Friday, April 20, 2012

Fabulous Free Pattern Friday

The Carmen Miranda Skirt
I'm feeling a little like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. There's the side of me that does things like underline a jacket made out of knit fabric and there's the side of me that makes pieces that are beyond simple. Well, if I really do have two opposing sides, that's fine because I enjoy taking the time to do a couture piece and I enjoy the thought process of figuring out how to do something super easy and yet stylish. At least I hope they are stylish.
Today's little skirt is nothing more than a rectangle and only only seam. There's a little flounce on the side that gives it that "Carmen Miranda" look. 
The back looks like a normal straight skirt.
To do this skirt, you will need to use a knit fabric. I used a 4" wide elastic for the waistband, but any size that you are comfortable with will be fine. You will also need a 1/4" wide elastic. The narrow elastic is what I used to shir the flounce in the front of the skirt.
You will need your hip measurement and the length that you would like your skirt to be. I made mine long as I want to wear this skirt with sandals and have a very casual summer look. 
So, if your hip measurement is 36", you will want to add another 7" to this measurement. The 7" is for the flounce, 3" on either side plus 1/2" to turn under the edge. Determine your length and add extra for your elastic. If your desired finished length is 40" from your waistline, then in my case, I used a 4" wide elastic so I would add 8" to this measurement resulting in a length measurement of 48". The rectangle would then measure 43" wide by 48" long.  
Once you have your rectangle cut, fold it in half. If you are using a 4" wide elastic for the waist, on the cut edge of your rectangle, measure down 4" and 3 1/2" back to the cut edge (for the flounce). See picture below.
Once you have cut out the notch for the waist band, curve the top edge of the flounce.
Your rectangle will now look like the picture below.
Now stitch the waistband area closed as you see below.
Turn the skirt to the right side and stitch the flounce area. Stitch the flounce a little longer than you would normally do for the opening. Remember, the elastic that is sewn to the back of the flounce will shorten the opening quite a bit.
Use a serger to attach the elastic to the top edge of the skirt. 
Once the elastic has been attached to the top of the skirt, turn it down and zigzag in place. You will want to begin and end at the flounce.
Once the waistband has been zigzagged, cut a piece of 1/4" wide elastic a little more than 1/2 the length of your flounce area. Begin at the waist line, stretching the elastic as you sew and zigzag to the flounce making sure that both sides of the flounce are laying flat on the other side.
Finish the edges of the flounce. The selvedge of my fabric was quite nice so I didn't finish the hem edge.
It seems that there are a lot of instructions for such a simple skirt. It really is quite easy. It took me all of about 30 minutes to make this skirt. If you use a fabric that is a little less bulky, the flounce will have more drape.
Happy Friday everyone!!

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  1. This is a great skirt! Now to start digging through my stash to find suitable fabric. Thanks! :-)