Recently a friend requested that I assist her in creating poodle skirts for a charity her organization was holding. We only had a pattern for a very small child, however, I knew that a poodle skirt was in fact just a circle skirt so I went to work looking for instructions on how to make a poodle skirt and what I found was some amis information. So today I am going to highlight how in fact to do a very successful poodle skirt. No pattern necessary just a few tools.
Supplies: You will need a tape measure, something to mark with (I use chalk but there are actual fabric marking tools you can buy if you want), scissors (nice sharp scissors to cut the fabric easily), thread, of course you need your fabric a poodle skirt is typically made of a wool or wool blend but you do not necessarily need to have this type of fabric a medium weight non stretchable cotton will work perfectly, you are also going to need some type of string that you can use as to create both the inner circle or the waist of the skirt and the outer circle or the hem of the skirt, one or two safety pins, and finally an iron if you have one available. Of course you will also need elastic, thread and an applique for the skirt or some felt if you plan to make the poodle on your own. For the purpose here I will assume that you are using an applique.
So here goes step by step instructions on my take for making a poodle skirt:
- Now we need to take the time to take some measurements. Measure the waist or the area you intend the skirt to sit (poodle skirts typically sat at or just above the waist). Now for the length measure from your waist down to halfway between the knee and the ankle (note: you can go shorter or longer the length is a matter of preference so measure to where you want the length of your skirt).
- A few things to remember. You must repeat the steps in your diagram two times as you need a front and back for your skirt! You may want to add an inch or two to the waist measurement to allow for hem allowances. I realize that my measurements in my example in the diagram and the written above are different I did this on purpose to show a few different options. When you are using your plumbline make sure you keep it straight and tight a loose, floppy or cricked line will not produce a circle/poodle skirt.
- Now simply cut out the skirt at the lines you drew for the half or quarter circles. Do not cut the fold! Only cut on the lines you drew.
- The next step is to put the skirt together. You are going to put the right sides of the material together and pin the skirt together on both sides. If you are not used to sewing it is ok to put your pins very close together this will create a nice matching up and will help with making a straight line.
- After you have pinned both sides of the skirt together now you are ready to sew. Take your sewing machine (Hopefully you have it threaded or if you don't know how to have someone to help you as all machines are different in threading them, we will do a basics of threading step by step at a different time but for now we are going to assume the machine is threaded). I like to sew a 3/4" or in rounding this is 2 cm seam so using your tape measure (this step you will need to do only if your machine does not already have labels on the sewing plate) put the needle down just so it is touching the tape measure and measure out 3/4" or 2 cm (use something to put a mark to remind you which line you are using as most machines have some sort of lines you can follow for your seems). Then just sew up both sides of the skirt make sure you stay on the line you marked if you are new to sewing take it slow this isn't a race (even though it is fun to see the machine sew fast sometimes). You can now iron flat both of the seems if you wish.
- Ok now the main part of your skirt is built and we have two choices for a waist band we can fold down the waist or we can add on a waist band, I like to add on the waist band for this skirt it isn't to difficult and makes for a nicer product in my opinion. Follow the diagram below
- Now take your elastic put a safety pin in one end and affix another safety pin to the other end and attach that with the elastic to the skirt waist band so you do not loose the elastic (this is handy as believe me i've lost elastic in a waist band and its such a pain). Thread your elastic through your tube that you created and attached to your skirt. When you thread the elastic through the entire length of the waist band pull it a little extra to create a nice bunching effect. Now you can either use your machine or you can sew the elastic by hand I find it quicker to overlap the elastic both ends about an inch and sew both ends I like to sew over the same seem a few times to ensure that I have a nice strong connection. A few notes make sure you haven't twisted the elastic around and make sure you don't make the elastic to small. You want the elastic to be the original length of the waist you meaured in our diagrams above that is 30 inches plus an inch or two for sewing the ends together. After sewing the ends of the elastic together put the elastic up into the band with the rest of the elastic make sure none is showing and now sew together the opening that you left in order to put the elastic into the band. Make sure you do not catch the elastic into the sewing.
- Two more steps. First we are going to hem the skirt. Take your iron and iron up an inch all the way around the bottom and then tuck under the top edge of the inch. I like to tuck the top edge until it touches the fold original inch fold this makes for a nice slim hem. Iron down the folded part, and then simply take your machine and sew as close to the folded edge as you can, careful to make sure you stay on the hem. Now your skirt is done and your final step is to put on your poodle.
- Now as I said before we are going to pretend you have an applique. Take a sewing needle and some thread that matches your applique and hand sew the poodle onto the bottom front of the skirt wherever you like. Typically the poodle is sew to the side on the bottom of the skirt. Now if you like you can take some nice sequined trim and hand sew a leash that goes from the poodle all the way up to your band. (I am assuming here that know a tad bit about hand sewing for this step no worries if you do not know about hand sewing we will tackle that topic as part of our sewing basic series).
- I will add some pictures of a few finished skirts as soon as I get my camera working again. Hopefully I can put these up tomorrow sometimes a picture speaks a thousand words for me. Also know that we are here to help you if anything does not make sense or you just don't understand some of the steps send us an email or let us know in the comments section and we will see if we can help you through whatever issues you are having. The diagrams I created for this were done on paint and that program is clearly not perfect so if something is unclear please ask!