I absolutely love the look of a quilted skirt! Using machine quilting on full skirts was very popular in the '50s. The best thing is that the quilting adds lots of body, for a very full look.
Did you know the skirt on the cover of my book Gertie Sews Vintage Casual is quilted?
I recently got a yen to make another quilted skirt in spring-like fabrics. I'm using the rose print sateen from my new fabric line. (It seems to be sold out online, but it's definitely available in Joann stores. The print also comes in yellow on poplin. In other fabric news, it looks like the border print is back!)
- About 3 yards each of the sateen and a backing fabric. I'm using Kona Cotton in Red for my backing.
- Cotton batting. I chose a twin size package, and will have plenty leftover.
- A skirt pattern. I'm using my flared skirt pattern from Gertie Sews Vintage Casual. (See the section on the quilted skirt for more specifics on how to use the pattern and draft a waistband.)
- A 9" regular zipper.
- Spray fabric adhesive, to hold the layers together.
- Painters tape (or masking tape), to mark quilting lines.
- Lightweight fusible interfacing for the waistband (not pictured).
- Also handy: a walking foot for your machine (this keeps the layers smooth while quilting). Having a foot with a "bar guide" is especially handy for this.
Start by washing and drying your two fabrics to pre-shrink. Then iron and starch, if desired. (Starching helps put some body back into the fabric after pre-washing. I learned this on quilting message boards! You can even make your own starch, which I totally did. Just mix a tablespoon of corn starch and a pint of water in a sauce pan. Heat, mixing well, until boiling. Leave to cool. Add two drops of essential oils, like lavender (optional). Pour into a spray bottle using a funnel.)
Cut your skirt front and backs out in both fabrics and in the batting.
Lay out the layers one at a time and spray with the adhesive. Roll up the next layer, and set it down, unrolling it so that the edges match and they stick together from the adhesive.
Once you have your "skirt sandwiches," mark your first quilting line with the painters tape. Find the exact center front of the skirt (you can fold it in half and mark with pins) and then find the 45 degree angle to this. I like to use a 2x18" ruler, and align a 2" square with the center front line, as in the illustration below:
|By Sun Young Park, from Gertie Sews Vintage Casual|
Place your tape along the 45 degree angle, starting at one upper corner of the skirt.
Before stitching along your taped line, make a quilting sample! Use a small swatch of all three layers together. Make sure you're happy with your chosen thread color and the width of your stitching lines.
Once you're happy with everything, start stitching along the tape. Remove the tape and stitch parallel lines, using either the guide on your walking foot or more rows of tape.
Hey, the quilting guide even works well when you put the bar in upside down! (Whoops.)
Next time, on Serial: how to make the crisscrossing lines, matching the quilting lines on the skirt backs, seam finishes, and skirt construction!
Doesn't the quilting of all those lines make the pattern pieces a little bit smaller than they originally were?ReplyDelete
I don't think so, but I could certainly be wrong! It didn't make a difference when I quilted with just the flannel; I'll let you know if the batting changes things. If you're concerned about it, you could leave a little extra seam allowance at the side seams and do a basted fitting before sewing the seams.Delete
HI Sabine, I checked against the pattern and there was no shrinkage with the batting. :)Delete
I love you Gertie! You are so awesome and such an inspiration!ReplyDelete
I love you Gertie! You are so awesome and such an inspiration!ReplyDelete
When quilting a quilt the batting and backing are always bigger than the quilt top then trimmed to the finished size. If I were doing this I might want to quilt the fabric before cutting out the skirt pieces (this could be done on pieces slightly larger than the pattern piece to avoid having to quilt all of the yardage at once). Just a thought.ReplyDelete
Hi Glynd, I just checked my quilted skirt front against my pattern and it didn't shrink at all, thankfully! I also didn't experience this problem when I made this skirt in cotton and flannel, quilted without batting. I wonder if it's just a concern if you use thicker batting? I like the idea of quilting the fabric first if shrinkage is a concern. You'd just want to make sure to quilt enough so that you could match the quilting lines on the skirt pieces like you would match a plaid.Delete
I think it's probably the size of the finished product that makes the shrinkage obvious. Like if a bed size quilt shrinks 1% it might measure 1" shorter on each side but on a shirt size piece, it wouldn't be noticeable.Delete
The amount of quilting makes a difference, too. More lines = more shrinking.
Fabulously cute!!! I'm a quilter, and NEVER thought to quilt a skirt! On my list. Thank you for sharing!ReplyDelete
I love this idea! Would it be possible to make the skirt completely reversible? For example, one side a dotted fabric and the other a floral or solid? That would make it even more versatile! Ic this can be done could you post some hints on how to do it?Delete
I love your ideas and admire what you have done. You are living the life I dreamed of. I am 56 and started sewing at age 11 on my mom's metal Necchi machine. I was already tall and could not wear kids clothes but was too young for women's clothes. I started out by sewing from The Betsey Johnson line of patterns and also patterns by Jane Tise (Sweet Baby Jane). In high school I sewed most of my own clothes or converted and altered vintage clothes. I went to school at The University of Texas at Austin and earned a degree in Textiles and Clothing. Unfortunately it was hard to make a career designing clothes back then unless you relocate to NYC or LA. I think designers have so many options these days with the invention of the internet, social networking, blogs, etsy and so many ways to sell or advertise your hand made items that were not available 20 years ago. Thank you so much for being an inspiration!
Can't wait to get ahold of some of your fabric at Joann's soon. Thanks for the tutorials! :)ReplyDelete
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My rtw going away dress had a quilted skirt 40 years ago.ReplyDelete
So that's what that metal thingie is for on the walking foot! I didn't know. Too bad I didn't realize that when I made my quilted dress last fall!! I made it much harder on myself by drawing the lines with a chakoner first. Using that guide would have made it go faster.ReplyDelete
p.s. I also didn't use my walking foot at all nor the spray adhesive. Those also would have made it go faster!Delete
Love the rose fabric. I just made the boat neck top from your book, twice. Perfect vacation wear.ReplyDelete
Looks like a nice idea, but sandwiching the two fabrics with the batting and sewing the quilting lines would be best done before cutting out the pattern pieces.ReplyDelete
Each quilting line will bring the fabric width in ever-so-slightly, but with well over 20 of these lines the amount that the total piece of fabric will ''shrink' by could increase to up to an inch.
I would prepare the quilted fabric first and then cut out my pattern pieces on top of that, so that I wouldn't loose any width in the seams. All that lovely work wasted because it ends up an inch too narrow.
Hi Nessa, I finished the skirt front and checked it against my pattern and it's exactly the same size and dimensions. I'm using thin batting and only quilting every 1.5" so perhaps that keeps it from shrinking. I like the idea of quilting the fabric first if shrinkage is a concern. You'd just want to make sure to quilt enough so that you could match the quilting lines on the skirt pieces like you would match a plaid.Delete
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I'm not making a quilted skirt, but I was able to buy the border print in your collection. I had to special order it from my local Joann store, because even though the website said it was available in the store, it wasn't. In fact, by the time I arrived at the fabric store, the border print was out of stock on line! I've never wanted a fabric as much as I wanted this one! It took about a week to arrive. Now I have to think about the pattern, because the pattern you use is cute, but not for my figure. I have lots of choices.ReplyDelete
I don't know Gertie, that already looks cute! I need to try this technique.ReplyDelete
I had no idea the skirt on the front of your book cover was quilted! It looks great, and is a wonderful idea on how to add extra body to your skirt. Does the extra layer of batting make the skirt any hotter to wear (I live in a hot climate)?ReplyDelete
Hi Gertie, can I ask what background you used to take your photo? I love how clean it is! xReplyDelete