Skirting the Issue: Katy from No Big Dill

Today we have our friend and most-amazing sewist Katy from No Big Dill joining us today for Skirting the Issue.  Here she is with a fantastic skirt for all ages!
Take it away Katy……
What a truly inspiring idea to help girls who sometimes might feel neglected feel simply loved and beautiful. I love tangible ways where we can use our talents to bless others, and this is the perfect project to do just that. 

I originally planned to make all my girls a Coastal Curtsy Skirt, a simple one-seam skirt using pre-ruffled, knit fabric:

I started with Olive’s, got hers made and then I thought it would be more fun for my girls if it could twirl a little bit more!  Essentially, this is just a simple circle skirt.  When you use a ruffled fabric or a striped fabric, the orientation of a circle makes the stripes run perpendicular in some areas and horizontal in others, which makes it even more playful!  There are lots of great tutorials out there already for a circle skirt, like Dana’s here.  Use hers if you plan on making this out of woven fabric, and without closures.  If you have a knit fabric, or fabric that isn’t wide enough for a circle, I provide some tips to make it work–it’s super easy and quick.  I sewed up 4 of these in one evening!  

If your fabric is wide enough, you can simply cut a circle.  If you need to make a bigger skirt, you can cut it out in two pieces.  First, figure out the width of fabric you’ll need:

LENGTH of skirt (times 2) + DIAMETER of waist = width and length of fabric needed 

Divine’s skirt was 17″ in length and her waist is 22″.  Diameter is the circumference (waist measurement) divided by π which is 3.14.  Plugging in my measurements to figure out the fabric width I needed: (17 X 2) + (22 ÷ 3.14) = 41″.  Since my fabric was wide enough, I could have cut this in a circle, but I also wanted to show you how easy it is if you need to cut it in two pieces for a bigger size.

Once you figure out the amount of fabric you need, cut out your skirt.  For two pieces, fold you fabric in half, parallel with the lines/ruffles.  Mark the waist opening by pivoting a tape measure along the corner, cutting using the radius (half the circumference you just figured out).  If you are cutting two pieces, add an inch to the waist measurement before you figure circumference to account for an extra seam allowance that you are adding.

Next spread the first piece flat, turning the ruffle away from the center.

Place the other piece on top, making sure the ruffles are going the same way and pin in place so they don’t shift.  Sew your two seams at 1/2″ seam allowance.

Cut the elastic (1″ wide) at exactly your waist measurement.  It will be slightly smaller when you sew the seam, making the perfect amount of snugness.

Pin the right side of the elastic to the wrong side of your skirt, matching the center back and center front of elastic and skirt, stretching to fit, pinning in place.

Sew along the edge with a zig-zag stitch so that it will still retain the stretch.  Fold elastic under, toward the inside of the skirt.

Stitch in the seam of the elastic to keep it down, as well as the two sides and the front in inconspicuous places.

There’s no need to hem it, but trim any ruffles that are hanging too low.  

The middle skirt (blue and white striped) is the regular Coastal Curtsy Skirt, and the rest are the Coastal Twirly Skirt.  I love both looks, so you may want to try them both out!

And if you want a chance to win some of this darling fabric (your choice) plus elastic, visit me over at my blog!

I plan to make a bunch of these to donate as well.  They’re easy care, no ironing needed, they travel well, even wadded up in a ball!

Thank you liZ and Elizabeth for this incredible idea of helping those who are less fortunate.  These are so easy and quick that you could whip a few of these in a jiffy.  I look forward to the rest of the inspiration!

7 thoughts on “Skirting the Issue: Katy from No Big Dill

  1. LOVING this; what a fun tutorial. My five and a half year old really wants to start learning how to sew this summer so I think we’re going to try to contribute to this series and make some skirts to donate. This skirt is so simple, I’m sure she’ll be able to do lots of it herself! AWESOME! Thank you so much!


  2. Such amazing skirts! I can’t believe such a dramatic effect comes from a simple circle skirt. Love the multicolored ruffle fabric. Katy’s work is always impeccable.

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