Introduction: Star Wars Skirt
I saw some cute comic book Star Wars fabric at Joann's. My daughter loves Comic books and loves Star Wars, so I'm hoping she'll also love a Star Wars Comic skirt!
Gather all your sewing supplies:
- sewing machine, threaded
- tape measure
- about 30 pins
- 9" zipper
- button, snap, or hasp
- index card/bus. card(for making pleat guide)
- interfacing for waistband(4" wide x waist size)
- wash mach/dryer/iron
- fabric(1-2 yds, dep. on length)
... and Let's get Started!
Step 1: Prep Fabric
Depending on how short/long you want the skirt to be need, you need between 1 -1 1/2 yards of fabric. I'll be making this skirt ice-skater length(short), so purchased a yard of fabric. Most of these character print cottons are 44" in width. If you want a long skirt, to the knees, with pockets, you'll need two yards of fabric.
Pre-wash and dry fabric, then iron it out well.
1. After that my fabric piece is 36" in length(or height, as you look at pattern) and 43" width, so it didn't shrink more than an inch each way.
2. Fold fabric in half, lengthwise, right-sides together, so your folded dimension is now 43" wide, by 1/2(18" in my case) of the yardage you purchased.
3. We need 7" width and the full height/length of the fabric to create the pockets, so cut off a 7" wide strip off off the right of your folded fabric. Set aside.
4. From the bottom, folded edge, cut a 2" strip(so actual is 4"). This is the waistband. Set aside.
Okay, we are ready to start sewing!
Step 2: Skirt Body
1. We need to connect the two pieces of fabric, to create one long one for pleating. Remove top fabric, flip it over and lay it next to bottom piece. Make sure that print of both is the same orientation.
2. Lay right piece over left, right sides together, lining up edges. This is the edge you will sew to connect them. You need to leave an opening for a pocket, so put a pin 2" down from the top, and another pin 7" down from the top. You will not sew this opening, but above and below it.
3. Bring to sewing machine and sew edge, locking thread at top and bottom of pocket opening. Use the border selvage as a guide for a straight line, sewing just on the other side to capture 1/16 of the print.(Don't want an ugly white line to show through!)
4. Sewn together with pocket opening.
Now let's do some math to figure out the pleating!
Step 3: Pleating
(numbers below correspond to respective photos)
We need to determine the width of your pleats based on the length of fabric you have compared to your waist size.
My length of fabric after connecting the two is about 71". Let's just count 70" to save some for the zipper/other side seam allowance.
Measure the waist(or where you want the skirt to sit, maybe an inch or two below the smallest part of your waist)
I think her waist is around 26, so to sit a couple inches below plus comfort/ease, and if she wants to tuck in a shirt, 29 is what I am making.
1. A pleat uses 3 layers of fabric(so you "waste" or don't count 2/3 of your fabric).
70" / 3 = 23.3"
23.3 / 29" waist size = .8"
How does that translate onto a ruler, so we can create a pleat guide?:
Most tape measures are broken up into 1/16 of an inch.
0.8 = 8/10
8/10 = x/16
x = 12.8
2. So, it is 12.8/16 ths, or rounding down, my pleat guide should be 12/16th of an inch wide. Use a business card, index card or card stock to make your pleat guide. Glossy stock is best so it slips from the fabric easily.
We want to round down as the folds do use up a tiny amount of fabric, and we will be folding a lot, so want to take that into account.
For a smaller waist of 27 it would be about 13/16, and a larger of 31"?... about 11/16. You get the idea(if you don't want to do the math).
For my skirt, this means that each pleat will use about 2.4" of fabric.
3. Gather your pins and, using your pleat guide, start creating pleats. Start the first 1/4" after the print starts.
4. Meeting edge to edge, create nice, tight pleats.
5. If it helps, bend the pleat guide in half, to press against the back of pleat, to ensure that the folds are even and tight.
6. Pleats pinned. I ended up with 30(29 would have been ideal) as the fabric has a bit of give and I tended to stretch the pleats tightly, so ended up with a bit more fabric at the end.
Step 4: Sew Pleats
1. Sew slowly, removing pins just before needle comes to them. Double check all pleats are laying flat, and haven't folded under from the process of feeding the cloth forward.
2. Pleats sewn. From one printed edge to the other is 29", plus 1/2 on each side for seam allowance, so all is good.
3. Arrange pleats downward nicely and press out top portions of pleats along top half, to give crisp edges.
Step 5: Make and Sew in Pockets
1. From the 7" wide strip you cut off a few steps ago, create 4 rectangles.
2. Place 2 over the other two, right sides together.
3. Stack them directly on top of each other.
4. Cut all four into a pocket shape, like the one shown in photo.
5. Pins at pocket openings, sew seams around entire shape, except between pins, locking stitches when you get to them.
6. Press open openings.
7. Sew pocket openings to side seams of skirt that you left unsewn.
8. Stitched and pressed.
9. On inside, orient pocket in correct direction(towards the front) and pin along top
10. The other pocket will have a zipper embedded into the seam, so stitch just the one pocket opening to the other skirt's side seam, and let's install the zipper...
Step 6: Install Zipper
1. One pocket opening seam stitched to seam allowance of zipper side of skirt.
2. Pin one zipper side to remaining pocket opening. Stitch.
3. Pin other zipper side to remaining skirt side seam allowance.
4. I think I am pointing to show you where the pocket opening has ended. : )
5. Stitch that part below it to rest of zipper side.
6. I undid one pleat to the left to help with the zipper install and...
7. to be able to refold it over the zipper after it was sewn in, hiding the zipper.
8. This is the folded pleat below the zipper. Hi Vader!
9. I need to stitch that last bit of seam allowance down.
10. Stitched down the side from the inside.
11. Then top of pocket basted along top
12. Finally a horizontal stitch to keep the pleat(zipper placket) folded below the zipper.
Step 7: Sew Hem, Create Waistband
1. Hem skirt
2. Press out hem.
3. Gather waistband strip and interfacing strip, ironing interfacing along entire length of the inside of the fabric strip.
4. Cut strip 4-5 inches longer than waist of skirt.
5. Fold in half lengthwise, and press, creating a crisp fold for the top of the waistband.
6. No sure why I took this pic. Maybe to show the starting point of one edge of the waistband. Hi Boba Fett!
7. Press under seam allowance for inside of waistband.
8. While right sides of band are together, stitch along one edge.
9. Place that end on top of skirt, right sides together, lining up edge of waistband front to top of skirt(and line up edges as well)
11. After you finish, sew remaining edge of waist, as shown in picture. This will overlap the band by a couple of inches.
12. Topstitch entire band through all thicknesses, being sure to catch some of the folded under seam allowance on the inside.
13. Showing the underside of the skirt and band which is being sewn.
14. Stitch to end of overlap.
Step 8: Final Details
1. Sew two sets of large snaps onto the flap and the corresponding spots on the band where it will lay on.
2. Both snap sets sewn on.
3. I embroidered a label on my embroidery machine and stitched it onto the back of the skirt's inside. It makes the skirt even cooler!
4. Appropriately wrapped!
5. The gift recipient modeling her new skirt!
I also made her some Star Wars 3D printed cookies cutters(along with some baked and decorated!)