Sunday, February 15, 2009

It seems as though I may get to sew for the ballroom dancing show after all. I've put off doing any of the costumes because of the material and patterns. The material is stretchy--new for me. The patterns are non-existent or hard to find. I did happen to find one, though. To experiment with the material, I decided to try my hand at a circle skirt. How hard can it be?

No pattern required!

I purchased a little of a yard of knit material with a lot of crosswise stretch. I also picked up some coordinating wooly nylon for the serger (yep--got up the guts to switch thread).

I folded the fabric in half, lining up the selvages. Then I folded it again in the other direction until I had a square of fabric with folded edges along one side and the top. Then it was math time! I took my daughters waist measurement and divided it by 6.28 to get the radius of the circle to fit around her waist. I subtracted 3/8 for the waistband seem allowance. Using this number, I made marks from the corner of the folded fabric until the quarter-circle was well marked. This skirt I chose to make 19 inches long, so I then marked out another circle with a radius of the original radius plus another 19 inches. That becomes the bottom of the skirt.

I then cut a rectangle of the same fabric, with the length of the rectangle aligned to the stretchy direction of the fabric, that was 2 3/4" wide and 3/4" larger than the waist measurement long. I serged the two short ends together to make a big circle. I cut 1" elastic to my daughter's waist measurement and then overlapped 1/2" and sewed it well to make a big circle. Then I folded the elastic into the waistband rectangle. The part that over hangs the elastic then gets pinned to the waist of the skirt and serged.

Then I used the roll-hem finish on the bottom and voila! A great twirling skirt that my daughter loves and that will look great while she dances. Bah to $90 ballroom dancing practice skirts. This was tres facile.


Even though my younger daughter doesn't dance, she said she wanted her own skirt! So I found this shiny kimono-like fabric and made her a skirt too. Now this fabric wasn't stretchy, so instead of her waist measurement, I used her hip measurement plus one inch for all of the waist measurement used above, with the exception of the elastic. That I still cut to her waist measurement. And then we get another pull-on circle skirt even without stretchy material, as long as you don't mind some gathers in your waist band.

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