Tuesday, October 25, 2011

RIDE EM COWGIRL SKIRT

My 3 year old granddaughter Raleigh is going to be a cowgirl for Halloween and Nana made her this cute little cowgirl skirt to go with the pink western shirt with rhinestones and fringe, pink boots, and hat.  It took me less time to make this skirt from start to finish (exactly 1 hour) than it did to drive to the closest quilt shop, purchase the fabric and drive back home (almost two hours).  Of course, I also chatted a bit with the ladies at the quilt shop and scheduled a teaching class for the God Bless Texas Quilt after the first of the year.
Here's how I did it.  I began by cutting a rectangle 3/4 times the desired length and twice as wide as her waist.  In my case 12" x the width of the fabric (WOF).  It's hard to see in the picture but aren't the cowgirl boots and glittery horseshoes cute in this fabric? 
  Sew the raw edges together to form a tube and finished the edges with a zig-zag stitch.


Then I cut a strip of fabric 1/4 of the desired length and twice the width of the skirt top for the ruffle.  In my case two strips 5" wide x the WOF.  Sew the ends together to form a very large tube.  I then hemmed the ruffle tube on one side and sewed a set of gathering basting stitches on the other side.  When you sew the gathering stitches, make two rows of stitching, setting your stitch length the the longest available.  The first row is 1/4" from the edge, the second row is 1/4" from the first.  Be sure to leave a long "tail" of thread, about 4" or so that you will be able to pull on to gather the ruffle later.


Divide the skirt top into fourths and place a pin to mark it.  Now divide the ruffle tube into fourths and place a pin to make it.  Match the pins together.  Pull the gathering threads to gather the ruffle to fit in the space between the quarter pin marks, distributing the gathers evenly.  Add additional pins to keep the edges even until stitched down. 

Wrap the pulled tails of threads in a figure 8 pattern to temporarily secure the gathers. 
Sew the ruffle to the skirt, stitching down the center of the two rows of gathering stitches.  When you come to the threads wrapped around the pins, remove the pins and pull the threads out straight just before you stitch over the thread.  When you have stitched all the way around the ruffle/skirt, pull the gathering threads to remove them.

Now you're ready to add the casing for the elastic to the top of the skirt.  Begin by turning down the top edge 1/4" and press.  Now turn down once again the width of the elastic plus 1/4" more.  In my case, my elastic is 1" wide so I turned it down 1 1/4". 

Pin in place and stitch.  Be sure to leave an opening wide enough to insert the elastic into the casing.  I also add a second row of stitching on the top edge.  It helps prevent the elastic from "rolling" in the casing.

Cut a piece of elastic the measurement of her waist minus just a bit but not too much.  You don't want it to be too tight and uncomfortable.  Place a safety pin in the elastic and thread it through the casing.  Stitch the elastic ends together and sew up the opening. 

 TA DAH!!! A COWGIRL SKIRT!!  Won't she look adorable in it!
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