Sometime around Thanksgiving, I just-so-happened to be in a fabric store with all their Christmas fabric on sale for 60% off. I mean seriously y’all…how can you afford NOT to purchase SOMETHING!?!
I’ve been using one of these fabrics throughout the holidays in just regular off-the-bolt form. I hung it over a door to serve as a backdrop for fun photos. I placed it over a table to serve as a table cloth, and I’ve used it as a makeshift tree skirt. But, the real reason I bought this fabric was to become something for Ellie and/or Rosamund. I knew I wanted to use some sort of creative energy to make something I’ve never made before….after all, that’s the real Christmas sewing spirit, right!?!
I came up with THIS: A Saloon Skirt
I don't know what the official name of this kind of skirt it, so I'm calling mine a Saloon Skirt. It reminds me of skirts I've seen in western movies! Except - they probably didn't wear green/red/maroon huge polkadots...but they would've if they could've!
Here's the side view ... and what give this skirt it's personality. The seam allowances are sewn down to create two casings on each side. Those casings are given ribbon which is then tied at the bottom after the fabric is rouched. I just love this angle of the skirt!
I’m certainly not the first person to make this kind of garment, but this IS the first time I’ve made one myself. I didn’t use a pattern, I just used the technique as best I figured it could be done.
The awesome thing about this skirt – it can be for a GROWNUP just as easily as for a LITTLE’EN. I’m already thinking of a linen version for me!
If you’re intriqued—– read on for a free tutorial. It’s the same tutorial no matter what size you make. The only difference in the sewing is the size of the rectangles that you start out with.
To begin, cut yourself 2 rectangles of fabric. For my 4 year old, I cut the fabric approximately 30" wide and I have no idea how long. sorry. For your skirt, you want it to be no longer than waist to floor length...probably a little shorter. Keep in mind that you'll be scrunching up the sides so you MUST make the beginning rectangles longer than your desired finished length.
Now, you have to hem the bottom edge of both pieces. It may seem weird to sew the hem first, but you must for this skirt.
Next - sew the sides together ...BUT START AT THE BOTTOM, matching the hemmed edges. Usually I recommend sewing garments from top to bottom...but allow me a crazy diversion here! You want your sides to match up perfectly. Sewing from the bottom up will allow for this! NOTE: use a wider seam allowance than usual so you can be sure to fit your ribbon through there.
It's been a while since I've said this ... say it with me ... "If you don't have time to press, you don't have time to sew!" So now go press your two side seams open. I also like to tuck the sides at the hem inside so that they don't get any ideas of peeking out after washing.
The next step is to create the casings for your ribbon drawstring. Do this by topstitching your seam allowances closed. I always prefer to sew with the rightside facing me ... but if you're unsure of yourself, you can get by with sewing on the wrong side...just this once! This could help you enclose that seam allowance more easily.
Cut yourself 4 equal-length strips of ribbon (or you could make ties about of fabric). I cut mine about 2 or 3 inches LONGER than my skirt.
This picture is hard to make sense of ... but I'm threading my ribbon through the casing using a large and long safety pin. Start at the top and thread the ribbon all the way through to the bottom. Each side will have 2 ribbons.
After you've threaded your ribbon, be sure a little bit is peeking out at the top and secure them in place with some stitching. Then you can trim the excess. (only at the top!)
At the bottom, just let your ribbon excess hang out. You can trim it once you've tried it on and know how long or short you want the ties to dangle. DO NOT secure the ribbon here, let it remain loose .
Now make your waistband casing for the elastic..leaving the opening to thread your elastic through.
Insert elastic and close up the hole. You are ALMOST FINISHED...HOLLAH.
Hold both ribbon ties in one hand, and push up the fabric with the other. Keep pushing up the fabric until you get it to the right height. Tie the ribbon into a bow. Repeat on other side. Give yourself a huge hug...you made yourself a super-fun drawsting Saloon skirt!
Here's what the side will look like. For this skirt, I wish I had large black Satin ribbon on hand, but this narrower version will work.
Ellie's going to wear this with a long sleeved black T and black leggings. What's awesome is, when she tried it on she said, "Wow, this is the coolest skirt EVER!" Mission accommplished!!!
Just in case you missed it, here is the full view again!
and just for grins…I had to add a tattered rose headband!
This was really fun to make. I am pretty sure more of these are in my future…I’m wanting a long one for me to wear with my riding boots. Hmmm…I need to get of this computer STAT!
Here’s the lowdown folks:
TIME: This took a bit of time, but I think it’s because I was figuring it out as I went. I’m guessing for an experienced sewer – about an hour. For a newbie – about 2 hours. But the 2nd, 3rd and 4th versions will go much much faster!
COST: about $5 if you have ribbon and elastic onhand. YOWZA YEAZERS! About $8 if you have to buy everything assuming you stick with sale priced fabric!
There you go…will you make one of these, please!
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