Maybe Matilda: Scrappy Floral Skirt Tutorial

Friday, July 1, 2011

Scrappy Floral Skirt Tutorial

In case you missed this post last month on Living With Punks, here's the project I made for her Scrap Your Stash series. (I just typed "srap" instead of "scrap" and honestly stared at it for like 4 minutes trying to figure out why I was getting the red squiggle misspelling line on it . . . I must have left my brain somewhere along I-80. I think I recall it making a run for the hills somewhere in Wyoming.)



 I've had my eye on this Anthropologie lampshade for a while now, and immediately thought of it as the perfect scrapbusting inspiration:


I loved the unusual floral design and mix of pattern and color, but my real crafty love is clothing. I wanted to incorporate this idea into something wearable, so I used their fun floral pattern to create a cute scrappy skirt!

 Believe me, folks, this project was a true scrapbuster from start to finish--even the skirt itself was in my scrap pile! I don't know if this is common practice everywhere, but at the Salvation Army in my town, you get to pick an item off a rack by the register to take home free for every $10 you spend (which means I end up with a lot of those freebies)--I chose this skirt a few shopping trips ago with the intent of chopping it up to use the linen fabric for something else. But now it has a new life in my closet as a beautiful skirt full of happy, scrappy memories!
I love the look of this skirt, but even more, I love that when I wear it, I'm carrying with me little reminders of sewing for the people I love--fabric scraps from a wedding quilt for a dear friend, a pillow given to a neighbor, and even a few pieces left over from my first sewing project ever contributed to this skirt.

Click "read more" to learn how to make your own!

 You'll need . . . 
- a skirt (you could sew it yourself, or use a neglected one from your closet that needs a little love--I used this thrift store score and just picked off the big funky beads)
- various fabric scraps (get creative and find pieces that really mean something to you!)
- fusible interfacing
 - floral pattern (my sister is amazing with a capital A, and used the lamp photo above as a guide to create a pattern for me! You can download it HERE! Thanks, Bekah!)

Start by attaching the fusible interfacing to the wrong side of your fabric scraps, following the directions on the package (if you've never used fusible interfacing before, don't be scared! All you have to do is iron!).

Print out the floral pattern (available HERE) and cut out the pieces. I labeled the rows of petals so I could reconstruct the flower more easily--just write a 1 in the center piece, 2 in the petals in the next row, and so on.
Using your pattern pieces, cut the petal shapes from your scraps and lay them out on your skirt. Don't worry about reconstructing the flower perfectly--that's what makes a project like this fun! Just arrange them however you like on the skirt, removing the paper backing from the interfacing and ironing the pieces onto the skirt as you go. I pinned each piece down after ironing, just to make sure I didn't lose any stragglers between the ironing board and the sewing machine.
Now it's time to stitch those suckers down! I chose to use a free motion/embroidery foot on my sewing machine for this project--you could certainly use a regular ol' foot, but I like the ease and freedom that an embroidery foot gives, especially when sewing something that would require a lot of turns. Instead of having to stop at each bump and corner, lift the foot, and rotate the skirt to change the direction of your stitch line, you can just zip around wherever you like and trace the shapes on the skirt. If you don't have an embroidery foot, no worries! Just sew as close as you can to the edge of your pattern pieces, stop when you get to a corner, make sure your needle is down in the fabric, lift the presser foot, and rotate the skirt to keep sewing. Sew each pattern piece down.
 And repeat until you have as many flowers as you'd like! I placed one large, main flower on the front of the skirt, another smaller one up near the hip, and a third one peeking up from the hem.
I'm so happy with how my skirt turned out, because I not only have an adorable new skirt to wear this summer, I salvaged dozens of meaningful fabric scraps that would have otherwise been tossed out.

Imma share this skirt at Tatertots and Jello, Whipperberry, Skip to my Lou, and The Girl Creative

37 comments :

  1. Rachel, you rock my world!! The skirt is fabulous and I seem to recognize this picture....hmmm can't quite put my finger on it. ;)

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  2. Still love this amazing skirt...;) You're the best, Rachel...;)

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  3. wow looks like a lot detailing but the effect is so gorgeous. You bowl me over once again. Brilliant work!

    love~mongs
    mythriftycloset.blogspot.com

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  4. That is fantastic!!!! I am seriously impressed with your eye for craftiness.

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  5. I am definitely going to have to try this! I have a piece of linen that I thought would make a cute skirt but it has some stains on it... I think it just found it's new calling!
    Emily
    domesticdeadline.blogspot.com

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  6. Gorgeous! You are pretty amazing to piece that together!

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  7. I can't sew, and there's no way I could make this...but, I CAN say that it's beautiful!!
    Hope you're settling in!

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  8. This is gorgeous! I absolutely love the mix of patterns on skirts.

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  9. I wish I had that exact white skirt that I could make one for myself too. Fun idea!

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  10. I love the skirt. It's gorgeous. What a great idea. I also love your doily t-shirt.

    Ruth

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  11. You always make the cutest clothes! I'm trying hard not to covet this skirt

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  12. How adorable, I found you via Tatertots and Jello. I'm going to have to try this!

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  13. You've got some mad sewing skills & great style!

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  14. That is stunning! And a great idea that I'll be 'pinteresting' for later!

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  15. Wow....so cute! I need to bust out my sewing machine!

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  16. I love this skirt... and I'm crazy jealous of how GREAT you look in it after having your little man!

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  17. Your skirt is absolutely amazing! What a fabulous transformation.

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  18. I love your skirt! I think it's really cool that it has sentimental value too ;)
    Thank you for stopping by my blog
    Angelina

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  19. This skirt is beautiful!! I love it. Stopping by from The Girl Creative linky party and your newest follower.

    Here is what I shared this week, come on by when you have a moment: http://craftybrooklynarmywife.blogspot.com/2011/06/summer-pillows.html

    Happy 4th of July!!

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  20. This skirt is fantastic! What a fabulous way to use up some scraps - and make a lovely 'memory' skirt!

    I would love if you came over and linked this project to my weekly Round Tuit party at:
    http://jembellish.blogspot.com/
    Have a great week!
    Jill @ Creating my way to Success

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  21. You are so crafty!! I really love all the things you make..I have absolutely ZERO sewing skills but I DO appreciate the work of others :)

    XO Lindsay

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  22. I just wanted to say thanks for the tutorial and applique pattern. I made my own version, using a basic skirt pattern from kay whitt - and finished it up last night with just one "flower" on it. I am in love! http://red-cedar.ca/2011/07/05/more-wardrobe-additions/

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  23. I am so in love with this skirt I had to pin it on Pinterest! I am going to have to make me one. Thank you!

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  24. This is absolutely amazing! What a great project. I am definitely pinning this to come back and try to make myself later. Thanks for sharing your how-to (Thanks also to Bekah for the flower pattern!)

    I found you through Made By You Mondays. I can't become a follower yet b/c google friend connect is being dumb right now but come check me out, too, if you're interested --> Carissa's Creativity Space

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  25. I found a link to your site from Sweet Something Designs and loved this repurposed skirt with this beautiful floral applique. Thanks so much for sharing. I have printed and saved the pattern to use sometime down the road on a project for me or a loved one. What a treasure and so lovely.

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  26. Really really cool! I love your skirt more than the lamp. So fun!

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  27. This is beautiful! Right away when I saw the picture, I thought, ANTHROPOLOGIE! I LOVE it and hope to make it in the very near future! Thanks for sharing!!
    Stacey @ http://icingonthecakedallas.blogspot.com/

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  28. You are so creative! What a great way to use up your scraps and someone's cast off skirt :-) Bet they couldn't even imagine doing something like this to it.
    Edna @ http://operation-home.blogspot.com

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  29. This is so beautiful that I made my own skirt, I posted on Burda projects, I hope you don't mind... Thanks for the tutorial!

    http://www.burdastyle.com/projects/anthro-scrap-flower-skirt?all_images=1#project-shot-all

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  30. That is such a great idea! I love how the design turned out! Very beautiful!
    www.pattytrends.com

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  31. excellent work.... really nice. will definatly try this.

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  32. Hi Rachel..you are so beautiful...your work is great and I truly love the skirt..I like to know where I can download the just the skirt pattern on it's own...I like to sew one for my daughter and then add the scrap flower...thanks, your work is excellent..my email is simplyamaxing@gmail.com

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  33. Beautiful! Beautiful! Beautiful! It's hard to believe this stunning skirt is made from scrap pieces of fabric and a Goodwill freebie. Girl you have blessed us all with doable project that costs next to nothing to make, but looks like it cost $100. You are surely an original talent...thanks for sharing your passion and gift with everyone.

    God Bless,
    Sydni G.

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  34. Oooh! You are just beautiful, and the skirt is just fabulous! It definitely looks like it came from Anthro - only better - the money saved can be used for some other lovely goodie ; ) What a great post!

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Thanks for commenting!