Crafts for summer: Paperdoll Skirt Tutorial

When was the last time you made a paperdoll chain?  It's always magical when you get finished cutting out all those geometrical turns and curves to open it up and see that it actually works, all those holding hands :). I made a skirt for Divine a few years ago inspired by making paperdolls one day and loved it.  She didn't wear it very much because I didn't put any elastic in the waistband and those little girl waists just can't keep it up properly.  So, I've revamped it and made one for my Pearlie girl.  It's a two part tutorial, though, and the actual paperdoll applique is being featured in the free online magazine Delish!  It's kind of thrilling to see my work in something that is so official :)

Back view.  Yes, another faux placket.  I seem to love those, don't I?  The buttons are made from coconut shells my sister brought back to me years and years ago when she spent several months in the Tongan Islands.  See, I always find the perfect project for each of my precious buttons...eventually.
I also changed up some of my dolls, adding a single boy in the lineup...a foreshadowing, perhaps? 
For the skirt front take 1/2" pleats every inch or so until the measured front waist is achieved.  Stay stitch in place.

•As a side note regarding fabrics I used, the green is a loosely woven linen and the brown is cotton with a simple, small pattern.  I wouldn't suggest using a loud print for either skirt or applique.  Pre-washing both fabrics is important since the shrinkage might be different with different fabric content.

Cut a strip of contrasting fabric the same length as the skirt front as well as twice the length (you'll use this later), 2" wide, fold in half and press.  Sew to top of skirt front.

Take smaller tucks in skirt back, keeping wider than measured waist back, as you will be gathering this with elastic.  
For the back placket, cut a 3" strip out of main fabric, turning edges under 1/2".  
Pin prepared edging on either side.
Either stitch down each side with regular straight stitch, or use a decorative machine stitch or hand stitching.
Pin placket to center back of the skirt, stitching down each side along the very edge or change thread color and stitch down the edging if you don't want to stitch over your decorative stitching.
Stitch side seams, with right sides together.  i was almost tempted to use the cute outline of my paperdoll lineup as my right side ;).
Cut waistband to fit skirt circumference adding an inch for the seam allowance, and 3 1/4" wide (if you're using 1" elastic).  Iron interfacing to center front.  Fold in half hotdog ways, press, fold one edge under slightly less than 1/2".
Pin waistband around skirt, centering in front, leaving the two end unpinned from skirt.  Pin ends to each other, making sure the waistband fits properly on skirt.  Stitch ends together and pin to skirt.
Stitch waistband to skirt.
Fold along pressed edge and edge stitch along top and bottom of waistband, leaving it open 1" behind the side seams on both sides.
Thread elastic through the back waistband, pin in place to check the fit on your child first.  Secure elastic by sewing through all layers, following the side seam line.
Hem bottom by turning under twice 1/2" and stitch.
That's it!


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