Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Make your own lace skirt


I finally got around to explaining the simple process of making this skirt. If you don't want to make one *cough* cough* You can buy one for $20.00 in my shop.

I have specific measurements, but it does not have to be exact. Seriously.

What you need:
Meshy lace. I chose a fabric that easy flows/hangs down when you hold it up. It is also very stretchy. I got in the red tag section of Joann Fabric for $5 a yard. The key is to make sure that the fabric will hang down appropriately when you hold it. Some lace fabrics are so stiff and/or light it would be a nightmare to wear. Just imagine wearing it. I have no qualms about holding it up to my waist in the store to imagine how it would look as a skirt. I purchased 2 gorgeous yards and it made three skirts (two small and one medium). It really depends on the size of one's waist and hips. The reason why I got so many skirts out of the fabric is that I cut it lengthwise so I had three super long lengths of fabric. You could use less yardage (for one skirt) if you cut the fabric in shorter lengths and sewed them together. If this doesn't make sense, scroll down to look at the pictures of the cut fabric (and leave me a comment so I know I am not being clear enough)
Color coordinating liner. I chose a nude synthetic knit that had enough weight to it so that it would hang well using the above standards. Get the same amount as you did for the lace. It is important to remember that fabric is sold in different widths as well. Since both my liner and lace were the same width I was able to cut it lengthwise to make three skirts.
Thick elastic. I really like contrasting/bold colors. Part of the reason is that most fabric stores have two options: black or white. You could be fancy and get something colorful online. I prefer elastic that is 2 to 3 inches thick. I like to sew it 1-4 inches smaller than my waist.
Notions: Thread, pins, etc... I highly recommend a rotary cutter.



This is my fabric, folded in half (lengthwise). For three skirts, this would be cut in three long strips. All you have to do it hold it against yourself to see how long you want it, and cut accordingly.

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Measuring with a rotary measure and board made this job a lot easier!

Cut both the lace and the liner.

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I pinned the lace and liner together to make sure that they would be the same length. As you can see, there was an inconsistency at the top. If either of your fabrics are stretchy, this is a could either mean that the fabrics are two different sizes OR one of the fabrics is being stretched. Consequently, be very careful to make sure that there is no stretching because it will be crooked when you cut it. This sounds a lot harder than it really is. After making sure that no fabric was stretching, I cut the top so that it was even. the fabric I used was a kind that rarely unravels, so I did not need a hem. If your fabric unravels easily, sew a hem now.

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The lace is sewn together with the liner in the same seam. This helps the fabrics to stick together.
If you don't have a serger, a lot of seamstresses recommend using a zig-zag stitch on a knit.

I made an extra zig-zag stitch to finish the edges, and prevent fraying.

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Using a colorful thread makes it a lot easier to remove after sewing to the waistband!

I found that gathering the waist through hand stitching was nicer than a basting stitch on my sewing machine. Use whatever method you like to gather the skirt.
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Cut the waistband and sew with a elastic stitch.
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It is wise to hold it up before sewing to make sure the skirt lays straight. 

Pin the skirt to the waistband and sew with a zig-zag stitch (I did it twice). This allows the elastic to still stretch. I have been criticized for this in the past, so if you know differently, I would appreciate an explanation [truly] since I have only ever known to use a zig-zag stitch. I am NOT an advanced seamstress by any means and spend time trying to learn new techniques. I appreciate constructive criticism, or new ideas on how to do things. :)


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Remove your basting stitch. If it was handsewn it is super easy.

And you are done!




Have fun!

27 comments:

  1. Super cute! I may have to try making one for myself!

    ~Vicki
    deckedoutinruffles.blogspot.com

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    Replies
    1. Thank you so much! It isn't hard! I made all three in one day.

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  2. Apparently you can serge the elastic onto the fabric. I've seen it on the finished product, but have yet to find a tutorial. Believe me, I want to learn how to - I have a serger and crave to learn more! I'm still a beginner too.

    Nicole Hale
    craftysoprano@comcast.net

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  3. Looks really good and easy. Good job!

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  4. Just a suggestion: I find it easy to gather fabric by zigzagging over a piece of crochet cotton. Then gather the fabric--the heavier crochet thread won't break the way that a machine basting thread will, and it's easier to adjust (so you won't have gathers bunched in one spot and have a flat spot elsewhere). I learned this years ago from an experienced home seamstress and it's never failed me. Thanx--love the pattern.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for sharing- I will have to try it!

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  5. Thanx for the info. I hv 2 Gr'dtrs I cn mk these 4.

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  6. Thank you for this pattern. Love it!! I also zigzag over crochet cotton cord. Have done that for years and it has never failed me:)

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  7. I think that your method of sewing on the stretchy band with a zigzag seam is fine. Because you have more thread for the distance you are sewing, it creates a nice stretch. I don't have a serger, so I don't know what could be done with one here.

    This is a little bit off topic. If you're sewing a seam on a stretchy fabric, make your stitch slightly smaller than you think you would use and make it a zigzag stitch that is not very wide (you want to barely see that it is a zigzag stitch). Again, this will add a little more thread to the distance you are stitching and will help keep the stitch from popping if it is stretched. I do this even where it doesn't look like the seam would be stretched.

    Thanks for the tutorial.

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  8. what a sweet skirt. i'd follow your directions, since your pretty skirt came out so very nice!
    kudzu

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  9. Very cute skirt! Thank you for the tut!!

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  10. Great going. I used to make this kind of easy lace skirt lined with sheer or black on the inside. easy and super cool even though I did not have much sewing knowledge back then. You cannot go wrong with this skirt either knee length or floor length for night formal wear.
    Kee Rukiah, Sabah Malaysia

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  11. I love this skirt and tutorial, thank you!!!! I plan on making some Wednesday when my new sewing machine arrives! :) Quick question l, how much wider that your waste did you make the skirt?

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    Replies
    1. I make the waistband 1-4 inches smaller than my waist. A good method is to pin the elastic where you would like to sew (with a safety pin) and try it on first. Have fun!

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    2. Ok, and what about the fabric? I got material last night to make one...thanks again! :)

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    3. I usually wrap it around my waist at least two times. It depends on how full you want it. Another easy way to tell how much to use is to experiment by tucking it under a tight belt before cutting. This way you can know exactly how full the skirt will be. If you have any other questions, feel free to ask!

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    4. Ok perfect! Was a crazy weekend but, baby is napping so, mama gets to sew...finally! :) thank you for all of your awesome tutorials. I really enjoy them!

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  12. My sister fell in love with the skirt! She doesnt have a sewing machine so I just made one for her today. Sooooo easy! Thanks!

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    Replies
    1. I am so glad it went well for you! Thanks for letting me know. :)

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  13. I am actually VERY embassased to ask this since everyone here is so experienced!! I am A REAL BEGINNER!! i DO NOT EVEN KNOW HOW TO use my sewing it!! well, that is not entirely true, I do know how to turn it on!!My question is when sewing a sress or skirt's seam, so you sew it down or up? I mean do you sew up towards the waist or down from the waist? the reason I am asking is because I have been told if you sew it wrong it will pucker or not hang right?! Would you or SOMEONE PLEASE help ME?! I would deeplu appreciate it!!!

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    Replies
    1. It really depends on the type of fabric you are using. I don't have a lot of experience with knits (stretchy fabrics- like what a t-shirt is made of)- I know they can pucker very easily. If you use something like cotton it doesn't pucker very much and I have sewn up or down seams.

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  14. For the person that asked about which way to sew... It doesn't matter which way you go on woven fabrics. Just make sure the thread tension is not too tight and you can't go wrong. Your sewing machine came with a manual and it will tell you how to adjust the thread tension and most of them now will tell you where to put the tension on different types of fabric. The only other thing I can offer for knits and other stretchy fabrics is that you can use a walking foot and that is supposed to keep things from puckering, along with the correct thread tension. I'm a very experienced sewer, from the age of 9 or so. The more you sew the more confident you will be. I advise people to practice on scraps, or buy fabric from a dollar-a-yard bin and make simple things at first. Hope this helps.

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  15. Actually, it does matter how you sew the seams on woven fabric. If you have cut any part of the pattern on the bias (think A-Line skirts, the part that creates the / is on a partial bias) you're not going to want to have the machine pull the bias down more....gravity will try to pull it out of shaped when you hang your skirt, so it is best to stitch from the hem up to the waistband. It will create a seam that has less of a change to pull and pucker.

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    Replies
    1. Exactly! I learned at my very first sewing class ever to always sew from the bottom up. It's never failed me. When you stitch from the top down it can stretch and distort even a woven fabric. It's just a good rule of thumb on any garment, to sew from the bottom up. This also includes sleeves. Even on a straight piece that you might be using as curtains etc.

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  16. You asked if there are alternate ways to gather fabric onto elastic. Lingerie and light weight skirts or knit pants can have elastic waists attached directly to them and stretched tight enough to create a kind of "dirndle" silhouette. Stretch a piece of elastic and sew it onto a piece of fabric and when the elastic shrinks back to size, the fabric will automatically gather. I do this by measuring my elastic to fit my waist and adding about 3 inches. Mark the excess. Then mark 1/2, 1/4, 3/4 of the elastic and mark 1/2, 1/4, 3/4 on the fabric. Make certain the elastic will stretch as wide as your fabric, match the marks and pin. You will use the extended piece of elastic as a kind of "handle for maintaining an even pressure from behind the sewing machine foot." Secure the fabric to the elastic on the end where there is elastic extending. Keeping the fabric and elastic pulled tight in the back of your zipper foot as well as in front of the zipper foot, sew using a straight stitch (I assume you could also use a zig zag, but haven't tried it.) After attaching the waistband, sew a back seam and lay the extension of elastic over the seam. Trim it to cover the seam and Hand sew it down to mask the bulk. The secret to doing this is 1.) make certain the elastic will stretch to fit the fabric or farther, 2.) keep the tenson of what you hold even and DON'T pull the fabric against the needle or you'll bend or break the needle. 3.) Determine in advance whether the elastic "seam" will be too bulky or uncomfortable. You don't want a knot of elastic to interfere with a waistband's looks or comfort. Sorry to do this anonymously....It's the first time I've added feedback and only did it this time because I didn't see anyone address your comment. I don't have an account and don't want to add one for only this comment.

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Thanks for stopping by! If you have a particular question, you can always email me at rebekahbethany {at} gmail.com

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