7.16.2012

Girls Refashioned ruffle skirt - from Sugar Tart Crafts


My name is Toni, and I blog over at Sugar Tart Crafts. No telling what you might find over there since I have
what my husband likes to call Crafting ADD. One day it's recipes, the next it's crocheting, painting, kids
crafts, book reviews, or just cute pictures of our chubby new little man. Everything will eventually come back
around to sewing though since that is my first love. (and what I spent an obscene amount of money going to college for!)
I know, I know. It's a really dorky name, but I couldn't help it! Feel free to have a good eye roll at my expense ;D
Today I want to share with you how to create a ruffly lettuce hem, and use it to make a cute little skirt.
This is a technique that most people associate with a serger, but if you don't have one (or have a love-hate
relationship with yours like I do!) you can just as easily replicate its wiggly goodness with your regular
sewing machine. Plus this'll give you one more way to refashion those extra tee shirts we all have lying around.
Let's get started!
Supplies
Ruler - Marking pen - 1 Inch elastic - Measuring tape
Scissors or Rotary cutter - Thread (2 or 3 shades)
Pins - a T-shirt ( 2 for larger sizes) or other knit fabric
a single junior's size L tee made the 4T skirt pictured
Measure your child's waist rounding up to the closest even inch.
Add 6 inches to the measurement, and then divide by 2.
ex. 21 inch waist rounded to 22 + 6 = 28 / 2 = 14 
Also measure down from the waist to determine your desired length (12 for me).
If you are trying for a particular length, keep in mind that the waistband will
add roughly an additional inch to whatever number you choose.
With your shirt laying flat cut out the body of the skirt.
Mark your waist measurement (14) in from the side
and length measurement (12) up from the hem.
*If you accidently (or on purpose) use a fitted style tee, you may want to trim off the excess flair and add a side seam. It isn't a problem if you leave it, but the finished skirt will have a slightly more A-line shape. Also, make sure that you measure the length up and then the waist in. Since the shirt is tapering, measuring in along the hem would leave you with a smaller waist later. What ever you choose, you'll need to end up with a single long rectangle when the fabric is unfolded.
From the rest of the shirt cut one 3 inch strip to use as the waistband,
and 2 inch strips from anything remaining. On larger shirts there may
e a leftover piece cut from beside the skirt body that can also be
trimmed into 2 inch strips. 
Set aside the waistband piece and square off the ends of all the 2 inch strips.
Sew the 2 inch strips end to end until you have a single
continuous piece ready to be turned into ruffles.
Set your machine to a medium width zig zag and a very tiny stitch length.
Leaving a tail long enough to wrap around your fingers, place the ruffle
strip so that the right side of the stitch falls just off the edge of the fabric.
I used a lighter color pink in my bobbin just for fun. 
It's pretty subtle, but the affect is really neat when you use 2 threads
that are completely different from each other and the fabric!
Now pull the fabric tightly from the front and the back as you begin to sew. The point is to stretch
 the knit as far as it will go and stitch it in place. Then when you let go it will have no choice but to
curl up on itself making the ruffly lettuce edge.The tighter you stretch the knit the more ruffly the 
edge will be. Just be careful not to pull too hard from the back or there will be gaps in your stitches.
Use the tail to get you started and stop every few inches to re-adjust your fingers.
Please make sure you practice on a piece of scrap before you start on the real thing!
Fair warning, this uses a LOT of thread, and can take a little time.
I highly sugest winding at least 2 bobbins before you begin.
Once your entire strip has been ruffled, cut it into shorter
pieces that measure the width of your unfolded skirt body.
Leave a little overhang on each side just to be safe!
Choose one of these shorter pieces to be the top-most ruffle on your skirt.
Head back to the sewing machine and add the lettuce edge to the top as well.
Next use your ruler and marker to draw lines 3/4 inch apart across the skirt body.
 I use the stitches from the tees hem as my starting point and work up from there.
These will serve as guidelines for attaching your ruffles. 
Leave your machine set to a zig zag, but increase your stitch length to a more
normal 2 or 3-ish setting. With your stitches close to the top edge begin sewing the
ruffle strips onto the skirt body starting at the hem and working your way up. The
ruffle above should cover the zig zag stich from the one below so everything looks neat.
Using a zig zag will help keep the knit from curling in the wash,
and adding extra bulk around the skirt.
Attach the double edged ruffle over the top of the last strips zig zag using a straight stitch.
Be sure to stitch along the upper edge of the zig zag since the double ruffle
 will curl downward once it is in place.
Once all the ruffles have been sewn in place fold the skirt body
in half right sides together and sew up the side seam. 
Getting all the ruffles lined up can be a bit of a pain, but adding a bunch of pins will help.
I also suggest basting the seam and checking that everything lines up how you'd
like before sewing the seam in place for good.

Now that the skirt body is finished it's time to find the waistband strip that we set aside earlier.
Cut the strip to the waist measurement + 3 inches. It is fine to round to the nearest inch, 
but just be sure you are using the actual body measurement, and not the earlier edited one.
Sew the short ends together to form a ring, and then fold the ring in half to form a casing for the elastic.
Fit the casing around the top edge of the skirt body and sew it
 in place leaving a small hole for the elastic to fit through. 
Cut a piece of elastic one inch longer than the waist measurement and use
a safety pin to thread it through the casing. Make sure the elastic isn't twisted
 inside the casing and overlap the ends by an inch. Stitch both ends securely
 to each other and close up the hole in the casing.
Topstitch below the waistband to make it look pretty and you're done!
Easy right? Now you can start adding a lettuce edge to all kinds of knits. It is a great way to hem tops, sleeves, pants, dresses, and add details to tons of other things like socks, scarves, or blankets. You can also use any leftover ruffle strips to make flowers for your hair, shoes, bag, etc. There are so many possibilities!






If you REALLY enjoy ruffles though, you could always add them all the way up to the top of the skirt I just shared. It's adorable, and tends to make little girls more inclined to dance around the house wiggling their tush which is always super cute!







Thanks so much to Megan for letting me be part of the S.O.S, 
and I hope some of you will stop on over and visit me at Sugar Tart Crafts soon!
Stay creative and enjoy the rest of your summer! post signature

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