Tutorial: Lucky Chevron Skirt

I made this skirt for St. Patrick’s Day and though I realize it’s a bit late for you to make one, it’s really a great skirt for any time of the year.  This has been a pretty popular idea recently and my original inspiration was a skirt I saw a little girl wearing.  Hers had bunch of different colors (maybe 10?) in skinny stripes, pieced together to make a chevron pattern.  I wanted to recreate that skirt exactly (and maybe I still will), but for this holiday, I had these three lovely shades of green and greenish-yellow so I made some adjustments.  I decided to make my stripes different widths to make it more interesting, but you can make yours as skinny or wide, and all the same or all different, as you want.  And use as many colors as you want too!

Before I begin, I must add that I was just making this up as I went along and it may not be the best or the “proper” way to do things.  In hindsight, I definitely would have started out with more fabric, because I ended up with BARELY enough.  You need a lot more fabric than you’d normally need for a skirt because you cut away a lot (bummer)!  Anyways, here we go:

What you’ll need:
About 1.5-2 yards total in different colors
1 inch wide elastic
Safety pin
Sewing essentials

First cut your fabric into strips.  Like I said, you can make them as wide or narrow as you want.  I didn’t know how much fabric I’d need when I started, but as an estimate, I’d make sure you have enough strips to form 2 rectangles that are 1.5 times your desired length, by 2 times the waist measurement.  For example.  Yuki’s waist is 19 inches and I wanted the skirt to be about 9 inches long.  So I’d need two rectangles that are 38 inches (19×2) by 13.5 inches (9×1.5).  Again, this is just an ESTIMATE, so please go bigger if you can and don’t blame me if it’s not enough! 🙂

Here are the strips I cut.  The first one was about 1.75 inches wide, the second was 2.75 and the third was 2.25 inches.

The bottom strip in the picture is the waistband.  You’ll need a rectangle that is 3 inches wide and twice the waist measurement in length.

Start sewing your strips together by pinning them together along the long side of the strips, right sides together.

Continue adding strips to form one rectangle.  Then start again in the same pattern to make your second rectangle.  Because you want all your rows to line up perfectly when you piece them together later, try to sew your strips together keeping your seam allowance straight and consistent for all your strips.

I zig zag stitched each seam as I went along to prevent fraying.

When you’re done sewing all your strips together, your rectangles should look something like this.

Press all the seams in the same direction.  To keep those seams laying nice and flat, I top stitched along each strip in coordinating thread.  This step is optional.

Now we’re going to make an angled cut on each end of your rectangles.  The larger the angle, the sharper the chevron V is going to be.  I could already sense I wasn’t going to have enough fabric, so I made my cut at an angle smaller than 45 degrees.  This made my chevron V wide.

Whatever you decide, make sure you cut it exact on each end of your rectangles to form two isosceles trapezoids that look something like this.

Place them on top of each other, right sides together, make sure that the seams match up as closely as possible.  Pin and sew.

The line you just sewed is now the front center and back center of your skirt.  Press the seam open and it should look like this.

Chop off the top and bottom (along the white lines) to make them straight.

Next, you’d want to cut off the sides to make a rectangle.  My skirt was getting tiny at this point and since I didn’t want it to be a mini skirt, I cut mine at a slight angle to leave more room at the bottom.  Ideally though, if you have enough fabric, cutting it straight will give you a nice angle for your chevron pattern on the sides of the skirt.

Place your two rectangles right sides together and sew up the side seams.

Now to create your waistband, fold your strip in half, and sew the ends together to make a loop that is the same as the width of the skirt.

Move seam to the center and press open.

With right sides together, slip the waistband over the top of the skirt, lining up the seam with the center of the skirt in the back.  Pin all the way around and sew.

When you flip the waist band up, it should look like this.

Fold the top of the waistband in about 1/4 inch and press.

Now fold it down again to create a casing wide enough to fit your elastic.  The folded edge should come down just past the bottom of the waistband, covering the seam ever so slightly.

Pin the waistband in place.  Starting in the back, about 1 inch right of the center, start top stitching around the waistband, making sure the casing is wide enough for the elastic.  Sew all the way around and stop about 1 inch from the center, leaving a 2 inch opening.

Attach a safety pin to one end of your elastic and push it through the casing.

Sew the ends of the elastic together and finish top stitching the waistband to close the casing.

You’re practically done!  Just hem up the bottom of the skirt by folding and pressing it 1/4 inch and then another 1/4 inch to hide the unfinished edge and sew all the way around.

Done!

Unfortunately, I didn’t get very many good pictures of Yuki wearing the skirt since we were running out the door to go somewhere.  But she was definitely all decked out in green for St. Patrick’s Day!  And now she has a new bright skirt to wear through spring and summer.

There are so many variations of this skirt that would be fun to make.  What combo of colors and strip widths will you use?

Now I gotta come up with a project where I can use all the poor pieces I had to cut away from this skirt so they don’t go to waste . . .

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Lucky Chevron Skirt Preview

UPDATE: Tutorial here!

I realized that Yuki didn’t have anything green to wear for St. Patrick’s Day so I wanted to make something fun.  I was looking through my stash for something appropriate when I realized that I had bought green fabric to make a chevron skirt back during Project Run & Play.  I had this idea for a skirt and was going to make it for my signature look.  I decided against it, and set aside the fabric for later.  I’m so glad I stumbled across the fabric when I did!

So here’s my little Lucky Chevron Skirt for St. Patrick’s Day.  I’ve seen a lot of people making chevrons from striped fabric or strips of fabric recently, so I thought I’d give it a try too.  This is 3 different colors of fabric, and each fabric is actually made from two tones of thread so the colors in person are really gorgeous.  I decided to make my strips in different widths just to make it a bit more interesting.

I haven’t gotten a chance to take any pictures of Yuki in it yet.  And I don’t know when I will since it’s raining buckets over here at least through the weekend!  But I also plan on doing a tutorial for this soon, so hopefully I’ll have that by next week.  Until then, you just get this preview 🙂

Here’s the outfit I have imagined for this Saturday’s holiday:

And of course when it gets warmer, she can wear it all summer with less layers:

Aren’t these shoes ADORABLE!??  Yuki got them for Christmas from our very good friends and she hasn’t really been able to wear them yet since she still needs to grow into them, but I might just double up her socks and put ’em on her this weekend anyways.  How could I not?

Any green sewing projects for you this week?