Friday, March 29, 2013

Drawstring Skirt Tutorial

I really love this knit chevron fabric. It is super easy to sew with and not too pricey. 
I really wanted something chevron for myself for this summer but the stuff they have at Target and Macy's just wasn't what I was looking for, AT ALL.
So what did I do? I got out the last forever21 tank I had, and used it with some of this really awesome chevron knit and came up with my own drawstring (lined) skirt!

 If you can sew a straight line, (almost all sewing is a straight line), you just have to know how to put your pieces together, you can do this!!

You might remember that orange and navy print I showed you last week but ONE- I didn't have enough of that for this project and TWO- I decided I wouldn't be comfortable in that type of fabric, and its hard to wash.
So here is how I made my comfty knit drawstring skirt.

First I decided that the width of the tank I already had would be perfect for the width of the skirt. I measured it up against my chevron-knit, and cute 2 squares the same size. I am not picky about matching up the zig zags so I just cut, don't worry - it will still look cute if it doesn't match up.

An easy way to figure out what will fit you (I hate taking measurements of myself) is just to put the tank or t-shirt on that you have for the bottom band, and see if it is roomy enough for around your hips. This tank was pretty big on me but it hasn't been washed yet and knit shrinks so I think it will be a little better fitting once washed. 

Then I decided on length. I have an old favorite skirt that I often wear in the summer and it hits more at my mid calf. So I laid that up against my 2 chevy-squares, and then added the band across the bottom for some contrast. I used the bottom of the F-21 tank so I wouldn't have to finish the edges. I also allowed for 2 inches at the top (where it is folded down in the picture) so that I had room for the drawstring casing, and about an inch or so for seam allowance of the contrasting band.

After those are all cut up you would add 2 button holes, or if you don't want to to that with knit because it is tricky and slippery you can just cut two small slits in the middle of the top piece about 2.5 inches down. (It shouldn't fray, but you might want to test your knit!)
THEN I decided that the chevron alone was too thin for a regular skirt so I cut 2 more squares of fabric the same size as the chevron pieces, that would be used for a lining. If I didn't use lining this would be more of a little cover-up skirt for the pool or beach, which changes the process a bit but I am sure you can figure that out (just add a casing at the top). 
 I think this is cute for running errands, or out for a little lunch date so I needed a lining and who wants to wear a slip in the summer? Dude, no way! Not me!

Then all you do is sew right sides together along the widths of your lining and right sides together with your main fabric. I really wanted to add pockets, but as always I was short on time and just opted for the quick solution.
This next part is tricky BUT you will thank me after you see this. It was one of those "light bulb" sewing moments that I figured something out that makes this whole process so easy! (It can be done 2 ways but this way was how I did it and got a pic).
You sew the top edges of the skirt right sides together (if you use a solid it won't matter, so don't stress out), then once sewn- FLIP the lining inside of the skirt. Make the lining fall about 1-2 inches down,......then.... 

Sew a casing around the top of the skirt. remember those slits or button holes you put in at the very beginning, you can see them below. You can just sew the casing all the way around UNDERNEATH IT, because you already have an opening to put the drawstring in. MAKE SURE YOU SEW UNDER the button holes or you will be really mad at yourself!
A note about the drawstring, I didn't have that rope stuff that is usually in these skirts so I just took about a 1 inch strip off the selvage edge and stretched it out then put a safety pin on the end and cased it threw the button hole. You can see my button holes here:

Here is a picture of the casing being sewn.... easy!!!!

OK- now it will look like this..... EVERYTHING IS ENCASED WHOOOP WHOOOP!!!! I always love that because it is SO professional. This skirt would be like $45 bucks, or more in one of the top retailers or cute boutique!
Now you can either stop here and hem, or you can add a contrasting band to the bottom of the skirt. I opted for the contrasting band because I am loving this shade of teal right now and it gives me more options for what I can wear as a top with this!  

To add the band I used the bottom of that tank  (the widths were already sewn together) in the first few steps this was why you made your main pieces the same size as the band) just make sure that your fabric is cut the same size as the main fabric and then sew right sides together, only on the outside fabric, leave the lining alone here, just push it up so you don't sew into it when adding the band. I used a 1/2 seem allowance here, and top stitch when done.

THEN, OH MY GAWWWWSH, you have an amazingly A-dorbs skirt! You can do this with old t-shirts, brand new knits, add side inseam pockets, or just keep it simple and make it a classic one color item. I want to try this again with linen,  and then make the lining a comfty soft knit.

 I LOVE IT!!! When I first posted some pics of it on INSTAGRAM (You can follow me at Laurosario) I got SO many compliments, and people that wanted them- so sweet!

I may have taken too many pics of myself, oops.
So there you have it!!

I know I am going to be making a mini of one of these too with my left over fabric, Hannah already said, "That is so pretty can I have a matching one?!"

  Please let me know if you have any questions and I would be glad to help you!


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