Sunday, September 21, 2014

Rectangle Skirt Tutorial!

This is a tutorial for a rectangular skirt/bell shaped skirt with a half elastic waistband. I'm afraid it isn't the best of tutorials because I won't have many photos but I'll do my best and feel free to ask me any questions!

Do read over all the instructions first before starting, there are alternative methods to some of the steps.

Step 1. Cutting the fabric.
Here's a hint: don't go out and buy the fabric until you've finalized all the measurements. And buy just a little more in case you want to make matching bows. I have way too much pink fabric on my hands now and I'm trying to use it all up :P

You'll need 5 pieces of material - 2 for the skirt body, 2 for the waistband and a piece of elastic.

For the skirt width, choose however long you want it to be - I usually stick with 55cm (seam allowance included, I put in 5 cm because I like doing rolled hems).
For the length of each piece multiply your waist measurement by three then divide it by two (for two pieces - the front and the back. If making more panels then divide by number of panels, but then it won't be a rectangular skirt). My waist measurement was 67cm (I put on weight :P have to lose it again) so my length for each piece was 100.5cm, but I used 110cm instead - the more the better and you have to leave seam allowance.

For the 2 pieces of waistband and the elastic the math can get a little tricky. Choose how much you want the elastic to stretch - if you want the waistband to stretch for 20 cm, cut that length of elastic.
For the elastic waistband piece (the fabric fitting over the elastic) double that number for the length (40cm for me).
For the length of the flat waistband piece subtract the length of the elastic from your waist measurement. I made it a little smaller (so that I can motivate myself to lose weight :P )
For the width for both waistband pieces, double the width of the elastic and add on seam allowance. My elastic was 2.5 cm and I chose 9cm for the width. Too much is always better than too little, as I have learned the hard way.
My waistband will stretch from 65cm to 85cm.
Hopefully you've ended up with something like this?
Step 2. Sew the skirt pieces together to make one long cylindrical piece of fabric. I had the selvage sides as the widths so I won't have to hem them later.

Step 3. Hem the bottom of the skirt. I prefer rolled hems so that's what I did. Rolled hems - folding the edge twice before hemming it - thus preventing fraying.

Step 4. Put the skirt aside for now. Sew the flat waistband and elastic waistband together on both sides, fold in half with seams facing inward and iron/press.

Seam in the middle. Fold on dotted line. 
Step 5. Sew the 2 width edges of the elastic to the seams between the elastic waistband and the flat waistband (on the elastic side obviously). Note: there will be lots of extra space unlike the diagram below because the elastic waistband piece has twice the length of the elastic. DO NOT SEW THE DOTTED LINE it is merely a reference to the previous diagram, that the elastic should be sewn as near the center as possible but don't sew the length, just the widths.

Step 6: Sew the bottom of the elastic waistband shut, scrunching it up to the length of the elastic. Basically steps 5 and 6 were to create the channel for elastic so you can alternatively do step 5 first. You can also skip ahead and sew the skirt to the waistband before step 5. That would be a little easier as you won't have to attach the skirt to scrunched fabric (it's not much harder but the other way is easier. Learned this the hard way again.)

Step 7. Now that the skirt and the waistband are both nearly done (I know the flat waistband isn't shut yet) we attach them together. Find the center back of your skirt and mark it, then mark the space for the elastic waistband. For example my elastic was 20cm but my elastic waistband is 40cm, so I will mark the center back and mark out 20cm on each side, 40 cm in total. Don't attach anything though mind you, just mark it. Mark the center front of the skirt as well.

Step 8. Gather the rest of the skirt. Gather once from one of the marked points to the center front, and then gather from the center front to the other marked point. You can also gather it all at once if you aren't afraid of breaking the thread. Just make sure at the end both sides total up to the length of the flat waistband.
I hope it isn't too complicated?
Step 9: Attach elastic waistband to marked area, and attach gathered part of skirt to flat waistband area.

Step 10: Hem/lock all seams (I'm sorta stuck at this bit). Et voila! Vous avez une nouvelle jupe! Embellish with lace and bows! I'm making a matching bow clip/brooch.

Here's mine :D

Please tell me if there are any problems and I'll try to work it out :) My skirt had one bell petticoat from CP underneath it, if that helps.

I am thinking of doing commissions if I ever get a sewing machine. If I do it'll probably be next summer though, that's after GCSEs and before the IB program. I really want to do it :) I'm already drafting designs for embellished designs (once I see an opportunity for a project it gets me all excited and there's no stopping me, even if it doesn't come out well in the end). I'm still struggling a little with pintucks though :/ do I blind hem them or what...
I'd like to do some old school designs, since I hardly see any non-print sweet lolita skirts anymore :/ but I'll also do gothic or classic skirts if there are commissions :D

I also don't know where to post this so here you go, it's a cover I made of Love the Way You Lie part 1 and 2, by Eminem and Rihanna. It was silly but I hope you like it :P Or not.

Here's the link ^_^~


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