Little Girl Easy Skirt For Beginners
I made this Little Girl Skirt For Beginners from a Japanese pattern book that I found in a bookshop, in France recently. The book was in French, but with very good diagrams and the help of Google Translate. I managed to understand what I was doing. I love the simplicity of Japanese pattern books. I love their styling and photography; and I especially love the work of Yoshiko Tsukiori.
For this skirt, I adapted the pattern to suit how I tend to sew. It was also due to the fact that there were lines of text in Frency that I didn’t understand…but it all worked out 🙂 I made the skirt as a back and front and then sewed the two side seams. I then added a channel on the waist for the elastic; and finished with hem.
The size I made was for a three to four year old. I worked out the sizing for different ages. I have compiled this in a table that is at the end of the blog post.
I cut the fabric into six pieces: two pieces for the top band, two pieces for the middle band, and two pieces for bottom band. I cut the elastic to fit the skirt. To estimate how much elastic you will need, you measure the child’s waist and add 2.5cm to that measurement. You will also need ribbon or braid to sew over the seams of the bands. How much ribbon or braid you need will depend on the size of the skirt you are making.
To recap on what you will need: fabric for the skirt, elastic for the waistband, ribbon or braid to cover the seams, and thread for sewing. You will also need scissors, a tape measure (or your cutting board & rotary cutter if you have one), a marking pen, some pins and a hand sewing needle for gathering your fabric. Finally, and iron and ironing board; and a safety pin to thread the elastic through.
Step One: Cut your fabric pieces into the Top Band x2; Middle Band x2, Bottom Band x2. Three pieces to make the front and three pieces to make the back of the skirt.
Step Two: Take the top band pieces and divide the width measurement into four. The easiest way to do this is to fold your fabric piece in half (widthway); and fold in half again. Press with an iron. Open out the fabric again. Where you have pressed marks where the pins will go. The pins go along the bottom edge. (see the diagram below). Once you have the pins in place, set these pieces aside and move onto the middle band.
Step Three: Following the diagram for the Top Band. Do the same with the Middle Band. Divide the width of the Middle Band into four. This time mark with the pins on the Top edge and the Bottom edge.
With a hand sewing needle and thread, using a long gathering stitch, gather the top edge of the Middle Band fabric evenly between the pins. Match the edges of the fabric and pins from the bottom edge of the Top Band to the top edge of the Middle Band that you have just gathered. Pin these edges together and sew a 1cm seam, as in the photo below.
Step Four: Move onto the Bottom Band now. Divide the width into four as you did with the top and middle bands. This time mark with pins along the top edge of the Bottom Band. Gather the fabric along top edge of the Bottom Band, gather it evenly between the pins. Match up the pins and edges of the fabric with the Middle Band; pin and sew a 1cm seam. Just like the photograph below.
Step Five: Repeat these steps for the back of the skirt. Sew a zig zag edge to your seams to prevent the fabric ravelling. Press all your seams on the bands when you have finished sewing.
Step Six: You are now going to sew the front of your skirt to the back. To do this put the pretty sides of your fabric together. Match the side seams so that the seams from the bands of the skirt match up. Pin and sew one (1cm seam) side as in the photo below. Finish the edge of the seam with zig zag edge to prevent the fabric ravelling.
Step Seven: Pin and sew your ribbon or braid along the front seams of the skirt. Use the photo below as a guide.
Step Eight: Pin and sew the other side of the skirt. Sew the zig zag edge to prevent the fabric from ravelling. Turn under the top edge of the of the skirt to make a channel for the elastic. Sew as close to the edge of the channel as you can, Leaving edges open to thread the elastic through.
Step Nine. On the hem, press fabric under 0.5cm and turn under again, 0.5cm, to sew your hem. Thread the elastic through the channel that you made securing the edge of the elastic to the fabric with a stitch. Continue to pull and gather the elastic through the channel. Sew the two edges of the elastic together and hand stitch the channel closed. Press your finished your skirt 🙂
I hope this tutorial was straightforward enough. If you have any queries, please don’t hesitate to ask questions. You can follow me on the Facebook page which is here. The fabric is available from the shop, which is here, at this link.
The sizing chart is included below:
Thanks a million,