Monday, March 12, 2012

Sewing Instructions..

As I said in the last post, I was on the hunt for skirt fabric that had pink in it for the Pin Oak Charity Horse show where they have "pink classes" to raise money for breast cancer research. All the riders incorporate pink into their riding wardrobe to show their support.

I was surprised to find that there was little to chose from. Lot's of blues, browns and reds.. but almost NO pink! Ahh - but alas I did find this one. It is a lightly embroidered taffeta that would work. Adding a pink vest would bring attention to the small pink flowers in the skirt fabric. The only bad thing is the taffeta was transparent and would have to be lined. This photo shows the skirt fabric, cream lining and the pink vest.

I have been asked by quite a few ladies how I make the skirts..so here are the directions:

I buy no less than 3 yards of fabric for a riding skirt.

Place the fabric up to your waist. If there is enough length, cut the waistband fabric off of the top. If not, cut it off of the side. I will take no less than 6 inches for the waist band and up to 8 inches.

Next I baste the lining onto the skirt fabric at the top (waist) and cut the lining fabric to the same size as the taffeta.


Fold the fabric into 4's with what will be the waist at the top and lay it down on your cutting table..

..which for me is the floor.

Next you want to cut out darts, essentially to remove excess fabric from the waist area.

I cut darts that are 6" wide; 3 inches on the folded side.

Do not cut the raw edges though.

To prevent fraying, you need to sew French seams. Sewing the darts together, sew the wrong sides together with a 1/4" seam.


Then turn the fabric with the right sides together and resew it with a 3/4 inch seam. This may be easier if you take the time to press the seams before you sew them.

What you end up with a skirt that is almost as beautiful on the inside as it is on the outside... and one that will not frey!

Repeat this on all of the darts.

You also want to sew a french seam down the side, leaving about 8 inches open at the top.

Next, since the skirt is still too large at the waist, you now need to take in tucks. I want my skirt to lay flat on my tummy, so I put all the tucks in the back.

Pin them according to your waist size, leaving about 2 inches of overlap on the side for your hook closure.

Sew the tucks with the machine.

Get your waist band fabric. Cut it about 3 inches longer than you think you will need it. With right side of the waist band fabric facing the inside of your skirt, pin it..

and sew it, leaving excess on each end.

Roll it to the front side as shown and pin.

Top stitch the waist band. Hand sew the waistband edges together.

Hand hem the skirt. This is a great project to do while you are watching TV.

To answer a few questions.. I am having Cindy from Wild Horse Fashions make me a suit. I wanted a skirt with the knee pocket - but alas there was not enough fabric.. so I am getting my first apron made.

I choose not to weigh down my skirts - but if needed, I use a satin ribbon to tie the skirt to my boot. I usually show in covered arenas that can be very windy.. VERY windy. If you have weights in your skirt.. those weights will actually torture your horse. I experienced this with my red skirt (not weighed down) as the wind was causing the skirt to really slap Oliver's hip and back leg. If it were weighted, the wind was more than strong enough to do exactly what it did .. and poor Ollie would have been stung by the weights.

4 comments:

Hayley said...

Oh! You don't wear an apron? Surely all that extra material gets in the way when you ride?

Also, you don't weight the hem?

HighSteppinLady said...

where do you place the ribbon to tie the skirt to your boot? Is it attached or just pinned on? Do you prefer riding in a 'regular' skirt to using an Apron? I have a couple of beautiful skirts that I haven't used..I've been a bit concerned about safety......

HighSteppinLady said...

Where do you attach the ribbon to tie the skirt to your boot? or is it just pinned on? Do you find there is too much fabric with a 'regular' skirt? I have a couple of beautifuul skirts I haven't used because I was concerned about safety, but I would love to give them a try.....

Claire said...

Very nice tutorial. I didn't know the French seams (Shame on me.LOL). It makes me want to get my sewing machine back. ;-)