Thursday, August 16, 2012

Sewing for ME: The Tanya Skirt Tutorial

**I've been sitting on this tutorial for quite some time now, waiting to get a picture of me in my new skirt.  But life happens.  And today, it's raining, so I'm just going to post the tutorial now, so you can make yourself a cute skirt ASAP! :)  Here's one picture of mine, shot by the only on-hand photographer: Riley.  Everyone knows that the best possible angle from which to have a picture taken is from the ground up... ;) **

But, seriously, how adorable is Tanya?!

I have never sewn anything for myself.  Never.  It's been a little too terrifying.  But after I made this skirt for Tanya, I knew I had to have one.  Look at me, being so super brave.  Plus, I had just found this subtle gray-on-gray chevron fabric, so I had to put it to good use.  This skirt has a fitted waistband and is super full.  If you don't like how full it is, then you can easily just adjust the width, so you don't cut all the way from selvage to selvage.  The length is easily adjustable as well.  Nice, eh? :)

About 1.5 yards fabric, depending on desired length
8-inch zipper
sewing stuff

First you need a couple measurements.  Get your waist measurement-- your natural waist since this is a high-waisted skirt.  Then decide how where you want your skirt to hit on your leg.  Measure from your waist down to that point.  Then you just do a couple simple calculations:
For the waistband: 2 pieces, waist +1.25 inches by 4.25 inches
Skirt: 2 pieces, desired length - 2.25 inches by width of fabric
Belt loops: 1 piece, 2 inches by 10 inches

Cut these pieces.  If you want pockets, cut those, too.  Just cut four pieces in roughly the shape below.  (Also make sure two of the pieces are flipped, so you can place them right sides together.)

Waistband pic:

Measure down about 8 inches from the top corners of your skirt pieces and mark with pins.  That means you'll have 8 places marked where you're going to put your pockets.

Place top of pocket at pin, right sides together.

Sew them all on, using a 5/8" seam allowance and zig-zag that portion to finish.  Technically, you could zig-zag the whole side, but since you cut to the selvage, it won't fray.  Time-saver!  Boo-yah!

Flip your pocket out, like so, and press.  You'll see that I wanted a fun little hidden pop of color for my pockets.  I'm just full of surprises like that...

Take your pieces for your belt loops. 

 Fold the edges into the center.  Press.

Then fold it in half.

Stitch close to both edges.

Then snip the whole thing in half.

Find the center of one of your waistband pieces (marked with a yellow pin below).  Place one belt loop slightly off-center.  They're going to be way too long, but that's ok.  Since I did mine with a chevron print, the extra length allowed me to line of the lines.  Nice!

Place your other belt loop on the SAME HALF of the waist band, 1.5 inches from the edge.

Place the other waistband piece, right sides together, over the whole thing.  See how both belt loops are on the same half?

Use a 1/2-inch seam allowance and sew just the tops together.  When you're done, snip off the excess belt loop.

Flip right sides out, press, and topstitch the top edge (and belt loops).

You'll only have one finished edge at this point.  Tack down the bottom of your belt loops at this point.

Now grab your skirt again and sew up just ONE side, using a 5/8" seam allowance.  Your stitching should line up with the stitching you did to sew the pocket on.

After you sew it, finish the pocket with a zig-zag stitch.

Run a gathering stitch along the top of your skirt piece.  I actually like to do two, since it's such a big piece.  Gather the skirt till it's the width of your waistband.  Make sure the side seam lines up with the center of your waistband (this also ensures that your gathers are a little more even).

Also, when you gather, leave the 1.5" by the edge ungathered/flat.  This will make it easier to install your zipper.

Sew waistband to skirt and finish with a zig-zag.

Press the seam allowance up toward the waistband.

Topstitch along the bottom of the waistband, securing the seam allowance below and giving it a nice, finished look.

Zig-zag those last raw edges of your waist band (and the whole side seam if you wish, but again, you have the fray-free selvage there!).

Get ready to install your zipper.  Here's a good tutorial from Sew, Mama, Sew!  I marked where I need to stop basting with a double pin.
  Press out, continue with the install...

Add a hook and eye and you just finished a skirt... for yourself... and it's cute!!

However, let's not let those beltloops go to waste.  Make sashes (or use a storebought belt) in whatever colors you want!


  1. Lovely skirt, of course added to my to sew list! The chevron fabric is cute!

    1. Isn't that fabric great!? I like how it's a more subtle, tonal chevron. Got it at JoAnn's!!

  2. this is adorable! I'm going to have to have someone who can sew make one for me! And yes, Tanya is adorable in hers, can't wait to see you in yours!
    Here via Made you Look. Cute blog!

    1. Thanks!! I posted one pic of mine, shot in bad lighting, by a 3-foot photographer. :) I'm headed to your blog now!

  3. Very cute, a skirt she will be able to wear again and again!

  4. Aw, that is so cute! She looks great in it. Thank you for sharing. Visiting from A Glimpse Inside. Would love it if you would share this at my Make it Pretty Monday party at The Dedicated House. Hope to see you at the bash! Toodles, Kathryn @TheDedicatedHouse

  5. That's so stinking cute! You are one gifted lady. Proud to say I'm related!

  6. Great job! Love the fabric! ;)

  7. That is super cute! Great job!
    Thanks for linking up to this week's Catch a Glimpse Party. I will be featuring this tomorrow! :)

  8. Very cute! Thanks for the tutorial

  9. This is gorgeous! I love skirts with pockets. This one is particularly flattering, I think.

  10. I love this chevron skirt and that you added a contrasting color.

    If you get a chance come link up your tutorial at my pin party.

  11. This is so cute! You have way more patience than me, I hung up my sewing machine a long time ago, I could never get anything to look right when I was finished~ except drapes! Lol! Thanks for linking up!

  12. This is just the cutest skirt! It's been forever since I sewed a zipper in (do mostly craft sewing these days) but I think I'm going to have to do it again. Pinned!

  13. Is the zipper on the side or the back. Thought I would try to make this without the pockets.

    1. It's on the side. Good luck! Let me know if you have any more questions! :)


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