Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Pencil Skirt for 18" Dolls 101

One of the wonderful things about dolls is the way that they can bring mothers and daughters, grandmothers and granddaughters--females of all ages--together. This little tutorial can help with that in a couple of ways. On one hand, this is something easy that you can make for a little girl you love for Christmas--or "just because." If you are feeling even more adventuresome, it is something that you can make with your daughter. All you need is a small piece of fabric and about a foot of 1/4" elastic. It is that easy!

First, choose your material. You will need a piece that is 6 by 14 inches. I have gobs of fabric, so finding a scrap that size is never a problem. But even if you aren't a fabric junkie like I am, chances are you have a piece that big lying around your house--in an old skirt you never wear, in the leg of a pair of jeans your husband needs to throw out, or in the back of an old shirt. (If you haven't done much sewing, I would avoid using knits--like t-shirt material--because stretchy is harder to work with.) I used a scrap of black corduroy; denim is another great option because it goes with everything.

Start by folding in 1/4" of fabric to the wrong side of both long edges and zigzagging it in place to create a neat edge:

Choose one of the long edges, fold it over again, and stitch along the inside finished edge to create a hem. Be sure to back-stitch at both ends to keep the threads from pulling loose.

Fold the top of the other long edge over 1/2" to create a waistband casing for your elastic. Stitch it in place with a straight stitch along the inside edge. Be sure to back-stitch at both ends to keep the threads from pulling loose.

Cut a piece of 1/4" elastic 10 1/2" long. Pin a safety pin to one end of the elastic making sure that it is secure. Insert the pin end of the elastic into the waist-band casing and start pushing it along the casing toward the open end.

When you reach the point that your elastic is about to disappear, stop long enough to stitch across the end so that it won't pull through.

Finish feeding the elastic through the casing, unpin the safety pin--holding onto the elastic so that it doesn't slip back into the casing--and then stitch that end of the elastic in place. (Because the elastic is shorter than the width of the skirt, it will gather the skirt top as you feed it through the casing and sew it in place to create a stretchy waistband that will make it easy to put on and take off the skirt.)

Fold the skirt in half with right sides together, matching raw edges. Stitch a 1/4" seam from the top of the skirt to the bottom making sure to back-stitch both at the beginning and the end. (To help your skirt last longer, zigzag the seam edges to keep them from fraying.)

Turn your brand new skirt inside out--and try it on!

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