I am going to try my first mini-tutorial. Maybe it’s a tutorialette? It’s not rocket science, but since so many people read my blog 🙂 I figured it wouldn’t hurt to try. My daughter hit me up on Pinterest about making a skirt for the baby girl out of big brother’s old jeans. Sounds simple enough and oh-so-cute! But first I must get off on a tangent here….
People have told me all of my life that I am “just like Granny”. Everytime someone says it, I scratch my head and think…hmm. From what I remember, Granny was called “fastidious”. She was a measure twice, cut once kind of woman. She finished what she started. She was organized. She was on top of things. None of those things describe me. I am scatter-brained. I measure once and end up cutting 5 times ( while ruining items 1-4). I am a messy housekeeper. I don’t balance my checkbook. I don’t measure much when I cook, or sew (more on that later). Basically anything that involves a number, other than my Iphone, I am not very interested in. And I rarely finish what I start and I have a whole craft room full of half-done clever things to prove it. Actually I really believe that my SISTER is like Granny. She balances her checkbook. She makes quilts that are square and perfect and beautiful. She finishes things (usually). And she can be a bit “fastidious” at times about some things. So maybe I am adopted?
Even though I didn’t get to know her very well as she died when I was about 10, my Grandma sounds like the cloth I was cut from. It was said that she was a little sloppy in most things, and a bit scatterbrained at times. I have one of her quilts, and lets just say it’s a little less than perfect, which is just the way I like it! Mom told the story of Grandma serving up a big glass of tea to a visiting preacher. But she had so many gallon jars on her countertop that she accidentally gave him the vinegar instead of the tea! Thankfully I don’t have many ministers come to call. There is no telling what they would get.
But regardless of who I get my quirks from, I am who I am. I am 55 and just starting to figure out that it’s pretty okay to be me. And if my sewing is a little sloppy…oh well. It’s not like I enter it in the county fair! And this project is for my granddaughter who will likely outgrow it in about 15 minutes anyway.
So back on topic here. The skirt made out of blue jeans. Here goes:
I cut the little boys jeans off just under the back pockets. Just leave enough to sew on the ruffle later. I didn’t measure…just eyeballed it. Cut across the crotch seam and then lay flat so you can even it out. It should look like a skirt….cause it is! Basically, you will be sewing your ruffle right under the pockets in back and right under the zipper in front.
For the ruffle I cut two strips, both 45 inches wide because that’s how long my fabric was. One less measurement to take! I cut one strip 4″ and one 6″. Sew each of them together so that you have 2 loops of fabric, them hem one long edge. Here is where it’s a tiny bit tricky.
Since I was going to be sewing gathered fabric to denim, I wanted as few layers as possible since I am famous for breaking needles. When I break needles, I tend to walk away from the machine in disgust for about a month. I wanted to finish this. So I wanted as little bulk at the seams as possible. So rather than attach the ruffles to each other right sides together, I had the longer bottom ruffle face up, and the wrong side of the top ruffle attached to that to form the seam. That way when the top ruffle is flipped over you have a nice finished seam at the top. Basically I just laid it together how I wanted it to look, pinned the seam together, and sewed them in place. Hopefully it makes sense looking at the picture. If not…just play it by ear. That’s what I did. Once you get your ruffles attached to each other and pressed, you need to stitch about 1/2 inch from the seam to make your gathering stitches. I don’t have a ruffler attachment or I would use that. Well I might actually have one, but I wouldn’t have a clue how to use it. My sister would though…. I just sew a fairly straight line and pull the thread until it starts gathering. Then I hope it stays gathered long enough for me to pin it in place!
Once your ruffle is gathered evenly, you can start pinning it to the outside of the jeans. Your ruffle will be on top, so if you want to pencil a straight line around the jeans to be sure its straight, you can do that. But I just eyeballed it. 😉 Carefully stitch the ruffle to the jeans, easing your ruffle as needed to make it fit. Or you can get it real bunchy on one side and fight to steal ruffles on the other side, which is what I did.
Once you get the ruffle attached, trim the denim close to the stitching to reduce the bulk. Press if needed (NOT). and add whatever embellishments you need to cover up the holes on the pocket! I added buttons from Mama’s button box, because Mom was organized like that. I am so glad I have her button box….I wouldn’t have been smart enough to think of that on my own.
Anyway, I think it turned out pretty cute. Good enough for my country kids anyway. And I got it done even if I didn’t measure much or press much. And it turned out fine. My expectations of myself are like that. I try too hard sometimes. But chances are if I just relax a little and do it “good enough”, it really will be.
She is wearing her new skirt to coordinate with her black and blue eye! This was from a playground spill that required the ER and stitches. This child is going to make us all old before our time!