Sewing with Knits Mondays - Super Speedy Simple Skirt Tutorial from Katy of No Big Dill

Monday, August 8, 2011

 i hope you all had a fabulous and relaxing weekend and are all raring and ready to go with your knits this week!  i've got another fabulously talented guest in the mommyhood today!  so excited!  the lovely and oh, so sweet katy of one of my faaaaavvvooorite blogs "no big dill" is here today with us! 
 now katy needs no introduction from me but i can't stop myself from writing about her awesomeness :) this girl has some serious sewing skills.  her eye for details and for those special little things on a project just blow my mind.  i can't get enough of her blog, her sewing and her gorgeous family.  katy's just about ready to have baby number six!  can you believe it! wowsa!  this is one talented, and not to mention busy, momma :)  
 a big thank you to katy for her guest tutorial today - so fun and lovely, and for coming to guest even thow you're almost ready to pop!  you inspire me so.  i've got a pressie in the works for you my sweet friend and i cannot wait to see who the newest  member of the dill clan will be :)  i'm getting boy vibes.....
 now let's hear from katy...

Hello, Luvinthemommyhood readers!  I always delight in a visit over here.  Shannon is about the most positive, happy person I know.  I think this Sewing with Knits is a brilliant series because knits are more on the scary-don't-ever-use side when choosing fabric to sew with.  I wanted to come up with a project for you that would o1 come together quickly and o2 provide you with a positive experience of using knits if you've never tried your hand at them.
If you've spent any time on my blog, you know my affinity for ruffles.  I like me some good ruffle.  (I do have 5 girls after all and I admit that I'm worried if I have a boy all that will come to an end.)  So, what you'll need is 1/2-1 yard of knit, 3/4-1 yard of woven cotton for the skirt base, some 3/4" elastic, and ribbon or lace for the back.  This skirt comes together in about an hour, one of those quick, satisfying projects.  What I came up with was sewing knit onto cotton so you don't have to struggle with the knit keeping it's shape, but you get a feeling for sewing with knit, making you bolder and braver for future projects ;)
 o1 Determine the length of the skirt you want (just FYI, this won't work very well for a full length, long skirt).  Add 2" to accommodate the waistband casing and the hem.  The width is also to taste, wider for a fuller skirt, narrower for a straighter skirt.  Fold the top down 1/4" and then 1" and press.  Stitch in place 1/8" in on both sides of casing.   Fold bottom of skirt up 1/4" twice, press, and stitch in place.
 o2  Cut strips of your knit.  I fell in love with this knit because I love to manipulate fabric, but I was fascinated that this fabric was already manipulated.  Curvy tucks have been sewn through the whole piece, creating a pattern of it's own.  (More on the knit fabric later....wink, wink!)  I did the first two rows 3" and the second two rows 4".  Gather each strip by basting and pulling one of the threads, pushing the fabric along the other thread.
 o3  Knits have a lengthy list of fabulous qualities, but one of them is that they don't fray, so if you don't mind a more casual look, there is no need to hem the edges.  Yea for less work!
 o4  Pin each row in place on skirt base.  I chose to use a contrasting fabric, and to allow the skirt base to show (for visual interest) by spacing the ruffles by 1/2 and inch.  Stitch in place using a slight zig-zag.  Thread elastic through casing and pin in place on both sides.
 o5  With right sides together, fold skirt in half, hamburger ways, and stitch.  You can leave the last 3-4 inches open and create a small slit in the back by folding the seam allowance down and stitching up each side.  Tie a bow out of ribbon or lace and stitch to the back center.
Choosing to work with solid colors or simple patterns like stripes gives you the opportunity to play with fabric and color combinations more=more fun!
On the kid-friendly and ease-of-care-for-mom spectrum, knits are super-stars, probably oscar (or some other coveted trophy) worthy.  So, if you've been afraid to dip your toe in the knit pool, start with this project and you won't be disappointed.
And if you're wondering where I got such great fabric AND a chance to win a yard for your own sewing pleasure, come on over to my blog.

Thank you, Shannon, for inviting me over to play!

you're most welcome katy.  thanks again...xoxox.
make sure you guys pop on over to noodlehead to see anna's guest abby from sew much ado's tutorial for today!  so fun! looking for the other sewing with knits mondays posts?  click here to read them all :)  and if you make some knits from our "sewing with knits mondays" tutorials or are inspired by them make sure to add your pics to our flickr group that anna started.  i can't wait to see all of your projects and stay tuned for next monday, i've got another fun top tutorial of my own to share!

have you ever sewn with ruffled stretch fabric before?  what's your fave skirt to make that's stretch/knit?  i love seeing what you're making & which patterns/tutorials you're using.  happy sewing ladies!


  1. Katy is so amazing - what a great skirt!

    I think she needs to teach a photography class as well, sign me up!

  2. yay! katy always makes such amazing things. :)

  3. Katy is one of my favorite bloggers ever (along with you, of course)!!! I'm so glad to see her on your blog.

    I love-ity love sewing with knits, and am so excited about this series. Knits are so forgiving when it comes to sizing, finishing edges, and NO IRONING!!! I don't know why people are so worried about them. I love this skirt, and plan on making a dress based on this for my infant daughter tonight! Thanks!

  4. What an adorable skirt! I have one huge question...where in the world do you find your knits? I am seriously investigating jumping into the online fabric business, and I would love to primarily supply knits because I just can't seem to find a great source to purchase them on the internet! Knits are so forgiving, so comfortable and so super duper adorable. <3 So, if you have any tips, I'm all ears (or, ahem, eyes in this online world!) ;)

  5. Katy is ahhhhmmmmazing! I heart her to bits :) This skirt looks so fun and simple. A great beginner project & the fabric she used just adds to it.

    @Kirsten - I have a very, very hard time finding stretch/knits in Canada both online and in store that are nice. One of my sponsors StitchSimple sells some gorgeous organic ones that come pre-washed and ready to go that are great. The drawback for me mostly for online shops for knits is the shipping. They are so heavy and thick that sometimes I have to source locally which isn't that successful. I usually tend to end up refashioning a ton when it comes to knits. Old Navy is great for finding cheap tees to use. And yes, I agree with you, knits are fabulous to work with! Love them! I say go for it! Let me know what you decide :)

  6. Great easy tutorial and from someone who wet their feet 30 years ago by starting their sewing with knit fabrics I can see how easy it would be to adapt this to a flared full length skirt.
    If you do have a boy view it as a challenge to make different interesting stretch knit clothing :). Best wishes for the birth of the latest addition to your family!

  7. This is my favorite knit:
    And it just happens to be by one of your guests, Sew Much Ado. :) This was my first successful sewing projects. Making a couple more is on my back to school clothes list.

  8. Gonna have lotsa people drooling over my girls skirts! This is where four girls rocks! :o)


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