Monday, April 29, 2013

Tutorial - Twirl Skirts!

(photo credit: Amanda Buechler )

Hello Friends!

Today I'm going to show you how I make twirl skirts - this tutorial will work in any size and is so easy!  If you have any little girls in your life and a yard of fabric calling your name, here's an idea to get you sewing :)  There are a ton of tutorials for twirl skirts out there, and basically, I've taken a page from each of them to make my own.  For this skirt, I wanted a vintage feel, so I chose this great floral fabric from Heather Bailey and some crochet trim - it turned out adorable!

The amount of fabric you will need to make your skirt really depends on the size you are making.  For this skirt to fit my 8 year old, I figured out the size of my pieces like this:

Waistband: hip measurement (23) plus 2 inches for ease = 25 inches wide x 4.5 inches tall. 

Skirt: length you want (I went with 14 inches...add 3 inches from the waistband and that's 17 inches from her waist) x width of fabric from selvage to selvage.  To make this skirt super twirly, I cut two skirt pieces. 

So, my pieces were like this:

Waistband: 25" x 4.5" and (2) 14" x 44".

You will also need 1/2 inch wide elastic an inch longer than the waist circumference and trim (I used a crochet trim from Joann) for the hem.  Plus the standards - sewing machine, matching thread, pins, safety pin.

Seam allowances are 1/2 inch, unless otherwise noted.


First, let's make the waistband.  Fold your strip of fabric right sides together.  Sew them together.  Serge or zig-zag or pink edges to finish.
Now, turn the top edge over 1/4 inch and press.  Turn over 1 inch and press again.


Now, sew 1/4 inch from the way, leaving about an inch unsewn.  This is the casing for your elastic.  Set the waistband aside for now.

Next, place your skirt pieces right sides together and sew seams together at the short ends.  Serge, zig-zag, or pink edges to finish.  Press seams.  Now, you can use your preferred gathering method to gather 1 long end of the skirt.  I use my serger, but if you don't have one, just set your machine's stitch length to the longest possible, then sew all the way around about 1/4 inch from the edge.  Leave a long tail and gently pull the thread on the bottom (the bobin thread).  Adjust your gathers so that they are evenly distributed.  Make sure that you gather the skirt to be the same width as your waistband.

If you've never gathered with your serger, give it a try!  Just adjust the tension in your needles to their highest setting (9 on my machine).  Again, leave the thread tail long and adjust the gathers to make them as even as possible, until the skirt reaches the same width as your waistband.

Once your skirt is gathered, turn your waistband right side out, and place inside the skirt, upside down.  So, the bottom of your waistband should be even with the edge of your skirt.  Be sure to match up the seams.  Pin both pieces together.


Sew both pieces together.  Serge or zig-zag seam to finish, then press towards the top of the waistband.  Turn the skirt right side out and top stitch 1/8" away from the seam.

To hem the skirt, either fold 1/4" over and press into place OR serge the edge. Pin the trim to the right side of the hem as shown below.

Sew the trim in place, sewing as close to the edge of the trim as possible.  Be sure to fold the edge of the trim over at the end of the seam so that you don't have the raw edge of the trim sticking out!

Now, turn the hem over and press.  Voila!  Your hem now has some adorable trim hanging off of it!

Now, top stitch the hem into place by stitching 1/8" away from the trim.

Finally, place a safety pin on one end of your elastic, then feed it through the casing.  Sew the ends of the elastic together, then sew the casing of the waistband shut.

And there you have it!  A sweet little skirt perfect for girls who love to twirl!

You can make this skirt in any size using the formula above - I've even made it in adult size (although to make it full, I needed about 3 lengths of fabric, so make sure you buy enough!).  If you make some, please link back and tell us all about it!
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Friday, April 26, 2013

Instafriday #6

Hello!  It's Friday and I am linking up again with Life Rearranged's Instafriday.  Here's a look at my week through pictures!

Lucky me - I started the week off with a margarita ;-)

My oldest asked for sewing classes for her birthday and started them over the weekend.  This pillow case was her first project.  I've never seen her so proud of herself!

I'm a little late to the game on the roasted seaweed snack craze...holy smokes, the wasabi flavor from Trader Joe's is so delicious!  It definitely helps the cravings for something crunchy late at night - just be sure to check your teeth afterwards ;-)

This week I was able to participate in Kids' Clothing Week and I took this picture of a dress in process.  I am in love with the fabric combo!!

My girls love to match...I love them to coordinate.  So of course, I had to make a second dress in another color.  The bow on this one is an adorable Lecien print and I love how it works with the pink chevron.  Look for some of these in the shop in a few weeks!  In the interest of keeping things real, you can see the massive mess I make while sewing in the craft room...eek!

We had some sun this week (which is a rare thing in Seattle this time of year!), so I made the most of it and took my kids out for some pictures :)

I picked up some rose from one of our wine clubs - so of course, I had to test it out.

My sister in law is getting married this weekend, so I took the opportunity to get a shellac mani/pedi.  I love shellac - my pedi will last more than 6 weeks!

My talented friend suggested a photo shoot in a nearby field with some of my's my youngest goofing around while her big sister modelled.  She's such a character!

See what I mean?!

Remember, you can always follow along on Instagram - I'm azbarsotti over there.  Have a great weekend, friends!

life rearranged

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Kids' Clothing Week, Day 4

Whew!  The week has caught up to me!  I spent most of yesterday working on a tutorial for next week (yay!), so here is a peak at a new twirly skirt that I sewed on Monday.  My youngest is a fancy girl - she loves to dress up, accessorize, and twirl! 

This fabric (from Joann) is slightly vintage feeling, especially when it's paired with the crochet trim (also from Joann).  I love the way it came out, and luckily so does my little one :)

So much fun to twirl in!!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Kids' Clothing Week, Day 2

Apparently, big sister decided that she just couldn't be without a cute chevron dress either!

Since the first Aubrey Bow Dress was such a quick sew, I was able to whip this up today for her.  I am loving the red chevron with the blue and red floral bow.  Both fabrics are by Riley Blake, purchased from a local fabric store.

 Here's a close-up of the bow fabric.  She picked it out herself :)  I love that it coordinates with this cute shirt in the shop - it could make a fun headband to match! 

Stay tuned for more kids' clothing sewing this week! 

Monday, April 22, 2013

Kids' Clothing Week, Day 1

Well, the sun is shining and the birds are chirping here in the Pacific Northwest!

I've been a follower of Meg for several years.  In fact, her Kids Clothing Week challenges were what inspired me to start sewing again!  At the time, I was so convinced that sewing and patterns and fabrics were still a little too grandma-esque, but her challenges showed me that there are a TON of modern patterns and fabrics.  Add to that the fact that sewing a childrens' garment takes an hour or two, and I was hooked. 

For my first challenge, I've got a few patterns that I've had for a while, but haven't made. This sweet little dress is up first. It's the Aubrey Bow Dress by Ruby Jean's Closet. I love these patterns - they have a touch of vintage styling and are all pretty easy to sew up. Another plus - it's a PDF pattern, which I love since you can just print what you need. Here are a few of my tips for working with PDF patterns.

For this dress, I cut a size 6 and used some Riley Blake Chevron for the main part, and a cute Lecien print for the bow.  I love that the bow on this can be interchangeable, so it would be really easy to change the look!

My youngest loved how easy it was to pull on and off, and she really likes the elastic in the back. 

I really liked the way the dress is constructed, and I will definitely make a few more of these to list in the shop!  These are the perfect little dresses for summer!  Stay tuned for more kids' clothing this week :o)

Friday, April 19, 2013

Instafriday #5

Linking up again with Life Rearranged's Instafriday.

This girl turned 8 over the weekend.  Naturally, we had to have several opportunities for candles and cupcakes ;-)  This was on Friday night when she had a friend sleep over.

Washington wine is amazing!  We're members at several different wineries, and on Saturday, we went to pick up a few shipments.  Best part: members always taste for free :)

Here's stop #2.  The wine here is seriously amazing...this was a new wine that they had just recently release and even though it was young, I had to buy some!  I think it will be fabulous in the fall with some steaks!

Big Girl on her actual birthday.  Love this kid so much!  Right after breakfast, we packed up and went to Great Wolf Lodge for 3 days - lucky duck!

One of the fun things besides water rides is this interactive scavenger hunt called Magi Quest.  The girls always love it!

Standard picture of my girls in front of the lobby fireplace. 

Another shoe picture.  I love these gold flats!  They are old, but so comfy.  This was a particularly pretty day and I just had to snap a picture of them in the sunlight.

My oldest asked for sewing classes for her birthday, and this week we started a little quilt for her dolls.  Picture next week after we bind it.  One trick I used was to put down some washi tape so that she could see where to place the fabric under the presser foot.  It really helped her!

That's our week!  I promise to post more next week, since we're back from vacation!  I've got a few goodies to go up in the shop too, so of course, I'll show you some sneak peaks here.

Until then, follow me on Instagram here

life rearranged

Friday, April 12, 2013

Instafriday #4

Happy Friday, y'all!  I'm linking up again with Life Rearranged's Instafriday.

We had a good week being back at school after Spring Break.  The hubs was offon a business trip all week, so the girls and I enjoyed some girl time :)

Here's a peek at the week in pictures:

On Friday, I had a ME, lunch, and cocktails with a good friend.  She ordered a double Disarano and it was too pretty to not take a picture.

On Sunday, the girls and I had dinner and hair styling at the American Girl store.  My oldest girl has some pretty bad food allergies, and I just love how accomodating the bistro is.  Molly and Rebecca enjoyed a pre-dinner spa treatment too :)

Since the store is only a few minutes from us, we visit often and the staff has gotten to know us.  The bistro host looked at our file before seating us and figured out that my oldest's birthday is coming up so she sent over some dessert for us after dinner, which made this girl very happy!

This little girl was happy too - she got cupcakes AND pizza - her two favorite foods :)

I celebrated a long day with a glass of wine...this was a really yummy wine from one of our wine clubs.

On Tuesdays, I work in my youngest's kindergarten class, which is always fun, aside from sitting in those tiny chairs!

My girls LOVE sushi, and when my husband is out of town, we alway hit up the local sushi conveyor restaurant.  They charge by the plate, and my girls can now eat me out of house and home!  This kid LOVEs California rolls and salmon.

The damage done by both girls.  I had 3 plates not pictured in this stack.  Little piggies :)

This kid was still hungry!  I convinced her that going home for a bowl of cereal would be easier on my wallet ;-)

My youngest is now reading, so she read her big sister a bedtime story and was so proud of herself!  (In the interest of keeping it real, this picture was the last time she was happy all night - she had a massive tantrum as soon as I put the camera down and kept me up all.night.long.)

I wore my favorite old shoes and liked how they looked in the grass at the bus stop. Nothin' special!

My littlest saw me taking pictures when she got off of the school bus, so she asked to take my picture.  Yep, it was raining and grey...made for a cool effect, I think!

I headed to bed one night and when I checked on the girls, I found that one of them wasn't in her room...I checked my bed first, but found that she had snuck in bed with her sister.  The snuggled together all night.  Awww!

Well, that's my week in pictures!  You can follow along on Instragram here or check out Life Rearranged for some other bloggers' link ups.