Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Ice Skater Skirt

For a month now I have had a skirt on my mind, a skirt that was perfect for twirling around on the ice skating rink. The kind of skirt that would go out in a circle and flutter as you spun. The kind of skirt that makes a little girl want to twirl until they fall down in a pile of dizzy giggles.
Unfortunately, I had more vision than time. So Saturday night with little ones sleeping I sat down to work. This is essentially the skirt my grandma and I made the year I wanted to be a Fifties girl for Halloween, except without the Tupperware bowl. The trickiest part of a circle skirt is the hem, but felt doesn't fray, so you don't have to hem it. Isn't that lovely.
You need about 1 1/4 yard of felt, 1" elastic, and 2 1/4 yards of trim. (The amount of fabric you need is actually twice the length you want the skirt to be plus 12".)

First take your twirlers measurements, you need waist and length. Now, along the fold of the fabric measure the length of the skirt and make a mark at the top and
bottom measurement. My skirt is fifteen inches long (remember it will be a little longer once you count the waistband and pompom trim.)
Take the waist measurement and add 4", then divide by 4. (I started with 20" added 4 to get 24, divided by 4 and I had 6". We can call that number A.) Now from the top measurement, lay your measuring tape at a 30 degree angle from the top mark (away from the mark you made for the bottom of the skirt) and make a mark at the number you just came up with.
From this new mark run the measuring tape out at an angle to the edge of the fabric to the length of the skirt. (Does that make sense? You want to maximize the width of the skirt, so whatever angle makes the most the width of the fabric.)
You should now have four marks laying out your skirt panel. Connect the top dots with a curve (this is where Grandma used the bowl.) Stretch the tape from the curve to the bottom edge of the skirt moving along what will be the bottom hem and making dots at the skirt length (for me that would be my 15", making dots all along the bottom of the skirt. You are making your hem mark, making a nice curve along the bottom.)
Cut out your skirt piece once it looks right. Lay it on top of the fabric and cut a second skirt piece.
Now you need a waistband. Cut two rectangular pieces 3" by twice "A". (Remember that number back there, for me it was 6". So now my two waistband pieces would be 3" x 12". ) You are cutting this in the scrap along what would be the bias, except the the bias on felt doesn't act the same way as other fabrics.
Sew the waistband together along both short sides with 1/4" seam allowance.
Cut a piece of elastic the waist measurement plus 1". And sew it together...
to make a circle.
Fold the waistband in half lengthwise, wrong sides together, encasing the elastic in the fold and pin all along the edge.
Baste the waistband closed stretching the elastic as needed.
Sew side seams of skirt with 1/4" seam allowance to make one big circle skirt. (This picture shows it folded in half.)Baste along the top edge of the skirt.
Pin waistband to top of skirt, pulling basting stitch to ease fullness of skirt to waistband.
Sew waistband and skirt 3/8" from top edge.
Pin trim to bottom hem of skirt.
Zigzag, if it's pompom fringe, or straight stitch, if it's rick rack, trim to the skirt.
Press the fold out with an iron set to the wool setting. And you're done.
Bundle up, snuggle for warmth and...
let the twirling begin, ice skates optional. (Email me at rainydaywren@gmail.com if you have any questions.)


Anonymous said...

waiting for floors to dry... hey, those skirts are so stinkin' cute! (that's good!)... makes me wish I had little girls to make those for...

Anonymous said...

Hello Nadine, LOVE everything your shop has.

Jo Leen

Lindsay said...

That skirt is DARLING!! I want it bad for my little Kissyface.

Nikki said...

Actually this came out at the perfect time! My nine year old is going to a daddy/daughter church party that is 50's themed and this is so much easier than having to buy a pattern! Thanks for sharing!

Somer said...

Nikki-You'll have to email me a picture once you're done.

Unknown said...

Very nice post.
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