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Simple Sewing Projects for Beginners

Lesson 7 of 23

Creative Kids Clothing: Simple Skirts

Susan Beal

Simple Sewing Projects for Beginners

Susan Beal

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Lesson Info

7. Creative Kids Clothing: Simple Skirts

Lesson Info

Creative Kids Clothing: Simple Skirts

When my favorite projects to make is a very, very simple one it's a little girl's skirt, that's just a half yard of fabric and a few little tricks that turn it into an easy elastic waist instant favorite. I wanted to show you a few of the ones I've made and projects I really like this one is a really sweet one, you'll see it has a little bit of a back story, but this is a gorgeous cotton linen that a friend of mine, ellen baker designed with the gingko leaves. I really love the way that this one has a little more texture and body than the average quilting cotton, which they're equally wonderful too. So with but I think I'm of two dozen skirts for my daughter pearl, who six and counting so it's nice to have a few variations. Um another one I love is the one I made her for fourth of july, and I mentioned in the earlier segment that I made my son ah fourth of july project as well. I made him a really cute little oregon american flag shirt. Well, my daughter got this one you'll see on the ...

screen, but also in person, and I love this little skirt is that such a fun print? It's a michael miller, red, white and blue print so it's for very it's. Perfect fourth of july, but just has a lot of lightness and fun to it. Teo and I used a narrow, binding tape edge on this one. And as you can see on the back there's, no double faulted him, it's. Just one neat edge of neatly folded finding tape. And one thing I love to d'oh is not necessarily matching clothes for me and my kids, but things that go together. So for her fourth of july skirt, I ended up making myself one as well. And although used different fabric. What I really love about this is that I used the same edging for both the skirts. So they have a lot in common without necessarily being an exact like mommy. Mommy daughter overlap. So if you're interested in stone yourself something simple. I love this pattern the skirt and wearing today and the one I sewed there are both amy butler's, barcelona pattern and it's. A very simple, very easy to adopt one and it's almost as quick as the girl's skirt. I want to show you today. So I mentioned that the purple gang go leave skirt has a secret and that's that has a friend back there completely different fabrics. They match really nicely they go together beautifully there the same fabric designer but I made this skirt with two fat quarters of different fabrics instead of one half yard of the same barrick and I'll explain exactly how to do that after you get the basic skirt underway with everybody here in studio how so wanted to show one last one which was my daughter's easter skirt this year and this one is a glitter straight I love it you may have seen but in the earlier images in the other segment what was nice about this one is I made a big heart applicator just like the ones we made in class and for this one instead of ah just a usual street stitch I used a decorative stretch on the hem and what's really nice about this is that you can really it's very subtle it's in a similar thread color but I just loved how it added just a little fancy nous and fund to a skirt made with glitter fabric that needed just a little something extra so just getting started with skirts the main thing you'll need is so simple just go to any fabric store your favorite local fabric store and buy one half yard of quoting cotton it's standard with which is forty four give or take forty two to forty four wife and all you need is one eighteen inch cut this is enough for a child skirt anywhere in the age range of safe three to seven or eight and my daughter is now six and a very tall lanky six two she wears her skirts a lot now with leggings but they still fitter justus well stated when she was little so to get started with our skirts I picked this rainbow fabric because it's very her but you can go with anything you like sophisticated, simple, colorful solid fabric geometric print anything like that is great um I started with something that is has a direction and is oriented so that it's able to be sewn correctly but I'll go over later the glitter skirt I should you earlier for example the stripes were running the opposite way saw explain exactly how to get around that if your favorite favorite fabric is going to be running this way and you want to make the skirt of your dreams anyway so to get started does everybody have their half yard of fabric ready? You'll just cut it right off the boat there's no need to take the salvage off often with quoting and sowing your first step is to remove the salvage but we won't do that today the salvage is actually going to be part of our design so you'll dio is joined your fabric so the right folded so the right sides air facing and there's a chris fold right off the bull and then aligning the salvage is so you can see here the right sides, air facing the wrong side is up. Well, smooth it down, give it a quick press if there's fold marks, I like to use the lights three starts like best press or a little distilled water because quoting cotton is wonderful too, so with but if it has this persistent told mark, he may use a little steam water or spree starts, just ease those fold marks out. So as soon as your fabrics ready, I like to take this side of the salvage that's white, or has a con high contrast as my guideline, and then you'll take your parents and simply see course, whose are always somewhere we're not where I left them. Thank you on the other side one day, so you'll just simply take thes salvages, align them neatly so your fabrics and not cutting it on green is important, which just means a very straight line across. You'll want to make sure that everything is just aligned neatly and then pan your salvage just like this every few inches from one raj, the other of a fabric, we're essentially creating a very simple straight line on lee, so sewing tube of fabric, and this will be the center back of your skirt, so with this one once it's penned we're just going to go ahead and see using a straight stitch back searching at the beginning and end to hold the scene we're just going to so right up this line I'm using a pink thread because we'll be up moving onto that later the edge of the skirt will be made with our homemade hand green finding tape which is one of my favorite decorative options for clothes in this pink dot fabric so I've got the thread and all of our machines that will match the spine ding with their initial scene that were sewing will be hidden inside the skirt so this thread color isn't as crucial is something that will be part of the garment was showing on the outside adjust your machine to a straight stretch a typical such length I'm using about a two and a half two point five and then just to the side of a solve it so that no white shows you'll want to drop your needle in and stitch forward directly down moving towards you so that you stitch parallel to the salvage and that will be the center back of your skirt as I mentioned so since I didn't back so just start by saying I'm just going to go right back and do it now so have a good seal on it it's going to disappear into a fold but it's just better to have a good strong seem foundation and not not have a come unraveled in its tenth machine wash harry go so if your throat gets tangled here, just snip it free and then clear the extra threat away. One of my favorite side effects of this project you can use a little spray here is that your salvage actually becomes part of your design he will press the salvage open at the back just like this and this will be the back of your skirt give the suppress where it got you may recognize this fabric from our earlier segment this is going to be my daughter's back to school skirt with the heart application that we made earlier that matches it she's she picked it out herself so it's fun to kind of bring it to life a few weeks before the big day. So now we've made the simplest possible thing it's just one tube of fabric a half yard eighteen inches tall and forty about forty two inches around stitch neatly at the back. Now that we finish this part, we're going to set it aside and move on to our binding tape edging and there's several options for hemming but I love this pining tapes I wanted to share that one with you so it's set your sewn skirt aside and we're going to move on to making our own custom biting tape from a contrast fabric I mentioned earlier that I really liked how thiss looks together the edge is just going to be a neat, folded, handmade brining tape of this pink dot that all around him for just a fun, a little unexpected touch to make the binding tape if you haven't made it before it's really quick and easy and you can add so many super beautiful fabric details your projects whether their clothing quote, by ending housewares or anything else you'll need one of these finding tape makers this makes one inch binding tape which one folded is a half inch and she achieved that we'll start by cutting our contrast fabric and my case the pink dot from salvaged to salvage two inches wide. I have my cutting that here and my fabric is neat and street, so in order to there are several ways to orient this and whatever sum was comfortable for you economically when you're cutting is great. There are a few really good things to keep in mind when you're using a rotary cutter in quoting ruler the rotary cutter is wonderful for cutting especially these kinds of straight lines or long, long very even very symmetrical cuts but always keep it closed and locked. Most rotary cutters have some variation on this this red button when I push the button this way it's locked open and then when I push it this way it can be closed and then locked closed each one's a little different you can triers, but always, even if you're setting it down for fifteen seconds in between changing fabrics always like it closed, it'll take that extra little moment to reopen it, but it's worth not cutting yourself, and they're very, very sharp. The other thing with rotary cutters is just if you're new to them as well, I just highly recommend just getting into this habit and staying in it always cut away from yourself, never even when you're going over a little divot of fabric that didn't make it, you know, just one little place to cut don't ever pull it towards yourself. They're just it's just so easy to accidentally hurt yourself and let's, keep this ah une our visit free class for your binding tape, we're going to cut two inch wide strips of fabric, these quoting rulers and cutting that make it incredibly easy because you can just line your fabric up in this case, I'm going to ease it over a little, but I see my two inch mark and I am right handed, so I'm holding my fabric under my quoting roller my left hand can hold the fabric, ruler the quote, ruler down, excuse me with the fabric sandwich neatly and flat under it, and my rotary cutter in my right hand if you have a shorter quoting ruler like this and it's not a print you're especially concerned about, you know like a poke it out like this that reads very calmly you can also double your fabric second time and cut it with a shorter quoting ruler. You'll just need to be careful to go through a few extra layers of fabric and cut it neatly so what you'll do is using your non dominant hand hold the quilting ruler in place. Make sure your eye it's lined up neatly mine iss and then starting closest to you and moving carefully and deliberately away from you. Cut your fabric with the quoting ruler it's important to note that this is called binding tape it's cut on the straight grain of your fabric you could move your hands forward to continue the pressure on your coaching ruler so you get an even clean meat cut never putting your fingers any closer than this to the rotary cutter and then keep moving forward so I have a few places here where my fabric didn't cut through when he used my rotary cut urgently break those surgery cutters from working overtime lately I need to change the blade so the important thing to mention with this is this is called binding tape bias tape is when you cut fabric that's on the exact diagonal so that it has curved and stretch it's very useful for facings and bindings on garment for this project around the hem of the skirt, we won't need to worry about that. So this is a much more efficient method for inches of fabric yields. Two strips of finding tape, which is perfect. We have a question from michelle be susan, do you ever recommend pre washing fabric before you use it? That is a great question. I often recommend pre washing fabric and always fur garments, but because this little skirt is so simple, I actually don't always pre wash for it because it's, the only fitting is with the elastic on the waistband and that's something that you'll do pretty specifically with your own child or with a measurement from a skirt that fits her well, but for any garment. Otherwise, I always pre wash, and I appreciate your mentioning at michelle. Torrey b is saying she wants to make this for herself. So do you just adjust? The size is exactly the same process, no matter what size. Yes, I think you could easily. I would just essentially use it as a template and make it, you know, a longer cut of fabric and perhaps out another piece, depending on your overall waste and hit measurements, and then just there's a few great tutorials for making simple elastic waisted skirts for adults, but that would be great. So for this finding binding tape here, and just to finish that one last thought bias tape that you cut on the diagonal, you can buy it premade at any fabric or craft stores. It is perfectly wonderful to use for this project. You absolutely could buy that, and so it right on instead of making handmade, I just like to use kind of colorful fund project fabrics, and but the ones I made for fourth of july actually used pre packaged in there or bias tape, and it works like a charm. So now we'll cut a second stroke, so we have two two inch wide strips are fabric was ready to go, and our next step will be joining these two now is where we remove the salvage just a cz you left the salvage on during the skirt construction, we're going to take our rotary cutter and away from our body's gonna cut this salvage off. You can also use the ruler as your guide, but for something a cut this short, I wasn't as concerned about it. So now we have one strip of perfectly nice pink fabric that's quickly going to become our skirt him, we'll do the same thing with the other one removed the salvage away from ourselves, so close your rotary cut her up, and now you've got two to go to start we're going to make our binding tapes so that it's essentially longer than we needed because he's too with of the fabric strips we'll be more than we need, but we can set it aside for another project. One of my favorite things is having just extra binding two pieces left over for doing like a variegated quote binding or even pressing back out to become too and strips again for quoting her patchwork ah what I'll do now is holding these two together you khun penned them if you like, but it's not one hundred percent necessary holding these two together I'll just sit down on my machine it's on a straight stitch with a standard stitch length I'll simply using about a quarter inch seam allowance, which is very narrow if you're used to garment sewing it, which is typically a five eighths this's just the only point is that you don't want out a lot of bulk here, so you're going to do a fairly narrow quarter and she's my preferred to join this refining tape, you'll just stitch forward reverse and then continues pushing forward and this is right sides together. So when you have your strip joined with its second one, this raw edge will be to the wrong side of the fabric and from the correct side front of the fabric and we'll just simply look like a neat join without any raw edges or fold showing now I'll just press this fabric out using a little best press, which gives it a nice, crisp and very easy to use texture quoting cotton is wonderful, but it can have a little bit of it just depending on the manufacturer. They're also different, but basically or you're gonna have a crisp, easy to use fabric, not too soft and pliable and not to stuff and hard to use. So without my iron court in my way, I'm going to just press this perfectly flat moving forward. This is kind of an unusual ironing set up normally I can when I'm just in my own sewing room all have a strip lying the length or of a larger earning board and just spread all at once when you get to your join, hold it wrong side up so the fold shows and press the folds open like this if you have a slight difference in with trim it out here so it's more of a join neat and clean join and then you'll press the rest of it just as normal. No other difference, but make sure you press the join open and platt yeah, that my edge of my pink before I did the two inch so now the second piece is, can I get one and a half inches? Would that make it different? Um let's just get you sport fabric you could make a one and a half, but we have it would mean a different size finding tape maker and we will be using that for a different project, but if we could just have a little more pink fabric will be good to go. Yeah, sometimes it's worth changing it around and the inch and a half is totally usable binding tape size, but for this one it's kind of nice because exact to get a little more chance to do it was slightly wider one, but yes, save that for patchwork suffered this one. I'm just going to press out my end one more time and now we're ready to make our binding tape, take one end of this long piece of fabric and snip it at an angle. So now that you have this one, it will be much easier to feed it through this little binding tape maker. I like to use my seam ripper to guide the binding tape fabric through the maker, and this part is essential to have your iron close and handy so you'll get into a little rhythm with it where it'll kind of flow is you do it, but for the first time you're doing it, I'll go a little slow when I'm showing you the beginning so it's easy to follow along so as you can see there's a small opening and the top of this finding tape maker when he used my seem reported guide, my fabric through in the pattern right side should be facing upward. We're going to just talk it through, I'll flip the server in a second one, it gets oriented so you can see what it actually looks like with this part of the binding tape maker has the beginning of what's going to be your long string of your long strand of finding tape it's evenly feeding through this very ingenious little machine where fabric has a chance to be folded and pressed with your iron and a very neat, very organized way so the raw edges will be in the middle and once we're able to move forward with it, you'll see just after the first in church you what it looks like, so I'm gonna I'm going to use my iron with my right hand and I'm going tio let's see let's arrange this so it doesn't have a lot of weight to it have already here, so I'm just going to start by pressing this beginning part down it has a good start, it doesn't this is just going to be the beginning, but so just so it doesn't curl back up or get a little tangling in advance no, I'm going to flip my binding tape maker over clover makes a wonderful binding take maker there plenty of other brands but I always use theirs at home and now just gonna angle this a bit so I have a little bit more diagonal room so now using my iron in my right hand dominant gently press this flat as you can see the folded fabricas underneath right now I'm just going to start this way and I'm going to pull this pining tape maker away from my iron fallen at neatly with the iron and every few inches I'll just back up and given a nice smooth reinforcement turning and turning it over you can see yeah that it's got a really neat clean inter fold when we eventually folded and put it around our skirt it's going to hide the rods completely and then when I flip this over again I can keep going you always want to make sure that your two inch wide finding strip is smoothly feeding right into this one inch fold and it's it goes very fast once you're used to it I'll show you what to do if it ends up getting out of out of alignment or anything else it's harder to use and technically you can make this kind of binding tape without a binding tape maker but it's it's you could seventy doable it's not nearly as fun and it's easy to get a little frustrated or burn your fingertips you essentially have tio fold both of these layers in manually and then press him down and it's just a little bit more of a process. So this binding tape makers well worth the investment if you ever want to do projects like this I will show you in a little bit though how you could do an alternate him for this it's just a cz cute and double full that's simple so continuing with us I'm going to keep checking the underside to make sure it's neat and it is and soon will be approaching our join which is going to flow a little bit differently into the binding tape maker then our normal just simple one layer of fabric it's kind of like sewing over an extra layer of fabric it's like pressing it through this little machine it can have a little hiccup so gently I'm getting right to it sentient lee going to tug it through takes a little bit more effort and then it looks like it landed pretty neatly so it's double check and if anything gets out of alignment we can fix it very easily. Yeah, that looks good. Ah with a really careful join a binding tape like for example, if you're making quote finding you may want to do a diagonal join and that one is a little bit easier to so over sometimes but I like this need street one because when it's on your garment it's just got kind of a pleasant, simple look and it doesn't catch your eye as much as a diagonal line that is a little more noticeable cut ok, so here is an example of what happens in your biting tape gets a little out of a lineman I'm just gonna press this back out it's got a crease here that it we don't need press it back out so that it decrease isn't going to dominate everything and then I'm going to look at the underside it's actually not out of alignment under there if it were, I would just back this up completely chip back here, press my fabric flat again and then start over just for that section you can always go back to the part of your binding tape that's still in neat, orderly shape and keep going from there you don't have to you certainly don't have to go back to the beginning or anything it's not um it's not too complicated to fix these but then you can just kind of keep going in the same general way we're almost done with this piece and keep pressing flat this is such a fun ueda use a print or anything else a kind of borrowing a section of it out of a larger fabric really pops like an overall design like a floral would look really cool, but I really liked these dots with the rain bos so you'll be seeing this fining tape again in a couple of other projects in totally different colors and styles it's one of my favorites so how's everything going it's going it's going well good now the tulia using here susan is fairly easy to find. Yes, yes, it is she here you can find out almost any fabric store or craft store and it's called a bias tape or binding tape maker and they come in various sizes for this one I'm using what is called a one inch maker and for other withs you khun get one that's ah that unfolded creates this half inch wide tape you can also get a very narrow one like the fourth of july skirt I showed earlier that would be a quarter inch finding tape and so it's kind of an interesting I'm tool because you can make really really wide really, really you know large scale binding tape or you can make really delicate pretty finding tape it's just a very versatile one so now I'm going to take this flat. The two inch strip has become a flat one inch double fold. I mean, excuse me single fold here we're gonna make it into double full tape by pressing this way with our irons this is very quick much faster than feeding it through the machine and then we'll be ready to pennant her skirt so we made with the binding meditate maker or just the binding process in general? Well, it's definitely trial in air, but when you're stitching it on and the way I'm going to show you today for your skirt is kind of a simple, fairly simple, beginner friendly way with using his exact stitch just a bit like our application, which but looser. But one thing that can be a little harder is when people are not as experienced with making and sewing binding tape, and they attach it with a one single straight stitch. Sometimes it can skip on the back, and you won't necessarily catch the under layer there's certain sewing machine feet that are very useful for that so your machine may have one available, but for our purposes, I'm going to do this exact, which is just a nice, simple one for catching all layers pretty readily, if that makes sense. Thank you so many give this one more little suppressive best prospects of fabric a ce when it what you want to do is align your folded at just very neatly. It doesn't have to be an exact perfect by, you know fraction of a millimeter join, but you will want to make sure that they're relatively close together when you buy bias tape in the package will notice that often one side is very, very marginally narrower than the other. And for that, for a little trick, you can put the slightly narrower edge on the outside and and are on the excuse me you also on the narrower edge, meaning that the slightly slightly wider edge underneath where you don't see your song machine stitches landing the underside of your work has a better chance of being caught because it's slightly wider than the narrow when you're sitting on, so we're almost there just going to finish pressing this out. If you aren't using this immediately as we are, I would go ahead and use a papers howell role or postcard or anything like that and wind your tape around it so that you keep it nice and neat it's a lot faster and easier to do that way, some almost to the end, and I've obviously got up about eighty six ish inches of finding take now I won't need all of it, as I said, so I'll save it for another project, but it's way better to have too much the not quite enough.

Class Description

Are you intimidated by your sewing machine? Don't be! Join experienced sewist Susan Beal as she guides you through the basics of sewing, including using straight stitches, zigzag stitches, simple appliqué, and easy binding.

Using simple projects in kid's sizes, Susan will teach you to customize t-shirts, create simple tote bags, reusable napkins, and more! You'll learn tricks that the experts use to create their own contrasting binding tape, how to sew on a variety of fabrics, and how to incorporate snaps and eyelets into your projects.

If you're a beginning sewer this course will give you clear, easy-to-follow ideas and inspiration for projects that tap into your family’s creative spirit.



What a great class! Susan does a fabulous job explaining each project and is great at giving you a heads up on what issues you might face with each project. I've now made two applique projects with another in the works. I've also made two of the girls skirts. Susan gave me the confidence to try and I am really happy with the results. Hope to try the binding tape soon. Thanks for offering this video.

Amanda Siska

Susan's projects were the best introduction to sewing I could have hoped for! I wasn't able to watch every project, but the ones I saw were simple, VERY clearly explained, and perfect for a beginning seamstress like myself. I'd never used binding tape before, or elastic, but now I'm confident about making my own binding tape and adding elastic waistbands to pretty much anything. I was immediately inspired to make a few skirts for myself after watching the simple children's skirt in this course, and I'm planning to make cloth napkins and an oilcloth lunch sack as well. I wish I'd gotten to see the applique portion, so I think I'll have to purchase the course in order to see that part. I'm positive that it will be just what I need to learn the process! I see that the previous reviewer was disappointed by the lack of diversity of crafts for this course, but I find that the name "Simple Sewing Projects for Beginners" was completely accurate for what it was. Perhaps it was categorized in a craft category, which would still seem applicable. I think it was advertised as having back to school projects to make for your kids, which is an even more detailed description of the course, since it includes clothing for boys and girls, as well as a lunch tote, cloth napkin, cape, and maybe more things I missed. Overall, this was my first Creative Live experience, and I was blown away by how informative and fun it was to watch!


Fun projects to make for your little one. Susan explains things so clearly. Very nice that she also offers patterns and written instructions for free