I finally made a pettiskirt! First, I love ruffles. Ruffles are amazing. So naturally I
wanted needed a pettiskirt because they are ruffley and wonderful. I think the first time I found out about pettiskirts was this post on Make It Love It. However, she recommended AFC Express for nylon chiffon and on there I found their tutorial which starts here. They’ve got some great videos that really explain it.
This isn’t the best tutorial because I really wanted to get this done and so forgot to take some photos during some of the more important parts. I will definitely be making another pettiskirt so I will try to take more photos then.
Before I explain how I did it, a couple of shout outs:
AFC Express — This is where I got my nylon chiffon (I listed my colors below in case you want similar ones). They have a great selection (you can mail them via their website to get a sample of their colors). But even more importantly they have amazing customer service. I accidentally put the wrong shipping address on my order so it was returned to them. A dude with a cool NY accent called me, got the right address and shipped it out that day — and they didn’t even charge me for the error when it was my fault! These people are amazing. I can’t wait to pick out my next selection for my next skirt (after I finish my current UFOs of course . . .)
Sewing Parts Online — I had had a ruffler like this one that I had gotten for $12 on ebay. It never sat right and would always skip stitches when ruffling so that the ruffles were not truly gathered. Just sorta gathered. It made me sad. I looked at videos. I read tutorials. I seemed to be doing everything right although I noticed that the ruffler never really sat flat on my feed dogs. I thought I had the right one since it said it was for Singer. Finally, I posted in one of my G+ communities asking if anyone had any tips on a ruffler and I linked to the one I had. Sewing Parts Online chimed in and told me that I should try a higher quality one. I gave her my Singer model number and they also informed me that I was using the wrong ruffler! I never knew, but my Singer has a slant shank, not a low shank as I thought it did. Sewing Parts Online recommended a high quality slant shank ruffler and it worked amazingly. With my first ruffles I totally freaked out — I was so excited to finally have something I had been trying to get for literally a few years. So many thanks go to Sewing Parts Online for sorting out my ruffler issues and making the pettiskirt possible.
Finally, if you love the look of pettiskirts but can’t be bothered to take the time to make your own (trust me, I get you), then I recommend Pettiskirt Style for purchasing them. I needed a pettiskirt for a photoshoot and they shipped me what I needed so I had it within a week. Great service and responsive on e-mail. They have a great selection or can custom make your skirt and pretty decent prices.
So here’s what I did . . .
- 1 90 yd roll of 2″ chiffon (magic pink glo)
- 1 60 yd roll of 8″ chiffon (purple)
- 1 yd of 1″ non roll elastic
Using your ruffler foot turn your entire 90 yd roll of chiffon into a pile of ruffles but simply stitching down the middle of the 2″ chiffon. To make this faster, I put a pole through the roll of chiffon and rested that on my legs so I could just let the ruffler do it’s work.
This will be result:
OMG RUFFLES!! This pile made me so happy. For so long I had wanted ruffles. Now I had oodles.
Next you’ll want to attach the ruffles to your 8″ chiffon. I did this just by sewing down the center seam of my ruffles and attaching it about 1/2″ from the edge of the 8″ chiffon. Sadly I don’t have a photo. This probably took the longest since I had to unwind the 2″ ruffles as I went and they have a tendency to be twisted.
Once you’ve attached that, cut your 8″. I think I had about 60 ft of ruffles-attached-to-8″-chiffon. Next it’s time to attach the 8″ chiffon that you just sewed the ruffles to to another piece of 8″ chiffon, but this time you’ll want to ruffle the first 8″ piece of chiffon as you attach it. Fortunately the ruffler is set up to do this. I think on the AFC videos they recommend against this, but I’m lazy and didn’t want to sew it twice. Was it always even? No. But you can’t really see it with all the ruffles so no biggie.
After that I had about 20 ft of 8″ chiffon. Now cut this in half. Yes, you want two parts.
Cut a piece of solid fabric (to hide the skivvies) that’s 10″ wide and as long as your widest hip measurement with a couple inches buffer.
Next you’ll want to attach each half of your chiffon in the same fashion as you did chiffon to chiffon (ruffling the part you just sewed, but not the new part) to each side of your solid fabric. After you’ve done that, you’ll be folding them over to make a casing for your elastic. You can choose to have the seams all face each other or all face in.
Once you’ve sewn both long sides, make a tube by matching seams of the chiffon and short edges of the solid fabric. I cleaned up this edge after sewing it by just going down with a pair of scissors and making the edge nice and even.
Next, fold over the solid fabric, right down the middle and stitch a line about 1.5″ from the fold, leaving a 2″ gap. Insert the elastic, fit it to your waist, sew the ends together and stitch up your casing.
And that’s it!
What I plan to do differently
I will definitely be making another pettiskirt but there are a couple of things that I will do differently.
- I want more ruffles. I’m a total ruffle addict. I think the skirt should be up to my hips in ruffles. Therefore next time I plan to use TWO 90 yd rolls of 2″ chiffon for my bottom ruffle. This will make it take much longer but I think I will be much more pleased with the result.
- I want it shorter. This skirt is nice and will look great under a skirt, but I want something more sassy. So my next skirt will probably use 4″ or 5″ for the middle tiers.
- It was a bit sheer. This may be because I didn’t have enough ruffles. But if I want to wear my pettiskirt as just a skirt, I need to find some way to make it decent.