pretty simple skirt pattern The Pretty Simple Skirt Pattern is perfect for a beginner sewer. The skirt is made from two rectangles of fabric, sewn together and gathered by an elastic waist. It provides step-by-step instructions and defines basic sewing terms. This quick sewing project that can be accomplished in less than one hour. Tips: • Read the entire pattern; then start sewing. • Follow each task, one at a time. • Work slowly and correctly. Skills Set Needed: • Thread a sewing machine. • Machine sew a straight stitch. Terms and Techniques explained in this pattern • Casing • Cotton • Grainline • Hem • Seam Allowance • Seam Finishes • Selvage • Topstitch 1 gathering materials • 1 Yard Cotton Fabric • 1 Package of ¾" Elastic • All-Purpose, 100% Polyester Thread to Match • Scissors • Straight Pins • 1 Large Safety Pin • Tape Measure • Seam Gauge • Standard 9/10 Sewing Needle • Iron Cotton Fabric—one of the largest categories of fabric—is a fine, plain weave fabric made from the seedpod fibers of the cotton plant. Cotton fibers are woven on a large loom and can be blended with other fibers such as the manmade fiber polyester. Cotton fabric can be woven lightweight such as the thinnest batiste or heavyweight such as canvas. How to Shop: For the skirt fabric, look for apparel cotton or quilting cotton. What’s the difference?— the polyester blend. The higher the percentage of polyester, the less you need to iron. Quilting cotton is usually 100% cotton while apparel cotton is often - but not always - blended with polyester. Read the labels on the ends of the bolt. FABRIC Panel Right Side (RS) Fabric Panel Wrong Side (WS) • fabric Finished Edges: • fabric Raw Edges: 2 preparing the fabric 2.1 Wash and iron fabric. Working with Cotton Fabrics: Light- to-medium weight cottons are very easy to sew with, but always wash and iron cotton fabric before sewing because it tends to shrink about 10%. Grain Alignment 2.2 straighten the fabric ends to check for grain alignment. Instead of using scissors and a ruler to create a straight end, try ripping the fabric. Lightto-medium weight cotton fabrics rip easily and in a straight line. is the direction that the woven threads run. The grainline can make or break the way an outfit lays or drapes. The lengthwise grain usually runs vertically, from shoulder to the hem. The crosswise grain usually runs horizontally and has more give. Always check the grain alignment because the fabric may have been pulled off-grain during manufacturing. Selvage: During the weaving process, a firmly woven strip called the selvage is formed along each lengthwise edge of the finished fabric. With your scissors, snip one selvage; grasp the fabric firmly; and rip to the opposite selvage. 3 measurements measure NATURAL WAIST. Measure length from waist to about the knee. Simple Skirt Formula Length Width Front Desired Length +2.5" Natural Waist + 1" Back Desired Length +2.5" Natural Waist + 1" Elastic Natural Waist − 1" ¾" ½" Seam allowance 4 cutting the fabric Cut the front and back of the skirt—using the measurement formula from Step 3. Tip: Instead of cutting the fabric, measure, snip and rip like you did in Step 2. 5 finish the raw edges Seam Finishes: A seam finish is any technique used to make a seam edge look neater/or keep it from fraying. This step can be done to the raw edges of the fabric either before you sew the seam or after. Zigzag technique: Zigzag stitch on the edge of the seam allowance without exceeding it and then trim the excess fabric to the edge of the seam allowance. Finish the RAW EDGES with a zigzag stitch or use a serger. Serger Machine : As fabric is fed through the serger, it sews and cuts the fabric so that the edges are inside the seam. 6 sewing the sides 6.1 RS together, place the front and back pieces on top of each other. Pin each side. 6.2 Pinning a Seam Take the time to pin a seam before you sew. Pinning a seam takes care of holding the fabric together, leaving you free to concentrate on controlling the sewing machine. Seam Allowance: The area between the fabric edge and the stitching line on two (or more) pieces of material being stitched together. stitching line Sew each side with a ½ inch seam allowance, carefully taking out each pin before you get to it. fabric edge 6.3 Why press open the seams? Well-pressed seams help a project look polished and professional when finished. It helps “set the stitches” or loosen the fibers around the stitches. Press open the seams. 7 create the elastic waistband 7.1 To create the casing for the elastic waistband, measure on the WS one inch from the top and mark with tailor’s chalk. Do this all around the top of the skirt 7.2 Turn down the RS down one inch onto the WS to meet the chalk mark and Press. Casing: a fabric tunnel which holds elastic or drawstring. 7.3 sew the first row of topstitching as close to the edge as possible. 7.4 Sew the second row one inch from the first. Stop and backstitch approximately one inch before your starting point. You will need this gap to insert your elastic. You are here. Two rows of topstitching create the casing. Topstitch: A stitch sewn on the right side of the garment 1/8-1/4” from the finished edge. Using a slightly longer stitch can add a professional look and emphasize a seam. 7.5 Attach a safety pin to one end of the elastic. Find the gap left in the second row of topstitching. 7.7 To join the elastic ends, overlap them one inch and pin. Make two rows of zigzag stitches. Pull joined ends inside casing. 7.6 With a straight pin, pin the other end of the elastic to the skirt so it will not be pulled out of the casing as the pin is worked around the waistline. thread the elastic through with the safety pin. Take care not to twist the elastic. 7.8 Sew up the opening in the second row of topstitching. 8 sewing the hem 8.1 Hem: The edge of a fabric that has been sewn to prevent unravelling. There are many techniques for creating a hem. Double-Turn Hem, Finish the bottom of the skirt with a double-turn hem. On the WS, measure one inch from the bottom of the skirt and mark with tailor’s chalk. Do this all the way around the skirt. 8.2 as shown below, is one of the simpliest ways to finish an edge. You can make this hem as wide or as narrow as you like. WS of Fabric RS of Fabric Turn Up the RS one inch onto the WS to meet the chalk mark and Press. 8.3 Turn Up the bottom of the skirt one more inch, use the first fold as your guide. Press. Now the raw edges of the fabric are enclosed in the hem. 8.4 Topstitch in place. Stitch as close to the fold as possible.
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