A Skirt for E

Do you know what stinks worse than my husband after one of his FOUR HOUR bike rides?

Not being able to see your best friend’s kid grow up.

E turns two at the end of January. That means it’s been two whole years since I was in Arizona for her birth. Shameful. But, we all have excuses – we’re BUSY! Yes, we’ve planned trips, and yes, life has gotten in the way. Instead of being able to hand-deliver E’s Terrific Two gift, we’ve got to settle for the postman.

If you read the “about me” section, you know that I’m not quite a multitasking mommy yet…as I don’t have a human baby (just Cat-Baby). But, I can’t help wanting to make things for little people, so E has become my guinea pig (and I hope her too-busy-to-sew-for-her-own-kid-because-she-does-everything-else mom doesn’t mind my experiments).

Yes, it’s E’s second birthday this month – very exciting! I’ll admit, I’m usually not a last minute person. I grab gifts as I see them and hold on to them for a rainy day. I also buy fabric in the same vein. E’s birthday sneaked up on me this year; however, instead of rushing out for a present, I checked my gift and fabric stash and found these: Perfecto!

A little Carter's jumper, a Melissa & Doug magnetic alphabet puzzle book, and fabric from Hobby Lobby.

A little Carter’s jumper, a Melissa & Doug magnetic alphabet puzzle book, and fabric from Hobby Lobby.

Now, I mentioned that my husband stinks (from his bike rides!). But there is a benefit to his stinkiness – it means he’s out of the house early on Saturday and Sunday mornings. What does that translate to? ME TIME! So, here’s my Saturday-Morning-While-Hubs-Bikes Skirt Tutorial:

Supplies:

1. Fabric – depends on your skirt size. E is a standard size 2T (and aligns with the Gymboree size chart found HERE). She has a 20″ waist, so you should cut a fabric rectangle with a width double that – 40″ (or use two 20″ pieces if you have smaller scraps – you’ll just sew 2 seams instead of one). From her waist to her knee, is about 8″.  You should add about 4″ to allow for the elastic casing and the hem.  Adjust as you would like to make the skirt longer or shorter – this is your own gig. But, remember to always wash, dry and iron your fabric first.

2. Elastic – I use 1 inch elastic (the non-roll kind). Cut a piece the width of the waist (20″ for E). Some people say to add an inch to allow for the overlap when sewing together, but I don’t.

3. The usual culprits: thread for the machine, a safety pin, straight pins, iron.

Directions:

1. Sew your seam (or seams if you are using two pieces of fabric) and press. If you don’t have a serger (like me) and want your seems nice and neat, then you can sew French Seams, or my new favorite, Flat Felled Seams. Here are awesome instructions from Colette for Flat Felled Seams (http://www.coletterie.com/tutorials-tips-tricks/standard-flat-felled-seam) and French Seams (http://www.coletterie.com/tutorials-tips-tricks/tutorial-how-to-create-a-french-seam). Use 1/2 or 5/8 inch seam allowance – it’s up to you. I sewed flat felled seams (with wrong fabric sides together).

For flat felled seam: with WRONG sides together, sew the seam like normal.

For flat felled seam: with WRONG sides together, sew the seam like normal.

Cut one side of the seam allowance to half the width of the second.
Cut one side of the seam allowance to half the width of the second.

Fold the wider half over the smaller half, then fold again to encase seam.

Fold the wider half over the smaller half, then fold again to encase seam.

Seam4

Top stitch near edge of the folded seam.

Top stitch near edge of the folded seam.

2. Now it’s time to sew your waistband casing. Iron the top edge of the skirt down 1/4 inch (wrong sides together) then iron it down again about 1 1/2 inches (that gives you about 1/4 in on each side of the elastic). On the casing you just created, place a pin about an inch to the left and then an inch to the right of your side seam. Now sew around the edge of the casing beginning at one pin and ending at the next pin so that you have a 2 inch opening for threading the elastic.

On the top edge of your fabric, iron down about 1/4 inch.

On the top edge of your fabric, iron down about 1/4 inch.

Then fold and iron again so that there is about 1/4 inch on each side of your elastic.

Then fold and iron again so that there is about 1/4 inch on each side of your elastic.

Leave a space to insert the elastic and then stitch from one pin to the next along the bottom edge of casing.

Leave a space to insert the elastic and then stitch from one pin to the next along the bottom edge of casing.

3. Attach a safety pin to one end of the elastic and thread it through your casing. Overlap the elastic ends about an inch and sew the elastic together making sure to back-stitch several times (or create a box with your stitches for extra strength). Once your elastic is nestled inside the casing, sew the 2 inch opening closed.

Thread elastic through the casing, overlap edges and stitch together.

Thread elastic through the casing, overlap edges and stitch elastic together. Sew opening of casing closed.

4. Now for the hem! Fold and iron down about 1/4 inch of the bottom edge of the skirt and then fold and iron again about an inch (just like you did for the casing at the top). Top stitch all around the skirt at the top edge of your fold.

Fold 1/4 inch and then fold again and stitch down.

Fold 1/4 inch and then fold again and stitch down.

Wow – that’s IT! Now all I have to do is get E’s present in the mail (between working and heading to the airport) and wait to see pictures of E in her new skirt!

Looks presh with the Carter's shirt that came with the pink jumper!

Looks presh with the Carter’s shirt that came with the pink jumper (totally not planned)!

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Photo test post!

Sample photo post! Love this project, such a great gift for a baby shower, hospital visit or nursery.  Detailed instructions to follow.  

Hot Damn!

We Did It!

Four Chicks from four states all in different stages in life.  Girlfriends via a crazy stop and go story over 11 years. We now live across the country from each other.  Thank goodness for Facebook, Pintrest and texting.  We reach out to each other for tip and trips as we grown our families and set up house.  Now we are venturing to share our adventures with you.  Enjoy.