Thursday, December 20, 2012

Tutorial: Pleather Hand Cut Skirt

Posting this tutorial back from the Knock it Off Series
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I love making clothes for my kids, especially to save money or create looks you'd never find in stores.


Lately, I've liked the current trend of laser cut leather.
Making leather which usually seems tough and edgy delicate like lace is a cool technique.

 
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So today, I thought I'd try my own version of this leather skirt, but for toddler girls:
Whistles laser leather cut out skirt, £250
 I liked the fact the cut out design was mainly around the hem, so you wouldn't have to line the skirt.
Also, I don't have a laser, so the design would be hand cut and simple is obviously better.
I chose not to use real leather, going with chocolate pleather because it's cheaper, more kid-friendly, and easier to punch.
I thought this was a cute way to have a different textile in your girl's wardrobe without seeming sexy or too adult, which I usually associate with leather.

The detail on the skirt are simple punches in overlapping circles along the hem. 
Using a simple template, the marking goes really quick and the punching wasn't too bad either. 
A lot faster than hand embroidery or hand sewing!
 MAKE YOUR OWN PLEATHER HAND CUT SKIRT

SUPPLIES:
 for toddler sized skirt
-1/2 yard pleather
-1/2 yard 1" or wider elastic
-sewing machine, sharpie marker, masking tape
-buttonhole cutter set or snap/ grommet pliers
available from amazon and other craft or fabric stores

uses one 8.5"x 11" page, cardstock recommended

INSTRUCTIONS:
1. CUT OUT CIRCLE SKIRT
Depending on the size of the skirt, you can adjust the length and waist of the circle skirt.
Basically you're just drawing a donut shape.  
The included template is for a skirt that would accomodate a 18-22" waist and the finished skirt is 6.5" long.
To adjust for larger waists, cut 1/4" down on the smaller curve (narrow end of pie) of paper template.
To add to the length of skirt, add however much you need to the larger curve (wide end of pie).
Because pleather is thick, I traced the entire circle out on the wrong side, using tailor's chalk.
Carefully cut out pleather donut making as smooth edge as possible with scissors or rotary cutter/ mat.


2. CUT DETAILS ALONG HEM
Using printable circle template, I used a piece of masking tape to make a quick, even mark from the skirt edge, putting the circles 3/4" away from hem.  I marked each dot with a blue sharpie marker.
This showed up so I could see on the dark pleather, and went on easily without smearing. 
 To mark the next circle, I overlapped with three holes between the top and bottom shared holes as shown below.
To accommodate the curve of the hem and different sized skirts, you may have to adjust this overlap.  My skirt ended up working with 2 circles overlapping 3 holes, then one with just 2 holes, to have an even distribution around the curve and keeping the 3/4" space from the edge.


To punch out each hole, you can use the snap pliers or the buttonhole cutter circle.
I chose to use the buttonhole cutter:
smaller hole, cleaner punch, more time consuming
I found pressure straight down along with twisting produced clean, perfect holes
snap pliers:
quicker to use, larger hole, not always a clean punch, hard to reach holes farther from edge.

3. ATTACH ELASTIC WAISTBAND
First, measure the elastic for desired fit around child's waist.  
Ellie is an average 18 month old and I used 15" of 1" wide brown elastic.
Sew the ends of the elastic together.
Mark the quarters of the elastic and the waist of your skirt.


Pin the elastic on top of the skirt, overlapping 1/2" and pinning at the quarter marks.
The elastic is smaller than the waist hole, so as you top-stitch the elastic to the skirt, be sure to stretch as you sew.

I top-stitched the elastic to the skirt 1/4" and again below 1/8" (not shown) away from elastic edge.

You're finished!
Ellie put the skirt back on after the pictures to twirl, which is kind of nice about using the thicker pleather, it stands out without a pettiskirt to make it full.

Hop over to my blog, Running With Scissors for more kids clothing projects along with a bunch of other junk!


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