Friday, November 09, 2007

Ballet Skirt Tutorial

Things you'll need:
4 yards of tulle;
thread to match;
silk flowers;
1/2 - 3/4 inch elastic (measure your ballerina's waist + 1 inch, to know how much);
one large safety pin;
quilter pins;
glue gun.

Notes: First, I am what I call a "Straight Seam Sewer". I am not a professional seamstress or crafter. I don't know all the right terminology so if you have a question let me know, I will do my best to be more clear!

Tulle is very forgiving in this project. If your edges and seams don't match up exactly, don't sweat it! It all will end up OK! I promise! Also, I only had 3.5 yards of tulle, but I prefer to use 4.

1. Take the tulle and open it up completely and lay it on the floor. It should look like a huge rectangle. You are going to fold it into thirds like you would a letter (pictured above). Fold the bottom third up first. Since the tulle was hard to photograph I drew a picture on white paper. Folding it this way is what creates a "pocket" to fill your skirt with leaves and flowers. That top single layer of tulle will eventually be the inner part of the skirt.
2. Take your quilters pins and pin together all three layers across the top of your fold. This will become the seam for the elastic waistband.

3. Sew a 1-inch seam all the way a cross the top of your folded fabric.

4. Sew a 1-inch seam along one short side of your folded fabric.

At this point if you laid your fabric out flat you essentially have a long tube with one end sewn shut. Be sure that when you sew the short sides of the tulle that you stop BEFORE you go over that one inch seam you made for the waistband. If you sew completely through it you won't be able to get your elastic in!

5. Now you get to fill your skirt. Pull all the leaves and flowers off the stems and throw them into the open end of the pocket. Be sure to save a few leaves and a couple flowers for your embellishments on the outside of the skirt.

6. Once you get all the flowers and leaves into the pocket you will need to bring both short ends together. I prefer the finished skirt to be Pocket Out, and the extra layer of tulle being the "liner" of the skirt to give it more fullness. To achieve this you will need to match up the short ends with the pocket touching pocket; or inside out.
7. Sew the shorts side together. This is one of those times when the edges of the tulle may not line up perfectly. When you make your seam be sure that you have all six layers. Again, do not sew through to the edge. When you get to the waist band seam stop! (This is pictured above.)
Once you have sewn the short ends together, cut off the excess. At this point your skirt is inside out. Turn it right side out and then shake the flowers and leaves around a bit to get them evenly distributed in the pocket.
8. Place your safety pen through one end of the elastic.
9. Thread the elastic through the waistband. Be careful to keep the elastic from twisting!

10. Sew elastic together.

11. Evenly distribute tulle on the elastic band.
12. Take reserved flowers and trim the long ends at the "bud" of the flower.

13. Arrange your leaves in the way you would like to display them on your skirt. I usually take some green thread and stitch the leaves together so they stay that way.

14. Hot glue the flowers to the leaves.
15. After the leaves and flowers cool, and I am certain that they aren't going to fall apart, I pin it to the area of the skirt I want it to stay. I then stitch the leaves directly into the elastic with several strong tacking stitches.

The finished product!

If you have questions regarding the tutorial please comment or email me.

Also, if you do end up making a skirt please let me know, I would love to visit your blog to see your finished skirts!

I am going to give away the skirt made for this tutorial. Please go sign up here!
Happy skirt making and go sign up to win!



Gift of Green said...

Kellie - Thank you so much for this excellent tutorial which I know can be very time consuming to make! I can't wait start - fabric store here I come!!

laura said...

Kellie, thanks so much for all of the time you put into this so that the rest of us can make some of those adorabe skirts!!! My girls are really liking theirs!

steph said...

amazing!! thankyou so so much!

Kellie said...

My pleasure Steph! I hope your little Ballerina enjoys her new skirt!

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

It was very interesting for me to read this article. Thank author for it. I like such topics and anything connected to them. I definitely want to read a bit more soon.

Julia 22Benedict
vip escort agency