Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Poodle Skirt Tutorial

Here's my first attempt at a tutorial, so please be gentle. :-) This Saturday our church is having a 50's sock hop dance, and what better excuse to dress up the kiddos?? I'll probably come up with something for Hubby and me too, but for now, here's a little bit of cute for you to try if you want. This can be adjusted for girls of any age and size...it's all about the measurements.

**Disclaimer: I have to apologize for the shoddy picture quality. It's a perfect storm of bad indoor lighting, the point-and-shoot being on the fritz, waiting for a new camera, and having to resort to taking still photos with the video camera. Ugh! Better photos to come in the future, I promise!


Step 1: Take measurements, waist and desired length. Typically poodle skirts hit just below the knee. In my case, the waist is 18" and the length is 9".

Step 2: Make your pattern. Take 1/4 of the waist measurement and add that to the length. Here, 1/4 of my baby's waist is 4.5", added to the length gives me 13.5". Now, here's a little geometry. Divide the waist measurement by 6.28 (remember the formula Circumference = Pi(3.14) x 2 x Radius? That's where 6.28 comes from). In my case, the waist (18") divided by 6.28 comes out to 2.866242". I'll round it up to 3" and ease in the fullness later. Use a large piece of paper to draw a "donut." From the center point of your circle, measure out this distance in all directions and draw a circle. From there, measure out the new length (13.5") in all directions and draw a large circle. I just measured a quarter of the circle and sewed 4 sections together so I wouldn't have to buy a big piece of material and have a bunch left over. If you do this, make sure you allow for 1/4" seam allowances.
Step 3: Cut out material. I used black felt so it would be stiff and stand out without having to add tulle to give it body. Plus it doesn't ravel, so I didn't even hem it. Pin pattern piece to fabric and cut out the skirt. Also cut out a strip 3" wide by the waist measurement (again, allow for a seam).
Step 4: Sew skirt sections together. Skip this step if you cut out one big donut shape out of your fabric. If you have 2 or 4 sections, sew them together to create the donut shape. On the right side, while holding the seam flat to one side underneath, top stitch close to the seam to make it lay flat, like this:
so it looks like this on the front:

Here's your donut!

Step 5: Attach the waistband. Sew the ends of the 3" strip together to make a tube and fold in half lengthwise; press. Pin the waistband to the skirt so the raw edges of the waistband match up with the top edge of the skirt. If the top of your skirt is a little bigger than the waistband because you rounded up after figuring out the formula, just ease it in, and it won't be a big deal if there's a tiny little pleat in the back. Stitch all the way around, leaving a 1" opening for elastic.
Step 6: Insert elastic. Cut a 1" piece of elastic to the length of the waist measurement plus 1/2" for the seam. Attach a safety pin to one end of the elastic and thread it through the inside of the waistband through the opening you created in the previous step. Stitch ends of elastic together and hand sew the opening closed.
Step 7: Embellish! What would this little creation be without a cute pink poodle? The one I made isn't elaborate...just a sillouhette of a doggie I drew. I attached it to the skirt using Heat n' Bond, and the leash is a length of tiny pink rick-rack that I sewed on using matching pink thread. The collar is made of a few rhinestones glued on using my favorite fabric basting glue.
Step 8: Make it stay put! If you're making this for a baby, here's a tip that will help keep the skirt in place. I can pretty much predict with certainty that this will ride up to Baby's armpits if I don't do something to keep it put. I took a pair of bloomers from one of her dresses and safety-pinned it to the inside of the skirt. That should do the trick.

There you have it! I hope this makes sense and that it's something you'll want to try. Maybe put it in your back pocket and pull it out to make for Halloween. Let me know how it goes! And, also ask any questions you might have so I can clarify and make future tutorials even better. Thanks for letting me share my project with you!



18 comments:

  1. This is awesome! Can't wait to try it someday! Wish I had an excuse right now.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hey, you finished it! I don't get all the measurement parts, but it sure did turn out cute.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Let me just say that you're brilliant. I've made a skirt for a baby before and it did exactly as you said it would - it rode all the way up to her armpits. I never thought of adding already made bloomers!

    Oh, and cute skirt!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Darling! How'd the party go? I'd love to see a picture of all of you all dressed up!

    I just love this website. I wish I had more time to check it out. You and your friends are AWESOME! Keep it up!

    ReplyDelete
  5. That is SOO cute, Jen--and so creative! I can tell you're having fun dressing up that little girl. The nice thing about Seth is you can just put a white shirt on him, roll up the sleeves, and wear blue jeans rolled up on the bottom. Post pictures, please!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Too cute! I wish I had a little girl so I could make her one.

    ReplyDelete
  7. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Wonderful pattern, I had a themed baby shower to go to and my baby was a big hit! Thanks. The instructions and pictures were perfect

    ReplyDelete
  9. Worked Beautifully!!! POODLE SKIRT IN LESS THAN AN HOUR!!!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Thanks for the great pics really helped. Took all of an hour.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Thank you so much for taking the time to put this out for newbies like me to find. My son is in a show "Hot Rod" and volunteered me to help with costumes - Guess what I'm making. Your information if very helpful.
    Sandie from CT

    ReplyDelete
  12. I'm not much of a seamstress, but this was a fun project and it was so easy I ended up making 5 skirts for my daughters dance recital. Thank you for posting - this is a great tutorial!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Definitely praiseworthy instructions. Thank you for doing the math that I have conveniently forgotten how to do when my teenager asks :o)

    ReplyDelete
  14. I am confused as to what size the waist band should be because in my head if I make the waist band the size of my waist I won't be able to get it over my hips. What am I missing?? Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  15. This was awesome!!! I sing with a barbershop group and we needed poodle skirts for our '50's gig. This was perfect. THANKS for posting this great, simple pattern!!!

    ReplyDelete
  16. I would love this so much more if I could use your poodle template. It's perfect. Can you share?

    ReplyDelete
  17. You are an expert in dealing with poodle skirts for babies, we are proud to introduce ourselves as an expert in dealing with Adult Poodle Skirts

    ReplyDelete