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Tutorial Tuesdays

Ribbon Trimmed Tiered Twirl Skirt

Here's a quick tutorial on how I make my super full twirl skirts and tops.
I make all my yoke/waistbands 1.5X the waist measurement. Then each tier is double the tier above it. So, if your daughter has a 20 inch waist, here are the measurements (for the above skirt each tier was 4inches wide, but you can make them whatever measurement top the length you want.) I had 3 tiers + the waistband/yoke:
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waistband 8X30 (this will be folded in half lengthwise.)
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tier1 4X60
tier2 4X120
tier3 4X240
I worked with 30X4 inch strips for this skirt, but for a patchwork I usually use 18inch strips.
Sew all your strips together to get your tiers (tier1 had two strips, tier2 had four and tier3 had eight)
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I choose to use bias tape instead of adding a ruffle, but a ruffle would be cute too!!
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Press your bias tape to get the creases out from it being folded.
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I don't use the "proper technique" for attaching bias tape - I just sandwich the material in between it and stitch. Use what ever method woks best for you.
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Using an edge stitch, stitch the length of your bias tape. There is a special foot that you can use for edge-stitching, but I have no idea where mine is, so I put my needle in the left position and I got the same close stitching.

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Here's the edge-stitching when it's done.
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Gather your now reaaaaaly long bottom tier so it is half it's original length and matches up to tier2. Pin - right sides together, and attach. Don't forget to finish your seam (like I did!!) and press the seam up.
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If you are not using the ribbon trim, be sure to top stitch your tiers. I did not topstitch before I added the ribbon trim, but you could.

Pin your ribbon so it is even with the seam of the 2 tiers. I didn't put the ribbon over the gathers, it lays nicer if you don't. Stitch it along the length using an edge stitch, as close to an edge as you can. Turn it around and stitch the other edge of ribbon - take the pins out as you go this time, don't stitch over them. Your ribbon will lay much nicer if you take the pins out as you go.
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Repeat with the next tiers.
A picture after I edge-stitched on both sides.


For the waistband, I fold the yoke in half lengthwise and press. I make a casing 1inch from the top and insert my elastic - secure it at one end, but don't pull it all the way through.
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Gather your 3 tiers (that are now all together) so it is the same length as your waistband. Pin, attach and press the seam up - attach the ribbon the same as you did on the bottom tiers.Now, pull the elastic through to the end of the waistband and stitch to secure it. Pin your side seams (right sides together) and stitch the seam. Press your seam, and all done!!

Instead of attaching this to a waistband for a skirt, you can attach it to a bodice and have a full twirl top/dress too!
Here are a few things I've made using these directions...

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A Quick Applique Tutorial

I've had a few questions on how I applique. I don't have an embroidery machine, I use my trusty Kenmore sewing machine when I applique. It's a multi-step process.
Choose your picture/design. Print it out or trace it. Trace each piece of the picture onto a fusible web (I use HeatnBond Lite) Pay attention to how you want to layer your pieces. Trace pieces that will be the base pieces a little bigger so the layers overlap. (Can you tell who it's going to be yet?)
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Choose your fabrics for your applique, roughly cut out each piece and iron it onto the wrong side of your fabric.
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Cut out your applique pieces. Use a washable pen or pencil and trace the face, or any detail work you'll need markings for. You can either use a light box or a window to do this. Start layering your pieces, like a puzzle.
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Poor Princess is looking a little cross-eyed!!
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Don't forget to put a stabilizer onto the back of your fabric. I backed almost the entire piece of background fabric for this applique. If the stabilizer starts to come off while you are stitching (it will) just iron it on again.

Start appliqueing!! I use a zig zag stitch. For the outside lines, I usually have my machine width set at 3 and it's Length set at .4. For inside detail lines and Facial features stitch length and width will vary - Her mouth I had my Width at 2 and Length at .4
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For straight lines, you can let the machine feed the fabric through, but for curves, gently guide your fabric. If you have to stop and make a tight turn, put your needle down and pivot the fabric a little at a time. I try to get the outside edge of my stitching as close to the edge of the applique fabric as possible. (I took the foot off for the picture)
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Almost Done! Back - you can see the stabilizer, I already tore off the excess that was outside the applique.
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I finished Cindy by stitching her eyelashess by hand (literally ;) )
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BTW - I think Cinderella is one of the harder Princess to applique!! I can never get her eyes just right!!







Super Full Ultra Twirly Stripwork Skirt!!



~ Okey Dokey...Double Layer Stripwork twirl skirt. (I wiil try to take and add pictures the next time I make one!)
~ You first need to determine the length you want your skirt. Let's say we want our skirt 14" long. Your yoke (waistband) is 4" (you'll fold it in half lengthwise to make a 2" waistband), your ruffle is 4 (2" finished) and your stripwork strips will be 10 inches long.
~ I make my waistbands 1 1/2 the actual waist measurement. For a 22" waist the waist band would be 33 inches wide. (So the cutting measurement for our skirt would be 33"X4")
~ The width of your strips is really personal preference, and I usually make my strips a little smaller for the samller sizes.
~ We'll make our strips 4"X10. Choose 4 coordinating fabrics, and cut out 6 strips for each pattern. You'll have 24 strips. After I cut my fabrics I layer my strips in the order I want to sew them. Your top layer when all sewn toether will be around 84" long. Cut 2 pieces of your underskirt fabric 10"X42".
~ For ruffles, I double the skirt measurement, so you would need 4 4"X42" (or 2"X42" if you want to hem your ruffle)
~ Your cut pieces (for a 14" inch skirt with a 22" waist)
Waistband - 33"X4"
Stripwork layer - 24 4"X10" strips
Underskirt - 2 pieces 42"X10
Ruffle - 4 pieces 4"X42"
*** Putting it together ***
~ Waistband ~
Fold your waistband in half lengthwise and press. Sew the side seam (right sides together). Press seam to one side. Sew a casing 1" from the top of the waistband for the casing - leave a 2 inch opening near the seam for the elastic to go in. Set aside.
~ Outer Stripwork Layer ~
Sew yours strips together (long way don't forget to finish or serge all of your seams.) When all of you strips are sewn together, PRESS ALL THE SEAMS IN THE SAME DIRCTION. I topstitch each of my strips, but that's optional.
You can either turn your hem under, use bias tape or add a ruffle to finish the hem on your top layer. I like to use a contrasting/coordinating bias tape. (You'll need 2 packages of bias tape) Set aside.
~ Take your underskirt fabric - right sides together - and sew one of the side seams. Check and make sure you top layer, and underskirt layer are the same width and length. Trim it up if you need to. Sew the second side seam of your underskirt after you check the measurement. Sew the side seam on the top stripwork layer too. (Don't forget to press that last seam on the top layer.)
~ RUFFLE ~
Sew your strips together (end to end, right sides together) and THEN press your looooong ruffle strip in half. By doing it this way, the seams will be on the inside of the ruffle and hidden.
I use a ruffler to ruffle, I run a basting stitch to keep the fabric in place then I ruffle the strip.
Pin and sew your finished ruffle to the right side of the bottom of your underskirt fabric, press the seam to the underskirt and topstitch.
~ GATHERING THE SKIRT ~
I gather my underskirt and stripwork layer together at the same time. Place the underskirt under the top layer, and pin the 2 layers in place. Run your basting stitches ( I run 2 on this skirt) along the top of the skirt. Pull to gather to fit your waist band (33 inches) I only use the lowest basting stitch to gather - the other one is just to keep the layers together.
Take your waist band and pin it (right sides together!!) to your 2 skirt layers - I like my seam to be a side seam. Sew and attatch so your basting stitches don't show (Don't forget to adjust your machine's setting so it's not another basting stitch!!) Finish for serge the seam. Press the seam up towards the top of your waistband, and topstitch.
Insert your elastic (I usually cut my elastic for the waistband 2 inches shorter than the waist measurement), close the seam, and VIOLA!! You have a double layer stripwork skirt!!