Saturday, August 5, 2017

BlytheCon Brooklyn Skirt Directions

BlytheCon Brooklyn Skirt Instructions

Swatch of fabric, 4” by 7”
3 ½ “ piece of 1/8 “ wide elastic
1” piece of 1/8” wide leather
Small buckle or button

I am making the donation skirts out of the BCBk plaid.  If you are attending, then you don’t need to make one out of that.  But if you are not, and you want an exact replica, then fabric is available here.    I got the Plaid Small in Basic Cotton Ultra.  And a swatch is enough for this skirt!  But I think that this skirt will be cute in lots of different designs, so get creative!

The leather is widely available at craft stores like Michael’s, look in the leather and beading sections.  It is the flat 1/8 inch wide leather strapping.

If you want to wait for the slow boat from China, the buckles are available most affordably on eBay and Mimiwoo.  
But they are also available from a US seller  However, I think that there is room for creativity on this.  You could use a ribbon and a button or two.  Or you could do an embroidery chain stitch.  Even just put a pretty mini applique there.

All garments benefit from good pressing, but pressing is particularly important in this pattern.  So get out that trusty iron!

  1. Preliminary Pressing
The pattern is really just a rectangle and you don’t need to mark anything.  Before you sew press under ½ inch on both long edges.  

Next: press in the pleats.  

There are 2 pleats.  The first one is 2 ⅞” from the left side.  Fold and press here.

The pleats are ⅜” deep, so my next press looks like this.

There is ¼” between the pleats.  So I measure out ¼” from the last pleat edge, then fold under and press.  

Then I fold under the final pleat with a depth of ⅜” again and do the final press.

  1. Make the Waistband Elastic Casing
This can be a bit confusing, so I’ll try to break it down step by step.  At this point you can’t just fold under the casing.  One, because the pleats are in the way, and two, because the elastic would not fit through.  

So this is your pressed piece ready to go.

To make the casing, you need to open out the top folds and get the top flat, so that when you fold it under you can insert the elastic. First, adjust and pin your pleats in place on the front to keep the bottom edge tidy.

Now, flip it over and looking at it from the back side, it looks like this:

Fold open the top edge, while keeping the pleats in place.

When you fold it up, the creases from the pressing are going in a different direction at the top, which makes the fabric flower out.  So I just finger press them to match the rest of the crease.  Now it lies flatter.

Now keeping the pleats in place, fold the top edge down not quite half way and pin in place.

Then fold again on the original press line.

And re-pin in place.

Stitch close to that edge. This is your casing for the elastic.

  1. Insert Elastic
I have a special tool that I use for inserting elastic in narrow casings.  You can get it on Amazon.  It’s also Available at JoAnn.  But you can use a bodkin or a safety pin, if you like.

Insert it in this direction so that the elastic doesn’t get caught in the folds.  Attach your elastic to the end and pull it though.  

It’s a little bit fussy, so have patience.  It helps to put a pin through the end of the elastic to keep it from being pulled all the way into the casing.  Now pin the ends.
IMG_9410 (1).jpg

And stitch ⅛” from the edge to secure.

You are almost done!

  1. Back Seam and Hemming (You have a choice here.)

1) You can run a hem along the bottom right now while the back seam is open.  That is easier.  Fold out the pressed edge straightening out the pleats, and fold under about halfway, then stitch close to the edge.  Now, right sides together, and minding your pattern if you are matching plaids, pin and stitch the back seam from waistband to hem.  Done!


2) The version described above will put a seam in your hem and lots of people do this. But I like the finished look of enclosing the seam in the hem.  So I fold the skirt right sides together and stitch from waist to hem.

Now fold out the hem straightening out the pleats, fold under about halfway, and stitch close to that edge.  It’s rather fussy work.  You can see that the skirt rotates around my foot as I sew.

See how pretty it looks this way?

  1. Final Press
Press the elastic open at the waist.  
IMG_9518 (1).jpg

Now from the bottom, press the seam flat.  
IMG_9516 (1).jpg

Now repress your pleats in place since you had to open them out for the hem.

  1. Embellish
Take your 1” piece of leather and shape the ends.  Position your buckle on one end.  You can make a groove in the leather for the center of the buckle to make it lie more flat.  Sew it across the pleats about ⅝” down from the top of the waistband.

Done! Let’s see your skirts!  Post photos!

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