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Baby Shirred Skirt Tutorial

Skirts  |  April 30th 2011  |  0 Comment
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This skirt tutorial is finally here.  It is simple.  Cute.  A perfect baby gift.

So, let get started.
Skirt fabric (1/4 to 1/2 depending on what size you are making)
Regular thread
Elastic thread
Sewing Machine
Rotary Cutter/mat/ruler
Pinking Shears 

I am showing you how to make a skirt that is 0-3 months sized.  If you want to make a different size take the measurements of your baby.  Measure their stomach and then double it for the width of the fabric. My width for 0-3 months was 22 inches.  For the length measure from their waist to their knee.  You then want to add about an inch.  (Or less if you want the skirt shorter.)  My measurement for the length for 0-3 moths ended up being 8 inches.
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1. Grab your fabric.  Cut out a piece of fabric that is 22″ by 8″.  Or as in this picture you see if folded and it is 11″ by 8″…but if you unfolded the fabric it would be 22″ long.
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2. Fold the fabric in half length wise with right sides together.  Like seen in this picture.  Then pin the side together. (The 8″ side.)
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3. Sew a 1/2 inch seem down the 8″ side.
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4.  Take your pinking shears and trim along the edge.  This causes your fabric to not fray when the skirt is washed.  If you have a serger you could also serge the edge instead of sewing it.
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5.  Next we are going to sew the top and also hem the bottom.  With a larger skirt I would hem it at the end, but since this is such a tiny skirt I did it at the beginning before I started shirring.   You are going to double fold it over. (For the top and the Hem.)  About a 1/4 inch folds both on the top and bottom.  Iron it down good (pin if that is also easier for you).  If you have a serger you can serge the top and bottom and then just fold down once.  Or, if you have a serger you don’t even have to turn down your top.  You could just leave the serged edge up.  That would be up to you and the look you want.  But, you will want to turn it down for the hem either way.
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6.  Sew down the two hems.
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7.  Iron both hem and top so it is nice and flat.  It should look something like this.
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8.  Now you want to get out your elastic thread so we can start shirring the top.  Before you were using regular thread.  For the shirring you will use elastic thread ONLY in your bobbin.  Take an empty bobbin and you are going to hand wined the elastic thread onto the bobbin.  You want to wined it not too tight or too loose…if that makes sense.  It actually goes pretty quickly and isn’t hard.  One bobbin full will be plenty for this little skirt.
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9. Load it into your machine just like you would regular thread.
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10.  See the thicker elastic thread coming out the bobbin and the regular thread coming out of my needle.
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11.  Now every machine is a little different.  For me I have to change my settings a little.  I raise my tension to a 5 where normally I am between a 3 and 4.
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12.  I also move my stitches to be a little further apart.  You are going to want to play with your machine.  Take a scrap of fabric and sew a few lines to see if the back is holding the elastic thread.  When you shirr it should bunch up a little.
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13.  When you start shirring I started right on top of my stitching from double turning over the fabric for my top.  Don’t forget to back stitch every time you start and stop a row.  You don’t want the rows to pull out.  You are going to sew 5 rows that are all between 1/4″ to 1/2″ apart (depending on what look you like).  Mine were closer to 1/4″ apart.
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14.  Here I am on row 4.  Do you see how the skirt starts bunching together with the elastic thread you are using.  You want to make sure as you sew you pull the fabric in front of you straight so you still sew on straight fabric.  The picture below shows you what you want to pull it to look like as you sew.
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15.  See much better sewing.  I am just pulling to stretch it out.  Your hands might get a little tired at you do it, but you need to do it so the shirring looks good.  It is okay if it is bunching up on the other side of the needle, just not where you are actually sewing.  These rows should sew pretty quickly since the fabric is so small.  You want to do 5 rows like I said before.  If you are making the skirt for an older child you are going to want to add a few more rows.  By a 12 month size I would probably do at least 8-10 rows.
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16.  Once you have sewn your 5 rows you are going to grab your iron.  The spray a little water on the shirred area and I like to have water in my iron to make sure I have lots of steam.  Then you are going to iron right onto the shirring.  This will shrink up the shirred area and make it nice and bunched tight.  (It is actually my favorite part.  It is pretty cool!)
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17.  It should look something like this when you are done.  Super cute right?  And pretty simple too.  If you have not shirred before you might want to google some other tutorials just in case mine isn’t a good enough description for you.  I am no shirring pro.  I am actually just learning…but fair warning, it is kind of addicting.
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Now, I wanted to add a little bit of color to my skirt so I chose to add a ruffle along the bottom. I sewed it on after the skirt was all done (since I didn’t decide to even do it until then.)  You could sew it before or after the shirring.  I just took some fabric and bunched sewed it on.  You could also do it with fun ribbon too.  I really liked how it turned out.
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I also took a onesie that was 0-3 months and made 3 rosettes out of coordinating fabric and sewed them right onto the onesie.
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I loved how the whole outfit turned out.  A perfect baby present.  I am so obsessed I just might even have to add a couple to my shop.

I hope you can understand it all. If you have any questions please feel free to email me at mycreationcorner{at}gmail{dot}com. I am happy to answer them.  Happy day to you all.  Have fun sewing!

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