You may remember the post where I made this petticoat skirt and was so in love with it. I still am. And you may remember the skirt I tried on over it that was too long. (The first picture you see here where the skirt is rolled at the top.)
I love that skirt. It’s an H&M favorite from a few years ago (and since I don’t have an H&M close by, it’s an item that not everyone around here has seen–hurray!). I decided to copy it making it a bit shorter so that my petticoat shows underneath. I also decided to try my hand at a tutorial. Scary, but worth a try, right?
The brown skirt on the right is what we’ll be making.
Pretty cute, eh? Here goes:
2 yards of fabric
Sewing machine and matching thread
Scissors/rotary cutter and mats
Iron and ironing board
Lots of time
To start out, I determined how big I’d need to cut the front and back panels of the skirt. Since the top is pleated (pintucks) quite a bit, I took my waist measurement and used that measurement for both the front and the back. So if my waist was 30″, I’d cut a panel that was 30″ wide for both the front and the back. I ended up cutting a little bit off each piece after I made the waistband, but depending on the size of your pintucks, you may not need to do this. We’ll get there in a minute.
Then measure the length you want your skirt remembering that there will be about 2 inches of waistband, so start measuring a bit lower than the skirt will sit on you. I also wanted a fairly big hem, so I added a couple of inches to the length for that reason.
Cut out a front and a back (the same size) using your dimensions, like so.Then decide how many pintucks you’d like. I did sets of 5 tucks across the whole panel, but you decide how you’d like them. I made my pintucks the same size and depth using a credit card. The nice thing about this little trick is that you can use the different lines on the back of the card for different sized tucks. I used the smallest (see below), but you could use this trick for bigger pleats as well. Just lay the card on your fabric, then fold the fabric over to the line you choose. Neat huh?
Anyway, I pinned and tucked at the top and the bottom of the card to keep the tucks in place. Once they’re all finished, press those tucks really well. (My photo is pre-pressed, but trust me, I did it.)
Topstitch all of the tucks a couple of inches down, making sure not to go down too far (you need the skirt to get loose and flowy around the widest part of your hips, rather than staying straight and then flaring at the thigh). Make sure to backstitch a few stitches so that your tucks don’t come undone (too much work to let them come undone, right?).
Okay, now that you’ve got your panels finished, line them up right sides together and sew down one side of the skirt. Then press your seam open.
Time for the waistband. I loved how the first skirt fit, so I took the skirt and traced the waistband on a piece of paper, making the sketch a little bit bigger to account for the seams you’ll put in. Cut out this piece of paper, then cut out four from your fabric (2 for the front and 2 for the back).
Take two of the waistband pieces, and get ready to make buttonholes. Lots of them. If you look at the picture above, you’ll see that there’s a tie that’s threaded through the waistband. So we’re going to make buttonholes for the tie to go through. I made mine 1″ tall and 2.5″ apart. They’re centered on the fabric fronts. Mark these holes on your fabric, and put on your buttonhole foot! Let your machine do its magic with all those buttonholes.
As a side note, I know that every machine is different, so if you’re not familiar with your machine’s buttonhole function, get out your owner’s manual. Yes, I really just said that. As a writer, I know how much good stuff goes into those manuals, and I readily admit that I always read the manual. My machine does much more than I would have known, but because I read it, I can take advantage of all its options. It also has the best instructions on some of these basic functions. Okay, I’ll get off my soapbox now.
Now, right sides together, sew the top of two waistband pieces together to make the front. Do it again for the back. Then sew the front and back together on one side (wrong sides together) so you have one long waistband piece that looks something like this…
Now you can flip the fabric to right-side out and press the waistband along the seam.
Time to put the waistband on! With your skirt body inside out, pin the waistband to the top of the skirt, matching up the side seams that you’ve already sewn. In this step, you’re laying the right side of the waistband against the wrong side of the skirt body (hopefully the photo below shows what I mean). If you have extra fabric from your original skirt body panels, trim them to the same length of your waistband.
We’re going to treat the waistband like seam binding. So first we’ll sew along the top of the pinned section and then press the seam open. Then take your iron and fold over the piece of the waistband with the buttonholes so you get a 1/4″ fold (so it looks like this).
Now fold the waistband over along the waistband seam (see the photo below), and topstitch along the seam between the skirt body and the waistband like you would bias tape/seam binding. Now it’s time to make the tie! Start with a strip of fabric that’s about 2-1/2″ wide and long enough to go around your waist and tie a nice bow (mine was 70″ long). Fold the fabric in half with the right sides together, and sew along the raw edges all the way along the tie to create a super long tube. (I promise that the fabric in this photo is wrong-side out.)
Then, turn the tube inside out by putting a safety pin on one end, and threading it back through the tube. Time to press again. Once you have crisp edges, fold your ends in and topstitch along all four sides of the tie. I guess this is an optional step, but once you wash the skirt, I’m sure you’ll want the tie to be nice and flat instead of crumply (my own word). Then thread your completed tie through your buttonholes (weaving it in and out). Cute, huh?Okay, we’re almost done. I don’t have pictures of the last bits because they’re pretty basic, but hopefully the instructions still make sense.
Measure down 7″ from the top of the skirt and waistband on the open side, and mark the fabric. This is where the zipper will go. Sew a 5/8″ side seam from this point to the bottom of the skirt. Press the seam open. Then insert the zipper using instructions included in the zipper (thank goodness for instructions!).
Then just hem your skirt to your desired length, and try it on!