Liberty of London Tana Lawn is one of our favorite fabrics. It has a smooth silky feel (even though it’s 100% cotton) and its printing quality is legendary. We recently started carrying a wider variety of the Tana Lawn Classic prints. These are prints that Liberty always reproduces and many have been in print for decades. You may even remember some of them from your childhood!
One of these classic prints is Pepper, a beautifully speckled and rather modern looking print that comes in the coolest colors. The fine details of the printing and the unexpected color combinations make this particular print something very special. Since it’s a very tiny print it may not be the first to grab your attention, but once you get a good look at it it’s hard to ignore!
I had the idea to make a simple skirt with an elastic top around the same time that all of these new products were coming into the store and Page (who loves all things neon!) helped me pick out this fun combination.
I love how the simple elegance of the Liberty of London Tana Lawn is transformed into something so unexpected and modern with the addition of these neon accents. This is a very easy project to sew and can be made in any size.
To make one size 5 skirt:
- 1/2-yard of Liberty of London Tana Lawn in Gray Pepper
- 2-yards of Neon Orange Techy Trim
- 1-yard Neon Orange Elastic
- Cotton sewing thread in orange (color 1720), a gray-ish neutral (color 3880), and a contrasting color (I used color 7540)
Cut the elastic, for the waistband, to a length of 20-inches.
Cut the Liberty, for the skirt panel, into a 13-inch by 46-inch piece.
Using the orange thread zig zag stitch across three of the raw sides of the skirt panel, leaving one long side un-zig zagged. Also zig zag along the two raw edges of the elastic.
This journal makes a skirt for a 4-year old child with a 19-inch waist. However, you can make a version of it in any size you’d like by cutting the pieces in different sizes. Here is the simple formula:
Measure the waist of the person you’d like to make the skirt for. This is the waist measurement, and it’s 19-inches in the case of the example skirt.
Cut the elastic for the waistband to be 1-inch larger than the waist measurement, 20-inches in this case.
Measure the distance from the waist to the knee, 12-inches in this case. This is the depth measurement.
Cut the skirt panel to be one inch taller than depth measurement, 13-inches in this case, by 2.4 times the waist measurement (and round the number up to the nearest whole number), 46-inches in this case.
So to review:
Waist band= waist measurement + 1-inch
Skirt Panel= (depth measurement + 1-inch) x (waist measurement x 2.4)
Who said algebra wouldn’t come in handy!
Sewing and Gathering
Sew the ends of the elastic right sides together with a 1/2-inch seam allowance.
Then press the seam allowances to open and sewn them down to the waist band with a 1/4-inch seam allowance.
Orient the skirt panel so that the long zig zagged edge is at the top of the panel, this is the top of the skirt.
Using the contrasting thread and your machine’s largest stitch sew 5/8-inch from the edge along the length of the top. Leave a long tail of thread at the beginning of this row, and only back stitch at the end of the row, not at the beginning. Then starting from the other side sew another row in this same manner (with your largest stitch and without backstitching at the beginning) 3/8-inch from the top edge. These are your gathering stitches.
Pull the bottom long tail from the 3/8-inch row of stitches so that the fabric gathers as shown above.
Do the same going the other direction with the bottom thread from the 5/8-inch row.
Gather the top of the skirt until it is 20-inches across. Try to spread out the gathers evenly.
Using the grey thread sew the two shorter sides of the skirt right sides together with a 1/2-inch seam allowance. Press the seam open.
Sewing on the Waistband
Turn the waistband inside out and the skirt right side out. Fit the waistband over the top of the skirt and pin them together along the top edge of the waistband as shown above. Line up the waistband’s seam with the seam of the skirt panel.
Here is a more close up view of pinning on the waistband. Use a lot of pins. If the skirt panel isn’t fitting along the waistband properly make sure to pull on or loosen the gathering stitches until it does.
Sew the waistband to the skirt with a 1/4-inch seam allowance using your machine’s stretch stitch or a zig zag stitch.
Turn the waistband up and pull out the gathering stitches.
You’re now ready to hem the skirt and add the trim!
Hemming the Bottom
Using the contrasting thread and your machine’s longest stitch length sew 1/2-inch along the bottom raw edge of the skirt. These are guide stitches.
Turn the skirt inside out. Press the raw edge 1/4-inch towards the wrong side to meet the guide stitches all the way around the bottom of the skirt.
Then do this same action again, pressing the edge 1/4-inch towards the wrong side of the skirt once again. The guide stitches will now be along the bottom of this double fold.
Sew this fold down with a 1/8-inch seam allowance using the grey thread.
Pull out the guide stitches and press the hem flat.
Adding the Trim
Starting at the skirt’s seam and leaving a 1/2-inch tail pin the trim along the bottom of the skirt using the hem seam as a guide for the bottom of the trim. Leave a 1/2-inch tail at the end of the trim.
Edge stitch along the top of the trim using the orange thread.
Leave a 1/4-inch gap at the beginning and end of the sewn on trim (at the skirt’s seam)
Using a seam ripper open up the skirt’s seam just at the point where the trim meets the seam. Stuff the tails of the trim into this little hole neatly as shown above.
With the skirt inside out re-sew the part of the skirt seam that you just ripped out and then press the ends of the trim to one side and sew over them a few times. Trim the ends.
The front of the skirt will look like this where the trim meets itself.
The skirt is now all done! Wear it with the seam in the back.