Is there a little girl in your life who needs a bit of party sparkle? Our sweet skirt features two layers of Embrace® Metallic Double Gauze from Shannon Fabrics. We include a chart for sizing from 7 to 14. The panels are all simple straight cuts so it’s easy to adjust to various shapes and sizes. The project goes together in a snap; make one or more in a single afternoon.
The skirt has a drawstring style casing as its waistband with hidden elastic for extra fitting flexibility. The waist ties are attached to either end of a length of elastic. This continuous tie is then fed through the casing, cinched, and tied into a loopy bow at one side.
The waistband and the ties are a quilting weight cotton in a color that coordinates with the Metallic Double Gauze. The crispness of the standard cotton is necessary for these elements of the skirt.
With metallic accents, too much can overwhelm the fabric – too little and you can’t see the glittering effect. All the Embrace® Metallics have just the right touches of sparkle.
Shannon Double Gauze is so wonderfully soft, it’s like wrapping yourself in a cloud. This is a wonderful benefit when making children’s outfits as they tend to make that “scrunchy face” when you try to dress them up for parties in more traditional stiff and/or scratchy special occasion fabrics. The double layers help eliminate the super-sheerness of standard gauze and give the fabric a bit of extra weight, which imparts the wonderful, almost velvety drape.
Regular gauze is known for its sheer open weave. In fact, the process that creates gauze is even called “gauze weave” (or “leno weave”). This weaving process twists two warp yarns around the weft yarn in a figure eight pattern, resulting in a strong yet sheer fabric. Double gauze is just that, two layers of gauze. Teeny tiny stitch tacks, so teeny and tiny as to be invisible from the right side of the fabric, hold the layers together.
We liked the dramatic contrast of light to dark in our skirt layers, but there are lots other options available to create your favorite look… in your girl’s favorite colors. You could even blend an Embrace® Cotton Metallic with a standard Embrace® in a cotton print or solid. Review all the great options at the Shannon site.
Our two layers of double gauze are Starry Night in Colbalt/Silver for the underskirt and To The Point in Royal/Silver for the overskirt both from the Embrace® Metallic Double Gauze collection by Shannon Fabrics and both available from Fat Quarter Shop.
For even more softness, check out all the beautiful substrates from Shannon Fabrics that you can find (or ask for!) at your favorite in-store or online retailer. Besides Embrace®, you’ll find super soft Cuddle, fabulous faux furs, terry cloth, and silky satins.
Again, sizing options are shown in the chart below. As a reference, our adorable model is seven years old, 51” tall, and with a 23” waist measurement and a 17” waist to knee measurement.
Sewing Tools You Need
- Sewing Machine and standard presser foot
Fabric and Other Supplies
- ½ – ¾ yard EACH of TWO coordinating prints in Embrace® Metallic Double Gauze from Shannon Fabrics for the main skirt panels; we used Starry Night in Colbalt/Silver for the underskirt and To The Point in Royal/Silver for the overskirt
NOTE: Use the chart below to determine yardage requirements by size. The Embrace® is approximately 48/50” in width, so you’ll have plenty of width for each panel across all the sizes. The main variable will be the length of the panels.
- ¼ yard of ONE coordinating solid quilting cotton for the waistband casing and ties; we used Kona Cotton in Storm
- ½ yard of ½” knit elastic
- All-purpose thread to match fabric
- See-through ruler
- Fabric pen or pencil
- Seam gauge
- Seam ripper
- Scissors or rotary cutter and mat
- Iron and ironing board
- Straight pins
- Hand sewing needle
- Large safety pin
- Use the chart above to determine all cuts for your chosen size. Because the cuts are simple panels, it’s easy to adjust up or down to best match the child for whom you’re making the skirt.
NOTE: The Shannon Embrace® Double Gauze has a visible “grid” created by the weaving process. The best way to get perfectly straight cuts and nice even hems is to slice right along these lines. Conveniently, they are 1” apart.
At Your Sewing Machine & Ironing Board
Create the two skirt layers
- Each skirt layer has just one side seam. We recommend a French seam for the nicest look on the inside and to maintain the softness of the gauze inside and out.
- To create this seam, first fold the layer in half wrong sides together. Stitch together with a ⅛” seam allowance. You’ve created a tube.
- Flip the tube so it is now right sides together. Flatten so the sewn seam runs straight along one side.
- Stitch again, using a ½” seam allowance. Your total seam allowance is ⅝”, the standard for garment sewing.
- Create this seam on both the underskirt panel and the overskirt panel.
NOTE: If you are brand new to this technique, take a look at our step by step tutorial on French Seams, which is part of our series on machine sewn seam finishes.
- Along the bottom raw edge of each sewn panel, create a narrow double fold hem. To do this, fold up the raw edge ½” and press well.
- Fold an additional ½” and press again. Pin in place.
NOTE: As mentioned above, you can use the woven lines of the gauze to help you keep a precise fold.
- Stitch all around close to the inner fold to secure.
- Remember, both skirt layers are prepared in the same manner.
Prepare the ties
- Find the two ties and the length of elastic.
- Press each tie in half, wrong sides together, and press to set a center crease line.
- Open wrong side up so the crease line is visible. Fold in each long raw edge to align with the center crease line.
- One end is left raw and open. Fold the opposite end into a pretty point.
- Fold in half again along the original crease line.
- Insert the elastic into the open raw end of each tie to create one continuous length: tie/elastic/tie. Pin in place.
- Thread the machine with thread to best match the tie fabric in the top and bobbin. Slightly lengthen the stitch.
- Edgestitch across the tie/elastic joint, along the long folded edges, and across the pretty pointed end. Do this for each tie.
Attach the waistband casing
- Find the casing strip. Fold back each end of the strip ½”. Press well to set the crease.
- Fold back one long raw edge ½”. Press well to set the crease.
- Unfold the long edge.
- Re-set the stitch length to normal. Edgestitch the folded ends in place.
- Find the two finished skirt layers. Slip the underskirt into the overskirt so the two tiered layers are both facing right side up.
- The top raw edges of the two layers should be flush.
- Align the seams of the two layers, then off-set the seam allowances. In other words, one seam allowance should be facing right, the other facing left. This reduces bulk and helps the seams lay flat against one another.
- Place the waistband casing right sides together around the top opening. The raw edge of the casing should be flush with the top raw edges of the skirt layers. The folded ends of the casing should come together over the side seam. These ends will come quite close but will not meet. Pin in place through all three layers.
- Using a ½” seam allowance stitch all around the top through all the layers.
- Press the seam allowance and the waistband up away from the skirt.
- Fold the waistband along its original center crease line, bring the folded edge of the waistband down against the inside of the skirt and covering the seam allowance.
- Pin in place all around.
- Make sure the machine is still threaded with thread to best match the waistband in the top and bobbin. The stitch should be slightly lengthened.
- Edgestitch around the bottom edge of the casing. You are stitching on the right side to make sure the seam is straight and very close to the original waistband seam, but do go slowly and carefully to make sure you are catching the free edge at the back at the same time; this is the seam that finishes and forms the casing opening.
Thread the elastic tie strip into position
- Attach a safety pin to one end of the elastic tie strip. Use the pin as a guide to thread the tie all the way through the casing.
- Pull the tie all the way through and even up the ends as they extend from the casing above the side seam.
- Gently pull the waistband to its full width to find the exact opposite side.
- Place a pin at this point to secure what is the center point of the elastic inside the casing. Thread a hand sewing needle and tack the elastic in place at this point. You could also run a short machine stitch to hold the elastic in place, just make sure your seam is tidy and in matching thread as it will be visible. We preferred the simple hand tack. This tack keeps the tie balanced so you can cinch up the waistband from both sides without accidentally pulling the tie too far through on either end.
- Slip the skirt on your party girl, cinch up to fit her waist, adjust the gathers as needed, and tie a nice, loopy bow.
Project Design: Alicia Thommas
Sample Creation: Kathy Andrews