Here is the finished product:
I made the skirt using two different sized fabric pieces. The bottom two pieces came from a yard of fabric and the top three came from fat quarters. Make sure this will work with your measurements. Be sure to measure both the width you will need around your little angel as well as the length. I like my skirts to run a little on the longer side for mine (especially now that its cooling off), but you may only need three strips plus a waistband or smaller width in your strips if you don't need them as long as I did. Just keep in mind that this is NOT an exact science. If they are not all the same width...OK it will add character. I can honestly say not one of my strips was the same width as another, and I love how it looks! Again if you want to be a perfectionist about it (and I usually am, but I wanted to get these DONE) that's fine. Take the time to make them exact, but if you want it to have a degree of whimsy let them all be different widths. The length of your fabric strips is the most important measurement here. You will understand all of this as you read on.
So lets get started...
I started by cutting the fat quarters into 4 strips roughly 22 inches long and 4-5 inches wide.
Out of the yard I cut two strips 26 inches long and 4-6inches wide for the next to bottom layer,
and for the bottom layer I cut two strip 30 inches long and 4-6 inches wide.
For each layer I sewed two strips together making them (fat quarter strips) 44 inches long by 4-5 inches wide and (yard strips) 52 - 60 inches long and 4-6 inches wide. I had both strips as the same fabric so each layer was the same on front and back (all the way around), but I am considering switching it up on the next one and letting the front strip differ from the back strip. Still using only four fabrics for my layers, but mix-matching them. It could be really cute. I will have to let you know!
My top two layers are from the fat quarter 22 inches sewed together to make a total of 44 inches long. I sewed the top two layers (not counting the waistband) together since they were the same length.
Next I gathered the very bottom layer to the 52inches needed for it to match the bottom of the layer above it, and sewed them together. Now you are looking at two separate pieces with two layers each. To combine them you will need to gather the next to bottom layer that is 52 inches long until it is only 44 inches long and sew it to the bottom of the top two layers.
I hope this isn't too confusing. To clarify the top two layers are flat and not gathered, and the bottom two are graduated lengths gathered and sewn together. This gives you a flared slightly A-line look. You could do all of the layers in graduated lengths gathering each layer before attaching it, but I chose to leave my top two plain/ungathered. Its just a personal preference.
Now that you have all four layers sewn together, and laid flat you will want to make your waist band. You do this by taking the strip you have reserved that is 44 inches long by 4-5 inches wide and folding it in half making a tube. This can be done two different ways. You can 1. sew it inside out and pull it back through itself making the seam on the inside or you can 2. sew it plain and have the seam on the outside. I did it both ways actually. Let me tell you just do it the easy way, and leave the seam on the outside. When you attach it to your skirt no one will be able to see it, and holding them side by side I couldn't tell which waist band was done which way without looking. Sew the tube you have made to your skirt making sure the seam is on what will be the inside of the skirt. Then thread your elastic through the tube. The best way to do that is to attach a safety pin to one end, and feed it through with the pin to grab through the fabric. Just don't let it come open! Ouch! I neglected to say that you will need to measure the waist that you are wanting this waistband to go around. My girls wear a 5-6 so I made their elastic about 19-21 inches long, but it really depends on the give that your elastic has. After you have put your elastic through your tube you will need to sew the elastic on each end to each end of your tube of fabric. This will gather the waist of your skirt in. I also go to where the side seam is at and sew through the waistband and elastic a few times so that it wont twist while they are wearing it later. Remember to go back over where you sewed your layers together and your side seams surging them or using a zig zag stitch to over-lock them giving them that finished look. Either way will work.
Now I cheated on my hem and used the fabrics finished edge that I knew wouldn't fray. If you don't cheat like I did then you will want to put in an inch wide hem.
For the belt I took another strip 44 inches by 4-5inches and sewed the edges together like the waistband of the skirt, but I did do this inside out so that the rough seam would be inside. I turned it right side out and threaded the elastic through it just like the waistband. Sewing the elastic to each end of the fabric.
For the flower I took a piece of fabric that was about 36 inches long and 2.5 inches wide ran a small hem down the full length and the sides leaving on long length unhemmed. If you wanted the frayed look then don't hem it, but I wanted a cleaner finished look. Then I a ran a tight gathering stitch down the unhemmed length and pulled it tight. I wound the gathered strip into a circle to make the flower and sewed the middle of the circle to itself. This isn't the clearest instructions in the world, and I will make another one soon in order to really demonstrate how to do this. Next I made a yo-yo out of a contrasting fabric and hot glued it to the center of the flower. That served two purposes 1: it was stinking cute and 2: it hid all the center stitching I did to make the flower stay wound up. Next I got reeeeaaalll professional (it was 3am and I just wanted it done to be honest) and hot glued a jumbo safety pin to the back of the flower. I used the pin attached to the flower to the two ends of the belt and hold it all together. I do intend to go back and make an actual buckle for the belt other than just a safety pin on the flower, but hey it worked and looked soooo cute. Bonus if the girls don't want to wear the belt you can just pin the flower to the shirt!! We actually did this on one of them and it looked very cute as well!
Here is another picture of my oh so cute model hamming it up for the camera
The hair clip flower tutorial is going to be in a future post so keep your eyes peeled for it!
Hope you enjoyed my instructions (HAR) on how I made the skirt and belt on this cute outfit. I will try to take more pictures of the process next time and get more detailed explanation. For now if you have any questions feel free to e-mail me or comment and I will get right back with you.
Leave me a comment letting me know what you think and if you have any tips or tricks that I didn't mention here. I am always up for learning something new!!
Have a great day and God Bless!!