Making a layered petty skirt is surprisingly easy and inexpensive. Nylon chiffon which makes up the bulk of the skirt is cheap to buy and can be purchased either on a bolt or on a roll. The majority of the skirt is made of simple, straight stitches and gathers. If you have a gathering foot, you will be able to make quick work out of the skirt. The layers are made on both sides of the satin waistband and then folded together to create the fullness of the skirt.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
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Things you need
- Measuring tape
- Satin fabric
- Nylon chiffon
- Scissors or rotary cutter
- Sewing machine
- Gathering foot
- 1-inch wide elastic
- Safety pin
Measure your child around the waist. Measure your child from the waist to the length you want the skirt.
Cut the satin twice the waist measurement by 2/3 the length you want the skirt with scissors or rotary cutter, for the waistband. Cut two strips out of the chiffon that are three times the waist measurement by 1/3 the skirt length, for the first layer. Cut another two strips out of the chiffon six times the waist measurement by 1/3 the skirt length, for the second layer. Cut another two strips of chiffon 12 times the waist measurement by two inches for the ruffle. You should have six strips of chiffon total.
Sew the centre of each of the 2-inch strips with the gathering foot on the sewing machine, ruffling the strips.
Attach one ruffle to the right side of one of the second-layer strips, 1/4 inch from bottom by sewing the centre of the ruffle, with a regular foot on the sewing machine. Repeat with the other ruffle and the other second-layer strip.
Sew the top edge of each of the second-layer strips, 1/4 inch from the edge, with the gathering foot on the sewing machine.
Pin the right side of one of the first-layer strip to the right side of one of the second layer strip. Sew the strips together 1/4 inch from the edge, with a regular foot on the sewing machine. Repeat with the other first- and second-layer strips.
Sew the top edge of each of the first-layer strips, 1/4 inch from the edge, with the gathering foot on the sewing machine.
Pin the right side of one of the first-layer strips to the right side of one of the long edges of the satin. Sew them together 1/4-inch from the edge, with a regular foot on the sewing machine. Repeat with the other first-layer strip and the other long side of the satin.
Fold the skirt in half width wise, right sides facing each other. You will have chiffon on the top and bottom, and satin in the middle. Sew the sides of the skirt together at 1/2 inch from the edge, starting at the end with the small ruffle, up the chiffon to the satin waistband. Sew the waistband, stopping 1 1/4 inches from the centre, and leave a 1 1/4-inch opening and continue sew the other side.
Fold the skirt in half length wise, with wrong sides facing each other, tucking one layer of ruffles behind the other layer and folding the satin in half. Sew around the satin top of the skirt, 1 1/4 inches from the fold, making a casing for the elastic.
Cut a piece of elastic the length of your child's waist measurement, plus one inch. Pin a safety pin to one end of the elastic. Slide the elastic into the opening you left in the satin waistband and pull it through, gathering the waistband as you go. Remove the safety pin. Overlap the elastic, 1/2 inch and sew together. Sew the opening closed by hand.
Tips and warnings
- Be sure to use nylon chiffon, not polyester chiffon. Polyester chiffon frays; nylon chiffon does not.
- You can buy nylon chiffon in rolls 2- to 13-inches in width to avoid having to cut the long strips of fabric.
- If you are gathering by hand, you may want to gather half a strip at a time to make the gathering easier.
- If you do not have chiffon long enough to make the strips in one piece, you can make them in smaller pieces. You don't need to sew the strips together; simply overlap them slightly when sewing them to another layer.
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