Modern Modesty — Sweet and Sassy Girls Skirt Tutorial

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Y’all love me, right?  I just need to know, so I can explain to my husband why the house is a wreck and the kids’ sleep schedule is so messed up.  As long as I can say “They love this tutorial!”, maybe he’ll be forgiving.  Maybe : )  If not, I’ll just have Gigi model her new skirt for him.  That will melt his heart for sure.

This is what we're going for. Sassiness is the end result.

On to the tute!  Make sure you read all of the notes.  I wrote them for a reason.  If I were you, I would read through the entire tutorial before beginning.  If you have any questions, comment me.  I’m running on 3 hours of sleep and coffee.  I’m sure I made at least one mistake or sounded unclear at some point.  But I’m just trying to live up to the demands for a tutorial! :)

See below for notes about each piece.

Notes about Elastic: You will need ½” elastic that is approx 1 inch shorter than your daughter’s waist measurement.  Due to the thickness of the bunching, this skirt will need to be sized before the elastic is sewn.

Notes about Fabric #1: This width is perfect because you can complete this skirt with only 1 ¼ yards of fabric #1 and ¾ yard of fabric #2.  (This includes a bit extra.  Always get a little extra for overage/mistakes.)  The 43” will go from selvedge to selvedge, which means less tidying up for you.  Gigi’s waist is 21” I think.  If you are making this for a smaller girl, then wait for me to get measurements up, because the waistband will only scrunch down so much due to the bulk of the material.

It’s important that the bottom of your fabric is cut straight, because some of your other measurements are going to depend on this.

Notes about Fabric #2: The goal here is to create a solid band around the bottom of the skirt and a broken band around the top of the skirt.  The broken band will highlight the ribbon, which will be sewn in between the top band pieces.

The bottom band will be sewn into one long 86”piece.

For the top band, one side will need to be 63” long and the other side will need to be 20” long.  If you don’t want the ribbon in between, then just make two 86” pieces and skip the step on attaching the ribbon.

Notes about the Ribbon:  The purpose of the ribbon is to provide a mounting bracket of sorts for a centerpiece, whether it be a bow or a flower or whatever you want to attach to an alligator clip (or velcro dot).  I was so tired when I was actually doing the sewing that I skipped right over that part without photos.  Here is what I mocked up using extra materials.

Purpose for the ribbon and broken band.

Ideal finished product (before scrunching the waistband)

Let’s begin!

So much for not naming my skirts.

Getting Started with Fabric #1

1.  Take your two pieces of fabric #1 and put them right side together.

Layout of both pieces of fabric #1.

Two pieces of fabric #1, right sides together

2.  Sew down one side using 5/8” seam allowance. (Or whatever you need to make sure you are on the correct side of the selvedge.)  I use what I call my triple-straight stitch here.  My daughter is rough on her clothes, and I want to make sure they stay together.

The red line separates the selvedge from the pattern.

3.  Press the seams open.

4.  Turn up the bottom to the inside of the skirt by about a ½”.  Pin or press in place.  Set aside.

Bottom hem folded and pressed one time.

Working with Fabric #2

Attach your fabric #2 together as follows:

Bottom Band

The bottom band will be sewn into one long 86”piece.  (That’s two pieces from stack 1.)

Top Band

For the top band, one side will need to be 63” long .  (That’s one piece from stack 1 and 1 piece from stack 2.)

The other side will need to be 20” long.  (That’s your last piece from stack 2.)

5.  Fold fabric #2 together from bottom to top so that the right sides are facing each other.

6.  Pin together and sew using a 3/8” seam allowance here.  Attach a safety pin to one end and fish it through to pull it right-side-out.

Fabric #2 unfolded

Pinned and ready to sew. The red line is a suggested seam allowance.

Need more help?  You can peak over at my cord cover tutorial for a video to glean the basic concept.

7.  Serge stitch the ends to prevent fraying.  Do this for all three pieces.

Serge those ends!

8.  Now you need to go press the half-hem of fabric #1 (if you haven’t done that yet) and press fabric #2.

When I press fabric #2, I put the seam toward the back, not the bottom.

Ironed verses Unironed

Attaching fabric #2 and the ribbon:

Note: You will sew the black ribbon in place before you sew the band in place.  (Photo below)  But placing the band is necessary for achieving the correct ribbon placement.

Also, before you sew the bands down, fold the skirt over on itself from left to right to make sure that the ribbon ends match up, or else they will be wompy-jawed.

The red line is where the left side meets the right side (the real right side). Your bands should line up from side to side.

Part 1

9.  Measure up 5” from bottom of skirt.  It’s important that the bottom of your fabric is cut straight.  Use a fabric pencil and draw a line all the way across the skirt.  That’s one long skirt!

10.  Pin fabric #2 across the bottom of fabric #1, aligning the top of fabric #2 with the 5” mark.

Placement of bottom band.

11. Sew fabric #2, Part 1 in place.  Or just keep it pinned and do all of your sewing at once here in a bit.

Part 2

12. Measure up 10” from top of bottom band.  Use a fabric pencil and draw a line all the way across the skirt.

13. From the right side of the skirt, lay your 20” band down.  Fold the left-edge under to hide the serge stitch.  Pin in place, but leave 6” of the left edge unpinned so we can place the ribbon.  Don’t sew yet.

Placing the ribbon

Part 3

14. Pin the 63” band down, leaving a 4” gap between it and the 20” band. Fold the right-edge under to hide the serge stitch.  Pin in place, but leave 6” of the right edge unpinned so we can place the ribbon. The ribbon will go in the gap.  Don’t sew yet.

Part 4

15. Pin the ribbon in place.  You will sew the ribbon in place before you sew the band in place.  After sewing the ribbon in place, you can then sew the top bands in place.

It should look something like this after the bands and ribbon are pinned/sewn.

16. Finish your bottom hem by folding it over one more time, pinning/pressing, then stitching it in.

Finishing the Skirt

17. Now take your skirt, place it right sides together and sew down the other side using a 5/8” seam allowance. (Or whatever you need to make sure you are on the correct side of the selvedge.)

The red line separates the selvedge from the pattern.

18. Go back to the ironing board and press the seam flat.  Stay at the ironing board.

The Waistband

19. While the skirt is still inside out, fold down the top toward you about 1”.  If you’re a stickler for measurements, then go measure it and pin it then come back.  I just eyeball it.  Press.

The waistband hem folded and pressed one time. (Skirt is upside down in this pic.)

20. Fold down again. What I did for the second fold is just line it up with the top line of stitching along the top band.  As long as my top band was sewn straight, my waistband should be, too.   Press.

See how it lines up with the stitching? (Skirt is upside down.)

21. To get the ruffled edge at the top of the waistband, sew around the top.  I just line up the edge of the fabric with the edge of my foot.

For the top ruffled edge of the waistband. (Throwback to another tute.)

22. Sew a second row at the bottom of the waistband.  Make sure you have enough room for your elastic to fit.

Make sure your gap is the right width for your elastic.

Note: Don’t close the row of stitching.  Leave approximately a 2” gap so that you have enough room to get your elastic fished through.

For the second row of stitching.

23. Attach your elastic to a safety pin and fish it through, making sure it doesn’t get turned.

Gone Fishin'

Make sure the elastic is not turned before you sew it.

24. At this point, go try the skirt on your little darling.  I had to end up pulling the elastic quite a bit in order to get a good cinch.  As previously mentioned, this is due to the bulk of the fabric in ratio to the elastic.

25. Sew it together.

26. Sew the gap closed.

27. Turn it inside out and marvel at your work.  Just darling!

28. Take lots of photos of your beautiful darling and share with the world!  Feel free to post photos over at my FB page.  And you can also tell me how wonderful I am while you’re there.  (Hey, I’m a middle child.  I need love!)

Click on my Modern Modesty category for more tutorials and my thoughts on modesty.

Prim and proper? Not! She was gauging the distance. As soon as I snapped this, she jumped over the sink. Gigi--that girl!

Through the looking glass.