Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Linen to Simple Yet Dressy Skirt

 A simple length of linen, that has been lying in your fabric stash, can become a simple yet dressy skirt. This skirt has a waistband in the front so it lays flat, and is gathered with elastic in the back.
In fact that length of linen can become 6 dressy skirts to donate to girls living in foster homes. (hint, hint)
P. S.  Check out our bow hairdoo's today!


Tuesday, July 21, 2015


Generosity + Susan  =   More skirts for Girls in the Foster Care Program

When Susan heard that I was sewing for young girls in the foster care program, she started sewing!
Here are 3  of the skirts she made:
3 circle skirts with matching bags

This one features a big patch pocket.Can't you just see a young girl going to the first day of school, with some of her supplies in the matching bag, wearing this skirt with either a solid white or coral t- shirt. I think she'll wear a big smile too.



Monday, July 20, 2015

Simple Elastic Waist Skirt + Disney Fabric = Winner

Not all skirts have to be complicated.
Paperbag Elastic Waist Skirt ready for the elastic.

Just start with a cute "Princess" or "Frozen" fabric and sew it up in an uncomplicated elastic waist design. You will have a winner.

This skirt has a matching doll carrier bag.

9 skirts and 2 bags! That's a whole lot of Disney Magic.
These skirt were sewn to be donated to "Skirting the Issue."
 The skirts will be given to girls in the foster child program.

Let's make them all feel like
a Princess.

Friday, July 17, 2015

6 Gathered Skirts with Front Ruffle and Side Pocket for "Skirting the Issue"

This striped gathered skirt features an elastic waist and a gathered ruffle at the bottom of the skirt in the front.  A side pocket is also included. Six of these skirts were made for the "Skirting the Issue" project, which donates hand-made skirts to girls in the foster care program.

Unique Tie Belt Waistline Treatment on a Circle Skirt

Here's a great solution for this problem:
You are making a skirt for someone and you don't know their exact waistline measurement.
Notice the tie at the waistline of this circle skirt.  This unique idea was created by Susan Kapustka.
The waistband is made of two piece with the smaller piece in the center front only being 5 inch in length.  The other piece goes around the rest of the skirt.  When the two pieces are sewn together it's like this.  
  Don't you just like this quick and easy answer to the problem.

Great idea, Susan!

So here is another skirt made with this cute retro fabric for Project "Skirting the Issue", sewing skirts for girls in the Foster Program.


Sunday, July 12, 2015

Ruffled Jean Skirt for "Skirting the Issue"

I love to repurpose clothing. 
 So when I was asked to create a skirt to share with you for
 "Skirting the Issue,"
 I knew I wanted to repurpose a pair of jeans. 
This is the first skirt I created ... with an 4th or 5th grader in mind.  Yet, I knew that this design would be great for girls of all ages.

My granddaughters kept asking me,
"Who is that skirt for... is it for me?"

I tried to explain that it was for someone that I've never met, or will never meet.

"If you don't know them... then why are you making a skirt for them?"

 How can you explain that it's for someone you hope will realize that someone is thinking of them and praying that they will be part of a family that will care for them like they deserve.
 That I just wanted to create something special just for them

 "Well, we think that girl, that we don't know, will love these skirts and feel fancy and comfortable." they replied.

 So, I just keep thinking of those girls and making these skirts... to show you some possible variations.
Only 1 flower
2 ruffle layers with a serged rolled wooly nylon hem

Jean flowers all around, but with no center embellishments
Wimpy Kid Fabric with a coordinating herringbone

All knit fabrics-- Baby Hedgehogs by Riley Blake Fabrics

Pull on elastic waist jeans for Toddler sizes
I wrote a separate blog post on different ways to decorate your flowers.
Sock Monkey and Polka Dots  with 3 ruffles

6th, 7th, or 8th Grade Teen Choice in knit fabric

To help you make this skirt, I took so many photos that it would be a huge, lengthy, blog post. 
 So I broke it down into parts and created separate blog posts.  

Here are the links to these posts: 
Creating the jean pants yoke for the skirt

Making the Flowers 

Using a Printable Step-by- Step Chart to Calculate How to Cut Out Your Ruffles and Connecting Pieces, Regardless of the Size of Skirt (You will be able to click on the provided chart to take you to my Google Drive. Then  you can print a copy of the chart for yourself.)

Sewing the Ruffles and Connecting Tiers to the Skirt Yoke

 Sewing the Flowers to the Skirt

Do you need help sewing this skirt?
If you live in the Northwest Chicago Area, my friend, Susie Fox, is sponsoring a 
Skirting the Issue Sew-in at her store, 
Material Girl, on Friday, July 31st, 2015.
Material Girl is located at 21 N. Williams Street
Downtown Crystal Lake , Illinois
10:00 am to 5:00 pm.                815-459-2084
I will be at the store all day to help sewers that want to make a skirt like mine to donate to girls in the Foster Program .
We will have 2-3 sewing machines available for you to sew on, or bring your own machine. Susie is also offering a discount on any fabric bought at the store to make the skirt. She has a fabulous selection of fabrics, so you can design the skirt right at the store! Remember to bring a pair of jeans with you to create the yoke for the skirt.

If you plan on coming to the event, leave a comment so we will have an idea of how many sewers are planning to drop by for the Sew-In.  In addition, if you just have questions on one or two parts of making the skirt, I can also help you too.

Deborah Devine 

Sewing the Jean Flowers to the Jean Ruffled Skirt

Here is the skirt with no flowers.

12 flowers were added around the yoke of the skirt.

Notice how the flowers lie 2/3 on the yoke and 1/3 on top of the gathers of the first ruffle. Be sure your ruffle and gathers are pulled straight down under the flower.

 I used yellow-gold Jeans top-stitching thread that I bought at Hobby Lobby.  I also used a longer stitch length so the thread showed more.
Lastly, I decorated the flowers.

Sewing the Ruffles and Connecting Tiers to the Skirt Yoke

#1 Start by stitching the ends of each ruffle strip together to make one continuous circle of fabric. Finish the lower edge of each ruffle with a narrow hem –  turning the edge under ¼” and then another ¼”  Then, machine-stitch close to the second folded edge; this will form a 1/4" wide top-stitched hem. Press.

This shows the 1/4" wide top-stitched hem on 2 of the ruffles.
 Note: When I made the ruffles from a knit fabric, I used 1/2" wide top-stitched hems. This added weight kept the fabric from rolling.

#2  Sew the 2 pieces for each tier together at the side seams. Press open seams.

#3  Using a long machine stitch, sew a row of gathering stitches 1/2" from the upper edge on each ruffle. Gently draw up the gathers on the top ruffle, distributing the fullness evenly, so that the gathered edge measures the width of the lower edge of the jean top yoke. With right sides together and the side seam of the ruffle matching one of the side seams on the jean yoke, pin the lower edge of the yoke to the upper edge of the first gathered ruffle. Sew it with the gathered side up using a 1/2 inch seam.
See the different parts. Top black and white  Ruffle 1, then the Connecting Tier 1 section in the same fabric again. Next, the red Wimpy Kid Ruffle with black and white Connecting Tier 2.  Lastly, the black and white Wimpy Kid print which is the final Ruffle .
 #4  Adding the first tier.  Place the smaller width edge of Tier 1 over the ruffle seam you just sewed, matching  the side seams of the tier to the jean yoke.  Pin, and then sew with 1/2 " seam from the yoke side, so you see the previous stitching to allow you to stitch in the exact same place again.  This will encase the ruffle between the jean yoke and Tier 1.  Some seamstresses will suggest sewing  all 3 layers together at one time, but then you can't see your ruffles as you sew, so I do it in 2 steps. I want my gathers to be vertical and not pulled to the side.

#5  Gather Ruffle 2  and sew it to the bottom of  Connecting Tier 1.

#6  Sew Connecting Tier 2 to the bottom of Connecting Tier 1 and on top of the Ruffle 2.

#7  Gather Ruffle 3 and sew it to the bottom of Tier 2.
CONFESSION... I did so much gathering while sewing these 9 skirts that I decided to buy the Ruffler Attachment for my sewing machine. These are how the gathers look....pretty neat right.
 I RATIONALIZED the $60 purchase since I was "improving my sewing skills and trying new techniques..."

#8    Finish the seam allowances with either zig-zag stitches or serge them.
inside of skirt
Now you are ready to sew the flowers to the outside of the skirt along the lower yoke seam of the jean top.

Click Here to go back to the main blog post about sewing a Ruffled Jean Skirt.

Using a Printable Step-by- Step Chart to Calculate How to Cut Out Your Ruffles and Connecting Pieces, Regardless of the Size of Skirt

Being a mathematician, I created a step-by-step guide to help you calculate how to cut out your ruffles and connecting pieces.

These 2 pages can be obtained from my Google Drive account by clicking HERE

Example of completed page
Example of completed page

So, now you can cut out all the needed ruffles and connecting tiers.

Click HERE to go back to the main blog post about sewing a Ruffled Jean Skirt.


Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Recycled Ruffled Jean Skirt: Making the Flowers

This simple jean flower just makes my
recycled jean skirt come alive!

Using the leg portions of your jeans, trace simple 5 petal flowers and cut them out.
  To make them curl and distress the edge of the flower,
 launder them in the washing machine and dryer.  
This is what they look like when you take them out of the dryer.  Beware, for some reason these little flowers seem to disappear in my washer and dryer just like that elusive missing sock.  They turn up eventually, but I suggest cutting out 2 more than you need.

The size of the flower depends on the size of the skirt you are making. In each quarter of the skirt, I wanted 3 flowers to fill that space.
Notice in the above three photos how I decorated the flowers: mini-buttons, and french knots. Also while sewing the flowers to the skirt, part of the flower floats on top of the ruffle, and most of the flower is placed on the skirt yoke.  Some of the sewn lines are straight, and some of them are curved. I used "jeans thread", which is heavier top-stitching thread on most of my flowers, but the hedgehog skirt has white stitching to match the stitching on the original skirt.
This skirt has no center decoration and I did not launder the floweres...just pulled the edges of the flowers a bit so they frayed.

Hint:  If you decide to use french knots, embroider the flower before sewing it on the skirt.  I tried to just sew on the flowers and then add the french knots and ended up having to pull my needle through the fabric with
needle nose pliers.

Lastly, while the skirt with no flowers is cute, just compare it with the addition of just one flower.  How did I make that flower?  It decorated the legs of the original jeans, but this would be a great opportunity to use your embroidery machine to create some beautiful flowers.  Embroider them on the fabric from the legs of the jeans, and just cut them out and sew them on the skirt.  

Click HERE to back to the main blog post on sewing a Ruffled Jean Skirt.
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