July 27, 2012

tutorial: ruched side skirt

Posting over on Project Run & Play today for Skirting the Issue, a very good cause! Hoping to find a local agency to donate these 4 skirts to so they can go to local foster children. 
Designing for teenage girls I wanted this to be a more form fitting skirt but still wanted the ability to pull on easily. With this idea in mind I measured my model at the widest part of her hips, which I believe is technically called her 'low hip measurement'. I then added an inch for wiggle room and five inches for seam allowances. Then divide by two for the width of each rectangle.

An equation may be easier:
(low hip measurement + 6 inches) ÷ 2 = width of rectangle

For the height of the rectangle I used the knee length measurement from these size charts.

Cut two of these rectangles, front and back. 

Hem both rectangular pieces. Fold 1/4 inch and iron. Fold another 1/4 inch and iron then sew hem. (If you want you could serge and then iron and hem.) I chose to sew two parallel lines to mimic a double needle hem.
Place right sides together and pin. Make sure when you pin that you line up the hem lines on both sides. Notice my pins are set pretty far back in my fabric since the next seam is 1 1/4 inches wide.
Sew both sides with 1 1/4 inch seam allowance. Make sure to slowly back stitch on top of the hem to secure.
Iron side seam open.
Fold each side of seam under 1/2 inch and iron. 
Edge stitch each side. Make sure to slowly back stitch again on top of hem. These will be the tunnels for your ribbon to create the ruching.
Repeat previous 3 steps with other side seam.

Insert ribbon into tunnels.  Use a safety pin on the end of the ribbon to help feed through tunnels. Start at the hem and up to the waist band and then back down to the hem again. Trim ribbon to leave 4 inches or so and use fray check on each end.

Measure your finished skirt for the waistband. I always measure after I sew the skirt together for the waistband because it seems like regardless of how careful I am, I always loose or add 1/4 inch somewhere.
Cut out waistband fabric. Use length above plus one inch and cut height of 4 inches.
Place right sides together and sew 1/2 inch seam. Make sure to sew 4 inches sides together! Iron seam open.
Sew to skirt with right sides together. Pin all the way around with the seam centered in the back. Sew to skirt with 1/2 inch seam allowance. Go slowly and ensure raw edges stay aligned. (If you don't have the fabric for one long waistband you can cut two equal waistbands just add an extra inch for seam allowances.)
Press seam allowance towards the waist band.
Fold top of waistband down 1/2 inch and press. 
Fold waist band down 1 inch to create a casing that is 1 1/2 inches wide. Press and pin all the way around.
Edge stitch on right side of skirt along waistband. Start on left side seam and stitch across the back of the skirt to stop at the right side seam. This seam should catch the waistband on the inside of the skirt and create a casing for the elastic.
Insert elastic into casing and secure to skirt. Once you have fed the elastic into the casing pull elastic to gather the back of the skirt a bit.  Then sew elastic in place above each side seam using matching thread color to help hide the stitches. (Can try on model prior to securing elastic to ensure fit is correct.  You want the finished waist of the skirt to be the same size as the waist of your model. )
Finish the edge stitch on front of waistband. Start at right side seam, where you stopped previously, and continue to left side. Back stitch to secure stitch.

Pull on the ribbon to create ruching and tie a bow.

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