Today we welcome Dritz® as a new sponsor of Sew4Home. "Oh! The red tomato pincushion people!" Well, yes, they are famous for that classic pincushion, but they also have about a gazillion other tools and notions to help your projects go faster and easier. We can't cover all gazillion here, but we can bring you some of our favorites. This week, we're going to strrrrreeeeetch your knowledge of: elastics! Long the wallflower of the notions world, hidden inside waistbands, cuffs and underwear; the new Dritz® Fashion Elastics snapped onto the scene this year in bold colors, patterns, even ruffles! It's a style makeover we haven't seen since shoelaces went from white to wild. We have five project tutorials this week featuring the new Ruffle Elastic, Fold-Over Elastic, and Colored Knit Elastic. Don't try to keep this elastic out of sight inside a casing, it's begging to be the featured star. Today's little girl twirly skirts use bright knit elastic as a colorful, no-roll waistband. With nine fashion colors to choose from, you can make a rainbow of fashion statements.
Dritz® knit elastic comes in handy 1" x 3 yard lengths. Choose from nine vibrant colors: Red, Berry, Purple, Blue, Navy, Gray, Green, Brown and Khaki. This is a soft, comfortable elastic that is curl resistant and will not narrow when stretched. 78% polyester and 22% rubber so it is completely machine washable, dryable and colorfast.
Our twirly skirts are created from three coordinating Fat Quarters from this Spring's Petal collection by Tanya Whelan for FreeSpirit Fabrics. Most little skirts of this type have raw or serged edges that connect with the waistband, but we've come up with a unique stitch-and-flip technique that creates a finished top edge on either side of the waistband. No "It's too scratchy!" complaints here!
We coordinated our waistband elastic with an accent rick rack border for each skirt's top layer. This was easy to do thanks to the nine popular colors from which to choose. These new Dritz® colors are rich and stylish, easy to mix and match with a wide range of palettes.
Our supply list below gives you click-to-buy links for the new elastics available at Jo-Ann.com. You'll find a great variety of all the Dritz® Fashion Elastics (and more) both online and in store at Jo-Ann Stores as well as your other favorite fabric retailers. Dritz® is the Sew4Home go-to brand for sewing notions and tools: easy to find, easy to use, always economical.
Sewing Tools You Need
- Any sewing machine (we recommend the Janome DC2013)
Fabric and Other Supplies
Supplies listed are for ONE twirly skirt to fit approximately 4T-5. You may need to adjust the fabric cuts larger or smaller to best accommodate the amount of "flounce" you want for your twirly girl.
- ONE package of Dritz® 1" Knit Elastic; we used 1" Berry for the Pink Skirt and 1" Red for the Red Skirt
- THREE coordinating Fat Quarters (18" x 22") - ONE FQ for the top layer and TWO MATCHING FQs for the bottom layer (if you choose not to use Fat Quarters, you'll need approximate ½ yard cuts from two coordinating fabrics); we used the following Fat Quarters from the Petal collection by Tanya Whelan for FreeSpirit Fabrics:
Red Elastic Skirt:
Large Antique Roses in Parchment - ONE for the top layer
Antique Ticking Roses in Ivory - TWO for the bottom layer
Pink Elastic Skirt:
French Dots in Petal Pink ONE - for the top layer
Scattered Roses in Petal Pink TWO - for the bottom layer
- All-purpose thread to match fabric and elastic
- 1¼ yards of ½" rick rack to match elastic; we used bright pink and red
- See-through ruler
- Fabric pen or pencil
- Iron and ironing board
- Scissors or rotary cutter and mat
- Seam gauge
- Seam ripper
- Straight pins
- The formula for the elastic waistband is the child's waist measurement minus 4". Our toddler model was a 4T size with a 20" waist, so we cut our 1" Knit Elastic to a 16" length.
- Cut the Fat Quarter for the top layer in half to create TWO 22" x 9" rectangles.
- Trim down the two Fat Quarters for the bottom layer, removing 4" from each to create TWO 22" x 14" rectangles.
NOTE: If you are not using Fat Quarters, simply cut the rectangles from your regular yardage: top: two at 22" x 9" and bottom: two at 22" x 14".
- Leave the 45" length of rick rack as is; you'll trim to fit later.
At Your Sewing Machine & Ironing Board
- Bring the raw ends together to form a loop. Overlap the ends 1", forming a loop. For our sample, our finished loop was 15" (original 16" cut length less the 1" overlap).
- Thread your machine with thread to match the elastic in the top and bobbin.
- Set up the machine for a tight zig zag stitch.
- Stitch down each raw end to create a flat circle.
- Set aside the waistband.
- Re-thread your machine with thread to match the fabric in the top and bobbin.
- Finish the 9" raw edges of each of the two rectangles. You can use a serger (as we did) or a sewing machine finish.
NOTE: If you are new to finishing your seam allowances, we have a great four part series. Start here with Part 1: Most Popular.
- Place the two rectangles right sides together and pin along one 9" edge.
- Using a ½" seam allowance, stitch together the one 9" edge.
- Press the seam allowance open and flat.
- Make a 2" hem along the bottom edge. To do this, fold up the bottom raw edge ½" and press. Turn up and additional 1½" and press again. Pin in place.
- Using your machine and a blind hem foot, stitch the hem. You could also hand stitch the hem in place.
NOTE: If you are new to using your blind hem foot, we have an easy to follow tutorial.
- Find the length of rick rack. Place it along the bottom hemmed edge so the just the bottom "waves" will be visible below the hem. Pin in place. Trim away the excess trim at both sides so the rick rack is flush with the fabric.
- We used the rick rack seam as an additional accent line of stitching and so re-threaded our machine with contrasting thread (we used the elastic-matching thread) in the top and bobbin. You could stay with matching thread if you prefer.
- Stitch the rick rack in place, staying close to the bottom fold.
- Fold the top layer in half, aligning the remaining 9" sides and being careful to align the rick rack along the bottom. Pin in place.
- Re-thread the machine with thread to match the fabric in the top and bobbin.
- Using a ½" seam allowance, stitch together to create a loop, hiding the raw ends of the rick rack in the seam.
- Set aside.
- Find the two 22" x 14" rectangles for the bottom layer.
- As above, finish all the four 14" raw edges.
- Place the two pieces right sides together and pin in place along both 14" sides.
- Using a ½" seam allowance, stitch both 14" sides. Press the seam allowances open and flat.
- Create a 2" hem as you did for the top layer.
Mark and insert the waistband
- Find the finished waistband. The overlap point is the center back. Place a pin at the center of the two zig zag seams.
- Fold and flatten the waistband, keeping the overlap point at the center back. Place a pin opposite the center back. This is the center front.
- Match up both of the pins, flatten again and place a pin at each side. Then fold into quarters and put an additional marking pin in between each side/center. You should have a total of 8 marking pins in place when done.
- Find the two skirt loops. Turn both WRONG side out.
- Slip the bottom skirt loop inside the top skirt loop. Align the top raw edges, matching the side seams of both loops.
- With the side seams aligned, place a marking pin at each side. Then, fill in with center and mid-point marking pins to match the same pattern you did on the waistband.
- Slip the waist band in between the two skirt layers.
- Match up all the pins at each of the eight points.
- It will look a bit messy, but not to worry... this is where the stretchiness of the elastic comes into play.
- Carefully place the layers under you presser foot, starting at a side seam. Adjust for a ¼" seam. Drop your needle. Gently stretch the elastic between the layers, pulling it until the new stretched length of the elastic allows both fabric layers to lay flat. Begin stitching, stretching as you go. You'll need to stop every so often, with the needle in the down position so things don't shift, and re-stretch. Stitch in this manner all around the top.
- When complete, pull apart the layers to make sure you caught all three layers all the way around. If not, re-stitch, opening your original seam if necessary to re-layer.
- Push the bottom layer through the center of the waistband so it is right side out. Then fold down the top layer over the bottom layer. The two layers are now right side out, the remaining ¾" of the waistband is sticking up, and the inside edge is finished.
Project Design: Alicia Thommas
Sample Creation and Instructional Outline: Kathy Andrews, What Sew Ever