Make a skirt for your little girl! I love to sew, but I loathe mainstream patterns. This Addie Jo pattern by Izzy & Ivy is really not a pattern, but is rather a set of very clear directions. You won’t be cutting out patterns, but simply cutting out fabric according to sizes. I love these instructions go up to size 14, as most boutique patterns do not.
I am not including the measurements, and am writing most of my own details, as not to infringe on copyright. The pattern isn’t expensive, they give you five different skirt styles. I highly recommend you buy this pattern from Izzy & Ivy!
This skirt will be much easier to make if you have a serger. Please get a serger if you don’t have one! Sergers make quick work of your projects, and are a great tool for those of us who didn’t have anyone to teach us sewing. My Brother serger was only $200 and worth every penny. My sister-in-law came to visit for Thanksgiving, used the serger, and a week or so later she had one too.
I am using the serger to make this project, but you certainly don’t need one. The Addie Jo pattern has five different skirt styles you can make. If you don’t have a serger, I suggest making Skirt A because it doesn’t have a ruffle, which is time consuming (but not difficult) without a serger because of the shear length before the gather. You will see what I mean. Ready to get started?
First, you must wash, dry and iron the fabric. You can’t get around it – – trust me, I have tried. You don’t want your project shrinking, and if you don’t iron it will be impossible to measure correctly. If you are a beginner, you should know measuring and cutting is the most difficult part of sewing. When you get to the machine, it’s a piece of cake.
After your fabric is cleaned and pressed, cut your fabric pieces according to directions. Here are my skirt panels and waist band.
Next, put the two skirt panels right sides together.
Sew each side of the skirt together, following seam allowance instructions. I serged mine together. Serge or use zig-zag stitch the bottom raw edge of the skirt. I went ahead and serged the top of the skirt as well.
Next, put right sides of waistband together matching short ends, and either serge, or stitch with 1/2″ seam allowance. If you didn’t already serge, finish end with zigzag stitch.
Next the ruffle. Sew the short ends all together, but stop right before making a very large circle. It’s really long, so don’t think you have done something wrong.
If you don’t have a serger, follow the directions on sewing it to the skirt on page 12, but if you are serging just finish it off right now.
Next, you gather the ruffle. Hand gathering is very easy. Set your sewing machine to a basting stitch. Pull out three inches of thread out of the needle so you have a nice tail for pulling the thread. You will not backstitch on either end. Sew along the length of the fabric, about 1/2″ from the top.
Go all the way around and stop about 1″ from where you started. I usually do two rows, because if one snaps while gathering, you have to pull it all out and start over. With a second row, you just keep pulling with your backup stitches.
To gather, gently pull the thread, and use your thumb to push the gather away from the gathering thread. Do this until your ruffle is the size of the circumference of the skirt bottom. The pattern says it best, then “match the gathered edge of the ruffle to the bottom edge of the skirt, right sides together. Pull gathers to fit, and pin in place.” Now sew together.
So, that was a lot of gathering, but don’t worry because the skirt top doesn’t take nearly as long.
You will now gather top of the skirt in the same fashion as the ruffle, with the circumference of the waiste band matching the opening of the gathered top.
Now we attach the waistband. Turn the skirt inside out. The pattern instructs you to “Line the top gathered edge of the skirt right sides together with the bottom edge of the waistband.” Sew together with 1/2″ seam allowance.
Let me stop to show you a mistake I made. I accidentally sewed part of the waistband together.
It’s not hard to make this mistake, and easy to fix. You just get out your trusty seam ripper and undo that part of the stitching, and re-stitch where the waistband meets the top gather.
Now for the elastic. Almost done! Place elastic on the top edge of waistband and fold over to see how big of a fold you will need to make. You will need enough room not just for the elastic, but also for a safety pin. Fold down, and sew, leaving a 1 1/2″ opening.
Now attach a safety pin on both sides of the elastic.
Shimmy the safety pin and elastic through the right opening all the way to the other side. Pull to make a guess on how wide your skirt top should be, and pin both sides of elastic together.
Now, try the skirt on your daughter and adjust elastic to fit her. When done, cut elastic and sew both ends together. Stitch the opening up, and you are done!