Christmas Mini Makes for Sophia

And how to make a gathered elastic waistband skirt

I get asked a lot if I make all of Sophia’s clothes and I wish I could! I naively thought that I would when she was a little baby but in reality life gets too busy and sometimes it’s easier to get them from the shops. She is also really particular about what she wears, she loves to choose her clothes and absolutely loves party dresses and sparkly skirts.

So for Christmas I carved out a bit of time and made use of some of the lovely Christmas fabrics and sparkly bits we’ve had in the shop.

Elastic waist sequin skirt

I bought a skirt just like this from John Lewis last year and Sophia loves it so much! So much so, she even insists on wearing it to bed sometimes!

I used some of the offcuts from the sequin scout tee that I made for our party wear blog series and paired it with some of our new glitter elastic (we've just got the black/gold colour way left at the moment and a little bit of the silver). 

We've got a few other colours of sequin fabric left and a few in the bolt end basket too. If you are shopping online, you can always give the shop a ring to see what we have in the bolt ends.

Check out my video to see how I made the skirt or read on for my top tips.

Fabric requirements 

  • The skirt is really simple to make and you don’t need a pattern, you just need to work out the how tight you want the elastic around the waist. I allowed about 4cm of overlap/seam allowance to join the elastic into a loop. Then decide on the length and add in extra for hem allowance.
  • When working out how much fabric you have in the skirt section you need to work out the % stretch that the elastic has. To do this, keep the elastic relaxed and pin out a 10cm section along a measuring tape. Then stretch the elastic as far as you can. If it reaches 15cm it means it has 50% stretch. So to work out how much fabric you need take the waist measurement of the elastic when its relaxed and add 50%.
  • So for example, if the waist measurement is 50cm, you would need 75cm of fabric.
  • I ended up working this out after I had made the skirt and really I put too much fabric in the skirt. It meant as I was sewing it on, I had to really stretch the elastic and it made the whole thing quite tricky so it is worth working this all out before you start  - don’t do what I did and just use whatever fabric you have

How to sew the skirt 

I really inspected the John Lewis skirt to work out what they had done and it was quite clever the way the linings were layered up, so here is how you can recreate it.

First of all join the elastic so it’s a loop. I stitched it with a straight stitch and the opened up the seam allowances and stitched them down too. This helps to spread the bulk.

Join the sequin fabric and lining fabric so that they are in a loop as well. I just has one seam and for the lining I used a French seam.

Mark quarter points on the elastic, sequin and lining so that you can even out the gathers and line them up equally.

First attach the sequin to the elastic. The right side of the sequin should touch the wrong side of the elastic and over lap it by just under 1cm. Match up the quarter points and stretch the elastic as you sew. You’ll have to stretch it to the point that it sits flat against the sequin fabric. I used a straight stitch and a regular size 80 needle. I didn’t use a stretch stitch as the elastic gets so stretch as you sew anyway so the stitches will never be under any more stretch than that as you wear it.

Next attach the lining. It gets sewn down twice do this is the first round. Have the right side of the lining facing the back of the elastic and over lap the raw edge so that it covers the top of the sequin fabric. Match up the quarter point markers and sew it to the elastic, stretching as you go. Make sure your line of stitching is above the top raw edge of the sequins.

For the second round of stitching to the lining, fold the lining back down into the skirt so that the wrong side of the lining touches the wrong side of the sequins.

Stitch around the elastic again, stretching it as you go. This will ensure the lining stays on the inside of the skirt and it encases the top raw edge of the sequins.

Finally hem the sequins and lining separately. I used a ribbon to hem the bottom of the sequins so that it wasn’t rough on the inside. I think it also helps to make the skirt fuller and hold its shape a bit more at the bottom. 

Special Christmas Dress

My second make for Sophia was this super cute dress using some of our Dashwood studio cotton fabric with these little deers and foxes. It has copper metallic accents too, which is lovely.

I used New Look pattern 6879 which I’ve made lots of times for her before so I know it fits and I know she likes wearing it and feels comfy. It has a lined bodice and a centre back zip so its super easy to get on and off. 

Good luck with any final Christmas projects that you have and I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas! 

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