Wednesday, July 29, 2009

A Petite Pettiskirt!

Yes, Carrie Beth guessed it in my Sew Excited post... all that raspberry chiffon was for making a big, fluffy pettiskirt! I fell in love with pettiskirts like these at a super-cute store called Gigi's at Rosemary Beach. The problem with the pettiskirts ... they retailed for $88 at Gigi's, and prices on the Internet go from $50 and up and up!

Of course, what went through my mind? "I can make this. I can surely make this for a lot less than $88." And, as of about thirty minutes ago, I have!

I have finished my first petite pettiskirt! I'm not going into a full-blown tutorial here, because that wouldn't be fair... I ordered my pattern/tutorial from a woman who sells them as her own small business, and I don't want to take business away from her. The pattern is amazingly simple, easy to follow, and has full color illustrations. If you're interested in making a pettiskirt, I would recommend ordering the DIY Pettiskirt Kit for $24.50 from her Etsy store, Dream Spun Kids. The kit comes with everything you need except thread... it has one GIGANTIC piece of chiffon, a smaller piece of satin, and elastic for the waistband. (Here's a fast tip - this project takes LOTS of thread.) I ordered the Toddler size (3T-5T) in Raspberry for Katie Anne.

But, I do have a few construction photos, incredible facts, and - if you try to sew a pettiskirt yourself - tips that weren't included in the Dream Spun Kids tutorial, so I don't feel it is dishonest to share them.

First, cutting this fabric into this many pieces was super stressful.

I would have NEVER been able to do all this cutting without this cutting board thing my mom found for me at her friend Wanda's house. Wanda was cleaning out and getting ready for a yard sale, and it had been her mom's before she passed away. Wanda isn't a sewer and didn't want it. She sold this for $1! It literally saved my life in this project... I might've died of frustration trying to cut all these strips without it.

Second, if you are not into pinning, this is not the project for you. Period.

There were SO many pins sticking out of this raspberry chiffon that it looked like a monster or a porcupine at some points. I'll just say that I got a big box of pins for my birthday - I think 500, plus the about 100 I already had - and there were several points where I ran out of pins because they were all stuck in this pettiskirt.

Third, organization is the key.

Keeping the tiers, layers, and ruffles separate was very hard to do. Careful labeling helped. The hardest part was making sure the tiers did not twist while I was sewing them together.

Fourth, even though it may not look like it, this skirt contains
TONS of fabric.
Tons, tons, tons, tons ... tons.

For instance, here's a picture I took of one tier of the skirt. (And, bear in mind, this skirt contains four of these tiers.) This one tier is 5" wide by 360" long. Yes, 360 inches... 30 feet. When I laid this tier out to take a picture of it, it ran from one end of my foyer to the other. I made this picture because I didn't think anyone would believe me! The ruffles are even longer than that!

Fifth, there is no complicated sewing in this project... all very simple, straight stitches.

If you can get around the tedious fabric cutting, keep miles of chiffon organized, gather tons of strips of fabric into ruffles, pin like a maniac, and sew simple straight stitches, then you can make a pettiskirt easily! I struggled with a few of these points, so I didn't make it easily... but I made it!

When I started this project, I was in love with it and was so excited about it. At the halfway point, I was cursing this pettiskirt and didn't want to finish it. However, as I saw the light at the end of the tunnel, I got my passion back and finished the drill.

I said, about a week ago, that I'd never make another one when this one was finished... but, of course, I'm already choosing more colors to make another skirt: a two-toned one this time! I would love to make lots of them - red and black, pink and white, blue and white, sunny yellow, rainbow. Practical? Probably not. Dress up heaven? Definitely. I'll at least make one more, but I'm keeping the exact plan under wraps for a while. I'll share pictures when it is done, but it isn't on my to-do list next. So, I'll leave you hanging until October or so. ;)

Here are a few more pictures of the finished project. Katie Anne's asleep now, so she hasn't tried it on yet, but I'll post some pictures of her in the skirt soon!

A view from the bottom. Ruffles upon ruffles upon ruffles!
Ruffle mania!
Top-down view.
What a happy skirt!


SGiles said...

It looks great!!! KA is so lucky to have such a crafty Mamma!!!

Kelly said...

Wow - it looks awesome! Let me know when you're taking orders. ;)

Trisha said...

I love it! Hey, at least I was close with my guess of a tutu. But a pettiskirt is just as cool... no, cooler! I would LOVE to see pictures of Katie Anne in this sweet dress up masterpiece. I think her magic wand from Hobby Lobby should be painted to match, with glitter to boot.

Carrie Beth said...

That's a big project to tackle, but I'm impressed!!! It looks great and I bet Katie Ann will love it.

Kari @ Ucreate said...

Katie, I just wanted to stop by and let you know that you are giveaway#2 winner over at Ucreate's birthday party. Thanks for being a follower!!


Amy said...

I found your blog while searching pettiskirt tips. Thanks! I am in the middle of mine and am cursing it right now! It's good to know that there is a light at the end!