Friday, February 25, 2011

A melted-hem dance skirt

This is something I made a couple of weeks ago after getting a couple of polyester silky pieces at the Goodwill clearance center. I used a red silky blouse and more of the prom dress from the cape project to make Suzi a little dance skirt.

First I made some flowers, which was a lot of fun. You've probably heard of this technique--seems like everybody's trying it! It's an ingenious way to use some old polyester (and no, it won't work with real silk). Here's a tutorial I just found at Restorative Living for some big, fluffy flowers! Very pretty.

This is my flower all stacked up but not yet sewn.

Anyway, for the skirt I measured around Suzi's waist and decided to cut leaf-shaped pieces that were about 7 inches wide at the top and larger at the bottom. I folded the fabric in half to cut like this.

Then I cut a rounded edge upward sort of like this.

So once I unfolded it, this is what it looked like.

It only took me a few minutes to melt the bottom edges, and it was fun.

Then I sewed all the pieces together, one by one, up the sides. I cut five pieces but ended up only using four once I saw how big around it was looking. I didn't want it too poofy.

Once they were all together in a circle I pinned down the top edge and sewed it to make a slot for elastic, leaving a little gap between where I started and finished.

Then I threaded the elastic through with a safety pin (it got stuck once--annoying!) and sewed the ends together.

At this point I realized it might not allow for the freedom of movement required in dance class. It was a little longer than I envisioned. So I snipped a little further where two of the leaves came together to create a little slit. This goes over the left leg. I did have to go back and very carefully melt those new cut edges.

Then it was pretty much finished. I just safety-pinned one of my flowers over the spot where the slit was.

Another flower on a hair clip (made with a button from that same blouse) finishes the outfit.

What I don't like: It turned out 2-3 inches longer than I really wanted, but that's what happens sometimes when you don't use a pattern. The fabric is also stiffer than I'd like. I really wanted to make a red skirt out of the other fabric, which was softer, but Suzi wanted a green skirt. Her favorite color and all. I think next time I'll also use a thinner (weaker) elastic.

What I do like: I think this is a fun, fast way to make a skirt, and I don't regret trying it. Suzi wore it to dance and it was cute. I also think it'll be useful later as a dress-up item or if one of the girls wants to be a fairy or something for Halloween. And hey, she put it on. That alone makes it a success!


Anonymous said...

I think it's super-cute! And the fact that it's a little long just means she'll be able to wear it longer.

Jenn said...

That is too cute! I never thought about melting the edges of a synthetic fabric.