So, I enjoy sewing. When trying to find crib bedding that was "just right" for my first baby nine years ago, no bedding was exactly what I had envisioned for my precious first yet-to-be-born child. My husband bought me a sewing machine even though I hadn't ever used one. And I surprised myself by transferring the bedding in my mind to actual bedding in the crib.
I'd call myself a frustrated sewer....frustrated because I have 173 ideas zipping around in my brain but rarely purposefully eek out time to bring them to life. Every once in a while, I'll whip up a dress for my daughter, or something fun to cozy the nest, or a gift for a loved one. Like a lot of things, I want to think less about it and actually DO it!
A couple of weeks ago, I was having one of those cravings to make something. I get that....itchy fingers, I call it. Also, I'd been thinking it would be fun to wear more interesting, handmade-ish things.....think this and these and all of these. (Note: I think about clothes like that but never, ever could or would purchase a T-shirt for $88!) When I see something lovely in a store, I tend to think, "Hmm...I bet I could do that!" and then proceed to mentally deconstruct and store it away in my brain for later.
Thus I started to experiment with clothes I already own. Below you'll find a little tutorial on how to add a peek-a-boo ruffle, a faux-petticoat, a flounce, if you will, to a skirt. Not only does it add flair but, also, length!
First, here's a shot of the finished skirt....
I feel a little silly posting a tutorial for something that is so simple but maybe you're reading this and have never in your life sewn anything! Hopefully, these instructions are clear enough.
I chose to "remix" my versatile, short denim skirt.
Starting off using my maching to quickly sew the little back slit together...
measuring the circumference of the bottom of the skirt, and cutting a strip of my chosen ruffle material that was 1-1/2 times the circumference (making the length of the ruffle piece as long as you wish). I chose linen because it had a nice weight, drape, and was frayable (sure, that's a word). Of course, if you don't want a frayed edge, you could just give the bottom a narrow hem.
Now to make the ruffle I stitched a long straight line (with the longest, loosest stitch possible) approximately 1/2" from the top edge of the strip....making sure to leave long tails at the beginning and the end. Then on one end only of the strip, I tied the bobbin thread and the basting thread together. Moving to the other end, I wrapped the bobbin thread around the fingers of my left hand, pulled the top thread tight, and scrunched the fabric down it to form the gathers/ruffling. If I'm not making any sense at all, here is a video that shows how to gather.
I kept gathering until the overall width matched up with the width of the skirt....making sure to gather as evenly as I could. Once the ruffle was the exact width I needed it to be, I zipped the ends through the sewing machine...sewing them together to form a big loop. Then I turned the skirt inside out and pinned the ruffle (right side down onto wrong side of skirt) all along the bottom edge.
I stitched the two together....being as careful as possible to match the stitch to the existing stitches on the skirt.
And, voila! Flipping it right side out, I tried it on and did a happy little twirl in front of the mirror. Plain jane skirt transformed into spunky skirt!
The only problem is that now I want ALL my skirts to have a happy, linen, peek-a-boo ruffle!
So, I hope my first sewing tutorial wasn't too confusing or lacking anything.