Moda Match Maker March 2016

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Gypsy Romance: Three-Tiered Skirt

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Our regular followers are probably surprised to see so many wearables in this latest S4H series. We're just full of surprises aren't we? Actually, we're simply responding to your requests. You told us you wanted to see more easy-to-sew clothing items. Alrighty then! The Gypsy Romance tiered skirt is three simple rectangles gathered together and finished with a drawstring channel waist. No zippers... nothing but straight seams and two little buttonholes. Easy, bright and fun; it's perfect for the sunny Spring weather we just know is coming... one of these days.

Our thanks to Michael Miller Fabrics for providing all the beautiful Gypsy Bandana fabric from the Gypsy Jewel colorway. You can find it in store and online now, including at Fat Quarter Shop, Fabric.com and Quilt Home. Take a look at our interview with Val Pillow and Anne Maxfield to find out more about the creative spirits who bring these fabulous collections to life.

Sewing Tools You Need

Fabric and Other Supplies

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Our skirt was made for our pretty, slim model Thyra and would be considered a small to medium. The top drawstring opening is approximately 40", which is sized for 35-37" hips; you want the opening to be about 3-4" larger than your hip measurement. Add or subtract inches from each panel to fit. For example, if your hips are about 40", add about 4" to the width of each tier.

  • Fabric for the top tier: ¾ yard of 44-45" wide fabric: we used Gypsy Bandana in Kiwi Kaleidoscope by Pillow & Maxfield for Michael Miller Fabrics
  • Fabric for middle tier, as well as waist drawstring tie: 1¼ yard of 44-45" wide fabric: we used Gypsy Bandana in Red Gypsy Paisley by Pillow & Maxfield for Michael Miller Fabrics
  • Fabric for bottom tier: 1¼ yard of 44-45" wide fabric: we used Gypsy Bandana in Green Firefly by Pillow & Maxfield for Michael Miller Fabrics
  • Two metal beads or small pendants for waist tie ends (optional)
  • All purpose thread
  • See-through ruler
  • Fabric pen or pencil
  • Iron and ironing board
  • Scissors or rotary cutter and mat
  • Tape measure
  • Straight pins
  • Safety pin

Getting Started

  1. From the fabric you are using for the top tier (Gypsy Bandana in Kiwi Kaleidoscope in our sample), cut TWO 18" high x 22" rectangles. These will be your Front and Back Top Tier Panels.
  2. From the fabric you are using for the middle tier (Gypsy Bandana in Red Gypsy Paisley in our sample), cut the following:
    TWO 15" high x 33" wide rectangles. These will be your Front and Back Middle Tier Ruffles.
    TWO 1½" x 31" strips. These will be your Waist DrawstringTies.
  3. From the fabric you are using for the bottom tier (Gypsy Bandana in Green Firefly in our sample), cut TWO 21" high x 33" wide rectangles. These will be your Front and Back Bottom Tier Ruffles.

At Your Sewing Machine & Ironing Board

  1. For garment sewing (items that will be laundered) it is important to finish your seams. (Okay - true confessions - this is a do-as-I-say-not-as-I-do moment; once in awhile, we cut a few corners when making our samples in the interest of time and crazy deadlines. So in the pictures below... our seam allowances aren't finished. But that doesn't mean YOU are off the hook!) If you have an serger, serge the short sides (the heights) of the six panels you have cut out (you do not need to overlock any sides of the waist tie). If you do not own serger, you can use a zigzag stitch or an overcast along these same sides. You can read more about these stitches in our article, Finishing Raw Seams: Part One - Sewing Machine Finishes.

Assemble the top tier with its waistband tunnel

  1. With the right sides together, pin the front and back Top Tier Panels together along the side seams (the 18" sides).
  2. Stitch together, using a ½" seam allowance. Press both seams open.
  3. Fold under the top raw edge of this now-sewn Top Tier Unit ½" and press. Then fold under an additional 1" and press again. This hem will become your waistband tunnel, but first you need to sew buttonholes for the waistband tie.
  4. Unfold the hem flat again so you can see the crease lines.
  5. Just below the second crease, find the center of the waistband tunnel (the center point between the left side seam and the right side seam). Mark this point with a pin.
  6. Measure ¾" to the right of this center pin, as well as ¾" to the left of the pin. Mark both of these points lightly with a fabric pen or pencil.
  7. Following the manual for your sewing machine, make a vertical ½" buttonhole at each of these marks, ¼" down from the second crease.
    Diagram
  8. Carefully cut each of the buttonholes open.
  9. Refold and press the waistband tunnel back along the original creases.
  10. Edgestitch along the bottom folded edge. This creates a 1" waistband tunnel.
    Click to Enlarge

Assemble the middle and bottom tiers

  1. With the right sides together, pin the front and back Middle Tier Ruffles together along the side seams (the 15" sides).
  2. Stitch together, using a ½" seam allowance. Press both seams open.
  3. Fold under the bottom raw edge of this now-sewn Middle Tier Unit ½" and press. Then fold under an additional ½" and press again.
  4. Edgestitch along the fold to create a clean finished, double turn ½" hem.
    Click to Enlarge
  5. With the right sides together, pin the front and back Bottom Tier Ruffles together along the side seams (the 21" sides).
  6. Stitch together, using a ½" seam allowance. Press both seams open.
  7. Fold under the bottom raw edge of this now-sewn Bottom Tier Unit ½" and press. Then fold under an additional ½" and press again.
  8. Edgestitch along the fold to create a clean finished, double turn ½" hem.
    Click to Enlarge
  9. With the right sides of the fabrics facing out, slide the Middle Tier Ruffle Unit over the top of the Bottom Tier Ruffle Unit.
  10. Align the top raw edges of both units as well as the side seams. Pin all around this top edge.
  11. Stitch all around ¼" from raw edge.
    Diagram

Ruffle the middle and bottom tiers

  1. Using a machine basting stitch (the longest length of your straight stitch), sew two lines of stitching around the top raw edges of this combined Middle/Bottom Ruffle Unit. One line of stitching should be approximately 3/8" from the raw edges and one approximately 5/8" from the raw edges. Do not backtack at the beginning or end of these stitches, they will be used to gather the top raw edge.
  2. If you are new to gathering, take a look at our tutorial: Gathering & Ruffles Made Easy.
  3. Use these two rows of basting stitches to gather the top raw edge of the Middle/Bottom Ruffle Unit into a loop as small as you can gather it. Be careful not to pull so hard you break your stitch.
  4. With the rights sides together, line up the bottom raw edge of the Top Tier Unit with the gathered raw edge of the Middle/Bottom Ruffle Unit. Also match up the side seams on both units of the skirt. To start, pin in place only on both sides of each side seam, leaving the middles of the units free.
  5. Slowly loosen the gathering around the Middle/Bottom Ruffle Unit until it is evenly distributed between the side seams at both the front and back of the skirt. Complete pinning the two raw edges together.
    Click to Enlarge
    Diagram
  6. Stitch together, using a ½" seam allowance. Turn right side out, so the finished waistband tunnel is at the top of the skirt. Your tier assembly is done.

Draw string ties

  1. With the right sides together, pint the two Waist Tie strips together at one short end.
  2. Stitch together, using a ½" seam allowance. Press the seam open.You now have one Waist Tie that is 1½" x 61".
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  3. Press under both raw ends ½". Then press the tie in half lengthwise (matching up the raw edges along the 61" sides) to create a crease that runs along the center of the entire 61" length.
  4. Open the tie flat again. Press each of the raw edges toward this center crease.
    Click to Enlarge
  5. Finally, fold the entire tie in half lengthwise again, wrong sides together,  and give it another final press. You now have a 61" long tie that is about 3/8" width.
  6. Close the tie by edgestitching along the entire length and both ends, pivoting at the corners.
    Click to Enlarge
  7. Attach a safety pin through one of the finished ends of the waist tie. Thread the waist tie into one buttonhole and through the waistband tunnel until the safety pin comes out the opposite buttonhole.
  8. Adjust so each end of the tie comes out of the buttonholes at an even length from side to side.
    OPTION: Sew a small metal bead or pendant to the end of each tie as an added embellishment.

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Contributors

Project Concept: Alicia Thommas

Sample Creation and Instructional Outline: Gregory Dickson

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Comments (13)

Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture
@ jade star -- here is what we suggested above. If you measure your hips, I think you can figure it out:

Our skirt was made for our pretty, slim model Thyra and would be considered a small to medium. The top drawstring opening is approximately 40", which is sized for 35-37" hips; you want the opening to be about 3-4" larger than your hip measurement. Add or subtract inches from each panel to fit. For example, if your hips are about 40", add about 4" to the width of each tier.

Unless your measurements are vastly different than what is shown, I would go with the fabric cuts as listed. It's meant to be be gathered and unstructured.
jade star said:
jade star's picture
i'm a size 2. i'd like to make this but am not sure how much material to get. can you give me an idea?

Quiltersheart said:
Quiltersheart's picture
This is a very easy pattern. And I love it! Thanks for sharing it.
Nicole Gunter said:
Nicole Gunter's picture
So I want to know where I can get this fabric! I love it....
makincrafts said:
makincrafts's picture
Love, love, love this!!!Now I have another project to add to my super long list of projects for spring. Thanks for sharing.
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture
Hi Judy F - the finished length from waistband to hem is approximately 34-1/2". It is designed to sit on the hip not around the waist. Have fun!
Judy F. said:
Judy F.'s picture
How long is this finished skirt from waistband to hem?
I am 5'2" tall and was wondering how much I would need to alter the individual length of each piece so this skirt wouldn't be too long for me?

Thanks--am hoping to make it!
mary @ www.megardengal.blogspot.com said:
mary @ www.megardengal.blogspot.com's picture
This is such a great skirt and I love the fabric combination!
jilly willy art on facebook said:
jilly willy art on facebook 's picture
love it. I will paint my fabric. love the three tiers. Great red paisley!!)
Leslie T. said:
Leslie T.'s picture
I am just in love with this fabric line, love this skirt!!
Allison E. (allycat79225@yahoo.com) said:
Allison E. (allycat79225@yahoo.com)'s picture
My absolute favorite to wear in the summer. So pleased to see this project. Also so glad to have found this sight. Finally purchased a sewing machine. I didn't think that I would love sewing as much as I do. This sight gives inspiration and guidance to make sewing all the more fun. Love you guys. smilies/grin.gif
Magpie Shinies said:
Magpie Shinies's picture
I am soooooooo making this. Even though it is simple, it has special detail, which I love, and it would be so easy to add trim, etc. Thank you, bookmarking!

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