Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The Alligator Skirt

Well I can't believe that another week is here!! 
It is such a pleasure to be back this week for the
 So You Think You Can Sew Competition.  Last week was a really close race. Thank you so much for your votes and your support throughout this process. Seriously, without your votes I wouldn't be able to continue on in this awesome contest. It has been a really exciting ride so far and I am ecstatic for this week. There was a tie in the voting last week so that means that 4 people will be cut this round. YIKES! 
Just goes to show the saying "every vote counts" is true!! 

Head on over to mommybydaycrafterbynight to place your vote.

Remember voting starts Wednesday January 18th, at 8:00am EST and 
ends January 19th at 8:00 pm EST.

One vote per computer, phone, or ipad. 

This is the last round before the finals. Please vote!

Welcome to Week 3: "Apparel"

Inspiration comes in lots of shapes and sizes. 
I have had this 1 yard of beautiful green fabric in my sewing supplies for almost 6 months now. I bought it knowing it would be a skirt but I wasn't sure what it should look like. Finally inspiration struck. Call it a mix of crazy and fun... but part of this skirt came about because of my Cajun Christmas this year. My husband and I were fortunate enough to spend the holidays with family in Texas. Almost all the food we had was Cajun. As we sat around playing cards and visiting, the music that played in the background was Cajun. To my surprise, a song came on that retold the story The Night Before Christmas. It was a very new version to me that related the story of Papa Noél and his team of alligators that brought the presents to the good little boys and girls in the Louisiana bayou.   

Apparently when I got home my mind recalled that story and my fabric was transformed into an alligator style skirt.  Here is where my imagination landed me.  Hope you like it!!

I am putting out my alligator vibe... kind of a tough girl look. 

Step 1: Start with 1 yard of semi stretchy fabric. Fold in half. 
Step 2: Find a skirt that fits well and closely resembles the over all shape you want to achieve.
Step 3: Trace a chalk line around the skirt. (Remember to leave room for your hem as well as your seams.) I didn't include the waist band, only the bottom portion of the skirt.

Step 4: I added an extra 2 inches to one side of my pattern. This will be useful when sewing the flap over later. 
Step 5: Using the skirt, trace the 2 inch extra all the way up. 
Step 6: Move the skirt up slightly to include the waist band.  
Step 7: Trace a chalk line around the skirt band... 
remember to keep the curves. 
Step 8: Add an extra 6 inches to one side of the pattern. This will be helpful for the flap portion of the buttons.

Step 9: Cut out one side of the skirt.
Step 10: Cut out the second side of the skirt. This side will include the extra 2 inches.
Step 11: Lay both pieces on top of each other. Wrong sides out. 
Step 12: Pin hem and sides together.
Step 13: Press seams flat.
Step 14: Before sewing unpin bottom sides about 2.5 inches up the skirt. (This will be sewn as your slits to help you move in your skirt.) Do this on both sides of your skirt. 

Step 15: This photo shows the way the pins should look if pinned correctly.
Step 16: Sew your hem and your side seams, including your slits. 
Step 17: This is what the bottom portion should look like. Remember one side of the skirt should be larger than the other.
Step 18: Begin cutting the skirt band.
Step 19 - 21: You will have two pieces, one piece that is 6 inches longer than the other.

Step 22: Lay the two pieces of fabric on top of each other wrong sides facing out. Pin in place.
Step 23: Take your skirt band and iron down the top seam. 
Step 24: Skip to step #55 -56 (I messed this up and so this is what you can do to fix it.)
Step 25: Pull extra fabric from the middle of your skirt flatten out to the right side of your skirt.
Step 26: Measure 3 inches in from the edge of your skirt. 

Step 27: Looking at this photo you can see the seam of the skirt and the edge of your fabric are two different things. Make sure and measure from the edge of the skirt... not the seam.
Step 28: Mark a line 3 inches in up the skirt.
Step 29: Cut the fabric on the line. 
Step 30: Line up the seams and overlap fabric.
Step 31-32: Fold over and press a small seam in both sides of the raw edges of the fabric.

Step 33: Using the left over fabric measure a 4.5 inch strip.
Step 34: Cut strip. Unfold the length of the strip so
it is as long as possible. 
Step 35: Fold strip in half width ways. 
Step 36: Press the seam down.
Step 37: Fold down the top and bottom edges of your strip.
Step 38: Let the strip close with the edges hidden.

Step 39: Set your stitch length to 4, sew a few stitches then backstitch. Finish down the strip don't backstitch on the end of the strip.
Step 40: Leave your thread tails long. 
Step 41: Starting at the bottom end of the strip, gently pull the bottom thread till your fabric begins to ruffle. 
Step 42: Create your ruffles so that it fits the length or your skirt.
Step 43: Pin the skirt band to the bottom of the skirt. Make sure that all your seams line up. Sew.
Step 44: Pin the ruffle to the edge of your right side of your skirt. Don't pin the top portion of the ruffle!! This will later be pinned to the left side of the skirt. 
Step 45: Sew down the ruffle.
Step 46: Place skirt flat.
Step 47: Flip skirt wrong side out. Take the raw edge of the fabric and place it on top of the ruffle. 
Step 48-50: You should see the 3 edges of the fabric.  Pin evenly up the edge of the fabrics. When you are sewing this try to sew in the same or over the edge of the preexisting sewing line from the ruffle. (This will be turned inside out so that only the ruffle shows and not the sewing lines.

Step 51: Pin the extra ruffle to the left side of your fabric. Pin so that the ruffle is on the right side of the fabric. (As shown in the photos)
Step 52: Pick out 3 buttons that match. 
Step 53: Measure the place you want your buttons and chalk lines. 
Step 55: Cut an extra strip piece of fabric to fit the length of the waist band. Fold it over so that it becomes at least doubled up. You should now have 3 layers of fabric. Pin to the top of and bottom of your waist band. Sew this piece of fabric as if it were just like the rest of your skirt band. (I didn't add this in till I realized my button holes needed extra support.) Do This Starting On Step 24.
Step 56: To fix mine I sewed in the extra fabric as best I could and matched up my sewing lines.
Step 57: Using your marked chalk lines of where you would like your buttonholes to go. Sew on your three buttonholes. (Practice on a scrap piece of fabric before hand, unless you are really good at buttonholes)

Step 58: Clip any strings and check out your buttonholes.
Step 59: Using a seam ripper, gently cut the inside fabric of your buttonholes. Remember you should be cutting 3 layers of fabric so it might be a little hard.
Step 60: Mark your placement of your buttons and sew on.
Step 61: Now that everything is finished iron out any wrinkles.
Step 62: Fold over your ruffle so that it is angled back 
toward your side seam.
Step 63: Steam press down your ruffle. This will help it look nicer once you try it on. 

Wahoo you are all done!! Go show off your new skirt.

This is more a summer look. The skirt paired with a loose fitting lace top.

As my Grandpa used to say : "See ya later alligator..." 

Don't forget to vote this week!! 
I have something extra special planned for the finals if I am fortunate enough to make it that far. 
Talk about Leather and Lace!! ;)


Unknown January 17, 2012 at 4:31 PM  

I love it! And I especially love the color!
Briana @ babblingsandmore.blogspot.com

Lori January 18, 2012 at 5:29 AM  

Amazing skirt and thanks for the tutorial.

Anonymous January 18, 2012 at 5:59 AM  

LOVE! You got my vote (again!)!

Janel from NellieBellie January 18, 2012 at 6:41 AM  

Love! Great color choice as well! You got my vote...good luck!

Natural-Nesters January 18, 2012 at 6:59 AM  

Hey I saw your stuff over at momma by day, crafter by night and I am in love with your skirt! You did an amazing job! Like I want to own that! :-) But for real I would def. buy that, and great choice on the color! I'm def. voting for you and starting to follow your blog!

Slipcovers by Shelley January 18, 2012 at 7:34 AM  

LOVE THIS SKIRT! Great job! I voted for you!

nikki January 18, 2012 at 9:29 AM  

I voted for you :) Really though, I think your skirt was the cutest of the bunch. Good luck Ashley!

The Matthews Family January 18, 2012 at 9:41 AM  

Ashley, you make it look so easy! But I am so sure it isn't as easy as it looks! Great project once again! You have my vote (votes!)!

Montay January 18, 2012 at 9:44 AM  

Ash you did amazing as always LOVE it!! You have my vote always;)

Kellie January 18, 2012 at 2:51 PM  

I LOVE this Skirt! I just pinned it and I am sure you will get a lot of followers after they see this DIY! It's Awesome! :)

Unknown January 18, 2012 at 5:06 PM  

Great job friend!
I need to get some modeling lessons from you, you make it look effortless. :)

Patti January 18, 2012 at 5:07 PM  

I LOVE it! So striking and fun! I also love that the entire concept is created by you.... You didn't make a skirt based on a design you saw somewhere else. You created the design and made the pattern yourself. That is special! you are amazing!

Ash Savage January 18, 2012 at 5:47 PM  

Excellent job! I saw this on Pinterest and came over. After reading about the contest, I went over to vote, determined to vote for the best {even if it wasn't yours :0 } And you know what, yours was definitely the best. I'll be shocked if you don't make Top 3. Good luck!

Unknown January 18, 2012 at 6:48 PM  

WOW! Ok, totally voted for you. I love it. I can only hope that one day I will be good enough to duplicate it. :)

Rach H @ FamilyEverAfter January 18, 2012 at 10:18 PM  

this is so cute, and such a great tutorial!!!!

Minniecat January 19, 2012 at 1:34 PM  

I really love what you did and the fit and length are perfect for office attire or a night out.
My only suggestion would be to use a beautiful button such abalonie shell.( not sure of spelling) because you are using the bayou, water. More rough looking buttons.
Thanks for letting me comment.

Patti January 19, 2012 at 8:35 PM  

Congratulations on making it to the final 3!!!

Jolyn January 19, 2012 at 10:30 PM  

WOW!!! You are so... amazing! I love how you not only sewed your cute skirt, but you also modeled it. You are one beautiful talented lady and I love ya lots. Mom

Unknown January 25, 2012 at 6:20 AM  

I love your skirt! Congrats on making it to the top 3!
~Tonia @TheGunnySack

Forgetful Mom January 26, 2012 at 8:54 AM  

I love this!

Max January 26, 2012 at 12:07 PM  

So you mentioned that it needs to be a stretchy fabric. What kind of fabric is that so I know what to ask for at the fabric store. Thanks! It's such a cute skirt!

... January 27, 2012 at 5:38 PM  

WhaT about the seam allowance?

Anonymous February 9, 2012 at 8:55 PM  

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Emily February 10, 2012 at 8:49 PM  

Super cute fit and style. :)

Linda L February 24, 2012 at 3:58 AM  

Just saw your skirt on Pinterest and found your blog. Great looking skirt and great tutorial

Ikke August 25, 2013 at 1:40 PM  

love this, thanks a lot for such a great tutorial, definitely have to try it

Valerie September 6, 2013 at 1:08 PM  

Thank you so much for sharing your tutorial. This is such an awesome skirt design! Absolutely LOVE it!

Bec October 10, 2013 at 6:24 PM  

I am trying to make the skirt and made it to step 22 where I pinned everything and the next step says to iron my seams. What part am I suppose to sew to have seams to iron?

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java diva February 10, 2015 at 5:54 PM  

I LOVE this skirt! I have been searching for something and nothing has caught my eye, but this one! I have a fabric in mind, but it is quilting cotton. How do you think that will work for this? I have not made myself a skirt for myself before and I am very short and curvy.


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