Sewing against the clock deserves an….A?

by Dana on May 4, 2011

Yesterday at dance class, one of my non-sewing friends and I were talking about Simple Skirts. She loved the idea but since she doesn’t sew, asked if I recommended anyone she could commission to sew a skirt for her daughter. I mentioned that she should look on etsy.com and just type in “gathered skirt”. Thousands of different versions would pop up. She’d never heard of etsy! And then I was really excited for her. Oh, she’s going to waste hours getting sucked-in to the handmade goodness!
When we got home from class I jumped online to send her a few links. But then I thought….this is so silly. I can actually make a skirt faster than it takes to scan etsy, email my friend, have her browse, then purchase, and blah blah blah.
So, I decided to race the Simple Skirt against the clock.

How long does it take to make a single-tiered skirt, using the simple skirt Tutorial?!
Ready? Set?
GO!
I cut a quick rectangle, ironed the fabric, sewed, serged, ironed, hemmed (with a double-stitch), switched thread colors, sewed on a label, and….done!
Time: 17 mins!
Okay, I really think I can get it down to 15. I had an unnecessary re-thread in there. But what’s an extra 2 minutes?
My husband looked over from the computer (after hearing me cheer, 17 minutes!).
“You just made that skirt while I was sitting here?
Yes indeed. Oh, this is only going to help my late-night sewing cause….you know…when the husband walks by and I glance out from behind the Bernina…. “just 10 more minutes!” He might actually believe me (though I wouldn’t).

Well, after the 17 minutes of quick sewing, I wanted to spice it up just a bit more.
So I added this:
A for Aurelia!
Adding monograms to skirts or shirts is super easy.
You can use cotton, knit, or even felt (which is what I used here). You may want to wash/dry the felt before sewing to see how it reacts to washing. 100% wool felts will shrink significantly. Blends and synthetics will shrink less.

Then, it’s just like making Monogrammed Ornaments

* Print or draw a very large letter (this letter is Cambria font, size 550. I just placed a piece of paper up to my computer screen and traced it)
* Cut out the paper letter, flip it around so it’s backwards, and trace it to the wrong side of your fabric.
* Cut out the letter
* Pin it in place. Make sure the fabric is laying flat. The skirt has a tendency to gather and bunch-up, so just smooth out the area–near the bottom–where you’d like the letter.
* Sew it on with a sewing machine first, using a matching thread color. This is the easiest way to keep it in place, should you decided to embroider the letter too.
* for added decor, hand-sew stitches around the letter. I often use off-white crochet thread for this (rather than white-white), even if the fabric has white in it. There’s something about the off-white looks more pleasing to me, while the stark white feels kind of cheap. Just my personal preference!
And you’re done!

Adding the felt letter and hand stitching added an extra 30 minutes to the project.
But man!
15 to 45 minutes to hand-make a fun gift? That’s less time than driving to Target to pick out a gift for a kid’s birthday party!
Thanks for being our friend miss Aurelia. We know you love your pink!

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Sharon April 3, 2012 at 4:32 pm

Love these little skirts. How do you keep the applique from raveling? ty :)

Reply

2 Dana April 4, 2012 at 12:24 am

I typically use felt or knit fabrics which don’t fray.

Reply

3 Sol December 1, 2012 at 6:12 pm

Hi,
Is it possible to do it with a linning? I would like this skirt for winter…

THanks!

Reply

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