My answers to the Make-To-Learn contest:
What did you make?
I made a 1950's-style full circle skirt. I really wanted to sew something, but I didn't have any fabric. So, I used a sheet! I also used some interfacing to stiffen the waist band and a zipper in the back. I wanted a skirt that I could easily dance in, and this one does wonderfully!
How did you make it?
First I had to clean my room so I could lay the sheet on the floor. I had to do a bit of math as well to figure out how large to cut the hole for my waist and how long to make it. Sewing it was pretty fun, since it's a full circle all I had to do was sew on the waist band and sew in the zipper. The hem was a real patience tester though.
Where did you make it?
In my bedroom! I recently got my own sewing machine, so I set up a table for it in one corner. I was able to make the entire skirt by myself, from the pattern making to the finishing touches.
What did you learn?
So many things! I learned how to use your measurements to create a pattern. This can be pretty difficult, if you cut it wrong, you can end up wasting your fabric. (I ended up doing that, but thankfully I had a large sheet so there was enough room to make another one. Lesson learned = you can sew it smaller but you can't sew it bigger!)
I also learned how to make do with what I had. I didn't have to go out and buy anything, which I was fairly proud of. Never let your lack of supplies stop your creativity!
Step 1: Supplies
-A flat bed sheet (Twin size worked for me, but if you are tall or you want it longer, you might want to get a larger size)
-An invisible zipper that matches
-Interfacing - a rectangle 5 inches x the circumference of your waist
-String, ruler and fabric marker
-Iron and Ironing board
-Sewing machine and tools
Step 2: The Skirt
Now you are going to have to do some math. To find how big to make the hole at the top, you have to find the radius of your waist. Just divide the circumference of your waist by pi and then divide that by two. It will look like this:
Circumference/ 3.14 = Diameter/2 = Radius
For me that was 25/3.14 = 8/2 = 4
The easiest way to measure your skirt is with a string compass. Just pin a string to the corner of the sheet, and hold a marker four inches up the string. (Or whatever your radius was). Swing the marker across the sheet, drawing the perimeter of the circle.
To get the length, measure from your natural waistline to wherever you want the skirt to fall and then add one inch. This was 26 inches for me. Do the same thing with the string compass to draw the circle.
Cut out your skirt.
Step 3: The Waistband
Iron the interfacing on the wrong side of fabric. Fold the waist band in half lengthwise and iron flat.
Step 4: Attaching the Waistband
Lay the skirt out flat and line the waistband with one of the edges of the slit you just cut. Pin every few inches with right sides together. If it doesn't quite match up you can make a few small pleats in the back. Sew all the way around.
Step 5: Adding the Zipper
Once you've added the zipper, try it on and make sure it fits! Test to make sure you like the length too.
Step 6: Hemming
Select a zigzag overcasting stitch on your sewing machine and change out the foot. This was stitch number 7 on my machine. Sew all the way around the bottom of the skirt. Remember to back-stitch to secure the stitching when you are finished. Switch back to your normal stitch. (Don't forget to change the foot out again!) Fold the edge up about a quarter of an inch and sew all the way around.
If your machine doesn't have an overcasting stitch, you can hem it by folding the edge up twice and just sewing around.
Step 7: Wear It!
Or-- you can add a nice big bow to the back. I made longs ties as wide as the waist band and attached them to the sides. It easily covers the zipper and looks cute!