Garage Sale Polka Dot Skirt!

Hi All! i warn you that this post is long and full of photos. Instead of just posting a Picture of the fabric, and then a picture of the end result, i wanted to show you the in between steps as well! So Strap on your observing helmets, and grab a snack. I can always pay MUCH more attention to something I’m watching if i eat a snack during it. Ian calls me weird cause of it. :)

Here we go! The back story, So on a very hot Spring day in early May, Ian and i decided to go garage sale-ing in his town of West Milford, NJ. LOTS of sales over there! We hit about 5 and could’ve hit more if we wanted. We also stopped to buy lemonade and cookies from a couple kids. :) you can’t beat 25¢ a glass! we gave them a big tip. Well, Ian did. The kids didn’t have a credit card machine… :) and there goes my train of thought… ANYWHOO.. . We hit this sale and i bought up some fabric for $1! and Ian got a big roll of craft paper for $1 too. :) good deal! The fabric i got used to be little drapes. the kind you place in the bottom half of a window only, like in a kitchen. i wish my kitchen was cool enough to use it!
Here’s my fabric!

I didnt use a pattern for this skirt.. I modified one that i had floating in my brain.
First thing i did was cut out a waist band section. i wanted mine to sit above my hips, so mine was 7 inches high by about 31 inches wide. The skirt panel is about 60 inches wide, by 30 inches long (roughly). Cut to fit your own desires! Make a gown, Make a mini-skirt. :)

i forgot a pic of the waist band on its own, so here's a sort-of picture. :)

Next, i measured out the rest of the fabric and found the center on the waist, and the center on the rest of the length of fabric:

and i marked both centers with a pin.

Not sure how to explain this second part.. i put the correct sides of fabric facing each other, so that the wrong side of the waist was against the floor, the right sides are kissing, and the wrong side of the skirt panels are facing up. Then I matched up the centers and pinned them together, then i pinned each end of the skirt panel, to each end of the waist panel. I dont have enough floor space to do all at once, so i did it in halves.

Doe the picture make it clearer?
Then you find the centers of the skirt panel again, and pin those to the centers of the waist panel.

i used measuring tape the help measure out “center” but you can “eyeball it” if you’d like!

When your loops are as small as you’d like them, you can now turn them into pleats by flattening them, and securing them!

the pin passes through 4 layers of fabric. It keeps the pleat flat. :)

Freshly pinned pleats!

Did i lose anyone? No? Good…. :)

Now you go over the pleats with your machine, not completely to the top, but not TOO far down. leave about a 1/4 inch- 1/2 inch seam allowance. We’ll use that area for the waist band later. :)

Now fold the waist band in half, and then fold it again. now right on the fold is where you will pin the waist band to that seam allowance from earlier.

Pin the fold of the waist band above the stiching, that way the stickes are hidden on the correct side.

Now for some sewing action shots!

This is how the stitches should look (preferably NOT as crooked):

This is what it looks like from the Right side.

So now your waist band is secure and seams are nicely hidden on the inside. This is when i sewed in the zipper. I’m an idiot. An impatient idiot, really. i have never sewed a zipper into anything. Making me an inexperienced, impatient, idiot. I forgot to take photos of my first zipper experience. But luckily, it was super friggin easy. I had this awesomely vintage separating zipper from (possibly 1979 was one date i found on it) given to me by Ian! From his Grandmothers stash. He passed on to me a bag full of goodies from her that i feel very honored to use. :)

I separated the zipper and pinned it inside the two flaps of fabric that i wanted it to go. i made sure they lined up nicely (zipped it up to be sure), and i sewed a line over the fabric part of the zipper once, don’t hit to metal parts! (doubling back on the ends for security). I was thinking to myself, “darn, i wish i had a zipper foot for my machine”. duh, idiot… you do. I guess I’ll use it next time. This time i figured I’d just fight to get the foot to stay on the zipper. ha. So here is my result, each weird dip in the stitches is when the foot got up on top of the metal parts of the zipper, and then fell back off…

Zipped all the way up from the right side, it looks pretty ok considering it was my first attempt. :)

So there it is, a zipper! now since i didnt make my zipper go all the way up my skirt (that sounds silly).. i need to add a piece of fabric to extend the waist band.

Sew that sucker in place (neatly) haha…

Then i sewed in some snaps to secure it up top. You can use buttons (i dont like sewing button holes) .. Ian bought me some little snaps for Christmas, but i decided to use them. [side note: I’m wearing this skirt as i write this, and going back in time, I’d use larger snaps, these seem to come undone when i sit down too fast, hehe. Maybe i gained some weight, haha. :) ]

All snapped up. This is the back view!

Finished Product! It’s awesomely comfy. :) it looks pretty good, especially since all my mess-ups are camouflaged in the back!

During this process i listened to this CD on repeat. It played through about 5 times and i never got tired of it. :) HIGHLY recommended. :)

So now that my insanely long story and Tutorial of sorts is complete.. i’m going to go and eat. :)

Enjoy your day, hope i didnt put you to sleep for too long.
And no, i can’t give you the last 20 minutes of your life back. :)

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