Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Day 2: Banded Panel Skirt

If you missed Day 1 of the 7 Skirt Styles in 7 Days challenge, check it out here.

These skirts are fun to make for two reasons: the fabric combo possibilities are endless and they look fancy but are easy to make. You can make a two-fabric version like I did here, or use up to ten different fabrics to make a darling patchwork style. Using satin bands on the waist and hem dresses it up, and white cotton bands really show off the patterned fabrics well. Mix it up and you'll create your own masterpiece!

Fabric for your panels (I used 1/2 yard of each pattern and my panels were 12x6")
Fabric for bands (1/3 yard of 60" wide or 2/3 yard of 45" wide)
1" wide elastic for waistband
Thread to match

First, determine the length of your finished skirt. Mine is 15 1/2". Subtract from this measurement 3 1/2" to get your panel length (12" in this case).

Use a ruler and rotary cutter to cut ten panels that are your length by 6" wide. I used five panels in each of the two fabrics.

Sew the 12" sides of the panels together to create an appealing pattern or arrangement.

After all the panels are sewn together, join the two ends and sew together to make a big loop of panels. Leave 2 1/2" unsewn; you'll place the ends of the band here and close it up shortly.

Iron the seams flat, being sure to iron toward the darker colored fabric so the seams aren't visible from the front.

Cut your bands. The bottom band needs to be 5" wide and 60" long. The waist band needs to be 3" wide and 45" long.

Set the waist strip aside. Fold the bottom strip in half with right sides facing out and iron to make a strip that is 2.5" wide and 60" long.

Turn your panel tube right side out. Find the partial seam and use that as your starting point. Let the bottom band strip hang into the opening a bit and lay it on the right side of the panels. Match the raw edges of the bottom strip with the bottom of the panels and sew all the way around.

You should have tails hanging off each end. Now, turn the panel section wrong side out, line up the tails, and sew the rest of the seam closed. Catch the tails and make sure everything is smooth. Trim off tails on the inside of the panel piece.

Iron the seam you just sewed up toward the panels. Then stitch all the way around it on the inside of the skirt to flatten the seam allowance and create a row of stitching about 1/8" above the bottom band on the right side, like this:

Now, use a long running stitch to go all the way around the top of the panels. This will be used to gather the skirt before sewing on the waistband.

Fold the 3x45" piece in half with right sides together and short ends lined up. Sew down the short sides and iron the seam.

Fold the whole waistband in half with wrong sides together and iron. You'll end up with a loop of fabric that is 1 1/2" wide and about 22" across the front. The right side of the fabric should show in every direction.

Carefully gather the top of the skirt until it measures about 22" across the front. The waistband and skirt should be close to the same size, so now you'll be able to pin them together. slip the skirt inside the waistband. Align the seam in the waistband with the seam in the bottom band to keep everything consistent. Pin the raw edges of the waistband to the right side of the skirt along the top edge.

Sew around the top of the skirt, but leave 1 1/2" open. Measure your elastic and thread it into the waistband with a safety pin on the end.

Once your elastic is threaded all the way through, sew the ends together like this. Sew the remaining 1 1/2" closed while stretching the elastic to make everything smooth. Clip threads, iron over the skirt to make it look nice, and you're done!

Now stand back, admire your work, and try to stop thinking about all the different ways you can make this darling skirt.

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