August 15, 2010

The Gardener's Bow Skirt Tutorial

First and foremost, I feel the need to apologize to any readers I may have accumulated between the beginning of this blog and now. I haven't updated in so long! I've been so busy and then I had a block and then I was um... grounded... for a chunk of time so I haven't been able to write for my blog in a while! I hope you all accept my sincerest of apologies. To make up for it, I'm going to try to write multiple entries for a little bit. Especially before school starts up!
So this tutorial is for my favourite skirt! I drafted the design on my own and everything, so this thing was 100% made by me. The fabric I used was from a garage sale. I got about 4 yards for 2 dollars (woo!). It's such an adorable skirt and it's unlike anything else I have. I also made one for my sister for her birthday. The tutorial is a little on the difficult side because of the math you have to do but I'll try to explain as best I can.
This skirt has pleats, a high waist that is really flattering, a cute bow in the back, and elastic also in the back to make this skirt easy to put on.

The Front:

The Back:

You'll need:
About 2-3 yards of fabric (maybe less if you're conservative with it, but I like to be on the safe side)
Elastic (I use a really neat all-natural one that's softer. But it can be any really, as long as it's the thin kind)
Your favourite thread (mint!)
All the sewing essentials

Do it:

The picture below is how you'll be figuring out how long all of the waist pieces will be. Now, if you're a total nerd like me, you'll use a bastardized system of equations problem to figure this all out. If you'd really rather not, then you can use guess and check. As long as it all works out, it doesn't matter HOW you got the answers.

I had quite a bit of difficulties finding the correct measurements, as you can see.

These will be the pieces you'll have. Please take note of how many of each piece you must cut out. (The pocket size is REALLY optional. I would make mine a bit bigger than 5x5). The measurements in this diagram are for my little sister's skirt so pay no attention to them unless you are a waist of about 24 or so. The skirt piece is waistx2.

These are two of the waist pieces. You're going to put them right sides together and sew with about a 1/4 seam allowance.

Do that for all the waist pieces and you'll have 3 sewed pieces-- 2 for the bow and one for the waist. Flip them right sides out and topstitch like so:

In the beginning, you should have subtracted the elastic allowance from the waist piece. But if you didn't, now's the time. For this skirt, the stretch was 8 inches, 4 inches resting, so I chopped off 4 inches from the waist band.

Take the other two "waist pieces" that are for your sashes and fold in/sew one end of each to get rid of the raw edges. Now sew all 3 of those pieces together. Sash-waist-sash.

Take your skirt piece and fold the top in a way that is enough room for your elastic. You'll only be putting the elastic in a part of it, but you're sewing the whole thing so it isn't all wobbly. What was cool about my fabric is that I only had to press down a little and it kept it's shape. You can press it if you need.

Sew it! Then sew the skirt right sides and flip, so now you have a tube skirt thing. Find where you want your elastic and cut slits on the inside from where it should start and begin. I used the little seam down the skirt so that it would be in the back. Make sure it's even. So do half of what your elastic is and do one of that measurement on each side of the seam (if that makes sense?)

Now pin the skirt to the waist! The part where the elastic is on will have nothing sewed to it. So where the sashes start are right up next to where the elastic starts. Refer back to the 3rd picture! Sew the skirt on and voila! Done!

1 comments on "The Gardener's Bow Skirt Tutorial"

Riechan on September 25, 2010 at 8:51 AM said...

Hi! great tutorial! I'd love to try this out sometime ^^

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