February 16, 2011

Ruffle Sweater Skirt Refashion & Tutorial

{AKA: Bloomingdales Skirt Knockoff!}

I have neglected to share this with you for too long. But that is because I wanted to show you how to make them too - and tutorials take time!

I found some cute shirts at Target for Christmas gifts and decided to make some cute pink skirts to go with them. I had a pink sweater I used with my Halloween costume but would never wear again. So I started to look at skirts online for inspiration. These were a few:

Sweater Skirts

I wanted more than just a plain skirt, but the sweater had no print on it and no real texture. Those ideas would look different. Then I thought about just making a Pettiskirt to go with the shirts. I loved the idea, and the two-tones of color, but I'll confess it was more work than I wanted to do. So I searched some more for ideas and saw this:

Inspired by Bloomingdale's
{$98 Outfit from Bloomingdales.}

The skirt is super cute and fun. It had a pettiskirt feel without all the work. I knew this could be simple to duplicate. Here's my version: 

Ruffle Sweater Skirt
(Sorry no cute shots on the girls because the gift was sent away. Total cost was about $10!)

Ruffle Sweater Skirt

Want to make this yourself? Well, let's get started on the tutorial.

RUFFLE SKIRT TUTORIAL



As with all my tutorial, these are for Personal Use Only. Please share photos of your projects made from my ideas in my Flickr Pool Maggie Muggins Designs In Action. I'd love to feature them!


Please let me know if there are any mix-ups, confusions or if you have any questions!


Supplies and Preparations:

1 Sweater 
1/4-1/2 Yard Nylon (Non-Fray) Chiffon (Amount depends on skirt length)
1/8 Yard Contrast Nylon Chiffon (if desired)
Thread to match
1/2 wide Elastic
Large Safety Pin

I purchased the Non-Fray Chiffon at the link above. It's a really good price! It is 54" wide and plenty for the 18M and 2T sizes that I made. For skirts for larger sizes you may want to purchase wider Chiffon. I found some available here.

If possible - prewash the sweater in a normal wash. That will prevent very much shrinking later and save the little girls Mom on worries.

Make the Pattern:

I have two boys, and no girls, so I didn't have any skirts to trace to create a pattern. Instead I pulled out a pair of pants in the size that the skirts needed to be. (I used cotton knit pants.) So if you don't already have a skirt pattern either trace a girls skirt or boys pants. I use freezer paper for my patterns.

1. Place the pants/skirt on paper and trace the outside down to about mid knee. Pull the pants/skirt off.
2. Add a 1/2" to the sides for seam allowance and about another inch at the waist for the elastic.
3. Fold the pattern in half and make sure both sides are symmetrical and the top and bottom are straight and perpendicular to each other.

Cutting Out:
1. Flatten the sweater out and line up the hem on the back and front evenly.

Cutting out the Skirt

Cut Out

2. Line the bottom of the skirt pattern up to the hem of the sweater. This will give you a perfectly hemmed skirt already. Pin and cut through both layers for the front and back of the skirt.
3. Measure 2/3 the skirt length and multiply the width by 3. That is the amount you need for the chiffon layer. Cut the calculated length from the chiffon and then trim to the calculated width. (I used a cutting ruler and rotary cutter for this instead of making a pattern.)

Chiffon Layer Cut Out

4. Multiply the width of the skirt by 4. Cut 2 strips off the chiffon 1-1 1/2" wide then trim them to the calculated width. (I cut one in pink, one in brown.)

Sewing:
1. Pin the sides of the skirt right sides together. Sew the seams using 1/2" seam allowance. Finish the seams (zig-zag stitch or serge).

Side Seams

Seam Finishing

2. Finish the seam on the waist band (remember sweaters are knit material and if something gets pulled it could all come unraveled). Fold towards wrong side 1/4" and pin. Fold again towards inside 3/4" and pin again. Sew 1/8" seam near edge of fold. Leave a 2" opening in the back for feeding the elastic through.

Waist Seam

3. Cut the elastic to waist length for waist. I used the pants I made the pattern from to help estimate length. Both skirts fit so I'm thinking it was a good judge. Feed the elastic through the opening using a safety pin. Overlap the elastic at least 1/2" pin the elastic together as it needs to lay inside the band (make sure it's not twisted at all). Use a zig-zag stitch to sew up and down on the elastic on both edges of the overlap. Trim and pull the elastic completely into the waist band.

Threading Elastic Through

Waist Band

Sewing the Elastic

4. Insert a tag (to mark the back) if desired and sew the opening closed. I didn't bother with a tag. The pattern front and back were identical so it didn't matter.

Waist Band

Now you have a complete skirt. You could stop here, add pockets, ribbon, flowers, appliqué or anything you think would be fun. Or continue and add the chiffon ruffle.

Finished Plain Skirt

5. Fold the large chiffon piece in half, wrong side together (if you can tell) and sew down the side. Turn right side out. Before moving on mark the middle of the fabric with a pin or washable marker (fold in half with the seam on one side and mark the other side). This will help you line up the sides when sewing the chiffon on the skirt.
Side Seam Chiffon Layer

Chiffon Layer

6. Set your machine to a basting stitch (larger stitch width) and turn up the tension. The higher tension will make one thread pull tighter and gather the ruffles more. Don't back stitch at the beginning or end so you can gather the ruffle more if needed, or un-gather. Sew across the top of the chiffon fabric at 1/2" or 3/4" (depending on the width of the smaller chiffon strips you cut, use half of that measurement).

Gathering Chiffon Layer

7. Line up the bottom of the chiffon with the bottom of the skirt, one side seam with the chiffon side seam and one side seam with the pin mark. This will help you evenly distribute the chiffon layer around the skirt. Gather more if necessary and pin to the skirt. Turn your machine tension and stitch width back to normal. Sew along the baste stitch. Once completed, remove the baste stitch if possible. That will prevent a lot of excess threads later on.

Attaching Chiffon Layer

Attached Chiffon Layer

8. Take the top color chiffon strip and repeat step 6 on your machine, mark the half-way point and baste down the center of the strip. Do the same for the bottom strip. You can choose where to put the ruffles. I added one to the top and one to the bottom, but Bloomingdale's version is really cute too. Pin the ruffles at the sides where you marked and then gather as needed and pin around the rest of the skirt. On the end, just overlap them a small amount, don't worry about sewing it together.

Making Ruffle

Ruffle

Attaching Ruffle

Ruffle Sweater Skirt

Ruffle Sweater Skirt

That's it! Your skirt is complete. Trim any loose threads, fluff the chiffon where needed and put it on your little girl. Either that or gift it away.

Ruffle Sweater Skirt

Here is the entire outfit complete with their matching Gingerbread Dolls that the girls got for Christmas!

Ruffle Sweater Skirt

Linking up to these awesome parties:

Show and Tell Green




Sew Darn Crafty on