Archive for April, 2007

Free Skirt Pattern

Bird Skirt

I wrote out the directions and specifications for making the bird skirt, and it’s now available to you free! of charge! and you should be excited because it took me about three hours to write it, take the pictures, and get everything ready for your viewing pleasure–that’s about as long as it takes to make it. You can click through the pictures to see large versions. If you have any questions, leave a comment and I’ll try to respond with speed. Please post a link to your finished project in the comments section if you make one. I would love to see it! Click

Skirt Pattern
By Dacia Ray

You will need:
1 1/4 yard fabric
1/4 yard medium weight interfacing
6” zipper
1 button
coordinating thread
(Note: If you’re a sewer, it would be easy to figure out how to add a lining to this skirt. Simply buy 1 1/4 yard lining fabric and alter Step 2 and Step 5 a.)

From the fabric:
1 Front panel: waist circumference x 23″ long
2 Back panels: (waist circumference/2) x 23″ long
1 Front band: (waist circumference/2) + 1″ long x 6″ wide
1 Back band: (waist circumference/4) + 3″ long x 6″ wide
1 Back band: (waist circumference/4) + 1″ long x 6″wide

From the interfacing:
1 Front band: (waist circumference/2) + 1″ long x 2.5″ wide
1 Back band: (waist circumference/4) + 3″ long x 2.5″ wide
1 Back band: (waist circumference/4) + 1″ long x 2.5″ wide

Step 1: Cut all pieces from the fabric and interfacing.
a. Measure your waist circumference where you would like the skirt to sit. Use this measurement when calculating how much fabric to cut.
b. Measure and mark the dimensions above directly onto the wrong side of the fabric, using a measuring tape/yardstick and a chalk pencil, as shown in Diagram 1. Then, using your scissors, cut out each panel and band.
c. Measure and mark the dimensions for the three band pieces onto the interfacing. Cut.
d. Finish each edge by zigzag stitching the 23″ length of the fabric on each edge, front and back panels only.

Diagram 1:
Skirt Pattern: Diagram 1

Step 2: Attach the zipper and seam the back panels.
a. Lay out the two back panels, right sides up, on a flat surface so that the pattern is facing the same direction on each piece, with the 23″ long sides touching. This is the inside seam to which the zipper will be attached.
b. Open the zipper and place the left hand zipper tape face down on the right side of the inside edge of the first back panel (the one on your left), with the top of the zipper teeth 1/2″ from the top of the panel and the edge of the zipper tape even with the inside edge of the fabric panel. Pin the zipper in place. (Any excess zipper that extends beyond the edge of the panel can be trimmed after the panels have been attached.)
c. Using the zipper foot on you sewing machine, attach the first side of the zipper by stitching close to the zipper teeth for the length of the zipper, closing the zipper as needed to continue stitching. Backstitch at each end. (See Diagram 2)
d. Repeat these steps on the second back panel, making sure that the zipper is placed so that the top ends of the back panels are even. Remove pins and press open. (see Figure 1)
e. Fold skirt in half at the zipper, with right sides facing. At the bottom of the zipper to the bottom of the back panels, pin. Beginning at the bottom of the zipper, sew a 1/2″ seam to the end of the panels. The two back panels of the skirt should now be one back panel and the zipper should be closed off. (See Figure 2)

Diagram 2:
Skirt Pattern: Diagram 2

Figure 1:
Zipper

Figure 2:
Seaming After Zipper

Step 3: Prepare bands for sewing.
a. Fold the top (waist circumference length) of the fabric front band 1/4″ so that the wrong sides of the fabric are touching. Press to form a crease. Repeat with back bands.
b. Place the fusible interfacing for the front band, fusible side down on the wrong side of the fabric front band with the top of the interfacing meeting the top of the pressed crease, 1/4″ below the top of the fabric. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for attaching the interfacing to the fabric. Fold the band, wrong sides facing, in half, so that the width of the band is now three inches. Press to create a crease, reopen.
c. Repeat until each band is finished.
d. Lay the front band, pattern facing up with the wrong side to the table. Align the longer of the back bands, right sides together, with the left hand side of the front band. (See Diagram 3) Pin. Place the shorter of the back bands, right sides together, flush with the right hand side of the front band. Pin in place. Sew 1/2″ seams along the outer edges of the front panel, attaching both back bands to the front band.
e. Press seams flat and open the band so that it is one long piece.
f. Fold each six-inch raw edge of the band 1/2″ in toward the center of the band, wrong sides facing, and press to form a crease.

Diagram 3:
Skirt Pattern: Diagram 3

Step 4: Baste and gather the front and back panels.
a. Using the longest stitch on your machine, sew a 1/4″ basting line at the top of each panel. Be sure to leave several inches of thread at the beginning and end of each basted line.
b. At the beginning and end of the basted line on the front panel, take the thread that the bobbin sewed in one hand. Using your other hand, move the fabric toward the hand holding the string, gathering the fabric. (See Figure 3) Gather the fabric until it is the same measurement as the front band, taking care that the gathered fabric is equally spaced. Tie the two threads at each end in a knot, to secure the gathering. For the back panels, gather the fabric until both panels are the same size as the shorter back band, with the length of the two back panels when combined matching the length of the front panel.
c. Pin front and back panels together, right sides facing, with the gathered fabric at the top. Measure the gathered fabric at top to be sure the fabric measurements are the same as the bands, and nothing moved during the pinning process.
d. Sew the front and back panels together using a 1/2″ seam. (For a more finished look, use a French seam here) Turn right side out. This is a great point to make sure that the skirt fits.

Figure 3:
Gathering

Step 5: Attach bands and panels.
a. Pin the gathered front panel to the front band, right sides together. (See Diagram 4, Figure 4) Be sure that the pattern on the panel and the band are going in the same direction when folded open to expose the right sides. Also, take care that the gathered fabric remains equally spaced while pinning and the side seams of the bands and panels match. Continue around the circumference of the skirt, pinning the back panels to the back bands. Sew a 1/2″ seam. (See Figure 5) Remove pins, press flat.
b. Take the top of the band with the pressed in 1/4″ and fold over, using the 3″ ironed crease as a guide. The top of the band with the pressed 1/4″ seam will need to fall just below the stitch that holds the gathered skirt to the band. Pin in place along the inside circumference of the skirt. The raw edges of the short band that were pressed in should match to the edge of the zipper on the skirt panel.
c. On the right side of the skirt, sew just below the edge of the band. This should catch the back side of the band to form a finished edge. (See Figures 6, 7)

Diagram 4:
Skirt Pattern: Diagram 4

Figure 4:
Attaching Bands and Panels

Figure 5:
Sewing Gathered Panel to Band

Figure 6 (Inside of Skirt after Stitching):
Finishing Band

Figure 7 (Outside of Skirt):
Finishing Band

Step 6: Finish the band.
a. Stitch the raw edges of the back bands that have been pressed closed, to form a finished edge. (See Figure 8 )
b. Place the button on the edge of the short back band about a 1/2 inch from the edge. Mark the diameter of the button and sew a buttonhole according to your sewing machine’s instructions.
c. Sew button to the long edge of the back band so that it aligns with the buttonhole.

Figure 8:
Finishing Bands

Step 7: Hem the skirt.
a. Zigzag stitch the circumference of the bottom of the skirt.
b. Measure two inches from the edge of the bottom of the skirt and press. (Note, you can alter the amount hemmed according to your specifications.) Continue around the circumference of the bottom of the skirt until a two-inch crease has been made.
c. Stitch using the blind hem stitch.

Congratulations! You’ve finished!

*This pattern uses a 1/2″ seam.

50 comments April 26th, 2007

Beetle Box of Oddities: On Luck and Other Shiny Charms

Beetle Box of Oddities

Beetle Box of Oddities

I finished two more boxes over the weekend. I really enjoy the whole idea of these–little tiny drawings painted with little tiny marks, small things to collect, squares of fabric, pretty words. This is a beetle box. All of the little names are scientific names for beetle families. I tried to include items I thought a beetle would be comfortable surrounded by.

Sad to say, there was no crafting done this weekend. I did buy a new swimsuit, sat in the park (in clothes, it was way too cold for a suit) and doodled, and went to the library. I hope you all had a nice weekend as well.

4 comments April 24th, 2007

Artichoke Gratin

Artichoke Gratin:

30 oz. frozen artichokes
1/2 small onion, chopped
1 tsp. lemon, quartered
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 tbsp butter
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh thyme
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano
1/2 cup fresh bread crumbs

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Saute the onion and butter until translucent. Place the artichokes, onion, lemon, and wine in a saucepan and cook on medium heat for5 minutes.

Butter a 8 x 8-inch baking dish and place the artichoke hearts in the pan, season with salt and pepper, drizzle with the cream and thyme. Combine the cheese and bread crumbs and sprinkle over the top. Bake uncovered for 35 to 40 minutes or until cooked through and the top is golden brown and bubbly. Let rest 10 minutes before cutting.

Add comment April 21st, 2007

Goodies

Marybeth Goodies

I received a huge box of goodies from sweet Marybeth (Thanks!). There were lots of vintage finds, including these old wooden spools and some very fabulous crocheted items, like an apron and a doily with red roses–so pretty! It was a lovely package and quite a surprise.

craft images from flickr

craft images from flickr

Other goodies around the web, from the Flickr craft book group. I really like the idea of a patchwork rug that’s more like a log cabin pillow. I made a rug for the bathroom that has held up surprisingly well. It’s been in use for about a year now and still looks fresh and clean, and it washes well. I even used white. Quel surprise!

And aren’t these sweet treats delectable? I’m a sucker for pastry and pink. I doubt I’ll ever get around to making anything like this, but I do enjoy looking at them.

2 comments April 19th, 2007

Clean Sweep

Craft Supplies

Craft Supplies

Craft Supplies

Craft Supplies

My craft supplies have been steadily mushrooming. It’s not that I buy excessive amounts of supplies–it’s a quarter yard here, a thrifted grab bag, some pretty trim online–but it all adds up very fast, faster than I can make things. It’s safe to say things are out of control. I officially ran out of storage about a month ago. I cleared out half of a closet (sorry Ryan!) to make room for my junk, went to the Container Store, picked up a few more clear bins, and resorted, refolded, reorganized everything. It’s less stifling in there, but I’m declaring April and May Use-What-You-Have month(s). No excuses. Otherwise, I may soon be eaten alive by bits of fabric and buttons.

6 comments April 17th, 2007

Bird Skirt

Bird Skirt

Bird Skirt

Bird Skirt

This is the first piece of clothing I’ve made since my home ec class in the ninth grade. With this in mind, it took a great amount of courage and convincing to actually cut this Alexander Henry fabric I picked up from Purl Soho. However, I made a deal with myself (all of this inner monologue cannot be healthy?) that I couldn’t buy fabric without a clear vision and plan in mind for its future, because I recently spent hours and hours spring cleaning the studio (pics soon!). I was feeling a little gloomy on Friday–it was gray and cold–so I picked up this cheery fabric and cut. Thankfully, the project turned out well and was speedy! I based the pattern off of a skirt I already had and have plans to post that for you all soon. It took me about three hours and a yard and quarter of fabric. As far as craft projects go, this is a very rewarding and inexpensive one.

24 comments April 14th, 2007

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