As much as I try to convince Elli to wear the shorts/capri’s/pants that are in her drawer……….she only gives in about 15% of the time. And I better have a really good reason to give her…….because “it’s cold out” isn’t good enough. :) I’ve decided to give up on it. And just let her wear a skirt/dress every single stinkin’ day if she wants to. (Who am I kidding? I used to come home from elementary school as a girl and put on the same twirly skirt from the costumes box and twirl in it all afternoon. So what’s the big deal, right?)
So, I whipped up a few new skirts this week, to satisfy her skirt hunger……and to shorten my time spent in the laundry room. Because this girl wants to wear a skirt every day to kindergarten.
(By the way, after this post, many have asked how Elli is doing in school. She LOVES it! She is happy to go every morning and once she gets home, she proudly tells me all the new names she has learned that day. Sweet little nugget! I’m just so glad she’s enjoying it!)
Before making her a few skirts, I told myself I needed something fast and simple. And well, this is exactly that! A simple tube of fabric attached right to some elastic. Done. No casing, no hemming, no gathering.
And yeah, having funky elastic sure makes this simple skirt style, twice as cute. In case you’re wondering, wide elastic in all these pretty colors is actually really hard to find. (Yes, I looked.) But I found it all here. Bless them for having so many great colors (that’s also super soft too)! :)
Now Elli has 3 new skirts that fit comfortable and are cute and colorful. And all were sewn together in a little over an hour.
And yeah, labels always spruce up those homemade projects. So I sewed them right onto the elastic waistbands.
Even though I used a serger to finish off my edges, you can use a tight zig-zag stitch as well. (I’ll show you how, down below.) But keep in mind, that you can also make these skirts out of knit fabric and then you won’t have to serge OR zig-zag the top and bottom edges. Yay.
Go on Elli, wear a skirt any ol’ day you want to! I’ll stop bugging you to wear those shorts that are gathering dust in your bottom drawer.
**Headband tutorial can be found here.
Want to make your own Elastic Band Skirt?
First of all, I found my elastic here. And it arrived quickly. It’s 1.5 inches wide and is really soft. So, in case your child doesn’t like to tuck their shirts in, the elastic won’t scratch or irritate. It’s great stuff!
Also, like I mentioned above, you can either use woven cotton (just like your regular ‘ol quilting cotton) or you can use knit fabric. Woven cotton will fray and you’ll have to finish off the edges like I did, or you can use knit and make this an even FASTER skirt and skip finishing the edges. (And you know my favorite thing to do is use old Tshirts…..and you can always make the bottom hem of the shirt, the bottom hem of your skirt. Quick and easy.)
First, measure your child’s waist and cut a piece of elastic that long. Then overlap the ends by an inch and zig-zag the ends in place. (Elli is almost 6 and her waist is 21…..you know, in case you’re making this for a friend or something.)
Then, cut a piece of fabric that is twice and long as your child’s waist and is the exact length that you want it to be on your child. (For my Elli, I cut a piece of fabric that was 42 x 12 inches.) Then sew the two shorter ends together (with right sides together), using a 1/2 inch seam allowance. Then serge or zig-zag that edge. Then, if you’re using a woven fabric, serge or zig-zag the top and bottom edge of the tube, all the way around.
If you’re using a zig-zag stitch (instead of a serger), decreasing the stitch length will make your zig-zags closer together and will help keep the fabric from fraying a little better. And you may notice that when sewing on a flimsy edge, sewing a zig-zag will actually roll the edge of your fabric a bit. And even if you make the zig-zag nice and wide (by increasing the stitch width), it will probably still roll. But don’t worry…..that is just fine! It will still make your edges nice and finished.
***NOTE: If you’d prefer, you can skip the serge/zig-zag edges by adding a little extra length to your fabric dimensions while cutting, and then hem the skirt bottom and top by folding the edge under a 1/4 inch, another 1/4 inch, and then sew it in place. It’s up to you!
Next, place pins on the bottom of your elastic band at the sides and the exact middle in the front and back. Then do the same for the top edge of the skirt. Now the elastic and skirt are divided into quarters.
Then, pin the elastic to the skirt, right where those pins are, overlapping the skirt by about a 1/2 inch.
If splitting the skirt up into quarters is too far away for you to pull and sew (as shown in the next step), split the sections up in half again so that now it’s split up into eighths.
Now, starting at the back, place your needle down into the fabric, a 1/4 inch from the top of the fabric. Your fabric will be a little bunchy (shown on left). So, pull your elastic until it’s the same length as that section of fabric and sew the fabric down to the stretched elastic, using your zig-zag stitch. (the zig-zag will allow for stretch.) Sew all the way around the skirt, sewing one section at a time. ****HINT: I couldn’t show you this, because I was taking the picture, but it’s easier if you use two hands. One hand on the back end of the elastic and one hand at the front, pulling in opposite directions. And while sewing, be sure that the fabric continues to only overlap by a 1/2 inch (and that you’re sewing a 1/4 inch from the top edge of the fabric), all the way around. You want it to be attached evenly.
Once you’re done, and you release the elastic, it will look like this.
And very simple (once you get the hang of pulling the elastic as you sew).
Now go on and make 17 more. I’m sure there are several girls in your neighborhood who need a few new skirts!
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