Saturday, December 3, 2011

Christmas Shirt and Skirt Tutorial

We took our family Christmas pictures this morning.  I thought for sure we'd get rained out but the rain stopped for about two hours this morning and we were able to squeeze in a quick photo shoot.  I had a really hard time finding an outfit for Avery this year.  I wanted something festive and sweet but didn't want to spend a fortune.  I found an outfit I loved on Etsy and did my best to recreate it.  This was my first time sewing a skirt and while it didn't come out perfect, I learned a few good tips and am happy with the results.  I wish I'd taken pictures throughout the process but now that I have a better idea what I'm doing I'll try to snap a few photos next time to give better visual instruction!

I started with the shirt because I'm more comfortable appliqueing letters than sewing ruffles.  The shirt was super easy, I used a Cricut to cut out the JOY and found three coordinating fabrics to use for the letters.  I used heat and bond to adhere the J and Y first.  When I was done stitching around the first two letters I added the O and sewed ric-rak and a little bow on it to make it look like an ornament.  Super easy!!

The skirt was a little more difficult.  I didn't have a pattern to use so I grabbed one of Avery's skirts and used it as a guide.  I measured her waist and cut a piece of 3/4" elastic 1" bigger. Start with the bottom layer.  Fold 1/2" and another 1/2" to create a hem, this is the bottom of your skirt.

Now sew a basting stitch along the top of the bottom layer (a basting stitch is a regular old straight stitch set to the widest width your machine will allow, usually a 5), leaving a long thread on each side so you can gather.  Lay the middle layer out flat.  Pull the bobbin thread and gently push the fabric to gather the bottom layer until it is the same length as the middle layer to create your ruffle.

Evenly distribute your ruffles/gathers.  Lay the middle layer face down on top of the bottom layer so right sides are facing. Sew in place all the way across just inside the basting stitch. Repeat the same steps for the middle layer.

For the top layer (waist) fold the top edge in 1/2" and iron, then another 1" and iron. Sew in place at the edge of the casing, starting on one side of the seam, leaving a hole, backstitching and the beginning and end. Feed your elastic into the hole with a safety pin.Sew the elastic together flat with a stretch or zig zag stitch.
Push it back into the casing and sew the hole closed.
Finish all edges by serging or sewing with a zig zag stitch. Add the ric-rak detail to the bottom layer and TA-DA:

Like I said, I definitely learned a few tricks and am excited to make this skirt again, it is super easy and can be worn year-round!! 


  1. That is super cute! Well done! I actually just got a cricut last week! It's pretty cool! Got any good tips? I'm still trying to figure it out :)

  2. Cute outfit. I made something similar for my niece one time.

  3. I love this outfit!!! I wish I could make something like that!! Great gift idea by the way! I like your blog, so I am following now!