Adding in or taking out (A skirt tutorial)

My original intention with this material was to do a circle skirt.  I highly recommend it!  Here’s a great tutorial from Dana-made-it.  But, my material size didn’t allow for it.  So, here are our modifications.

The last skirt I made from a smaller piece of material and added in Godets to give it flow but in this skirt I had plenty of material so I decided to go the other way and take out a lot of material to fit the waist and leave the full bottom.

My daughter brought this material home from the local thrift store. She got it for $1.

This is the pattern we (my husband and partner in every endeavor) came up with.

The first of our sketches as we planned out the skirt

First we sketched out what we wanted the finished product to look like then we planned out how many darts we thought would look lovely.  The material is 92 inches long.  The waist we are working with is 32 inches.  So we added 2 inches for give to the waist making it 34 inches.  (92-34=58) That means we need to decrease the waist by 58 inches.  We decided to make it easy on ourselves and cut off 2 inches making the material 90 inches and add in 10 darts.   (10 divided by 90=9) That means we’ll put a dart in every 9 inches.  Now we just need to figure out how much material to take out at each dart.  We decided to go with 5.5 (5.5×10=55) inches which will decrease the waist by 55 inches.  That is 3 inches shy of our goal but we will take up the extra waist with an elastic waist band.

We like to sketch out our plan on graph paper before marking the material

Now that we have our plan my wonderful husband marked out the material since our little Ephraim (now 6 weeks old) wasn’t letting me put him down.  You know my husband is much more of a perfectionist than I and did a much better job than I would have anyway so it worked out for the best.  I took the pictures and held the baby while he precisely marked the material.

My perfect husband marking the material perfectly

As he marked each dart he numbered them (1-10) so that I could easily see the center of the dart.  (Notice there is going to be 1 seem line and that will be the center of one dart.  Something to remember as I sew) Then he marked down from the center of the dart 7 inches.  We decided to make the darts 7 inches so that they would start to flare out at the waist.

The center of each dart is numbered 1-10. 2.75 inches to each side is a Y that I matched up to sew the dart. Each dart is 5.5 inches.

  Then he marked 2.75 inches to each side of the center at the top of the dart and marked that with a Y.

As I began to sew all I had to do was match up the two Y’s, fold, use my clapper to firm up a sharp edge and draw a line from the Y to the center of the dart 7 inches down.

Sewing the dart

With everything marked out so well all I had to do was match up each Y, pin, draw a light line from the Y to the center of the dart 7 inches down and sew a straight seem (I got a serger in the middle of this project and serged some of the seems. That worked much better).

This is what the indside of the skirt looks like now with the darts sewn.

We had to take it for a test run.

Nice styling around the waist.

Next we cut off the excess dart because there is so much material on each one. (Obviously the serged seems don’t need clipping)

cut off extra material

To secure the stitches we decided to stitch along both sides of each dart.  Here it is pinned up.  I have to admit that the pins just got in the way so I eventually just started sewing them unpinned.  Again the serged seems I didn’t stitch down which saved a ton of time!

pinned darts

When we got down to the bottom of each dart we had to clip it just a bit so I could sew down to the end.

snip snip

After stitching each side down It was time to attach the elastic waist band.  Take a look at Dana’s tutorial, she has perfect instructions.  I had to put this picture in because I just got our serger a few months ago and then we moved.  I just pulled it out of the box yesterday and had to re-thread it (scary, mu first time) and then I tried it out and as you can see from the elastic it was quite adjusted.  I got some material to practise on and started adjusting.  As you can see in the end it worked great.  I had been so intimidated by it that I hadn’t finished this skirt in months.  So, if you’re feeling that way about a project don’t, JUST LEAN FORWARD! (From a previous post)


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