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Topic: Reversible Patchwork Skirt Tutorial *Full tutorial now Included* PIC HEAVY  (Read 3290 times)
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« on: May 07, 2010 02:24:10 AM »

I am a newbie sew-er and have enjoyed fiddling around with things quite a bit. I just bought my machine in December 2009, and I LOVE trying to figure out how to make things, since patterns scare the snot out of me. I had this idea in my mind for quite a while, and finally got around to trying it out. I think it turned out cute, and wanted to share. This is my first posting ever at Craftster, so please be kind!  Grin

The link here is to a .pdf I made for this in case you want to download it.   Tongue

I was thinking the other day that I'd like to try making a reversible skirt. The material I use to sew with here is pretty thin, and I can always see through what my girls are wearing. I figured making one reversible would take care of that problem, and would be more versatile. I just had to figure out how to do it!

Took me long enough too!

What You Will Need:
Ribbon: No less than half inch wide
Sewing Machine

Step One: Measure the waist of the wearer and add ten inches. This will give your skirt a little gather. If this measurement is not a full inch, round up to the next inch.

Step Two: Decide how many materials you will use in your patchwork. I used four. Now you want to divide the width of your material by the number of materials used. This will give you a large number. Mine was ten inches. If you don't want your blocks that big, divide this number in half. (My number was ten, and I divided it in half to get five inch wide blocks.)

The seam allowances will be 1/4 inch. Each block will lose 1/2 inch total when we sew them together, so you have to add a half inch to each block's measurement for width and height. My block measurements for this tutorial were 5.5 inches wide. Do the same thing for your height for your blocks. (Take the length measurement and divide it by how many materials you'll use.)

Step Three: Make a cardboard template of your measurements, and have someone decidedly handsome trace around it onto the backs of your materials. Then cut them out.

Step Four: Lay out your squares and place them in the pattern you want.

Then stack them neatly with the first one you will sew on top (and so on down the row) so you can sew row by row without getting confused.

Step Five: Take the squares for your first row, and place the first two blocks right-sides together. Sew down the side with 1/4 inch seam allowance. Open them up.

Place the next square in the row right-side down on the right square of the pair you just sewed. Now sew down the side with 1/4 inch seam allowance. Repeat until you've done this for the whole row.

Set it aside:

Repeat for remaining rows:

Iron the seams in each row all one direction. (Example: Press all seams in one row to the right.) Do the opposite for the next row, pressing all in the opposite direction. This will help your seams look smoother.

Step Six: Take your first and second rows, and line up by the seams on a long table. Fold your second row upward so it is now right-side together with the first row.

Pin together the bottom edge. (Mine are upside-down. Sorry if thats confusing.)

Step Seven: Sew along the pinned edge with 1/4 inch seam allowance.

Open up your rows and press.

Continue with all your rows, lining them up and pinning together, then sewing and pressing.

Step Eight: Now measure the finished size of your patchwork (should be just about your expected size from your original measurements) and cut a rectangle of your reverse side the same dimensions. Place it right-side together with your patchwork piece. Leave it for a minute.

Step Nine: We need to make an elastic casing. To do this, we will cut a length of material from the same fabric as your reverse side. Make it the same length as your completed patchwork, (for me it was 40 inches) and make sure the width of it will fold over your elastic and still have room to hem with 1/4 inch seam.

Trim the excess if necessary. (Do not leave your elastic inside at this point.) Iron flat.

Step Ten: Go back to your fabric thats laid out on the table. Fold back the top layer (which is your reverse side) and place your elastic casing onto the patchwork. Make sure the unfinished edge (not the folded side) is lined up with the top edge of your patchwork. Then fold your reverse layer back over and line up the edges with the elastic casing and your patchwork. Pin together.

Step Eleven: Now sew the layers together with a 1/4 inch seam.

When you put your layers right-side out, youll see the unfinished edge of the elastic casing is sandwiched between the back sides of your patchwork and reverse layers.

Step Twelve: Now its time to thread our elastic through the casing. Make sure its cut to one inch less than your waist measurement. On one end of the elastic put two pins vertically. They will keep the elastic from slipping through the casing. On the other end put a safety pin.

Pull the elastic through the casing by the safety pin end. Then place two pins vertically in the end where the safety pin was, so there is a little tail sticking out. Move the pins on the other end into the fabric as well.

Your skirt should now look like this:

Side One

Side Two

Step Thirteen: Now its time to sew up our elastic ends. Remember the tails we left on either side? Were going to sew them together with a small zig zag stitch.

Now our skirt should look like this: The elastic is sewn together, the patchwork is on the inside, and the reverse is on the outside. The final side seam has not been sewn yet. Thats our next step.

Step Fourteen: Separate the skirts so that the right sides of the materials are inside, and the layers are separated. This leaves a long side seam that needs to be sewn. (That seam runs the full length of the skirt. It's the bottom of the skirt in the photo below)

Line up the layers of that long seam, pin, and sew with a 1/4 seam allowance. When you get to the elastic at the center, make sure the casing is out of your way, and continue sewing the seam.

Step Fifteen: Now pull the reverse layer back over the patchwork layer. Youll see they are both right-side out now. Find the side seam you just sewed. Look at the top where the elastic is. The casing didnt get closed up when we sewed the side seam, so we need to do that now.
Take one side of the unfinished casing and tuck it into the other side.

Then set your machine for a narrow zig zag stitch, and stitch that seam closed. With all the gathering at the top of the skirt, this will not even be visible.

Step Sixteen: Almost done! Now we need to finish up that bottom hem. Holding the elastic waistband in one hand, pull down on both skirt layers so they are fully lengthened. Smooth them out. Now take your ribbon and lay it across the bottom of your skirt. Let overhang a half inch on either side. Now fold it back over the width of the skirt, letting a half inch hang over at the end, and cut it. Use a match or lighter to seal the ends and prevent fraying.

Fold the ribbon under so both the reverse and patchwork layers are sandwiched in the middle, then pin and sew with 1/4 inch seam allowance. Youll need to remove your machines arm for this.

Thats it!! Enjoy your new Reversible Patchwork Skirt!!
« Last Edit: May 07, 2010 04:58:14 AM by JulieMom » THIS ROCKS   Logged
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« Reply #1 on: May 07, 2010 09:03:54 AM »

Wonderful tutorial!

I love reversible clothing as well...gives a woman a lot of choices!

Thanks for posting!

« Reply #2 on: May 07, 2010 10:36:28 AM »

Aw, thank you! Reversible clothes for my girls get so much more mileage! Easier for packing too...one top for two skirts...so helpful! :0)
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« Reply #3 on: May 07, 2010 11:05:32 AM »

I have seen reversible tank tops and t-shirts or those t-shirts with two colors that would also expand the choices--:D

ha ha I guess you have to let your girls pick out whatever color top to go with their colorful skirts!  That is nice as well!

« Reply #4 on: May 07, 2010 03:10:15 PM »

You figured all that out -- and you're scared of patterns?

Patterns should be scared of YOU!

Mad skills, EXCELLENT idea, and a very professional-looking finished product. I'm impressed--and I've been sewing forever
« Last Edit: May 07, 2010 03:11:25 PM by ScotSkipper402 » THIS ROCKS   Logged

"For what do we exist, but to laugh at our neighbors and be laughed at in our turn?"

My stash of supplies is now Beyond Life Expectancy. I love personal swaps! http://www.wists.com/redmennis
« Reply #5 on: May 07, 2010 10:56:43 PM »

You figured all that out -- and you're scared of patterns?

Patterns should be scared of YOU!

Thank you! All the folding and cutting and pinning give me a headache, lol. And your comment about your supply stash being Beyond Life Expectancy? I laughed so hard!
Craftalongs Moderator
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« Reply #6 on: May 08, 2010 06:02:35 AM »

hee hee A lot of us are members of SABLE:  Stash Accumulated Beyond Life Expectancy!

That is why I go around looking for projects to use up some of it! Cheesy

oh--and I meant to aske if you also made the white sweater one of your daughters  is wearing...I was admiring that as well...
« Last Edit: May 11, 2010 06:29:57 AM by alwaysinmyroom » THIS ROCKS   Logged

« Reply #7 on: May 08, 2010 09:59:43 AM »

oh--and I meant to aske if you also made the white sweater one of your duaghters  is wearing...I was admiring that as well...

No, unfortunately crochet and knitting needles also scare me...lol.
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