So I know this one is a little behind the eight ball for Christmas but I got a little swamped pre-Christmas. I really wanted to share because I love this little project. So maybe a little late but I think its worth the wait.
When I decided I wanted to create a Kate Spade Live Colorfully inspired Christmas, I knew that none of the tree skirts I had in my Christmas stash would work quite right. (Actually, none of my stockings quite worked either but I think those will get saved for another post sometime in the future perhaps…okay so I’m not really sure how to describe the whole fold part without it being a complete mess of a description. So wait it must but you can check the finished product out here.) So I got this crazy idea in my head that I could just make one – no pattern, just pull it out of my head.
When I was little, my parents taught me that I was capable of doing anything I set my mind to. It had worked so far in life so why not sew my own tree skirt? How hard could it be? I haven’t sewn much since I was a little girl in Girl Scouts but hey, I got this…right? I’m sure it is an easy project.
Actually turned out to be so.
1 yard of 54″ netting fabric with color beads
1 yard of 54″ satin/satin like material with silver flecks – 2 colors
1 yard of 54″ fleece
30″ of any ribbon
basic sewing supplies: sewing machine, needles, pins, etc.
Putting It All Together:
First, I had to make the tree skirt. (Remember I was also planning on making stockings.) It took up most of the fabric so I needed to make sure I had enough layout space. No pattern so I needed to make a circle. Unfortunately I don’t think they make a compass that big…hum…perhaps an invention in the future. Started first with the satin tiffany blue fabric since it pretty much determines the size of everything else.
So that’s where the push pin, pencil and ribbon come into play. I marked where I wanted the center of the tree skirt to be, pushed in the push pin with the ribbon attached to it. Then I pulled the ribbon out to the length I wanted for the radius and attached the pencil. Makeshift compass. It was a simple matter of keeping the ribbon taunt, tracing a circle and cutting it out.
I used the base tiffany blue fabric circle I just cut out as the template for the netting. It was a simple case of pinning it to the netting and cutting it out. Then up to the sewing machine to attach the two pieces together.
I repeated the ribbon compass routine for the gray fleece which would become the backing. Only difference was I opted for a sharpie black marker instead of a pencil. My logic was the pencil really didn’t show on the fleece and the fleece edge wouldn’t be seen once the navy blue border was add. Cut it out and sew it on to the tiffany blue fabric and netting circle.
Making the center cut and circle is a little tricky but not too bad. Remember that mark I made of the tiffany blue fabric to mark center? Well, I measured out along the radius and pinned the three layers of fabric together on both sides of the radius.
Then using a circle tool, I traced a circle around the center. Next, I cut up the radius and cut the center circle out.
I wish I had gotten a photo of this next step. 🙁 And I swore I did but it seems to have disappeared. Here’s my best attempt at describing the band. First, decide how wide you want the band to be. Me I wanted it about 3 inches, give or take. Then you double that and allow for a half inch seam on each side. For my example, that means the band needed to be cut in strips 7 inches wide. (3″+3″+1/2″+1/2″=7″)
Then it was a matter of cutting the 7 inch strips out of the navy blue satin sparkle fabric…on the bias. Let’s see if I can describe bias – 45 degrees off the parallel of both the vertical and horizontal threading in the fabric. Its a diagonal cut but its a precise diagonal cut.
Then attach the strips together so they are all going in one direction. You will get some seams but they are honestly not noticeable. Press the strip in half and the on the 1/2″ seam allowance on both sides.
At the same time I was cutting the bottom and top band strips, I also cut a 1 1/2″ band for the side where the slit was for the tree skirt to go around the tree. You would press it the same as above.
Next, pin the band around the circle you previously made. This is especially fun when you have doggie or kitty help. First, I pinned on the slit bands. I didn’t worry the ends as they would be covered up by the top and bottom bands. Cut them even with the circle. The circle slit will sit fully inside the navy blue band.
For the top and bottom bands: I slipped the circle into the bands so about 1″ of the circle slips into the fold of the navy blue band at the bottom. The same for the top. On the ends of the bands, I folded them in so that there was a clean edge. On all of the bands, it was then a matter of a simple straight stitch.
Loops and buttons are actually fun in my book. The loops themselves were made the same way the small band was and then sewed up the side. Attaching them was a simple matter of straight stitching them on to the front side of the skirt along one side of the slit.
For the buttons, I cheated…sort of…I used a button cover kit. Actually this is probably my favorite part. Basically you take a small piece of fabric and push the backside into the button top, which captures the fabric in the button. Okay, even I know that was a lame way to describe the button kit. Follow the directions on the kit and you’ll be fine. Sew them on and your done!
I have to admit that I am truly biased. I LOVE my tree skirt. I love the fun color flecks and the sparkle from the tiffany blue and navy fabrics. And it just happens to go oh so well with my living room décor! Perk!
Until next post!