Later, someone admired the skirt I'd made for Lilith, so I decided to make one for her, too. I didn't have more silk for an adult sized skirt, but I did have more yellow cotton and some pale yellow organza.
The top of the skirt, brown to match a sunflower's center, came from a thrift store sweater - a stretchy but smooth knit blend of cotton, nylon, viscose, silk, and cashmere. The stretchy waist means I don't have to mess around with accurate measurements for a precise fit. It also means Lilith can wear the skirt for quite awhile before growing out of it.
The snug but stretchy waistband is also great for helping calm sensory kids like mine (see my hosiery instructable for more information on sensory kids and why stretchy material can calm them).
Before we begin, here's what I used to make the sunflower skirts:
thin fabric in the color of the petals (yellow, in my case) - quilting cotton works well
another thin fabric, possibly sheer, close to the color of the cotton (silk for the little skirt, organza for the adult skirt)
a sweater to upcycle, or some other source of knit fabric in the color of the flower center
thread in the petal color and the waistband color
elastic long enough to wrap around your waist and to stretch around your hips (so you can pull the skirt on)
another piece of elastic, maybe an inch or two longer, to keep the petals from stretching the knit fabric too much where they attach (optional)
other stuff you'll use:
scissors, sewing machine, maybe an iron, measuring tape or a ruler, newspaper to make the petal pattern, pencil and paper if you want to sketch the skirt ahead of time for some reason
Step 1: Gather materials and sketch your skirt
Gather the material you have, spreading it out to see if there's enough of it for the skirt. You'll want enough knit material to go around your waist (and upper hips) and be as long as you want... I planned on about 10 inches long for the adult skirt.
Try to keep kids from sitting on the fabric after you spread it on the floor (which has hopefully had all the corn starch cleaned off it if you happened to recently had a sensory activity with three excitable little ones).
Now it's almost time to figure out the petal shape, size, and quantity! But first, ask yourself: Do I want this skirt to be simple or nerdy? Both versions look roughly the same. The difference is the petal placement. The simple version uses 8 petals in two slightly overlapping rows of 4. The nerdy version uses as many petals as you want to make or have fabric for, placed in intervals of one Phith of a circle circumference from the previous petal. (See this "Doodling in Math Class" video to understand the nerdy awesomeness of phi and plants) Sure, if you wanted to get technical, a sunflower would have a fibonacci number of petals, but... well... a couple got pulled off. Plus I ran out of material and attention span and the kids were getting into stuff. Okay?