I took Elli and Connor school clothes shopping last week, to get a few new things for their new school year. While walking through the little girl department, Elli saw these little knit Tube Skirts and said she wanted one in every color. I picked one up and almost threw it in the cart, but……. I. Just. Couldn’t. Yeah, they weren’t that expensive but I knew I had some cute knit fabric at home, check. And I knew I had wide elastic at home, check. I just couldn’t bring myself to purchase something as simple as that skirt, when I knew I had the stuff for it and could make it in like 2 seconds at home.
Okay, not 2 seconds……but like, 30 minutes.
And she said she wanted one in every color, while at the store…..so I couldn’t stop at just making one skirt.
The elastic waistband is enclosed in the same knit fabric and is attached to a slightly gathered skirt section, to give a little more space for the hips/bum area.
But while the skirt is on, it appears straight and not gathered in the slightest. (I Elli her tuck in her shirt, to show you…)
And wouldn’t you know, these Tube Skirts are stretchy and comfy and really great for school……..or play. (She’ll just have to wear some knit shorts under them because this girl still forgets to keep those knees together while sitting. Or swinging. Or hanging from the monkey bars. So, the knit shorts do the trick. :) )
But keep in mind, these would be great for girls of all ages, adults included. Instructions below will help with that. :)
And truly, you can mix and match these little knit skirts with anything and have some fun with mixing prints and colors. (Do you remember back in the day, when everything had to match? The pink stripe in your shirt had to match the exact pink of your socks? Or your headband? If not, you weren’t matching…remember?! And mixing stripes with polka dots [or gasp, plaid!!] was such a no-no? Ha! I’m so glad that’s out. :) )
(**By the way, that Puffy Ribbon Flower shirt above, is one I made a couple weeks ago and a few asked about how the ribbon would wash. I suggested hang drying if you were concerned. However, I have washed and dried that shirt twice now……and yeah, it’s wrinkled up the petals a teeny bit, but it still looks puffy and super cute! Just an FYI.)
I have to admit, I was a little surprised Elli was even drawn to these skirts at the store, because they’re not frilly like she usually requests. Hmmmm, maybe she feels a little more grown up in them?? I’m not really sure, but I know she won’t be giving up ruffly skirts for a long while. She still loves them. Whatever works little Miss…….if you want to add a few straight Tube Skirts to your wardrobe, no prob, these are simple to make. :)
I can hardly believe it, but next week, this little chickie is…
Do you have 30 minutes to make your own Tube Skirt??
Let’s whip up a few tube Skirts. But keep in mind, you will need KNIT fabric for this project. Knit is stretchy and will allow your subject to slip in and out of the skirt, without any problems. And will offer comfort while it’s being worn. A woven cotton would never slip over hips and would be impossible to wear and sit in, following these instructions.
Okay, first things first……cutting.
First, measure your subject’s (or your own) waist. Then cut a 2 inch wide piece of elastic the same length as the waist measurement. Then, cut a piece of fabric for the waist band that is the same length as the waist measurement but is 5.25 inches tall. And lastly multiply the waist measurement by 1.33 and that will give you the width measurement you need. (If it’s a crazy fraction, just round up.) Then, figure out the desired length of your skirt (above the knee, at the knee, below the knee, etc.) and then add 1.5 inches to that length. This number will be the height of this main fabric piece.
For example, Elli’s waist is 21 inches and I wanted the skirt to be 13 inches long. So I cut a piece of elastic that was 21 inches long and the waistband fabric piece 21 x 5.25 inches. Then, I multiplied 21 by 1.33 and that gave me 27.93…..so I rounded up to 28. So, I cut my main piece of fabric 28 inches wide by 14.5 (13 + 1.5) inches tall. That’s it.
Then, fold the main fabric piece in half (width wise), and sew the two ends together, using a 1/2 inch seam allowance. Repeat with the waistband piece of fabric.
Grab the waistband fabric and open up the seam and lay it flat.
Then fold the fabric in half, down onto itself, placing the wrong sides of the fabric together.
Keep folding and manipulating the fabric until the entire circle of fabric is folded in half onto itself.
Then, place the two ends of your elastic together, overlap by an inch, then sew the two ends down with a zig-zag stitch.
Then, open up your circle of fabric slightly and place your circle of elastic down inside of the fold. Line up the raw edges of fabric so that they’re even and pin in place, all the way around.
Then, sew around the top edge of the raw edges, sewing the two layers together. Use a zig-zag stitch and a 3/8 seam allowance.
Then, divide the top edge into eighths and place pins there to mark it. (To get your eighths, fold in half, place pins at both sides, fold in half the other way, place pins……and continue on until it’s divided evenly.
Divide the top edge of the skirt the same way and add pins to mark the 8 sections as well.
Now, match up the 8 pins of the waist band with the 8 pins on the skirt, lining up the raw edges of both.
Then, sew together from one pin to the next, pulling the waistband fabric slightly so that it’s the same length as the skirt fabric and sew. Once you let go, it will spring back. Continue all the way around the skirt, using a zig-zag stitch and a 1/2 inch seam allowance. (If you need another visual of this process, check out this elastic waistband skirt. Same idea…..except the elastic is exposed. The the pulling of the elastic while you’re sewing is the same.) Trim away any excess fabric.
Then fold up the bottom of your skirt 1 inch and pin in place.
Then sew a hem along the bottom of the skirt, 3/4 inches from the bottom, using a double needle. Need help using a double needle?? (You can also use a zig-zag stitch…….but using a straight stitch won’t work because then the hem of the skirt won’t stretch when it’s being worn.)
Now, don’t forget the last important step. Ironing.
Most likely, you have some puckers and a little bit of pulling that happened while sewing with your knit. Don’t worry, it happens to me too. But if you iron/steam your seams, you will see a huge difference. But be sure not to press and then pull the iron across the fabric…….just press, lift and then move to a new spot and press again. The steam will help the fabric kind of shrink up again, so don’t forget that either.
And just so you can see, here’s the top of the skirt before ironing…
…and here it is after ironing. It’s nice and flat and a little more professional looking. Press the bottom hem too.
Aaaaaand, that’s it!
Now, surely you’ll need to make a few more in different colors. Have fun!
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