Monday, November 21, 2011

Our Handmade Ruffled Tree Skirt

This weekend I was set on making a ruffled christmas tree skirt. I knew that if we didn't do it this year that I would prob. never have enough time to do this again. It was a very long process, but SO worth it. I love it so much and am so glad I only have a week to wait to put the tree out and use it. I am warning you though, this is a very time consuming project and is not for beginners. You will qualify though if you have 2 novice sewers. My thinking is 1 medium level sewer = 2 novice/beginners so David and I put together were able to do it. There are other tree skirts out there that are no-sew, but I am wanting this to last forever and be passed down to generations lol. I got inspiration and tutorials from this site and this site I found via pinterest. They have step-by-step instructions that are way better than I could ever tell you. We did a bunch of math though to convert their 44" tree skirt to a 60" one so if you're interested I can email you our spreadsheet, but it's way too long to explain here.
 I started with some fun fabric, man were those craft stores busy this weekend. We had a few run-in's with the fabric cutter ladies at Joann's (they were stashing all the good material behind their area and wouldn't put them back or let us see them). I was lucky enough to buy 4 yards of that lime green and candy cane fabric last year at clearance so that was a great deal!
 We started out knowing that we needed a 30" radius circle to make our 60" tree skirt so David devised a smart plan to draw our pattern on this red felt (a necessary item).
 I'm sure you are all aware, but David is def. my secret weapon on inventing smarter/easier ways to craft.
 He got into it by making himself a headband out of the scrap material. We were a bit delirious on saturday night as we got started pretty late making this.
 Our first layer had to be completed the next day because I got crazy with the ruffles on saturday by making them too tight and our material didn't cover half of the tree skirt. So we had to undo the stitching and redo it Sunday. We finally got the hang of it and measured each ruffle length before connecting them all together.
 I just wanted proof that I did some of the sewing as well.
 There is a lot of sewing involved so I really got practice on doing hems, creating ruffles by making the thread tension a bit higher, and just practicing the basics.
 Our finished product!!! I will put some final tips about the process since I am not putting step-by-step instructions.
-Definitely use felt as your pattern and template holder
-Please hem each piece, I know this takes a while to iron the hem and then sew it, but if you want this to last you need to hem each piece or it will fray and fall apart. 
-Know how long each ruffled piece needs to be before ruffling and sewing them all together
-Do your math to calculate how much fabric you will need (or just follow those other tutuorials for their exact sizes). I think we used close to 6 yards of fabric total
-Have a helper, even if its just to iron all the pieces to make the hem and help cut all the fabric.
-Go buy your christmas fabric now, all the good stuff seems to be being used up
-Get a fabric cutter, we used something like this and a mat of some sort (we used some spare piece of something David had).
-We used thicker red ribbon for the top part of the tree skirt and just assembled it over the top ruffle to make it more durable and cover up the top ruffle sewing area.
 -Last tip, be sure to wear your tree skirt and be proud of it. It was so heavy I could barely keep it up.
It also makes a great regular skirt. haha. Truthfully I think we were doing this for a good 10-12 hours total plus shopping and math calculation time. Good thing David and I get along! Pin It


Jen S said...

Love how it turned out and Love David's xmas ninja headband!

asj said...

so pretty! love that it doubles as a skirt too! ;)

the girl in the red shoes said...

It turned out so cute! I love that David helped...and made a headband!

leah said...

SO CUTE, wow what a huge project. Those last pictures crack me up!!

Lacey said...

I can't believe you knocked out that project this weekend!! It looks awesome!!! You guys are a great team! The last few pictures are hilarious!

Chris said...

Great job! FYI, there are stores that sell things like that. It's real simple, you stop on in, grab one you like, give them $20-30 and BAM, tree skirt of your very own! :o)

Linda said...

I am very impressed and it will be such a keepsake to proudly place around the tree every year! Smart thinking to get it finished now! Love the hula skirt look!

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