Hello, I am Cyndi from bdancewear.com. In this video, I am going to show you how to create a unique looking skirt. We did it by using one of our circle skirts. We wanted it a little shorter and sassier with a nice, thick band on the top and then we ruched it in the front. It is a really simple change up and if you have a skirt with a damaged waistband you can rescue it by doing something like this. It gives a nice kind of sporty feel to it so it is great for cheer competition or something like that. When you want to stand out from the crowd, this just might be the perfect skirt for you. So, check it out.
- Circle Skirt
- Lycra or other stretchy material
- Matching Thread
- Measuring Tape, optional
- Straight edge, piece of plastic or other measuring tool
- Sewing Machine
- Choosing Your Materials
The first choice, of course, is the circle skirt. It works best if the skirt is a smaller size because if you cut the skirt shorter from the top, the waist becomes bigger. The second choice would be the material that you want to use. Obviously, if you have a top or want to make a top, it would be best to match the material in that top.
- Cutting the Skirt
So, with this skirt what I have used a circle skirt that is a few sizes smaller than the girl’s size so the band will not be right but that way I can keep the waist tiny and not have it too wide around the waistband. The reasoning behind this is that when you cut the existing waistband off and make the skirt shorter still from the top, the resulting waist size is much larger. So, the first thing that we are going to do is take off the band, just go ahead and trim that away. You will want to determine how wide you want the final waistband to be. With this particular skirt, I am going to “V” the waistband down a little so I want the band to be wider on the sides.
Let’s cut this away so this one right here ends up being just about an inch and a half when finished. As mentioned before, what I have done is picked an extra small skirt. We are going to cut a little away still. It is not quite the length I want. I want it a little smaller. So, I am going to pull that band right off and I am going to throw the old band away.
Next, I am going to fold the skirt into fourths. If you are finding that you are having a problem matching it up, that is okay. You can just fold the skirt in half making sure to line up the hem. I actually find it easier working with two layers versus four layers. Four layers make it harder to keep the edges even. Figure out how long you want the skirt to be. Now, I have already determined how long I want the skirt to be and I found a piece of plastic that is the same length. You can use anything you want to create a guide. It could be a straight edge ruler, a piece of plastic or even a piece of paper of the appropriate length. I just want the skirt to be a tiny skirt so I do not need a big piece of plastic. You could even use a yardstick if need be.
Now, make sure the edges are even then just move the guide around the hem of the skirt. I prefer using with two layers but if you wish you could fold it in fourths and word with four layers. Again, the important thing is to keep the hem of all the layers even while you move your guide. If the hems are off, then the whole skirt will be off. Making sure that I go by the bottom and that the bottom edges stay even, I am moving this plastic guide along the hem of the skirt and cutting the top of the skirt the appropriate distance all along the top of the skirt. You want to measure from the bottom so that if the top is uneven, you can correct it as you are cutting. So, now we have this opening here and we have a shorter length.
- Cutting the Waistband
The next thing we want to do is I have measured around the girls’ waist and I have determined that we needed a waistband 26 inches long so I am going to cut a 26 inch strip of the Lycra fabric. We have gone with a wider band on this because I want to be able to pinch down the center. But, you can cut it as wide or narrow as you want. You need to remember that you will be folding it in half lengthwise so make sure the width is twice as wide as you want the band to be.
- Sewing the Waistband
So, fold the ends of the strip together with the shinny sides facing each other and pin the ends of the strip together so the strip creates a circle. Using thread that matches the waistband, sew the ends together. You definitely want to use a stretch stitch on any stretch fabric. Although it is best to use an overlock if you have one, a stretch stitch or zigzag stitch will do. For the sake of speed, I am going to use a straight stitch to demonstrate this. Wooly thread works great to make the stitches stronger. Put it on the bottom threads, not in the needle.
Open the waistband and fold the waistband in half lengthwise with the insides together. The waistband will now have the shiny sides showing. Now, where you will get into problems with this is if it the waistband is uneven and not smooth. So, I suggest you put a pin in the beginning. Let’s take this out and make sure it is flat. I am going to go through it and keep it flat, keep the bottom even. I am going to put a few pins in it. The newer you are at sewing, the more you pins you will want to use. If you are just uncomfortable with using this type of fabric, you will definitely want more pins. I am going to do a really fast stitch all the way around just to hold the long edges together so that the waistband stays nice and flat. That way when I sew the waistband onto the skirt, I am only dealing with worrying about two fabrics since essentially the two layers of the waistband are like one. I am only worrying about the two layers and not whether or not the bottom layer (the skirt) is slipping through. You want to keep the layers taut but do not stretch the waistband out. Otherwise, it is going to look all wonky. So, you just continue that all the way around and then, there you go.
If you are using a stretch or zigzag stitch or a regular sewing machine, you will want to replace the bobbin thread with thread that matches the waistband. If you want you can always trim it down to the edge if you wish. It is up to you. Sometimes, I like to have just a small portion that I am dealing with. I give myself a little extra room because there is not a lot of room for error in the things but you want to be careful not to give too much extra. I always calculate it in when I am doing something because you want to make sure the final width is what you are looking for. So, I have cleaned that up a little.
- Pinning the Waistband to the Skirt
Now, I have got the skirt and as I have shown you before, you are going to want to put pins in four spots that are equidistant from each other. So, place the waistband upside down with the seamed edge of the waistband next to the waist of the skirt. Put a pin in the side seam of the skirt and with the skirt lying flatly on the table, place a pin in the edge directly across from that seam. That will give you the center front and the center back. Match those two pins together and put a seam on each new fold. That will give you the two sides. Now use the same method with the waistband to find the center front, center back and two sides of the waistband. The next step is to match the four pins in the skirt to the waistband and pin them together. Make sure the back seam of the skirt and the back seam of the waistband are matched. Then stretch the waistband and the skirt together and place as many more pins in between the four pins as you need to feel comfortable. You want to make sure that the top fabric is stretched enough that it incorporates all of the bottom fabric. Otherwise, you are going to end up and have too much fabric and the fabric pinches. So, you want to make sure that all matches up before you do anything else. You can stretch the waistband but you want to be careful. Make sure that the edge of the skirt and the waistband stay together and the bottom layer (the skirt) is stretched out enough that there are no lumps in the skirt.
- Sewing the Waistband to the Skirt
Again, you will want to use a stretch stitch, if your machine has one, or a zigzag stitch. Better yet, an overlock machine, if possible. For the time being, I am just going to sew a straight stitch real quickly to show you.
It is important that you again stretch the waistband and the skirt as you are sewing so that neither the waistband nor the skirt are pinched or have creases, but you want to hold the material flat while you are sewing. It is important that you hold the fabric taut as you guide the fabric through the machine or you could end up putting undue pressure on the needle and end up with a broken needle. If you stretch this when the needle is coming down, you are going to snap the needle.
You also want to make sure the seam sewing the two pieces together is even from the edge as you go around the waist. Otherwise, the waistband will not be the same width all the way around.
So, I am just going to do a quick part of this so that I can show you what it looks like. You do not have to watch me sew the whole thing on. But, once you go around, you are going to end up with the skirt lie that sent all the way around. You want to make sure it is a stretch stitch so when you pull or tug on it, you can do a straight stitch with a zigzag
- Ruching the Front
Once you have sewn the waistband completely around that whole skirt, determine the center front of the waistband. (You could create this ruching before you sew the waistband to the skirt if you please.) You can determine that by finding the back seam and folding the skirt in half with that seam as one folded edge. Then, place a pin at the opposite fold which will be the front of the skirt. So, I have a pin in there so I know that the very front the skirt. You can mark a vertical line down the center of the waistband to make sure it the ruching is straight, but I like to use my machine as a guide. I am now going to sew a wide stretch stitch along that vertical guide. Then pull those stitches so that they are gathered up. Once they are gathered up enough for your liking, Stitch over them with a normal straight stitch to lock everything in place. I have used a white thread on the bottom thread so that you can easily see it in the video. This will create a really cute little “V” shape to the waistband in the front of the shirt. This does not really work well with a narrow waistband. Also, if you use white thread in the back for the gathering stitch, it will be easier to remove those stitches from the back if you wish.
And this look is really that easy to do.
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