Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Baby skirts from a fat quarter

Today's crafty project- baby skirts! I love this craft, as it uses exactly one fat quarter with no waste at all. Fat quarters are pieces of fabric, generally 18" x 22", and can be found in all fabric/ craft stores. Expect to pay anywhere from £1.50- £4.00 for a fat quarter, depending on the fabric. This fabric is 100% cotton, and it cost £2.50.There are lots of methods for baby-skirt-making out there, but I'd like to share how I did it, and any lessons I learned along the way. 

You will need: one fat quarter, 1/2" elastic, scissors, thread, an iron, a sewing machine. 

Baby skirt for 12-18 months, from a fat quarter
Step 1: Take your fat quarter and cut it into two pieces- each measuring around 18" x 11". I folded the fat quarter in half before cutting, so both pieces were exactly the same size. 

2 pieces, both 18" x 11"
Step 2: Pin your two pieces of fabric, right side together (so the back of the fabric is facing out.) 

Step 3: Sew along the two short sides. If you have an overlocker, you can use this, but otherwise, a sewing machine will give you a crisp finish. 
I use my trusty Singer sewing machine
Step 4: To make sure your skirt is straight and neat, now is the time to do some pressing! I am always so tempted to skip this part, and get on to the sewing sooner, but it really does make a difference to how the skirt looks at the end, and pressing at this point makes the sewing easier later. 

Press the seams on the short sides you have sewn. This makes them lie flatter once you sew the hem and the waistband. 
Press the seams on the short sides you have sewn
Now for the hem. Decide what the bottom of your skirt will be, and fold down about 1/4", ironing it flat. Fold it over again, ironing it flat as you go.
Hem pressing
To make the casing for the elastic waistband, fold down about 1/4" and press. Now fold about 1/2" and press again. 
Hem and waistband pressed!

Step 5: Sew along the hem and the waistband. See how much easier it is to sew in a straight line when you have spent the time pressing? Important... leave a teeny gap when sewing the waistband, so you can thread the elastic through. I forgot about this, and had to unpick a little (see photo below.) 
Sewing the waistband
This is what your skirt should look like so far... 
Hem and waistband sewn

Beware... this is what happens when you forget to leave a gap for the elastic! I had to unpick a little bit. 
Step 6: Measure your elastic. How big you make this will depend on the size of your little one's waist. I tend to use the following measurements: 

Newborn: 16" elastic, 15" when sewn
0-3 months: 16.5" elastic, 15.5" when sewn
3-6 months: 17" elastic, 16" when sewn 
6-12 months: 18" elastic, 17" when sewn
12-18 months: 19" elastic, 18" when sewn
18-24 months: 20" elastic, 19" when sewn

If you are making for your own baby, another way to do it is to roughly measure his/ her waist and deduct around 1". 

Thread the elastic through the casing. Attach a safety pin to one end, and this will help you to guide it through. 
Elastic and safety pin

Step 7: As you pull the elastic through on the safety pin, the fabric will gather up and you will see the skirt taking shape. Yay! Make sure you keep a firm hold on the other end of the elastic. 
Skirt taking shape
Joining the elastic
Step 8: Join the elastic together. Overlap the ends by about 1/2" each side, and hand-sew securely together. Once you have done this, hand-sew the tiny gap you left in the waistband and... ta-dah! your skirt is complete! 

Pictures of my daughter modelling her skirt can be found here!
The finished skirt
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  1. Hi Gayle, thanks for calling by the blog and leaving the link to yours. Love your skirt, and am amazed you can cut it out of a fat quart xx Clare

  2. Thank you for your lovely comments! It's one of my favourite projects, as the skirts are one-of-a-kind, they are easy, they leave no waste and they are cost effective!

  3. Thank you for linking up to Accidentally Wonderful Wednesday!

  4. Thanks again for the Accidentally Wonderful party- great fun! Neviana, much appreciated. If you have a second, please pop across to Bloglovin' and follow me there... Merci!

  5. Thank you Janice- these skirts are addictive, Heather has loads of them now! People always comment on them as they are different from what's normally out there, and you can choose really funky fabrics.

  6. Aww. I got mine a sewing machine from my in-law but its not working =(

    YOur post is so cool! I have always wanted to sew.


  7. Oh no Pixiedusk! I've seen sewing machines pretty cheap in places like Lidl and in supermarkets- have a look online. This kind of project is a good beginner one is it's just a few straight lines. Good luck!

  8. You did a lovely job on this tutorial Gayle! I love the fact that you used exactly a fat quarter for this project! That makes it so convenient!

    Would love for you to stop by tomorrow and link this up to Fabric Frenzy Friday!
    Fabric Frenzy Friday

  9. Nice Blog! Thanks for sharing this valuable blog with us. I would like to share something useful with you regarding luxury baby clothing , I hope this will help you as an inspiration for your next upcoming blog on girls dresses.