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1  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: General / TUTORIAL: (Slightly) Flared Panel Skirt on: April 24, 2006 07:05:43 PM
Today I tried to copy a skirt that I bought the other summer. It's got a band going around the waist/hipline and eight panels hanging down off of that waistband.

This was the first one I made:


(Sorry the picture's all blurry -- no one was home when I wanted to take it. I'll replace it as soon as I can!)

I was quite pleased with it, and I wanted to make another one, so I made a tutorial as I did so.

Since I didn't have enough of either of these coordinating fabrics for a skirt, I decided to alternate the fabrics in the panels. Then I made the band a solid colour.


That's the finished product, which actually works well for a tutorial because you can see the construction better.

Anyway, here goes:

First, you have to measure yourself (or whomever for you're making the skirt). Take a measurement at the spot on your hips/waist where you want the skirt to sit.

Then, divide that number by 8. Say you measure 40" -- each panel will be 5" wide at the top. Make sure you add seam allowance to the measurements for each of your panels!

Now you need to make a pattern piece. Mine looked like this:


For my pattern and measurements, the piece was 6.5" at the top. It flared to 9.5" at the bottom, and the piece was about 22" long. You can make the piece as long or short as you want, and you can make the flare as wide as you want. Make sure the bottom of your pattern piece is slightly rounded, as mine is.

Once you've got your pattern piece, cut 8.

Here are my pieces all cut out. In this case, I've cut 4 of each fabric.

Now take two pieces and sew them together, right side of fabric facing right side, like so:


Continue until you've sewn the lengths of all 8 pieces; so you have one long strip. Then sew the remaining two lengthwise edges together.


Ta da! Looks like a skirt.

Now you need to make the waistband. To do this, refer back to the measurement you took at the beginning. You will need to cut three pieces; one with a length equal to HALF your waist measurement plus seam allowance on either side; two others equal to one QUARTER of your waist measurement, plus seam allowance on both sides of each piece. How wide you make the piece is up to you; you will be folding the fabric in half, so whatever width you want, double it. I wanted a 4" band, so I cut mine 8" wide.

Here they are:


Now, you want to iron these pieces in half, lengthwise (just like you've been ironing your seams all along, like a good sewer, right?)


Sew your waistband onto your skirt, matching up the seams on the waistband with the seams on the skirt as best you can.


It's most important that you line up the seams at the back, where you will install the zipper.

Yeah, that's right, I said ZIPPER. That is where this tutorial will fail you, my friends. Go look up some other tutorial on zipper installation because goodness knows I'm crap at it and would be embarassed to even show you my miserable excuse for technique. Many apologies.

Anyway, so put in your zipper at the back.

Because the waistband isn't all curved like a real pattern would have it be, it'll be a bit boxy on the average lady's hips. My hack and slash way of fixing this is to sew a seam like I've started to do here at each side of the skirt:


Then you'll want to hem the sucker using whatever technique you prefer -- I personally like the roll hem approach, where you roll the fabric over, doubling it twice and then sewing.


And then, your skirt... will be finished!

Remember to iron all your seams and snip all your threads like Mama always said.

Let me know if I've left anything unclear or confusing, and let me know if you make an attempt!

2  KNITTING / Knitting: Completed Projects / Ridiculously easy mary-jane slippers! (with pattern) on: September 06, 2004 04:13:58 PM

How I made them:

I used chunky yarn and size 7 US needles.

-cast on 30 stitches
-knit for 7.5-8 inches in garter stitch -- eyeball it based on the length of your own foot, I wear a size 9-10 US
-k2tog for one row
-k2tog for another row
-cut off a remainder of yarn, and thread it through the stitches like a drawstring.
-fold your fabric in half and, using the remainder yarn, sew the edges together for about 3 inches.
-using the tail of your working yarn, sew up the vertical seam for the heel

To make the strap, I crocheted a double chain with a loop at one end. I sewed one end to the slipper, and sewed a button to the other side.

I was inspired by other mary-jane slipper talk on this board, and I'm dying to try more advanced models like the felted ones on this page or knitted-in-the-round ones. These are really basic and easy, which is good for beginners like me.

You could probably work these slippers in stockinette too, yeah?

Thanks for all the inspiration you provide, folks!

(ETA: Ooops. Um, it would help if I posted the correct image.)
3  TOYS, DOLLS AND PLAYTHINGS / Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects / Friendly Little Alien Stuffed Toy on: August 23, 2004 10:12:07 AM

Made for Griffin, my friend's new baby! This androgynous alien is made of polar fleece. Its body measures about 14 inches in height, and its face is stitched on with embroidery floss.

I used a lot of stuffing. Normally I don't overfill stuffed toy projects, but this was my first toy made with fleece and it looked pretty lumpy without enough stuffing.
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