Embellishing a Gathered Skirt Part 1
Double Layer Skirt and Side Pockets
I truly enjoy creating things. There is something about taking nothing-ish items and manipulating them into this....thing! When I was younger I couldn't pinpoint what it was that I wanted. I knew I wanted to make something with my hands. I cannot paint or draw. I mean I physically have the ability to do both of those things, but I cannot do either in a way that I'm pleased with.
When I was in High School I often made adjustments to my clothing. I remember finding a pair of Dickies overalls at my grandfathers house. I cut them off (no I wasn't any taller in high school) and very poorly tacked them under with a needle and thread. Then I cut off the bib part and hastily tucked under the frayed fabric and tacked them down. I freaking loved those makeshift pants.
I had briefly sewn on a machine in middle school, ( a pillowcase. Clap, clap, clap.) and my mom sewed, but that was her thing. I liked cross stitching and such, but I had horrible patience. It wasn't until adulthood that I realized the sheer satisfaction of creating and being able to really work at it. Not just getting it done, but perfecting it in a way that is uniquely my own.
In this series, I'm going to show you some ways to make this very basic gathered skirt truly YOUR own.
First we made our simple gathered skirt. If you missed that tutorial you can read it again HERE. Today we are going to learn how to add side pockets, and create a double layered skirt.
Pockets and/or a Double Layer
The picture to the side is for the double layered skirt. Pockets work great for a single or double layer skirt and I will explain directions for both as we go.
*A note. Some of my pictures distorted the fabric here, it's my camera error and has nothing to do with anything, just ignore it.
Double Layer Skirt
Following the gathered skirt tutorial, cut you fabric according to the directions, only now, choose which fabric you'd like to have on top, and which layer will hang longer on the bottom of the skirt. Cut both pieces according to your width in the tutorial.
For length, cut your top fabric shorter. My skirt is for Penny so the yellow fabric I cut to 12 inches long (I wanted to end up at 9 1/2 inches so I added an inch and a quarter for the casing, and an inch and a quarter for the hem making my length 12 inches total). The blue fabric is cut to 9 inches long (so after casing and hem it will end up at 6 1/2 inches).
If you don't want pockets, all you have to do is sew your top fabric together along the length side. Do the same, separately for the bottom fabric along its side. Now you have two separate fabric tubes essentially.
Turn both fabrics inside out and place the shorter piece inside the longer one. (The wrong side of the bottom fabric will be facing you, and the wrong side of the top fabric will be facing the right side of the bottom fabric). It makes sense, I promise. See picture to the right.
Line the fabrics up by the raw edges at the top of the skirt where your waist will be, and sew a straight 1/4 inch stitch around both fabrics to hold them in place. Make your casing and then hem both layers separately ( find directions for casing and hem HERE) and you're done!
Ok so for the pockets. Instead of having one piece of fabric that is your entire width, you'll need two pieces of fabric.
So if your waist is 20 inches and for a normal gathered skirt you'd use a 40 inch piece of fabric, when adding pockets, you will need 2, 20 inch pieces of fabric.
Next, decide what color you'd like your pockets to be. I always choose the same fabric as I'm using on the skirt since you will end up seeing the inside of the pockets a little bit when you move. If you don't plan on moving at all, use whatever fabric you like. Your uncoordinated fabrics will be the least concerning thing to people.
Now, depending on if you are making them for you, or a little person, simply take a piece of paper and trace a 1 1/2 inch radius around your hand making sure to have a flat side where the hand goes into the pocket (see picture) Once you have your pattern, cut out four of the pocket pieces onto your fabric. Make sure you flip your pattern over for two of those so that when the pocket pieces face each other, they match up perfectly.
Ok honey's, if you are making a single layer skirt, place fabric right side up (if making double layer, place both fabrics, face up, see picture above) and take 1 of your pocket pieces and place it on top of the skirt fabric, right sides facing each other. Line pocket up with the side of your skirt, 2 inches from the top (this will give you room for your waistband). Pin into place. Do the same for the other side. Make sure they are parallel to each other.
Next, sew a straight line a quarter inch in, just along the side of your pocket, not all the way up, or down the entire side, just where the pocket is. Then surge or zig zag around the edges of that same area. Do these exact same steps with your remaining piece of skirt fabric and 2 pocket pieces.
If you are doing a double layered skirt, this is when you will hem each layer, 4 total, (click HERE for hem instructions). Also see picture to the left. Once the layers are hemmed, move on to the next step.
*Camera distortion we discussed*
Now lay your skirt out flat with the pockets straight out like little chubby wings. Press the seam back towards the pockets. Do this for all four pocket sides. See above.
Now lay both sets of chubby winged birds, right sides together (see above) and sew a quarter inch in as shown below, making sure you catch all the layers, paying special attention to the corners. Then surge or zig zag over the edges of the same areas to prevent fraying. After this is done, flip skirt right side out. See how neat and tidy that bad boy is! (middle picture below)
If you are making the double layer skirt, sew a quarter inch in around the entire top of the skirt so the layers stay in place while making your waistband. Lastly, follow the directions for making your casing, and now for the single layer skirt, hem that little cutie!
Thank you for following along! If you made this skirt or added pockets to a skirt I would LOVE to see it and share it ( or not). Email me a firstname.lastname@example.org.
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