Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Easy Serger Skirt

Hi Friends!   Jodie here - I thought I'd share this sweet skirt made from the Gigi Blooms Collection by Adornit.   As you may know, my background is in garment making, so I thought it would be fun to share an easy tutorial along with a few tips that will help you coast right through the process and give your garments a professional finish!

This tutorial focuses on serging techniques.   If you are going to be making garments, this is an investment that you won't regret.    However - for those of you who haven't yet taken that step  - you can certainly make this skirt with a regular machine.   Without a serger, be sure to use a zig zag stitch to finish any raw edges - this will minimize fraying when you wash/dry the skirt.

FABRIC SELECTION:   This is my favorite part!   I chose Gigi Blooms Botanical for the main part of skirt, and Adornit's Plum Burnish for the bottom band. 

CUTTING:  You'll want to measure a favorite skirt from top to bottom to know what length you'd like.   And you'll need to know the waist measurement.    For example, we wanted to create a size 3T skirt,  10" length and 20" waist.    Here is how you will cut your fabric: 

MAIN PRINT:  Take your desired skirt length + 1.75" - 2"
(our example is 10" + 1.75" - 2" = 9.75" X WOF) 

BAND:  Cut 4.5 inches X WOF 

ELASTIC:  1" wide X waist measurement
(preferably non-roll, but if you feel this is too stiff-- you can use regular elastic)

For fullness, you will want your skirt to be 1.5 to 2 times the waist measurement.   Our little sweetie had a 20" waist measurement so we cut our WOF pieces down to 40" wide.

Let's get started!

Jodie's Tip:   Serge the top edge of your main print - don't cut off any of the fabric.   Serge right along the edge, which will cut off any fraying threads.  Do this step first so that your top edge doesn't continue to fray while working on the rest of the skirt. This also makes for a beautiful finish when your garment is complete!

Fold your band in half length-wise and press.  Place the band along the bottom edge of your main print, raw edges together.  Serge the band to the main print in a 1/4" seam.   Again, don't cut off any fabric - just run the serger knife blade along the raw edges of your fabric.  Press the serged seam TOWARD the skirt.


Fold top edge down 1.5" and press.

 Putting right sides together, serge the back seam from top to bottom in a 1/4" seam and leave a 6" thread tail at the top & bottom (We are going to learn a couple of great tricks, and you'll need a decent sized thread tail at both ends.).
Reminder -- don't cut off any fabric while serging - just run your serger knife along the raw edges.

It is helpful to pin near the bottom band to make sure it is lined up nicely & held in place.  However, don't forget to remove any pins as you are serging!


Jodie's Tip:   here's a quick & easy way to hide your serger tail and keep the serger threads from unraveling!  Thread a large eye needle with the serger tail (loops & all!).  Use your needle to navigate the opening at the bottom of the serged seam - you will insert your needle into a "pocket" that is formed between the loops.    You should not be catching any fabric with the sharp end of your needle - this is similar to inserting a piece of elastic into a casing.    Insert your needle into this pocket about 1" and the push the needle through the top layer of fabric as shown.   Pull your looped thread through tightly and then trim the tail close to the serged seam.

Press the back seam toward one side.

Jodie's Tip:   Hide your serger tail in the casing and keep the serger threads from unraveling!  Loop your serger tail around and behind the back seam.   Pull the tail taught so that it wraps around the top of seam neatly.   Trim serger tail near the pressed fold line.   While keeping the tail tucked behind the back seam, fold your elastic casing back down and re-press.


As soon as you have finished tucking in your thread tail behind the back seam, it's time to switch to your regular sewing machine!   Stitch about 1/16" to 1/8" from the folded edge.    This holds that thread tail in place plus gives a professional finish!

Next, you'll want to sew your elastic casing.   I find it helpful to lay the elastic on top to get an idea of where to stitch.   Make sure you leave a tiny space on either side of the elastic to accommodate the thickness of the elastic so you can easily insert it.   (If you're going to be making several skirts, it can be helpful to use a piece of washi tape to mark a guide line on your machine.)

I like to leave the opening for elastic off to the side of the back seam - I think it's easier to stitch closed after the elastic is inserted (see next picture).

And... peek of the elastic casing from the inside!  Doesn't this look terrific?!

Insert elastic and adjust to fit.  I like to straight stitch plus zig zag the elastic.  Trim elastic close to the zig zag stitching.   Stitch the casing opening closed.   Work the elastic around the waistband until all the gathers are distributed evenly.

Jodie's Tip:  To hold elastic in place AND give a professional finish, stitch a square with an X in the middle -- right over the back seam.    (It looks like a little barn door!)

Let's do our final touch!   Either top-stitch about 1/8" from the seam edge or add trim such as ric rac.   Why we do this:   holds the pressed & serged seam in it's place + gives a final element of professional stitching to your skirt!

I hope you've enjoyed this tutorial!   Here's to many happy hours of garment sewing!


1 comment:

Paige said...

Great tutorial, thank you! I first saw the Adornit fabric when they had a booth at an AQS show. I purchased the same fabric in a different colorway.

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