katilda skirtdress tutorial

ah, welcome to sewing time with katilda!
arguably a good idea for a children's show, considering that one time when i sewed my finger to the sewing machine and there was much screaming...and blood...

let's move on to this easy little adventure:

1. Go to a thrift store. Shop for long skirts with patterns you like. Try on the skirt with the waistline on top of your shoulders (remember the waistline of the skirt becomes the neckline).
a. Make sure you like the neckline (the way it lies, how wide it is, etc.) Mine had an elastic waistband, but I think other types will work just as well.
b. Check for length. Many long skirts will still result in short dresses unless a) you are short, or b) you find a really long skirt. I am 5’6 and mine falls just above the knees. You can always add lace or other fabric later if you want your dress to be longer.
c. If your dress has buttons or a zipper, make sure it won’t interfere with the pattern and that you will still like those features when they are up near your chest/neckline.
d. Keep in mind that 2-layer skirts are more difficult for this pattern, but I am including instructions for both. So decide how ambitious you are feeling!

this is you, trying on your skirt:
look how cute you are! …and bald!

2. Buy the skirt. Take it home. Bond with it over a cup of cocoa, perhaps. When the time is right, ask it if it ever wanted to be a dress when it grows up…

3. Turn the skirt inside out and lay it flat on the floor.
a. For 2 layers: Turn only the top layer inside out and proceed with the rest of the steps just for that layer until otherwise directed. Ignore the inside layer for now.

4. Cut the skirt (the front and the back at the same time) into the shape of dress you want, as follows in the pictures. I eyeballed this, but if you like to be more exact you can put the dress on over your shoulders and ask someone to make marks or pin where you want the armpits/sleeves to fall and how wide you want the body to be.
a. IMPORTANT: This dress is intended to be wide with a looser fit, otherwise it will be difficult to get on and off. I wear my dress with a belt to make it flattering, but it is definitely a very loose fit otherwise.
b. For flying squirrel sleeves (yes that’s now a technical term), cut as follows and then follow all directions found at my original inspiration.

c. For sleeves like my dress, cut as follows and keep following my directions. (This is totally like a choose-your-own-adventure book.) Remember to KEEP THE SLEEVES WIDE, or your arms are going to be very distressed.And leave enough space from the shoulders to the armpit seam or that area may be quite distressed as well.
5. With the skirt still inside out, sew the front of the skirt to the back along the sides and the insides of the sleeves, as highlighted below. To make the seams sturdy, go back and sew another seam next to the first one. (Don’t want any wardrobe malfunctions, now do we?) Also, do not sew the bottom of the sleeves shut, or that will be awkward.
a. Note: I didn't use pins when I sewed this. I just lined up the edges and went at it. If you like pins, then by all means, use pins as you please.

6. To hem the sleeves, fold the edges out toward you (because it is currently inside out, so this will be on the inside when you wear it). I did mine about the width of the sewing machine foot for each fold, which my mom informs me is about ¼”.
a. For sturdier fabric: Fold it out once and iron it down, then fold it over again to hide the loose edge and iron one more time. Then sew.
b. For sheer fabric: I didn’t bother with the iron on my fabric, instead I folded it out once and sewed it down, then folded it again and sewed a second time along the same line. I like to call it “sticking it to the man,” wherein “the man” is “sheer, unruly fabric.”

7. If your dress is just ONE LAYER, turn that baby right side out and wear it with pride!
also, send a pic of your creation to katildablog{at}gmail{dot}com

8. If your dress has TWO LAYERS, cut the inside layer as follows to make arm holes:
a. Frankly I’m not concerned about the inner layer fraying because a) nobody can see it, and b) I don’t plan to machine wash the dress, so I didn’t sew it or anything. You’re welcome to be more ambitious than I am and create some kind of hem around the arm holes on the inside layer.

9. Turn the top layer right side out back over the inside layer and refer to Step 7.

now go read more of my blog or something fun...

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