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Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Converting CKC Dresses into Skirts

Oh, how I have been looking forward to this blog post! My daughter and I both love skirts. CKC has some really great skirt patterns and today I'm going to show you how even our dress patterns can be used to make skirts! There are two different ways that I like to do this conversion and I will walk you through them step by step.

But before I get to that I want you to notice the gorgeous fabrics I used!  All of the new fabric combos in this blog post came from Katie's Quilt Shop, one of our blog sponsors and a favorite store of mine. Katie is so great to work with and is even offering a coupon code to our fans! Details are at the end of the post.

 Alright let's get started. The first method we can use to turn a dress into a skirt is to mash up (or combine) two different patterns: a CKC dress pattern and a CKC skirt pattern.  The skirt above just happens to be made using my two very favorite CKC patterns! Here's how I did it:

I took the skirts from Poppy's Peekaboo Dress on the left, and instead of attaching them to the standard Poppy's bodice, I attached them to the waistband from Daphne's Bubble Skirt on the right!  I basically just opened up both patterns on my computer and followed the steps from one and then the steps from the other.  

 It is important to do a quick calculation before we begin, to make sure the finished skirt will end up the length that we want it to be. We can add the length of the waistband to the length of the skirt and then adjust either of them if necessary by adding or subtracting length. In our example here, I left the waistband exactly as it was and added three inches in length to the skirts, mostly because my daughter is tall and growing like a weed. Some may prefer it shorter - that's the beauty of sewing our own cute clothes! We both love how it turned out.

I also LOVE the bow in back of Daphne's. Now I have my two favorite CKC features all wrapped up into one skirt! It's perfect for Valentine's Day and on into the warmer months.

The best part of all this is that we can do it with any of our favorite dress patterns and skirt patterns! We have such a variety of waistbands and skirts to choose from. I use the Izzy's Skirt waistband on a lot of my skirts too.

Now on to the second method for converting CKC dresses into skirts.  For this one all we need is one dress pattern and a few instructions that I'm giving you below.

I decided to put together this part of the tutorial using Piper's Stripwork Maxi Dress. I could have chosen a much simpler one but I wanted to show that any dress can become a skirt! In this method we are basically going to use the skirt portion and create an elastic casing at the top.

Step One: Look at the type of skirt on the dress you have chosen and decide if it needs the length adjusted. For example, if the dress normally has a high bodice we may want to subtract from the skirt length. Or if the style of the dress is shorter than we want our skirt to be, we may want to add length. Make note of any changes you want to make to the skirt.

Step Two: If our model is available, we want to measure from her waistline down to where we want the skirt to end, to double check what we calculated in the first step.  If the dress has multiple tiers or ruffles, keep that in mind. Once we know how to adapt the length for our skirt, we will finally add 1 1/4" to that length, to allow for the elastic waist casing.

Step 3: Cut and sew the skirt portion of the dress according to the pattern instructions.  (I love how this stripwork looks already! Such pretty fabrics!)

 Notice that my top tier is a little longer than the other tiers. This is to allow for the casing. 

Step 4: To create our casing, we are now going to fold the upper edge in 1/4" and press. Then fold in another 1" and press.

Step 5: Stitch around the casing 1/8" up from the fold, being sure to leave a 1 1/2" opening where we will insert the elastic. 

Waist Elastic
Cut 1
3/4 " wide
6-12 months
12-18 months

Step 6: Cut elastic according to the chart above. If you don't have the chart handy each time, keep in mind that you can also measure your child's waist and subtract one inch to get this measurement. Insert the elastic, attach the ends, and stitch the casing closed. Stretch the waistband to adjust the gathers. 

And we're done!  Isn't it beautiful?  It came out to the EXACT measurement that I wanted it to be.

The twirling princess is more than happy with her new one-of-a-kind skirt.  Wasn't that fun?  I hope you will all try out making some skirts of your own!  (You can even replicate this exact skirt using Piper's pattern and Katie's fabrics!) 

One more tip I have about skirts - my daughter loves wearing them with her white Marilyn's dress, as you can see in the pictures. This free pattern can be a staple that matches almost any skirt and it also serves as an under slip. She loves that she can throw on the dress and the skirt and then add any extra accessories to make it pop. So simple and so classy!  I love the versatility of CKC patterns. 

Now let's get back to that coupon code. If you loved these fabric combos as much as I did, be sure to visit Katie's Quilt Shop!  She's dreamy to work with and she is offering our fans 10% off every purchase using the code LOVECKC at checkout. I couldn't stop smiling as I browsed her fabric lines - I definitely recommend them, especially her princesses, superheroes, and mermaids! So cute and excellent quality too. 

We hope you have learned a lot from this tutorial today. We'd love to see the unique skirts you come up with. 

Let's Create! ~ Kristen  

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