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Watermelon Skirt Tutorial

I had this great idea pop into my head yesterday morning.
One I was SO excited about, I had to make a dash to the fabric store that afternoon.

The result... this adorable, Watermelon Skirt.
I am so tickled by how this turned out!

Ready to make your own?
Here's how I did it...

Supplies Needed:
- Red Cotton Fabric (I think a pink would be adorable too)... 2/3 yard for a youth medium, 1/2 yard for a youth extra small
- Green Cotton Fabric... 34" x 7 1/2" strip for youth medium, 32" x 6" for youth extra small
- White Cotton Fabric (You could use white ribbon instead, about 1" thick.  Light green might be a nice alternative to white too.)... 3, 2" strips the width of your fabric
- Black Knit Fabric... about 1/8 yard
- Elastic, 3/4" wide
- Thread, in red, green, black and white.

1) Prewash all of your fabric!  Press if needed.
2) Cut Your Strips!
I made two skirts; one for my 4 year old (youth extra small) and one for my 8 year old (youth medium).  For the top of the skirt (the green fabric), I cut a 34" x 7 1/2" strip for a youth medium, and a 32" x 6" strip for my youth extra small.

I cut two strips in the red for each skirt.  The youth medium strips were 11" wide, and the youth extra small were 9" wide.

I cut three, 2" strips for each of the skirts in the white.  I LOVED how thick the ruffle turned out.  If you are using ribbon, will want about 120" in length.

3) Start Sewing!
With right sides together, sew your two lengths of red fabric together to begin forming your skirt.  (You will be sewing the two shorter sides together on each end.  I think I used 5/8" seams.  I also left the salvages on the fabric so I didn't have to finish the edge at all.  I love short cuts!

Press your seams.  I guess I should have pressed them to the back of the skirt to protect my seam... but I didn't here.

Next, sew the short sides of your green fabric, right sides together, to form the top of your skirt. Press your seam.

I also decided to go ahead and hem the one side of the red fabric at this time.  I did so by turning the fabric under twice, about 1/4" each time, and sewing along the top of the fold.  Press, and your hem is finished.

4)  Form your elastic wast band casing.
Turn one side of the green fabric down 1 1/4" and pin it all the way around.

Ok... here is where I like to cheat again.  I turn my fabric under about a 1/4" as I sew my casing.  If you are brave, it will save you some work/time.  However, you may want to pin this 1/4" under before sewing.  OR.... I have sat with the iron in one hand and my measure in another.... turned under, press.... turned under, press... which works well too.  Either way you do it.... sew along the edge of your fold, but remember to leave about 2" open on the casing to insert the elastic later!

And here is where I stopped stitching to allow for adding the elastic.

5) Gather Your Skirt!
I like to gather my skirt using my machine.  You can do this by adjusting your stitch length to the longest setting.  First, section your red skirt fabric into fours by placing a pin at each.  Use the two seams for two of your four markers.  You will sew your gathering threads from each of these points.

I stitched along the top edge of my skirt (without back stitching) from pin to pin at about 5/8".

Next, you will need to mark the 4 sections of your green fabric to match to your skirt bottom.  Use your seam as your back mark.  Once you've marked your green fabric, you can match the four points of your red fabric to the green, right sides of the fabric together.

Once it is pinned in place, carefully pull the outside gathering threads and smooth the ruffles in the fabric evenly along each section.  Add some pins to hold everything in place.

Now you're ready to sew your skirt together.  I sewed just under my gathering stitch, so I could remove the gathering threads afterwards.  Because I can't figure out HOW ON EARTH to thread the serger my mother gave me YEARS ago... I chose to add a couple rows of zig zag stitching to hold the raw edges of my skirt together here (just to the right of my seam).  That seemed to do the trick.

I then flipped the skirt right side out, folded the seam up towards the top of the skirt, and added a seam on the outside to secure it into place.

6) Make a Ruffle!
I don't know why I didn't think of using ribbon for this part, but I do have to say that I love how the cotton fabric turned out.  It was just a bit more work than ribbon would have been.

I chose to sew my two lengths of white strips together to make one big loop.  I pressed the seams open, then folded each side under twice and stitched along the fold to finish it off.  See...

Now... if I had used ribbon, I would have skipped all of that and gone right onto the next step...

Next, I sectioned my fabric into fours, marking each with a pin, and sewed a gathering stitch down the middle.  Hard to see the gathering stitch in this photo, but I promise you, it's there.

Now, just as you did with the skirt, you match your four pins of your ruffle to four pins on your skirt, so your ruffle comes out evenly.  Once you've done that, gently pull your gathering threads and smooth out your ruffles as evenly as you can along each section.  Pin them into place.

Then sew along the middle of your ruffle, careful to keep your ruffle from bunching as you go along.

I went along and carefully removed all the gathering threads that I could.  If you used white thread, you can get away with leaving those you can't easily remove.

7) Add Your Waist Band!
I measured my kiddo's tummy by wrapping the elastic around her waist and cutting it where it met.  I then added a large safety pin to one end to allow me to work it through the casing on the skirt.

And look!  It's morning!  My photos are actually decent looking now!  Sorry about that!  :)

Once your elastic is pulled all the way through, over lap the ends about an inch.  Make sure that your elastic isn't twisted anywhere along the way, then stitch your ends together.
I guess I could have used a different color so you could see my stitching here.  I make a seam up and down on one end 4 times, then diagonal from top left to bottom right 3 times, then up and down on the right 4 times, then diagonal from top right to bottom left 2 times.  Perhaps that is a little excessive??  ha ha... just how my momma taught me!

Don't forget to sew up the hole left in your elastic casing!  I also like to add a little stitch on the right and left sides of the elastic casing just to keep the elastic from ever turning.

8) Time for Seeds!
I found a cup in the cupboard and used it to create a pattern.  I then cut a stack of circles from my black jersey knit.  I think I used 20 for the smaller skirt.  I am not sure yet, but I may add a third row of seeds to the larger skirt (haven't finished it yet).

To create your "seeds" you have to fold each circle as I have down in the photos below...

Fold the circle in half.... then fold into thirds by folding one third over the front, and the other side behind, forming a little seed-looking shape.

Pin each "seed" onto your skirt in an arrangement that is pleasing to you.  You may chose to add them randomly.  I liked the patterned look, so I went with that.

Ignore my band aid.  Just tried to cut off my finger while cutting my child's hair.  I'm not a hairdresser ;)  I used the scientific technique of spreading my fingers to measure my spacing of my "seeds".

Ack!  Sorry, again, for the crummy photos.  The bad lighting and red fabric really didn't work in my favor here.  Next, sew on each of your seeds by adding a stitch, back and forth a couple of times, to the top of each "seed".

I went from "seed" to "seed" without stopping, and cut all of my threads between at the end.  That saved a bit of time.

And here is the finished skirt.

Oh, I just LOVE it!
Hope you do too!

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