Embellishing a Gathered Skirt Part 2
•Patch Pockets and Pom Pom Hem •
•Kitsch /kiCH/ : art, objects, or design considered to be in poor taste because of excessive garishness or sentimentality, but sometimes appreciated in an ironic or knowing way.
That definition lol, You guys, I love kitsch. Give me the keys to a yellow cab with hydraulics and a pom pom border around the interior of the roof of that cab, I will proudly roll up to the grocery store in that ride. I'm kidding- a little bit. But seriously, the definition of kitch isn't very flattering, but just a touch of something unexpected, added to something simple and I'm in love.
My favorite part of sewing, is the creation of something. Being able to take an everyday item, like a basic gathered skirt, and put your stamp on it. It goes from basic, to a piece I look forward to putting on.
When I found this fabric I loved the retro look of it. I knew I wanted to make it into something so fun! Adding pom poms to the hem was going to give it just the kick in the pants that it needed. I also wanted to add patch pockets. These can be done a couple of different ways, and I will show you one way to do them today.
Start by measuring your fabric and cutting a nice straight line. I made this skirt for Penny. Her waist measures 20 inches, so I doubled it and cut at 40 inches. For the length you'll want to find where you'd like the skirt to hit, and add two inches. For Penny I wanted the skirt at 9.5 inches (right to her knee) so I cut the length at 11.5 inches. Once I was done, I had a rectangle that measured 40 x 11.5 inches. If you have a big rectangle you're doing great!
Once you've cut the right length, the next step is adding the pom poms. Where your hem will be, fold and press a quarter inch in, then fold and press again, a half of an inch.
Now lay your pom poms on the underside of your fabric and pin into place along the hem. We are going to sew a straight line attaching the pom poms, and sewing the hem in place at the same time, so make sure you pin the pom poms straight onto the hem line. See last picture, above.
Make sure when you pin them to flip the fabric over and check that the pom poms hang down low enough that you can see them. Hiding them under the fabric kind of defeats the purpose of what we are doing here.
Now, sew them into place making sure you catch the fabric hem as well. I did two lines of stiches, just to make sure things held really well. See Below. (Your skirt won't be finished yet, the picture below on the right if just to show you how low the pom poms should ideally hang).
Now fold your fabric in half right sides together(using Penny's waist as an example, after folding it in half, you would have 20 inches on one side), and sew a straight line a quarter inch in (this is called a seam allowance) of your raw edge. You did it!
If you are blessed to have a serger, surge along your raw edge. If you have no idea what I'm talking about, along the edge of your fabric where you cut, run a zig zag over the cut edge. This will keep the fabric from fraying in the wash. Once you're done, you should have a straight line sewn a quarter inch in, and a zig zag right next to it. Perfect!
If you have a couple pf pom poms that overlap where you joined the fabric, simply cut one of them off.
*The next few directions are shown in a different fabric*
Next we are going to make the place to put the elastic through (called the casing). No fear, this is easier than it sounds!
Turn your fabric so the wrong side is facing out. You are going to fold over the press a quarter inch of your fabric, See the picture on the left, below. Next, you're going to fold that fabric again (an inch this time) and press it down. The goal here is to create a place to put the elastic that has enough room to put it into, but not so much that it moves around and twists with wear.
Once you've pressed the fabric, pin the material down all the way around so that it stays in place as you sew.
Then sew a straight stitch close to the bottom of the folded over fabric all the way around, leaving a 2 inch opening so we can thread the elastic through. See above, right. You did it! I'm so proud of you!
Ok, now we are going to thread the elastic through our casing (the little pocket you just created). You're going to take your safety pin and clip in onto one end of the elastic, secure it so you don't poke yourself (see first picture). Then take the the end with the safety pin and start threading it through one end on the casing. Making sure that you don't lose your loose end of the elastic as you go, just by feel start moving the safety pin through the casing with the goal of getting to the other end. It will bunch up a bit as you go which is normal and fine.
Now, that you have threaded the elastic all the way through, unclip your safety pin and overlap the elastic by an inch and run your machine over the two sewn ends back and forth a few times to secure it. Once you've done this, before you sew your casing closed, put your skirt on. How does the waist feel? Too loose? Too tight? This is the best time to adjust your elastic waistband. Once you've found your perfect fit, simply sew that 2 inch opening closed just as we sewed...sewed...had sewn....... the rest of the casing.
If you don't want to add the patch pockets, than you are all done and I would love to see your darling skirt! If you'd like to share please send your pictures to the email at the bottom!
So, you can do patch pockets a couple different ways, and I will show you another way, another day (that rhymed). For today, you need to decide how big you'd like to make your pockets. For myself, I love an oversized patch pocket. However big you decide to make them, just make sure you can get your hands in there with some wiggle room. Once you decide on size, cut 2. I suppose you could just do one, but honestly I would judge you for making a cyclopes pocket. Pay attention to your fabric pattern here. I chose to turn it on its side, so the skirt has stipes that run vertical, and the pocket stripes run horizontal. The look of this is entirely up to you.
These pockets are for my three year old's skirt, so I made hers 6 x 4 inches. Once you cut them out, surge, or zig zag on three sides (see above). Next, turn all four sides under and press. Then, at the top where we didn't surge, turn that over again 1 inch. This part will be the top of your pocket where your hands go in, so we want that nice and tidy. Now sew a straight line all the way across that one inch we turned under.
This part is entirely optional. I added a ribbon on the pockets because I liked the look of it. If it's not for you, just continue on below. If you'd like to add a ribbon, simply cut it the same length as the pocket with enough to tuck under (that's important), and place it wherever looks good to you. Pin it in place, and sew it onto your pocket, and press down.
Last step! Take a look at where you like your pockets. For Penny, I went just a tad above her hemline. Where you put yours will depend on the length of your skirt, and the size of your pockets. It would be a great time to pin them in place and carefully try it on and see if you like where they are.
Once you've pinned them in place, just sew a straight line around all three sides....don't sew the top shut..... and you're done!
Do you Love it!? Penny sure loves hers! If you made this skirt, I would love to see it! Shoot me at email at firstname.lastname@example.org Thanks so much for sewing with me!