew with a 1/4" seam allowance. Once you've done this you'll need to hand-stitch the rest of the casing around the elastic closed.

Just a few stitches and you're done! Ready for twirling!! This would also make a darling skirt for a little girl! I may make one for Gray soon!!

Happy Sewing!!

If you make this project I would love to see pictures! You can e-mail them to me and I'll post them on the Blog for others to see your handy-work!!!

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Beyond The Picket Fence

Tidy Mom


  1. Cute! Come and join our link party:

  2. Hey turned out great, I love the ruffles! THanks for the great tute, and showing off your fun projects on my blog!!



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