Today’s contributor is Valerie from Élégantine! All posts written by Valerie for Make It and Love It can be found HERE.
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Hi everyone! I am so happy to be back with a new tutorial on the Make It and Love It blog! I thank you all for the very warm welcome on my first post and I loved reading each and every one of your comments! Today, I have a dancing garment tutorial for you. My daughter, who is 3 years old, started dancing lessons recently and it’s the Cutest. Thing. Ever.
I find myself wanting to spend my days sewing leotards, dancing skirts and ballet slippers so I created this cute ballet skirt for my daughter and my niece, my little models of the day. So it’s with great pleasure that I am bringing you this quick and fun project. I hope you like my Easy Ballet Wrap Skirt Tutorial!
Choose an appropriate fabric for a ballet wrap skirt. For best result, you will want to use a drape-y, lightweight fabric. For this tutorial, I used a mesh type fabric from the lingerie section. It has only mechanical stretch and doesn’t fray but you could easily choose a stretchy drape-y fabric, as long as you use a stable fabric for the ties. You could also choose a fabric that fray but keep in mind that you will need to hem the skirt. I will let you know in the tutorial when it’s time to hem if you need to!
Rayon and viscose poplin, voile, silk, or polyester chiffon, light weight tulle or even nylon chiffon are great choices too!
Unlike most circle skirts where you measure the waist and use that measurement to calculate your circle radius, you will need to wrap the measuring tape around your model’s waist and measure a few inches past her waist circumference. For example, in the photo above, I measured 24 inches while my daughter’s waist measure 19.5”. The excess is the amount of overlap that you want on the skirt. Let’s call this measurement ”new waist measurement” I found that I prefer the overlap to be a little less than the waist and a half I rather prefer a few inches less. But keep in mind that this is a matter of taste, you can extend the overlap as long as you wish!
You can also multiply the waist measurement by 1.25 if you don’t have your model close by.
Determine where you want your skirt to sit on the waist of your model and measure down the length you want the skirt to be. To this measurement, add 3/8” for the ties seam allowance and, if you wish, add another 1/2” for hem allowance. I wanted the skirt to be 6 inches long so I got 6.375 inches.
Now, remember the math you did in school? Remember how to calculate the radius of a circle? To put it simply you are going to use the ”new waist measurement” and divide it by 6.28.
For example: 24 ÷ 6.28 = 3.82
So 3.82” is my skirt radius and 6.375” is my skirt length.
Please note that in the photo step-by-step, I used photographs from 3 different sizes so don’t be surprised if the measurements from the photos are not the same as in the calculation. However, in terms of numbers, I will always use the same example to teach you how to measure and calculate.
All right, now lets get into the fun part and lets get this easy ballet wrap skirt tutorial started! We will prepare our fabric to cut the circle skirt. First, fold you fabric in half lengthwise. Then, fold you fabric again in half width-wise. You will end up with 2 folds like pictured in the photo above.
This is where you are going to need the waist radius and the skirt length. First, starting from the corner between the 2 folds, trace a quarter of a circle using your radius. You will trace a second quarter of a circle starting from the same corner. This time, you will measure your determined length + the waist radius.
3.82+ 6.375 =10.195, lets say 10.2 or 10 1/8
Before cutting your skirt, add your seam allowances around the waist( and hem allowance if you are using a fabric that will fray). On the above photo, I added a 3/8 seam allowance at the waist only because my fabric didn’t need any hemming. Before cutting into the fabric pin the layers together or use pattern weight to keep the layers from shifting.
Unfold your and lay your circle flat.
Cut the fabric on one side to open the skirt.
Using a curved ruler or free hand, curve the edges of the skirt opening. I like to exaggerate the curve of the side that will be on top.
Cut a long strip of fabric about 3 times the waist of your model by 1.5 inches. If your fabric behaves under the iron (mine didn’t, unfortunately), fold and crease your strip like you would for a double fold bias tape.
If you need to hem your fabric, now is the time. You can either do a rolled hem on the serger or on your regular sewing machine using a specialty foot or simple fold the hem 1/4” twice and top-stitch.
Pin the long strip right side to right side along the waistline. Make sure the tie will be twice as long on the side that will be under and twice as short on the side that will cross on top. Stitch using a 3/8” seam allowance.
Press the bias up and away from the skirt and fold it down over the seam allowance to enclose all raw edges like you would with a double fold bias tape.
Pin along the waist and continue to pin all the way to the end of the ties.
Edge stitch along the whole tie back-stitching at both ends.
Now, fold your skirt in three. If you want, you can stitch a buttonhole or add a little ribbon loop on the inside, opposite to the opening. I found that my fabric didn’t slip much and would do fine whithout, but remember that a little belt loop inside will give you a more secure wrap while wearing.
Tie a little bow and you are all done!
Doesn’t my nice looks like a real ballerina? I hope you liked my tutorial and now, let’s sew all the ballet wrap skirts! Using the same measurements technique, have fun sewing all kinds and all sizes of skirts. I bet this Easy Ballet Wrap Skirt would look awesome over a pair of leggings on a regular day or how about a doll size version?! If you would like to see more dance wear sewing projects, visit my blog Élégantine! I am certainly not over it yet and will start sharing very soon. I guess no one will be surprised to learn that I have a huge to sew list! Finally, If you share easy ballet wrap skirts on Instagram, make sure to tag me @valerie_dufort! I would love to see it!
Thanks for reading!
– Valerie xoxo
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Check out these other cute projects, perfect for the little ballerina in your life: