My seven year old is growing too fast. She is like a very cute and emotional weed. So I made her some skirts this week, because I happen to be a firm believer that kids need to wear clothes that cover their bums. Here's a quick run-down of my very unprofessional hack-save-as-much-time-as-possible technique:
1. Measure around the hips. I couldn't find my tape measure so I used a ribbon.
2. Choose your fabric. Skirts require surprisingly little - for my daughter's skirts, I used half a yard. (By the way, the fabric: Heather Ross's Far Far Away II that I've been hording, and some Echino dots. I think a heavier weight of fabric works best with this kind of skirt). Fold your piece lengthwise in half, and then in half again (visualize when you fold in half the first time that you are making the back of the skirt (on the bottom), and the front of the skirt (the top) - and then for that second fold, you'll be folding the whole thing right down the middle. Sorry, is that really confusing? It's kind of late as I write this). Using the same idea, fold your ribbon in half and then in half again, and put the edge of it on the top of the fabric, lined up with that middle fold. Mark the end of the ribbon (or, probably in your case, a tape measure) with chalk. The ribbon represents the waist, and on the right side of the fabric is the fold (see picture below).
3. Take a yardstick, and line it up perpendicularly from the end of the waist. Determine the angle you would like for the A-line. Totally up to you how much you want it to flare it out. Also determine how long you want the skirt to be. Mark accordingly with chalk, and cut through all four layers of the fabric on the sides. Round the bottom.
4. Unfold the fabric. It should look like this:
5. Sew the side seams. If you have an extra two minutes, you can zig zag the edges to neaten the inside - I didn't here, and it made the threading of the elastic a little bit more difficult.
6. Hem the bottom (my quick trick on these skirts: zig zag as close to the raw edge as possible, then flip the hem under just once and stitch with a straight stitch).
7. For the waist, fold over the edge twice to make a neat casing (like a tunnel) for your elastic, and sew, leaving a small space open to thread the elastic into. Because of the a-line of the skirt, it will seem a little bunchy when you fold it over, but persevere! Once you thread the elastic in to the skirt the waist will all be bunchy. On purpose.
8. Measure your daughter's waist with your elastic. You want the elastic to actually hold the skirt on so don't make it too long that it just slips off.
9. Once you've determined the right length for the elastic, use a safety pin to thread it through the casing. Stitch the elastic in place (I kind of like to make the front of the skirt flatter, with most of the elastic gathers in the back), and voila, all done. If you are not interrupted by a sad baby, mad that she wasn't allowed to eat buttons from the button jar, you may even finish this in less than thirty minutes.