Monday, April 12, 2010

Sewing Easy, Fast Doll Skirts from Scraps and Hair Elastics

A Tutorial for the Perpetually Lazy Seamstress

I am not a sewer (Haha. Sewer.), I mean seamstress. But sometimes I agree to do things for my children that require sewing. Last night Hannah was given a fabulous baby Snow White doll from Shaelynn and Ali (hooray, they're engaged!), for her birthday. She loved the doll but asked me if I would make a skirt for it. Sure, sure, I said, hoping she would forget all about it, or that I could tie a napkin around the doll's waist and leave it at that. But she didn't forget. Today for our Monday Mommy/Daughter date she asked me again if I would make a skirt. So I decided to impress her with my sewing skills. Inspired by this Lazy Days Skirt tutorial from Oliver + S I set out to make my daughter's dreams come true. If I were truly not so lazy, I would have pulled up the tutorial and follwed the steps on a smaller scale. Instead, I guessed my way through the project and did this in about 30 minutes:

First I "measured" the dolls waist and length. I cut one of my fabric scraps a little longer and wider than the doll.

Next I pinned the wrong (inside out) sides together. You should probably do some more folding and ironing at this point. I didn't.

I sewed those babies together to form a little tunnel of fabric.

Then I pinned a fold down at the top. You should probably measure and iron this.  I just folded a little bit over onto the inside out fabric.

Sew this fold close to the edge, almost all the way around. Don't connect the sewing circle- Leave a little hole (big enough for a safety pin to fit through) to put the elastic in. If you are smart (not like me) you should put the hole for the elastic threading at the same point that you sewed the skirt together in the first steps. I won't pretend that I sew very straight, but if you follow the guide by the side of your sewing foot, it is generally okay. (And when you add the elastic it bunches all up and you can't really see it anyway)

Next, get some elastic. I didn't have any thin elastic, so I decided an old hair elastic would do.

I found the seam of the hair elastic and cut it.

To make the threading of the elastic easier, I stuck a safety pin in one end, stuck it in the hole and threaded the elastic through my sewed down fold.

To keep myself from cursing when the elastic I'm threading accidentally pulls all the way through I pinned down the end.

I pulled the two ends of the elastic out and sewed back and forth over them until I felt sure they would stay together for at least the duration of my children's attention span. Then, I sewed the hole on the fold. If you're really lazy, you can probably skip that step.  

To finish the edge, I pinned some ribbon I had from some other project on the bottom. Again, if you're smart, you could put the ends of the ribbon where the seam of the skirt is, so the ugly parts are all in one spot, not strewn randomly around your skirt. 

Then, of course, I sewed that ribbon on.

Oh look, she's got a skirt. Just what every doll needs.

This is obviously not Snow White, but Kenzie needed a skirt for her doll too, so I took pictures with hers. And I'm not showing you any close-ups of my seams. They look drunken. But, this is a skirt that will be loved for about 1 day, maybe a week at tops and then it will be lost, trampled on, or forgotten. I'm sure you can improve on the design, but I did like the hair elastic. I think that's a perfect cheap touch. 


charbetrichey said...

What a pioneer woman! Next time sew the lace on the bottom of the skirt before you seam up the side. You did good! The girls might not remember the skirts, but they will remember that you made them.

Melissa said...

Okay, you are way better than me. I would have tried to tape something together, cause me and the sewing machine are arch enemies. Or I would as Brice to do it, he sews. I think the skirt looks awesome.

Rachel Sue said...

I wish my girls were more into dolls. I spent months making baby doll quilts and pillows. And they never played with the dolls. It was crushing.

Marcie said...

I'm laughing so hard my stomach hurts! You sew like I do! I know Hollie cringes everytime I atempt to make anything(but she is always willing to try and help) and Grandma probably turns over in her grave. I never measure or use an iron which is why I finally have desided store bought items or things that can be amde with duct tape are the only way to go for me. The great thing is I bet your girls had hours of fun with it and that's what's important.