As a children's clothing designer, I am always looking for fresh new ways to use fabrics and Spring is my favorite season to design for! Kids want to run and jump and be able to really move in their clothing. While knits can seem intimidating, they are really very easy to work with, even for the beginning sewer.
The fun part of working with knits is that they don't have to be hemmed because they don't fray. I enjoy leaving raw edges in many knit designs, because they will curl after washing for a pretty texture. This skirt can be done so many ways for different effects, so enjoy experimenting!
- 1/2 yard of cotton knit
- various cotton scraps (at least 1/4 yard of different colors is good) or old tshirts.
- small piece of either rib knit or cotton/lycra blend knit. 5" high x around 25 inches long
- pins, scissors/rotary cutter
1. Most knits come in 60" widths, which is what this tutorial assumes. WIth your 1/2 yard of base fabric, fold it
over once, so that the shorter ends meet. Now fold over again. On the side opposite the folded edge, start at the
bottom close to the outer edge and cut the fabric, moving up at an inner angle. Don't worry...this doesn't have to
be an exact science! You now have a front and a back skirt panel. Based on the size you are making, you may want to trim some off of the bottom of the skirt panels. Below is a general size chart (model in photo is wearing a size 7 and her base skirt panels are 11" long, not including waistband.
Size 12-18m: 7" long skirt pieces
Size 24m/2T: 8" long
Size 3T-4T : 9" long
Size 5T- 6/7: 11" long
Size 8, 9, 10" 15" long.
2. Unfold skirt pieces and lay one on top of the other, with the RIGHT SIDE of the FABRICS touching on the inside
(some knits are the same front and back, so again, this doesn't have to be an exact science! Besides, the skirt
panels are going to be covered anyway!). If you have a serger, serge one side of the skirt panels together. If you
don't, sew with a sewing machine and, if you choose, you may finish your edges with a zig-zag stitch, although it's
3. Unfold the skirt pieces and lay flat, RIGHT SIDE OUT. (At this point, you can cut your waistband. The waistband
will need to be cut from either rib knit or a knit with a bit of Lycra in it. Do NOT use 100% cotton knit, unless rib
knit. Otherwise it will stretch out. See size chart below:
Size 12-18m: 4" x 12"
Size 24m/2T: 4" x 13"
Size 3T-4T : 4" x 14"
Size 5T- 6/7: 5" x 16"
Size 8, 9, 10" 5" x 19"-20".
4. Now you will begin cutting the rippling layers of the skirt. This is where you can really have fun experimenting
with colors, textures and even shape! If you want the rippling effect, fold over your knit pieces (you'll want them
fairly wide for long pieces), and cut them in sort of a "half moon" shape, beginning from the folded edge. When
the top of the fabric is straightened out, this will cause the fabric to gently fall in "waves". Really experiment with
lengths and widths of your fabric pieces for a fun, asymmetrical look.
5. Start pinning your "waves" onto the skirt bottom, keeping the tops of the cut pieces level. Decide how long you
want your skirt to determine how far down to pin your first layer. If you have a coverstitch machine, use that to
sew down the layers. If not, just use a zig-zag stitch on a sewing machine.
6. Just keep building your layers, as many or as few as you want! Make sure your next layer overlaps the layer
below it. Continue sewing down each layer.
7. When you reach the top, sew down your final layer and grab your waistband piece that you cut earlier.
8. Fold your waistband piece in half, lengthwise, and match up the raw edges with the raw edge at the top of
your skirt. If you have a serger, serge the waistband onto the top of the skirt. STRETCH THE WAISTBAND AS YOU
SERGE, until the waistband meets the end of the skirt. If you have a sewing machine, sew the waistband down,
using about 1/2" seam allowance, making sure to STRETCH THE WAISTBAND AS YOU SEW, until the end of the
waistband meets the end of the skirt! Finish your edges with a zig-zag stitch.
9. For the final step, fold your skirt, so that RIGHT SIDES are TOGETHER and raw edges of the side of the skirt
meet. Serge or sew the side of the skirt closed.
10. Flip the skirt right side out and VOILA!
Julie A. Martin is a visual artist and children's clothing designer. ZozoBugBaby was formed in 2008 and Julie has published 11 original sewing patterns. With two spunky girls that are the life behind ZozoBugBaby, Julie is always exploring new ways to create comfortable clothing that kids are excited to wear!.
Tutorial & Photography © 2012 Julie Martin. Contact
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