Completed: A Fabulously Festive Skirt

13 Dec

Ok, y’all, time to wrap up this trio of holiday crafts. You saw my Halloween contribution and the joint effort with my mom for Thanksgiving… what could be in store for the winter holidays, you might ask?

Christmas Tree Skirt/LT Skirt

Thinking about the given theme, and what was was needed for my personal holiday decor (Christmas, specifically), I decided to make a gorgeous tree skirt since I’ve been covering my tree stand with a giant fabric scrap for the past couple of years. Before I bore y’all to tears, I must point out that this skirt is quite special in the fact that it does double duty-

Christmas Tree Skirt/LT Skirt

YEP. You can totally wear it as a skirt for humans!

Christmas Tree Skirt/LT Skirt

I am beyond excited about this project (seriously, it woke me up in a glorious epiphany in the middle of the night!) and hopefully y’all feel the same way. I mean, really, who doesn’t want a little kitsch in their Christmas? πŸ˜‰

Christmas Tree Skirt/LT Skirt

I mean, for god’s sake, I managed to get pictures in the snow. It never snows here (although it does snow on my blog, as a lot of you noticed ;)). It was clearly meant to be.

Christmas Tree Skirt/LT Skirt

Want to make your own? It’s SO easy!
Just a head’s up: this tutorial required lots and lots of pictures and words, so feel free to skip if it’s not your bag. You have been warned!

First things first – let’s talk about what sort of shape works best for this type of skirt. What we want to make is a circle skirt. I’ve seen people call skirts circle skirts when they really aren’t – a circle skirt is literally a circle with a smaller circle cut in the middle of it. It doesn’t have gathering, and the edge of the hem is curved completely all the way around (i.e., no straight lines). Like this:

Christmas Tree Skirt/LT Skirt

Mmm, looks like a donut.

You can make a circle skirt that is a seamless, continuous circle, like what you see above. However, for our purposes, we do need at least one seam so we can get the skirt over the tree. So your pattern will actually look like this, with seams:

Christmas Tree Skirt/LT Skirt

You know, like a PokΓ© Ball.

This pattern is really easy to draft. Seriously, the hardest part is just finding a big enough piece of paper for it (I tape lots of paper together, personally). I won’t be going over how to draft a circle skirt, but I can point you to this excellent tutorial on how to draft a circle skirt, by Casey. This is the tutorial I used to draft my pattern, and it’s really easy to understand and execute. You can make the skirt as long or short as you want it – mine is 18″. Once you have drafted your pattern, you can measure the amount needed for trim and fabric. If you’re buying before you draft, a good ballpark is 4+ yards for the main fabric, and at least 4-5 yards for any trim you sew along the hemline. This is a great project for those gorgeous quilting cottons that you can’t bear to use for apparel purposes – I got mine from JoAnn, and it was on sale whoop whoop.

Christmas Tree Skirt/LT Skirt

Once you have drafted your pattern, you should have two pieces of fabric that look like this. The straight edges are your side seams, and the little curve in the middle is where your waist sits.

I tried to take photos to explain this, but it ended up being waaay too difficult, so here’s a little hand-drawing diagram instead!

Christmas Tree Skirt/LT Skirt

Sew up one side seam of your skirt. On the unsewn side, you will sew velcro so the skirt can open and close. How long you make the velcro is up to you – I suggest making it go all the way down to the hem, to make it easier to put it on the tree (since the skirt will open all the way). However, if you’re like me and your swear you bought velcro but it somehow managed to not come home with you and you have to dig through your stash to find some little leftover pieces that equal maaaybe 12″ total… you can do that to, and just sew the remaining seam closed. At the top, instead of a waistband, you will sew a length of ribbon to finish the top of the skirt. If you are concerned about the skirt not staying closed while you are wearing it, you may also sew a hook and eye to keep things secure (or even make a drawstring casing for cinching it tight when it’s around the tree), but I can assure you that the ribbon does a pretty good job of not untying itself, at least on me πŸ™‚

A few little tips for constructing the skirt-

Christmas Tree Skirt/LT Skirt

I like to staystitch the waistline curve before I do anything- just sew a line of short stitches (if your machine sews at 2.5, reduce the stitch length to 2.0) just inside the seam allowance. Since the waistline is cut on the bias, it will stretch out of shape if it’s not secured beforehand.

Christmas Tree Skirt/LT Skirt

To attach the velcro, first finish your seams in whatever method you prefer (mine are serged, and oops didn’t change the serger thread haha) and press under the seam allowance on one side.

Christmas Tree Skirt/LT Skirt

Keeping close to the edge, sew the loop side of your velcro to the side seam that is not turned under (this will be the underlap of the velcro) and the hook side of the velcro to the wrong side of the turned under seam.

Christmas Tree Skirt/LT Skirt
Christmas Tree Skirt/LT Skirt

If your velcro does not extend to the hemline and you need to close the remainder of the seam, overlap the folded under seam allowance with the underlap and pin down.

Christmas Tree Skirt/LT Skirt

Then topstitch!

After you have attached your velcro, you can sew the ribbon to the skirt waistline. No photos for this step, but I think it’s pretty self-explanatory.

Let your skirt hang for at least 24 hours, to allow the bias to settle before you hem it – otherwise you may end up with an uneven hemline.

Then comes the fun part… embellishing! Seriously, I had sooo much fun trolling the aisles at JoAnn, trying to find the ~perfect~ sparkle trims. I ended up with pom-pom fringe (I think I used about 4 yards – again, MEASURE FIRST. That hem takes up a lot of yardage!), sequins, and glitter ribbon.

Christmas Tree Skirt/LT Skirt

I sewed the pom-pom fringe to the bottom of my skirt by machine.

Christmas Tree Skirt/LT Skirt

Since I couldn’t get my hands on any red, I improvised by adding a line of red sequins on top of the fringe. These are just hot-glued on; ain’t nobody got time for dealing with sequins.

Christmas Tree Skirt/LT Skirt

My favorite part about this skirt, though (other than the fact that I can WEAR IT), are the 3-D poinsettias! I made these using felt and hot glue and it’s super, super easy, once you make a little template.

Christmas Tree Skirt/LT Skirt

Start by drawing a petal shape that is approximately half the the desired poinsettia size. Mine is about 2.5″ long.

Christmas Tree Skirt/LT Skirt

Now draw a circle. This doesn’t have to be perfect; it’s just a guideline for the petals.

Christmas Tree Skirt/LT Skirt

Trace your petal shape over the circle, with the four points touching in the center of the circle.

Christmas Tree Skirt/LT Skirt

Cut the template out and flip it over so no one can see the shame.

Christmas Tree Skirt/LT Skirt

To assemble the poinsettias, cut two pieces of felt using the template, four additional petals (cut slightly smaller than the first petal shape), a circle for the inside, and a leaf (the leaf is just two petals with the points touching, cut as one in green felt).

Christmas Tree Skirt/LT Skirt

Stack the template pieces like so and glue together.

Christmas Tree Skirt/LT Skirt

Then glue on your four petals.

Christmas Tree Skirt/LT Skirt

Attach the center (I know, traditionally, poinsettias have white centers, but my fabric had gold centers SO GOLD IT IS).

Christmas Tree Skirt/LT Skirt

Then glue on the leaves. Done!
To make my poinsettias extra fancy, I added some beads in a bottle at the center and a healthy dose of glitter spray paint.

Christmas Tree Skirt/LT Skirt

I put my skirt on the form with a petticoat, and just stuck the poinsettias on until I was happy with their placement (since they’re felt, they will temporarily stick without glue), then I hot glued them on.

Christmas Tree Skirt/LT Skirt

And that’s it! It’s a tree skirt/me skirt!

Christmas Tree Skirt/LT Skirt

Christmas Tree Skirt/LT Skirt

Christmas Tree Skirt/LT Skirt

Christmas Tree Skirt/LT Skirt

I am wearing mine with a petticoat for maximum fluff, fyi.

The best part about this project?

Christmas Tree Skirt/LT Skirt

It’s SOOOO twirly!

So I guess that’s it! I feel pretty #fabulouslyfestive, what do you think? I realize this project is probably a bit too twee for most adults, but it would be perfect for kids. Aren’t kids the best excuse for dumping a load of tacky, or is that just me?

Christmas Tree Skirt/LT Skirt

If you managed to sit all the way through this giant post, so awesome! Here’s a coupon just for you πŸ˜‰

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Thanks to JoAnn Fabric and Crafts for letting me get my DIY Crafty on this season, and thanks everyone for hanging in there with me for some non-clothing-related sewing. As always, if you’d like to see more crafty goodness, you can check out the Celebrate the Season website.

Christmas Tree Skirt/LT Skirt

Happy Holidays, y’all!

31 Responses to “Completed: A Fabulously Festive Skirt”

  1. Kate December 13, 2013 at 9:24 am #

    Great post, love the fringe. And to your point, no one has time for sequins! Happy Holidays!

  2. Kelly December 13, 2013 at 9:28 am #

    You look like an elf! Super cute, and it looks great on your tree too πŸ™‚

  3. Peter December 13, 2013 at 9:50 am #

    I love that skirt — much better on you than the tree, imo. Festive!

  4. ShanniLoves December 13, 2013 at 10:03 am #

    Genius!!

  5. Sylvie December 13, 2013 at 10:09 am #

    HOLY CATS I LOVE THIS! I am singing in a holiday concert next weekend with a choir, I was told to wear something “festive”. I’m pretty sure they mean “this is Sylvie’s excuse to find a superfun holiday fabric and make a twirly skirt to wear JUST FOR THIS SPECIAL OCCASION!” “And totally make a petticoat to go under it. Because who doesn’t like fluffy?” Seriously, I’m headed to Joann’s this weekend! I’ll be the most festive woman in the choir!! SQUEEEEE

    • LLADYBIRD December 13, 2013 at 12:49 pm #

      Yeeeeahhh!!! If you make one, and gloriously tackify-it in a way that could only make me proud, you better share some photos!! I want to see! πŸ˜€

  6. oonaballoona December 13, 2013 at 10:13 am #

    I. LOVE. YOU.

  7. symondezyn December 13, 2013 at 10:28 am #

    There’s something completely awesome (and hilarious) about the fact that you described it as being a skirt “for humans too” as if it was weirder for YOU to wear it than the tree… I like that you and the tree are sharing apparel; it looks great on both of you! LOL

  8. mrsmole December 13, 2013 at 10:46 am #

    OMG…you are just too cute for words and throwing in a tutorial for the rest of us…what a present!

  9. Danica December 13, 2013 at 11:20 am #

    I love, love, love it!!

  10. Nicki December 13, 2013 at 11:45 am #

    That is a brilliant idea! You look fab.

  11. yosami December 13, 2013 at 11:56 am #

    This skirt is fabulous! I feel festive just looking at it! So glad this snowing screen is intentional – I thought my old computer was finally giving up on me!

  12. Dee December 13, 2013 at 12:08 pm #

    Such a great idea…I will defo be trying this out for next Xmas!!!

  13. Lisa Carver December 13, 2013 at 12:39 pm #

    pompom fringe, sequins, and 3-D poinsettias. Be still my heart, I love the kitsch and you!

  14. maddie December 13, 2013 at 12:43 pm #

    Don’t you love it when in the middle of the night, you wake up with a great idea? I do that a lot! I think this idea is so creative and in my opinion, this time of year, children and adults are allowed to be tacky. Not saying your skirt is tacky – it’s just a general statement.

  15. Maggie Cawthorn December 14, 2013 at 2:34 am #

    Just love that fabric and your outfit is fantastic!

  16. Gill December 14, 2013 at 2:35 am #

    Fab skirt, and looks great on you. Not at all tacky, and would be a little bit wasted on kids (or trees!) imo.

  17. jamahistory December 14, 2013 at 4:37 am #

    This is brilliant! I love the embellishments – and genius that your tree can wear it too!

  18. Kimberlypearl December 14, 2013 at 9:23 am #

    I’ve been wanting to make a tree skirt since last Christmas! I love the idea of adding the pom-pom embellishment along the bottom. I am pretty sure my cat would love playing with them, so I think I have to make one like that too!

  19. Kim December 14, 2013 at 10:02 am #

    Super cute! I love the 3d flowers on it πŸ™‚ Your tree looks super festive, we’re decorating our tree tonight, YAY!

  20. Lisette December 14, 2013 at 3:07 pm #

    Backinthaday, when I worked in retail, I always eyeballed the tree skirts as a possible clothing item, but they made the opening giantly too big for my waist so I never thought of it again. I was lazy and just put a red and white striped rug under my tree. I love, love, love the 3-D poinsettias AND the pom pom fringe AND the sequinage. Fabulous!

  21. Jennifer December 14, 2013 at 5:13 pm #

    Seriously cute!

  22. Kyle December 14, 2013 at 10:20 pm #

    Wow, but what does Amelia think? Does she love pom poms???

  23. Gem Smith December 15, 2013 at 1:10 am #

    He he it love this!!! I had all kinds of Christmas crafty ness planned but illness struck and nothing’s been made (so far!) I may try to sneak in a little tree/ me skirt now πŸ™‚ Inspiring post as always!

  24. Janaya December 15, 2013 at 9:57 pm #

    oh. my goodness. this is ah-freaking-dorable. seriously cute. in fact, it is so adorable that i’ve decided to make one for my birthday on thursday. i can’t imagine a better way to celebrate 23 years of breathing. πŸ˜‰ merry christmas!

  25. kimmie December 16, 2013 at 3:42 pm #

    I love this! The 3d poinsettias are my fave! That’s some avatar shit! I love it!

  26. Jodie December 18, 2013 at 1:36 pm #

    I absolutely adore your collar – is it attached to the cardi or a standalone? Where can I get one!??

    • LLADYBIRD December 18, 2013 at 3:15 pm #

      It’s a detachable fur collar that I picked up at the flea market a couple of months ago. Keep an eye out, because I see them everywhere – antique stores, thrift stores, flea markets, etc – and they’re usually pretty cheap. You can also get faux ones if fur’s not your bag (I’m personally ok with vintage fur, but not the new stuff). Hope that helps πŸ™‚

  27. sewcookgardenrepeat December 30, 2013 at 9:37 am #

    Frick, with that skirt, the cardigan, that headband, and especially the collar with bow. You look like a goddamn christmas present. Love it!

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. The Colors of Mexico City + Weekend Links  |  Coletterie - December 20, 2013

    […] made a festive tree skirt that can be worn by […]

  2. Black and white lace circle skirt | Rachel In Red - December 24, 2013

    […] was hugely inspired by Laurens and Katy and Laney’s circle skirts, and decided that was just what I needed. Easy. Fast. […]

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