4 September 2012

How to make a simple velvet skater skirt - D.I.Y

After taking a walk around Hobbycraft the other day and spotting some velvet fabric I came up with the idea to make my own skirt. Velvet is one of my winter favourite's and this year I wanted to make my own skirt. I finally brought a sewing machine the other week so was feeling rather adventurous. Even if I hadn't done sewing since school day's as a year 9. I grabbed some elastic from the aisle, picked up the rather heavy velvet and paid my pennies. I only needed a metre of this because they fold it over, it only cost me £3 something. 

 What you will need: 
-Velvet fabric (I used 1mtr) 
-Elastic (any colour as it's hidden anyway) 
-Needle & thread or sewing machine 
-Pin's to hold it all together 
-A nice cup of tea (optional)

I brought a skater skirt the other week and knowing it fit's nicely a little high waisted I decided to use this as a guide line to marking out a shape I want, it's always a good idea to use something you already know fit's then to just drawing. I always use normal white chalk to draw on fabric but if you have dressmaker's chalk it does the same job! Measure your waist and half the number, this is how much you measure a straight line across as the waist and then draw your skirt shape, I didn't take a photo of it un-fortunately I forgot. I made it quite long across with'tips' at the bottom of the skirt and a semi-circle as the bottom too like the image above but wider, so that when it was on it formed natural looking pleat's and fell better like skater skirt's do. Don't forget to allow hem allowance on every side you will stitch, especially the sides and the waist as the waist band is made by folding it over.

When I had sat down with all the pin's in, tea made, sewing machine ready to go it just refused to stitch two layer's together, I stitched a cotton fabric to make sure it wasn't the machine and it stitched perfectly so I decided to hand stitch the whole thing. This wasn't as bad as I first thought it would be, it's super easy and took me one evening to complete with no problem's. After having a little Google about stitching velvet it seemed even pro's do not love using velvet, special footer's improve the stitch but it just refused to stitch because of the un-usual texture. 

The fabric was folded over so when you cut out your shape you're left with two pieces. At the top where the waist is, fold over the velvet side into the inside and pin in place. I then stitched a straight stitch line across leaving enough room for the elastic to fit through later. Do this too both of the pieces and then line them up straight and pin them together good sides (velvet) facing each other.  
I wouldn't recommend  doing a straight stitch on the side's as these will be the part's that need to be strongest holding it together, I used an overstitch to stitch the two pieces together which work's very well. Make sure to start stitching from the bottom of the line you stitched at the waist leaving the gap's each side at the top as this is where you will insert the elastic on the next step. 

You can also hem the bottom to neaten up with a straight stitch exactly how you did the waist band or use a fray check which is like a glue to stop it fraying. Because this is curved like a semi-circle it's a little hard to stitch using a machine. 

All that's needed now is to insert the elastic which can be annoying to do, sellotape it to something long to feed through the waist and then pin the two end's together just in case it decides to fall out. Just simply stitch the two end's together and then stitch up the two side's of the skirt and it's finished!

I hope I wasn't too confusing, I didn't think to take photo's of each step which is why I made the above on clipart, sometimes It's easier to visually see something then to just read how to. 

This only cost me £3 to make as I found some old elastic at the bottom of my sewing drawer instead of using the one I brought. I'm really happy with how this came out and really want to make another, just with a cotton or jersey material next time so I can use the machine!

Will you have a go at this? Have you ever made a skirt or dress?

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  1. Wow this looks great! So easy to make too :)

  2. I was looking for a skirt pattern and this is heading to the top of the idea list! Looks great.

  3. This is such a good idea! I love my skater skirts and would love to make my own, may have to give it a go sometime but I'm not sure how successful I would be remembering back to my textile design days at school! xx

  4. So cute!! Darn now I feel like sewing :p

  5. wow this skirt is so pretty, I love it! Awesome job making it =)

  6. I can't believe you made this! If I attempted this I'm sure it would be a disaster haha! I'd love you to check out my blog, keep in touch with me :) B x


  7. wowww.. this is fab,. good job!!!xoxo

  8. Lovely skirt!



  9. ooh, i'd love to make a fab skirt like that! :) x


  10. I need to try this; seems relatively simple but looks great!
    Just came across your blog and love it!


  11. I need to try this; seems relatively simple but looks great!
    Just came across your blog and love it!



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