Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Flouncy Gym Skirt Tutorial

Remember the Flouncy Gym Skirt I promised?
I am here to deliver my promise to those that actually wanted a tutorial for this cute skirt! And it was a good thing I had to re-do it, because you always figure out how to explain something better the second time you do it. This is really an easy sewing project. I think you can do it! And it is so comfy and washes well, too! The second time I did this, I made the 2nd one longer to hit just above my knee and I think it is going to be a great, cool, little skirt paired with some flip flops and a jersey tee this summer, too!

Here's what you will need:
  • 2 XL t-shirts
  • 2 different sizes of elastic (1/4''/1''); you will need to measure your waist to decide how much you will need. The best way to do this is to just wrap the elastic around your waist and cut where comfortable. 
  • Sewing machine and other typical accessories (scissors, pins (straight and safety), seam ripper if you mess up, etc) 
Ready to get started? 

Lay your XL t-shirts out and cut off the sleeves and then cut straight across right under the neck line.
Do this to the other shirt, too. You should have two like this.
Then, put your shirts RIGHT SIDES together inside of each other. That means the part that you want on the OUTSIDE of the skirt should be facing towards each other like so:
Increase your stitch length on your sewing machine to 3.5 - 4.5. The first skirt I did 4.5, the 2nd skirt I did 3.5. It really doesn't matter. You just want it to give a little when it stretches, because you are going to wear it to look hot at the gym.
Now if you were to turn it out (you don't need to do this now), it would be sewn together along the bottom.
It doesn't matter that the hems from the t-shirts will show here, because you won't see them in a second. Next (with your shirts inside out like you just had it), get your small elastic. I measured the elastic around the mid part of my legs and kind of pulled it a little so that it would stretch. Find a comfortable stretch for you and cut. Mine was 27"' long.
Put a safety pin through the end of the elastic and pin it to the inner lining side of the shirt, right above the bottom of the shirt.
It DOES MATTER which way you fold up the bottom of the shirt. You want to fold it towards the inner lining side. I will say that I hate threading elastic through a casing, so this is how I do it when I can! For the next elastic, you can't do this technique, so take advantage of this!
Fold over the elastic and sew along the left edge, making sure you don't sew on your elastic, which is still pinned to your shirt. As you sew, tuck the elastic inside the little pocket you are sewing. Pull the elastic as you go. The casing will squish together as you pull (behind your sewing foot). Keep pulling until you get around to the other side. Stop and leave a 2 inch opening. Secure the other end of your elastic.

Take the skirt off the sewing machine and then jiggle the fabric around until it is even throughout the casing. Put the skirt around your legs and make sure it has the stretch you want. If it is too loose, you will need to pull your elastic and cut a little off.

Next put your elastic pieces together and sew back and forth to secure.
Cut off excess.
Tuck the elastic into the casing and sew up the 2 inch opening. The bottom of your skirt should look rouched. Turn it inside out and work the fabric under so that the lining does not show. You have to kind of wiggle it into place, but it will lay right once you work it under.

Next, you need to sew up the arm pits that are slits. Make sure your right sides are together and just straight stitch down STRAIGHT. You want it to eventually line up with your side seams of the shirt.
I kind of curved more than I should have in this above photo. Try to sew from the top down straight until you meet a side seam, then trim off the excess. Do this to all 4 arm pits. Turn the skirt out normal like this:
ALMOST DONE! We just have to put in the waist elastic casing now. But before we do that, you need to decide HOW short you want your skirt to be. The waist band will need about 2.5 inches of fabric, so make sure you have room for that. Cut off the amount you desire. I didn't cut any off for the longer skirt, but the shorter skirt took off probably at least 4 inches...sorry I didn't measure that!

Pin the two pieces of fabric together so that they won't shift.
Sew 1/4'' right around the top using a straight stitch.
Next, fold over the fabric about 2 inches and tuck under 1/4'' so that you can't see the straight stitch you just sewed. It will give it a finished look.
Pin it in place and sew it down right along the outside edge. Put a pin where you start sewing and make sure you leave another 2 inch opening at the end to thread the 1'' elastic through.
Good job! Now you have your casing!
Now thread your elastic through the 2 inch opening. Pin a safety pin to one end of the elastic and thread it through until it comes out at the other end.
If you want to pin the ends together and try it on here, then you can. Next sew the elastic together and then tuck inside and sew down the 2 inch opening like you did earlier.
And TA-DA! You have yourself a flouncy skirt to wear around the house and be cute in, go to the gym in, or yes, just be cute in. Wear it over leggings or wait until summer and wear it with flip flops and a tee like I will probably be doing A LOT!
Enjoy! If you make one, send me a picture! I'd love to see yours!