I’ve always wanted to learn to sew ever since I can remember. There were no malls where I grew up and there were only three known dressmakers around. Imagine the queue at Christmastime when everyone wanted to have something new to wear for church on Christmas Eve. I remember how frustrating it was to wait for my dress to be finished and how it was equally dismaying when it came out as something totally different from how I imagined it to be. This sounds like a childhood from classic novels but no, I’m not that old. Not yet anyway.
But sewing never became a priority. The order of my life back then was like this: get a university degree, get a job, get a good job, climb the corporate ladder and keep on climbing. Sewing or anything domesticating was not part of the game plan.
Now my priorities are reversed. I no longer care about high position jobs. I care about my time and what I do with it so I’m currently on a mission to explore my passions. First stop: sewing.
DIY: RUFFLE SKIRT
This is just my second time to sew. I made an infinity scarf before but forgot to take photos of the step by step process. I’m making sure this time each (baby) step is photographed and described so that it will just be a breeze for me if I’ll sew something like this again.
I searched high and low for tutorials online on how to sew a ruffle skirt and got bits and pieces of ideas from different sites. Finally I just let myself be guided by instinct and came up with a cute skirt.
Materials needed: Cascading ruffle fabric (which I bought on a whim without having any idea how to make a skirt out of it), elastic, thread, pins, scissors, and of course, my sewing machine.
MAKING THE ELASTIC TUBE:
- I wanted a high-waist skirt so I put the elastic around my waist making sure it was snug. I also left half an inch overlap before cutting the excess. (My first mistake was measuring my waist when I was super full from lunch. Now the elastic isn’t so snug. My husband’s solution is simple. I just have to eat a lot when I wear this skirt. Heh.)
- In sewing the ends I used the half-inch overlap to make the seam, back stitching at the top and the bottom.
- Last step is to press open the seam, sewing down on each side so it won’t be bulky.
MAKING THE FABRIC TUBE:
For the width: I measured around my hips, adding 10 inches to it. The extra width is for the skirt to flow nicely.
For the length, I used another skirt as basis, leaving an extra ruffle to the measurement. I cut the excess of the fabric with the ruffles going vertical from me.
Then I put the ends of the fabric together, pretty side to pretty side, pinning it down and making sure the ruffles were meeting up and lying flat together. This part is very important especially when you sew the seam. It would be a pain if some ruffles don’t meet up and go different ways.
Just like the elastic, I used half an inch allowance for the seam, back stitching it again at the top and bottom. I cut down the extra bulk of the seam after as I wanted to give my skirt a neat appearance even inside.
ASSEMBLING AND SEWING ELASTIC AND FABRIC TOGETHER
This is what I found so hard at first. I had to re-pin like three times before I finally got it right.
- Elastic and fabric should be right sides out. The seams should be inside. It’s probably easier to do the pinning and sewing with the right sides touching together but I wanted to make sure no white fabric can be seen between the elastic and the black (second) ruffle.
- The arrows on the photo above are the four key points of my pinning the fabric and elastic together. From there I just kept on pinning until I had about two inches of fabric between pins.
Important: I pinned the first ruffle behind the elastic so that the second ruffle will just flow prettily.
It looked like this with so many pins attached. Then it was time for the last step — sewing the fabric and elastic together. I did my seam at the bottom part of the elastic, about 1/8 inch above the first (black) ruffle. As I was sewing, I stretched the elastic on both sides to match or fill in gaps of the fabric.
And there’s my skirt!
I paired it with a pretty see-thru blouse from Guess which my sister gave me for my birthday last year. In the first photo at the start of this post, I didn’t wear an undershirt. I like both ways but I think the undershirt gave the whole outfit a classy look, don’t you think?