Drape Dress (skirt... thing)

December 27, 2012

What's cuter than a mommy/daughter match-up? Being Christmas-time, I couldn't resist and, lucky for me, my skirt design turned out just the way I wanted/imagined with even less difficulty than I anticipated! If that doesn't excite you, I don't know what will...
I made up this design for matching Christmas skirts, but imagine what they would look like as Easter or just every-day skirts?

For two skirts, you will need:
Approx. 2 yards (I bought 62" I think) of drapery fabric (fabric that's made measuring 54")
Approx. 24" of fabric for the bows
Thread, sewing machine, etc.

For one skirt, you will need:
The length from your torso to your feet plus 7" of drapery fabric (fabric that's made measuring 54"). I think my skirt ended up being 50" or so (that's including the 7").
18" of fabric for bow
Thread, sewing machine, etc.

Adult Skirt

Step 1: Fold the top part of your fabric over on the outside 5 inches down, rolling half an inch under like a giant hem. Pin in place.

Step 2: Find the center of your fabric on the giant hem. Measure two inches on either side of the center and draw a perpendicular line to the giant hem that's 3" long (1 inch away from either edge of fabric).

 Step 3: Unpin your giant hem and head over to the sewing machine. Set your machine stitch to a close zig-zag. You are basically making a very big button hole. While keeping your three-inch mark just to the side of your needle, zig-zag on one side of the mark, keep your needle in the fabric, twist the fabric around so you can make a parallel zig-zag stitch to the first line, and make sure that your two stitches do not touch, but are as close to one another as possible. PRACTICE ON A SEPARATE PIECE OF FABRIC FIRST! 

Step 4: Use seam scissors (stitch picker, or whatever those things are called) to cut the fabric that's in-between the two zig-zag stitch lines and now you've got your first giant button hole! Now create the next one.

Step 5: Repin your giant hem just the same as before and straight stitch it down. Also straight stitch along the top edge of the skirt/giant hem. This will give it a finished look. Your seam should be even less than a quarter inch away from the edge.

Step 6: Next, get your ribbon fabric and cut it in half "hot dog" (lengthwise) so you have two very long pieces that measure approx. 9x45". Then pin each piece with right sides together.

Step 7: Before stitching the ribbon, make a mark four and a half inches away from the end on one side of the ribbon (do this on both ribbons). From this mark, you're going to sew a straight stitch from this mark to the bottom corner of the edge to make the ribbon end diagonal.

Step 8: Sew using a straight stitch along the edge of the ribbon, including the diagonal, but DO NOT close the straight, non-diagonal end of the ribbon. Cut off the excess fabric where the diagonal is.

Step 9: Turn the ribbons right-side-out using scissors gently to poke the diagonal corner out. Zig-zag stitch the open end closed, then finish off the ribbon with a couple of nice straight stitches along the outside of the ribbon, just like the giant hem. Take as much time as you need to pull any fabric away from the first seam (the one that sewed the two long sides of the ribbon together) so that you have a nice straight edge of your ribbon. Make sense?
Step 10: Now, use some sort of long object (I used a knitting needle) to help you get your ribbon through the giant button holes so that the zig-zagged straight edge of the ribbon is lined up with what will be the back of your skirt. Pin it in place. Do the same with the other ribbon.

Step 11: Pin the right sides of the skirt together and sew with a seam allowance of 1 inch all the way down the skirt. The best part? If you've used drapery fabric, you won't have to worry about the open edge fraying!

Step 12: Try it on and decide on the length of the skirt, then make your hem, and VOILA! Your adult-sized drape dress, skirt, thing is done! Now you just have to make your daughter one (link).

 Or... I guess it could be a mini skirt...

But it's WAY cuter as a baby's skirt!

If it sounds complicated, trust me, it's not, and the results are TOTALLY worth it! Just look how cute we are?!

Good luck! Happy Holidays and happy sewing!

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