DIY Skirts (Skirting the Issue)


I'm so excited to be participating in "Skirting the Issue," which is a cause to donate 100 or more skirts to girls in fost...

Project Run and Play

I'm so excited to be participating in "Skirting the Issue," which is a cause to donate 100 or more skirts to girls in foster care during the month of July 2012. Foster care is near and dear to my heart as I am a social worker who worked with children and teens in foster care for the majority of my career. Now I've transitioned to quieter work in private practice therapy, but I miss "my kids"- even if I don't miss the crazy hours I used to work! I learned a lot from the kids that I used to visit- it blows my mind to think that these kids would experience abuse and neglect, then be forced to suddenly transition to a new home with an entirely new family, and often in a new school district. Yet they were amazing individuals with great dreams and they learned to adapt. THAT is incredible brave and resilient. I also can't say enough wonderful things about the foster families who were committed to helping children. There were some wonderful parents who I look up to and I learned a lot from.

A lot of the kids come into foster care without any clothes or personal items so the foster care agencies usually have a stash of clothes to give out to very tired kids who are often placed in homes in the middle of the night by very tired social workers. Foster parents get money to care for the kids, but the kids often need a lot of clothing immediately. They may need an entire wardrobe (PJs, underwear, skirts, shirts, pants, school uniforms, etc), along with all of those personal items that are needed too (toothbrush, deodorant, etc). So donations of clothing to local foster care agencies are helpful. I only made two skirts because I just didn't have the energy to make more, but I'm going to add in a bunch of clothes that were headed for donation as well.

Skirt #1

I found this tutorial that explains how to make this reversible circle skirt. Mine is a Girls Size 14. I hope it actually IS a Size 14. Sewing clothing without a pattern or a model to try it out on STINKS! I embroidered both fabrics with a cute floral pattern before sewing the pieces together. I didn't have binding so I just folded the edges under, ironed, pinned, and topstitched. It seemed to work out okay.

I didn't make the pattern for the whole length... what I did was make the cut for the pattern just for the waist, then I just measured out the length that I wanted and drew the bottom part by hand... didn't have enough tape and paper bag to make the entire thing. Oops.  
Marking length out by hand.
Cut out from the main fabric and I'm using the cut for the main fabric as a "pattern for cutting the second fabric.
Stitched the waist with the right sides together. 
Turned it right sides out.
Top stitched the waist, then added a casing for the elastic.
Threaded my elastic through, then sewed the ends of the elastic together and stitched the casing closed.
Ideally, you would finished the bottom of the skirt by using bias or making it, but I decided to fold over the edges all the way around, iron it, and pin closed. Then I stitched it closed all around. It worked, but it was a lot of extra effort. I just didn't have the necessary supplies or time available to pick up the supplies so I opted to do this. 

Finished Product

It looks huge to me, but I'm not sure how big a size 14 girls is so I hope it is right! I did follow the instructions for measurements.

Skirt #2

I decided to do a wrap skirt for the next skirt because I wasn't feeling particularly confident about my measurements so I figured at least with a wrap skirt they could just tie it tighter... I know, not very brave of me! This tutorial was helpful for figuring out the pattern to draw and Project Run and Play offered a list of measurements to use for each size. The hip size is usually waist + 10" according to their estimates. I made this skirt in Size 5 girls so the measurements were 21.5" waist, 31.5" hips, 14" length. Did all the crazy math that the tutorial mentions. Then I added three to each to allow for the seam allowance so my measurements were 13/16/17. When you draw it out your pattern, you can use scrap paper taped together, a paper bag cut open (you may need to move pieces around and tape them to make it big enough), or wrapping paper.

The top line for the pattern is 13" across- find the middle point at 6.5" into that line and mark it. Then draw a line 17" down from that midpoint. 17" is the length we're aiming for, adding the seam allowance in. Mark a dot at the end of that line. This is where you'll draw your 16" line which is perpendicular to that 17" line and parallel to the 13" line (haha I'm using my fun geometry words that I said I'd never use). You want to draw 8" out to the right, 8" to the left for a total of a 16" line. Now connect the ends of your 13" line to the ends of the 16" line. Cut out your pattern.

I decided it'd be easiest to make it reversible, especially as my fabric was somewhat see-through. As such, you need three cuts of each fabric (6 total).

I took each set and sewed the individual pieces together as seen in the tutorial. I did not need to finish the outside edges, seeing we'll be making this reversible

At this point, I added my embroidery to the outside fabric... I just liked this darker pink linen-like material better and the other fabric was better suited for the inside of the skirt, seeing it was softer.While you're embroidering the fabric, you can make your straps on your sewing machine (mine's separate so I can do both at once). I seam ripped the edges of the sheet that I was upcycling and used them for the strap. Much prettier than what I could have made (my straps are always a little wonky). All I did was rip out the previous stitching, fold the raw edge over, iron, pin, and top stitch. 
I laid out my inside fabric right side up, with the straps on top of it...
leave a little end of each strap poking out on each side.
Put your outside fabric right side down (right sides together) on top of all of this and pin.
Make sure your straps won't get caught up when you're sewing (except the ends).
Stitch around the entire skirt, leaving a small area to turn the
fabric right sides out.  Go over the straps a couple of times.
Once you're done, cut around excess seam allowance and any strap that's left sticking out.  
Turn, iron, then topstitch the entire skirt, closing up the area that you turned the fabric through (fold over the edges.
I also added a tag with the size. This skirt is technically reversible, but I didn't add embroidery to the inside fabric like I did with the other so I imagine they'd wear it darker side out. To make my tag, I just found a piece of white fabric, zig zagged the edges, and embroidered the size on it. When I was topstitching the skirt, I just slipped this on the inside of the waist so I could catch all of it at once. 

 Finish Product

So this didn't ACTUALLY fit me as a skirt (my butt isn't covered, teehee), but I figured
I'd show what it looks like "on"... It'd look way cuter (and more appropriately for length) on a size 5 girl.  
Embroidery Close Up... I'm new to this,
but I love embroidering everything now.


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DIY Danielle: DIY Skirts (Skirting the Issue)
DIY Skirts (Skirting the Issue)
DIY Danielle
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