Sunday, July 1, 2012

Ruffled Fabric Skirt Tutorial ~ Sew EASY

My daughters are 15 & 13 and are past the age of asking me to make them clothes, however they wanted ruffled skirts so here is a quick tutorial on using this super easy ruffled fabric using a serger and sewing machine.  The skirt only has one side seam and one seam at the top to attach the elastic waistband.  No hemming necessary as this fabric can be cut using a rotary cutter and that's it.  No pattern is necessary either...keep reading!  They have already picked out their next color for another skirt.  Visit to find products and more inspiration!

Materials Needed

  • Ruffled fabric 
  • 1.5" elastic
  • Serger & sewing machine
  • Rotary cutter, ruler and mat
Skirt Pattern Measurements
To decide how much fabric and the measurements to cut your skirt,  measure around the widest part of the hips and add 2.5".  That will be the width of the fabric.  Measure from the waist to the desired length.  That will be the length of the fabric.  We cut the fabric so the ruffles are going vertical instead of horizontal but either way will work fine.  This will make a difference in the amount of fabric you will need to purchase.  Find the ruffled fabric here

Serging Side Seam
Serger setup:  Set your serger for a 4 thread wide overlock stitch.  Adjust the differential feed to 1.5 instead of having it on N (normal).  This will help the stretchy fabric lay flat after sewn.  Test on scraps of fabric to make sure the finished seam is neat and not stretched out of proportion.  Pin fabric right sides together making sure the two long vertical ruffles won't get caught in the seam (just be the boss and push the ruffles out of the way.)  When you are done serging, press the seam flat and then check your seam.  If you have done this step correctly, you won't be able to see your seam from the right side.
Elastic Waistband
Measure the waist and deduct one inch from that measurement.  Cut your elastic and sew right sides together using 1/2" seam allowance.  Press the seams open and cut corners off elastic as shown.  Using the seam line as the first mark, fold the elastic into quarters (4 equal lengths) and mark each section with a straight pin.  Mark the skirt into quarters using straight pins.
Basting Ruffles Along Top
To make sure the ruffles don't get twisted while attaching the waist band elastic, sew the ruffles down along the top using using a 1/4"  seam allowance as shown.
Attaching Elastic to Skirt 
The elastic goes on the outside of the skirt, so match up the pins in the elastic with the pins in the skirt  and re-pin the elastic on top of the skirt so the top of the skirt sets 1/4" below the top of the elastic.  Use a lightening stitch (stretch zigzag stitch-check your owners manual) to sew the elastic.  Since the elastic is smaller than the skirt you will stitch about a  1/2" inch section and then backstitch to anchor or tie off the stitches.  Then sew slowly stretching the elastic as you sew in small increments.  Stretch the elastic so it is equal with the skirt as shown.  Using a lightening stitch instead of a straight stitch means when you are done sewing the elastic, the stitches won't pop out when the skirt is worn or stretched over the hips because it has some "give" to the stitches.  From the wrong side trim away any excess fabric that is above the lightening stitch for a cleaner finish.  If necessary, trim the length of the skirt using a rotary cutter, ruler and quilting mat.

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