Sunday, December 9, 2012

DIY Ruffled Tree Skirt

Happy Birthday Blog!

I've basically been blogging for one year now. In that year:

  • I have 1 follower (thanks to my sister-in-law, Carrie)
  • I've done 125 bog posts
  • I've had 59 comments
  • I have almost 14,000 page views.
I think that's pretty good considering I have a busy house with a 3 year old, 1 year old and a part-time 8 year old and I work about 60 hours a week including my commute. I have tried to make a commitment to blog at least once a week. Some weeks, I've made more; some weeks I've made less. Nevertheless, I have had a great time challenging myself to create new recipes and craft projects to better my family and my home. It's been great having all my recipes stored on my computer, especially my most-used recipes like my buttercream frosting and my chicken tortilla soup.  And, I'm most proud of my favorite creations: owl applique quilt, dinosaur hoodiebeer koozie  and my diaper bag.  

It's been a pretty good year and I'm excited to see what the next year has in store for me. It's very surreal that I've shared my crazy life and love for cooking, baking and everything crafty with so many people. 

Now...onto my current project. This actually took me a lot longer than I had thought it would. Finishing all the edges, ruffling and sewing it all together took about 2 weekends to complete. I love how it turned out and I plan to make matching Christmas stockings this week. Stay tuned...

For this project, I finished the edges of all my ruffles with my new rolled hem foot. This foot was really hard to figure out, but once I did-it's the best sewing accessory I've ever purchased. It makes finishing edges a breeze and cuts out a lot of time. The directions were confusing, but I watched a few YouTube videos and after about an hour of practice, I was a pro. One piece of advice if you buy this, you may have to adjust your stitch width so that your needle actually sews the hem. this wasn't in any of the instructions and took a while for me to figure out. This was the perfect tool to use with this project as there were a lot of edges to finish. 

What you'll need...
5 different fabrics to ruffle-
  • First & second ruffle- 2 yards
  • third ruffle- 1 1/4 yard
  • fourth ruffle- 1 yard
  • fifth ruffle- 1/2 yard
Scrap fabric at least 54 inches wide & long for tree skirt shape or use an old tree skirt with that diameter
measuring tape, permanent marker & string that is 27 long
one package of quilt size binding
coordinating thread

At the end of the Christmas season last year, I purchased a cheap felt tree skirt on clearance. I used this for the shape. was very weak and after I attached my first ruffle, I realized that I needed to reinforce it with more fabric. 

Your ruffles:
you'll need to cut 8" strips in the following amounts for each row:
First row- 8 strips
Second row-7 strips
Third row-5 strips
Fourth row-3 strips
Fifth row- 2 strips

Sew all of your strips together for each row. Finish your edges.

Ruffle each of the five rows.  To make a ruffle, adjust the top thread tension and stitch length and width on your sewing machine to the highest setting. Sew a quarter inch from the top of the fabric and as you sew the ruffle will gather.

Set ruffles aside. 

Your skirt:
This is wear you eat your words when you told your high school geometry teacher that you'd never use what you were learning in real life... We are going to use a make shift compass to draw circles on our tree skirt base. 

 Cut out a circle that has a 54 inch diameter. To do this, fold your fabric in half and find the center of the fabric on the fold. Take your string and marker and tie the string around the marker at the 27 inch mark and anchor the string at the mid point of the fold. Draw a half circle on your fabric and cut out.

Now, find the center of the circle and pin it. Find a straight edge and draw a line from the center to the edge. Using your marker and string, draw circles around the center in the following order: First- four inches from the center. Next - draw one six inches from that circle and continue to do so until you're out of room. The last ring will be about an inch from the outside of the circle.

Cut up the line you drew from the center to the edge and then cut out the four inch center circle.

Assembling your skirt: 

Pin your first row to the last circle drawn. To make sure you're evenly pinning the ruffles, pin the two outside edges to the open edge of the circle and find the center of the ruffle. Pin the center directly across the circle and work your way around. Even though it's ruffled, you'll still have to pin more ruffles or pleats. 

Sew around this ruffle, trying to stay as close to the stitching you already did on the ruffle. 

Do this until all the ruffles are sewn. Your last ruffle should be attached to the inside circle you cut out first.

Binding your skirt:

Attach your binding on the straight edge. I pinned down the ruffles where I wanted to them to lay and pinned the binding over that. 

Cut the binding that will go in the center of the circle with at least 6" extending over each edge. Sew to the skirt and continue sewing the binding to the end and knot each side. This is to tie around your tree. 

And now you have a beautiful tree skirt...time consuming, but totally worth it.

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