Wednesday, November 9, 2011

My creative space... I can sew a rainbow!

When I spied this Rainbow skirt tutorial over at Aesthetic Nest I knew I had to attempt one for Miss Matilda's rainbow party next month!

The problem was the whole wrap around concept that this tutorial uses was a little mindboggling for me (it required making a buttonhole and me and buttonhole making have not got a good relationship at all) and I really wasn't too fussed about the whole white ribbon tie at the side.  I figured I could create a simple elastic waisted skirt by modifying it a wee bit and this is what I have come up with.

I mostly followed Anneliese's tutorial right down to step 2.  Her instructions for working out the measurements you need for each panel of colour are easy to follow.  I think you should read through her tutorial as it is much clearer than mine and it might make what I have done make more sense if you see where I was coming from.  Also, I have used 12 colours in my skirt because that's how many were in the fat quarter bundle of fabric I purchased at Spotlight for a bargain!

My version of this fabulous skirt starts here:
Once you have measured, snipped and joined your rainbow panels together and cut out your lining fabric piece to the same size, place them right sides together and sew only the bottom long length together.

Here I have spread the entire skirt out flat so it is one big rectangle with the coloured panels on one half and the white lining on the other.

Next, fold the two short sides of your rectangle together like so...
...and stitch from the top of the white fabric through to the bottom of the rainbow panelled section.  In the picture above this would mean from the top right corner down to the bottom right corner.

You should have a big cylindrical shape skirt that you then need to fold so that the wrong side of the rainbow panel and the wrong side of your lining fabric are together.  This will give you your bottom hem.  Below is a picture of my sausage fingers holding that bottom hem open (even though it's at the top of the picture!).

Now to make that hem nice and secure follow Annaliese's instructions again and sew right around the bottom of your skirt very close to the edge.  Just like I am doing below!

Now, look how messy and untidy the top of my skirt is?

Solve this by sewing the lining fabric and the rainbow panels together about a centimetre from the top and then just snip all those dags right off!  Highly professional sewing going on right here!

Ok, the next bit involves gathering the top of your skirt together so it fits the small person it is intended for.  This involves a basting stitch which my sewing maching and I don't love.  I discovered the best thing for me is to use a nice strong cotton and hand sew a long running stitch across the top right around then grab the two ends of this cotton and gather and spread your material to your hearts content.

Well, gather until it's as wide as it needs to be anyway!

To create your waistband cut yourself a nice wide piece of your lining fabric.  I used the above 12 inch gathered waist measurement, doubled it and then sewed the two ends together.  It was about 5 inches thick.  In the picture below you can see I have ironed some creases into it (kinda of like you are creating bias binding) so all your messy edges are hidden away.  Pin and sew one edge of your waistband to the inside of your skirt and then you can remove that basting stitch we made because your waistband is now holding all those nice gathers together.

Fold your waistband over to the outside of your skirt and pin and sew again leaving a nice little spot to insert your elastic into the waistband.
Sew your elastic ends together, neatly sew your waistband gap closed and

TA DA....
One gorgeous Rainbow Skirt!
Or two!
The smaller one is of course for Miss Matilda and the bigger one is my very first piece of commissioned sewing that someone is going to actually pay me money for!!!  Yay me!  Although I really don't know how many $$$$ I should be asking.  Any thoughts?  What would you expect to pay?
Hope these instructions are clear enough for you but if you have any questions feel free to ask.  I would also like to make it really clear that the original Rainbow Skirt idea and fabulous tutorial comes from Anneliese at Aesthetic Nest.  This is just my modified version of it.
Have you signed yourself up for my wee lego giveaway to be drawn on Monday 14th November?


  1. Oh this is so beautiful, you clever clever Mama! I would love one in my size, please :o)
    Your little lady is going to dazzle in that at her party, how exciting to be having a rainbow party. You have the best themes going on, can't wait to see the rundown on this party xo

  2. Fab skirts and a great theme for a party!! I wish I'd thought of making my little girlie a skirt like this for her "Rainbow day" at school earlier this week.

  3. Great skirts! I made my daughter one similar to this - and she loves twirling with all those colours! And congrats on your first paid order! I made a skirt for a friend a couple of years ago - and she gave me $20 for it.

    Jill @ Creating my way to Success

  4. gorgeous skirt.... love the idea! I guess you need to charge what you are comfortable with... maybe $35 to $45.... it all depends how long it took you and your'e hourly rate and ofcourse covering your fabric and notions cost... its a hard one :)

  5. Beautiful! There are a few articles online about how to work out what to charge for your handmade items, ask Mr Google. ;) The main thing I think is to value your time properly; handmade is special for a reason.

  6. beautiful rainbow skirt! she is going to one beautifully clad rainbow girl on her birthday! The $ to charge is such a tricky one - I am hopeless at it and whenever I sell something I ask my sisters. But if you've covered your costs and add a little for time, you should be right.

  7. What a fun skirt - and I am with you on the buttonhole thing. I will always opt for elastic if I can, especially in children's clothing:) Cyndy

  8. Love the skirts. I can see my wee Miss twirling around in one. Thanks for sharing the tutorial.

  9. Wow oh wow, those skirts are fantastic! I think I will have to add this project to my list of "summer holiday crafts", he he he.

  10. Love the hit of colour! And a rainbow themed party sounds awesome.

  11. Gorgeous! I made a similar skirt for a rainbow fairy party a few months ago - mine was just made of ripped strips of coloured fabric - no way near as detailed as yours but still colourful and floaty!

  12. I love those skirts, I only wish I had the skill to give it a go myself. One day!!!
    I've bought handmade skirts for my wee one for between $25-55 NZ if that helps?

  13. That's so clever, and makes a really lovely skirt. I'm not surprised someone commissioned you to make one.

    Make sure you don't under-value yourself! Have you tried looking on Etsy to see how much people charge? You could also have a look at local shops to see how much alterations/tailoring costs. Hope you manage to settle on something that pleases everyone :)

  14. They are gorgeous! Well done :-)


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