Monday, August 20, 2012

The 2-hour Long Skirt

The 2-hour Long Skirt

Being my very first post, I hope you all forgive me if this is unclear.  I wanted to show off my new long yellow skirt that I made in just two hours this last weekend.  Being very pregnant with twins and only 22 weeks along, I realized, "hmmm, most of my clothes are going to be shrinking...better buy bigger, non-shrinkable clothes".  Okay, okay, I know my clothes aren't getting smaller, but a girl can blame it on her clothes instead of her waistline, right?  Especially, when she's pregnant...  with Twins!!  That's my excuse for everything.

Okay, so now that you've all seen my for the tell part.  I made my skirt longer to hide my beautiful varicose veins, but I think a shorter skirt made this way would be SUPER cute.  Maybe after pregnancy I'll make a shorter version and get those veins removed and show my legs in public again...we shall see.

How to make the 2-hour Long Skirt (or short skirt...your choice)

Step 1: Buy 2 yards of cute fabric (mine cost me $5 at Jo-Anns) and 1/2 yard (or more, if you are making more clothes with a stretchy band top) of 4-way stretch fabric.  The type of stretch fabric I bought was at Jo-Anns and was next to the Jersey Knit fabric in the Performance/Dance fabric section.  It cost $16.99 a yard, but I did have a 40% off coupon...big save.  It's nice and thin but will last lots of wear.  Not that I'll be doing any performances or dancing in this skirt, but what works, works...right?

Step 2: Cut your belly band out of that wonderful stretchy fabric.  I made mine wide enough to go around just below my belly bump (so where my hips should be) and gave it a little extra for seams and growing room.  I made it 10 inches wide so when it's folded over it's around 5 inches (this will be the very top of your skirt). 

Next, cut your cotton skirt fabric the length you want your skirt, plus an extra inch or so for a bottom seam. I made mine longer, but it's up to you. My fabric was 43" wide, so I just cut a little off of that for the length.  I left my width at 2 yards so when I sew it it will gather and give me a little volume to my skirt.

Here's the two cut pieces together, shown folded how they'll be sewn.

Step 3:  Now for the sewing part.  I'm not a professional seamstress, nor have I made anything for me to wear since high school...but, here's what I did:  Sew the skirt's bottom hem.  I folded the bottom over about an inch or so and just did a plain old straight stitch.

Step 4: Now sew the side seam of the skirt.  I used a straight stitch.

 Step 5: Now take a break from the skirt part and work on the belly band part.  Keeping your band folded hot dog style (yep, that's a teacher term) with the right side of the fabric facing out, fold it now hamburger style so that you can sew the seam together.  I used a straight stitch.  See picture below.  Then set the band aside again.
 Step 6:  Here's the tricky part (there is another way to do this)...along the top of your skirt sew a loose straight stitch (set your thread length as long as you sewing machine goes to a 4).  Don't sew your top together but just sew in a big loop.   This is so that you can gather your skirt and make it all bunchy on top.
 Pull the bobbin thread along your skirt top to gather your stitch.  Work your gathers around the skirt so that they are nice and even.  This will make your skirt top sinch in a bit so you'll need to try it on before tying off your thread.  Tying of the thread will keep the gather in place.  Before you tie it off, slip your skirt on to make sure that it will fit over your tooshy and hips.

 Step 8: Now for the fun part...NOT!  Attach your belly band to your skirt.  Be mindful of keeping the seam on the inside of the skirt so you'll tuck your skirt into your belly band, keeping the right sides of the fabrics together.  I pinned the skirt and band together in just a few places before sewing because you have to stretch the band as you sew it to the skirt.  (The skirt top is wider than the belly band unstretched (is that a word)...if you don't stretch the band you'll be left with extra skirt and no band)  So, stretch the band as you so trying to keep it even so your gathers will be even when you're finished.  Man that sounds apologies.
 Last step: flip your band right side out and Badaboom, you got a new skirt.  Feel free to ask questions...  I did.  Thanks Jessica for your help!!!!

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