Wednesday, June 6, 2012 it is! Smocked/shirred Maxi Skirt Tutorial for Little Girls.

Well if you liked the maxi skirts on my girls in my previous post here is the how to make one yourself tutorial. This tutorial also features how to make a coordinating fabric belt to tie in a bow at the waist.

Here is a picture of today's finished project. 
So I started with a piece of fabric measuring 20" long and 40" wide as
 shown to the right.

Then using the Bernina rolled edge hemming foot, I made a hem on both top and bottom. (If you don't have the rolled edge hemmer, just fold over about 1/4" and fold over again, press and stitch to hold in place.) Second photo shows the rolled edge hem foot at work. Always press as you sew, it helps set the stitches and makes the end product look more professional.

Now it's time to begin the smocking/shirring. Using elastic thread for bobbin thread and regular top thread, and large (baste) stitches, I left 3/4" on right side (lining fabric up with metal plate on machine, as seen in 3rd photo),

 Sewed down to end of fabric, put needle down, turned for about 2 stitches, put needle down and turned fabric again and sewed down to end of fabric again, using my previous stitch as a guide to keep stitch line straight.

Make sure to keep the fabric flat and tight as you make your stitches.

I made 6 rows of stitches, you could do as many as ytE like. Make sure to backstitch when starting and stopping.

Once you have all the rows in use a spray bottle and iron to press and watch the stitched lines tighten up!

Then pin and sew down the side from top to bottom, using 5/8" seam, then press seam open and sew ends down on top and bottom.

 Press and wha-la! Super cute, super simple skirt!

I like to use same or coordinating fabric to make a belt to tie in a bow at the shirred waist. To do this use 2 strips of fabric 4" wide and 44" long.

 Sew them together end to end. (One stripe is just
not long enough to tie in a bow). You can use just one strip but it will tie in a knot, but not a bow.) And then I cut off about
20" from one end to fit my 4 year old. Adjust length of belt as needed for who you are trying to fit.

Now that you have a long strip, press the seam

Then length wise, with right sides together fold in half and press
the length of the strip.

Then sew it together down the length of the strip leaving an opening to turn inside out and you can either do a straight end or an angled end tip.
I did angled on this one as shown.

Trim off excess fabric on outside of the seam.

I used my grabber tool to turn inside

Then press flat.

Then sew hole shut.

There you are, skirt and bow belt! You can easily accessorize this into a darling outfit making headbands, hair flowers, bracelets out of the same or coordinating fabrics.

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