Sewing our Sanity

Monday, August 5, 2013

A maxi skirt--teaching a teenager to sew

Dear Monica,

A few weeks ago, our cousin Anne-Marie stayed with us for the week. We LOVE having her stay.  The kids have a great time with her and so do I.  She is so much fun and really the best teenager I know.  It is hard to believe that she is 16!

In the past when she has stayed with me we have sewn some purses and snack bags, and a few very simple skirts.  This time, just a day before we had to take her back to her mom, she mentioned that she really liked tiered maxi skirts but that every time she tried one on in the store she was disappointed by how frumpy they looked.  So, we hoped on line and found this pattern.  It was exactly what she was looking for and it was an easy pattern.  So I bought it for her and printed it out.  We looked at the directions and I worked out the measurements for cutting each of the tiers using the tables provided in the pattern.  I didn't think that I had enough fabric in my stash so she was going to take the pattern home and break in her sewing machine, but I decided to raid my stash one last time and see if there was anything I had forgotten about.  I found a lovely vintage sheet that she really liked.  So for about $2 Anne-Marie made herself a tiered maxi skirt in one afternoon.

She did all the sewing herself, except for serging the seams, which I did for her.  The serger can be a little intimidating.  The only thing I did was help explain some of the steps.  This was also her first time shirring and she did a great job on the back of the waistband.  Here she is shirring away.  

And pinning the tiers.

And sewing the tiers together.  The only thing we changed was to add some top stitching on the tiers to hold the seams flat so she won't have to iron the seams every time she washes it and it also gave it a more polished finish.

The thing that we both liked the most was the waistband.  All of the skirts she tried on in the store had elastic waistbands all the way around.  This one only had elastic in the back and a flat front which gives you a much prettier, more flattering fit.  There were several lines of shirring and then a 1/2" piece of elastic threaded through a casing at the top.  

And the flat front.

I really loved how this waist band was put together so that the side seams are hidden.  I am going to use it on a skirt I made last summer that I don't care for the fit of.

Earlier in the week she found a headband of Natalie's and asked if I had made it.  I hadn't but I told her I knew how to and that we could make some.  It was a simple headband with dyed baby elastic and a little flower.  I already had the baby elastic that I had dyed brown and tan.  So we made a trip to Michael's and bought several flowers.  We liked the ones we found in the scrapbooking aisles the best.  When we got home she sat down at the table with the glue gun, some felt, her flowers, and the elastic and made 7 headbands for herself in less than an hour.  

This is one of those headbands and it matched the skirt perfectly.

I hope she makes another maxi skirt.  I really want to make one for myself.  




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