A Foot Workout

I've really been working my feet in the last few days.

Not my feet, but those of my sewing machine!

I wanted to make a skirt for my daughter's seventh birthday, since I couldn't find anything in the stores appropriate for a little girl, in my opinion.

We planned a butterfly themed party and I had found a shirt with butterflies and decided to make a ruffled skirt to go with the shirt.

Post it seam guide

If you make garments, you know that the standard clothes seam allowance is 5/8 of an inch. To help guide my seam, I placed a partial pad of sticky notes on the bed of the machine. I use more like a 1/2 inch seam, and it's handy to have that guide.

narrow hemming foot

 I also used my narrow hemming foot. I have a love/hate relationship with this foot. (I forgot to take a pic while it was on the machine) The fabric for the skirt was a voile cotton and was a bit thin. It hemmed mostly ok, but in some areas, the raw edge didn't get folded under all the way. I simply turned the hem under again and re-stitched. (I also used the ditch quilting foot (not shown) to guide that stitching so it would be a uniform distance from the edge of the skirt.)

overcast or overedge foot

 I zigzagged the raw edges of the side skirt and underskirt seams, using the overcasting foot, above. The foot keeps the zigzag stitches from rolling the edges up as it stitches.

Janome ruffler attachment

 Then there's the beast of a foot, the ruffler attachment. This takes a bit of trial and error to get the fabric ruffled at the right rate, but for a ruffled skirt, it's awesome!

even gathers using ruffler attachment

For working with ruffles, I work with the skirt in the flat, getting the ruffle on before sewing the side seams.

Then it's time for the waistband. Since I stitched an underskirt onto this nearly sheer voile, I used that as the facing for the band. So all I needed to do was stitch a seam to encase the elastic. I used 3/4 elastic, so I used this guide attachment to keep everything even and straight. It's not exactly necessary, but helpful.

seam guide

And here's the finished skirt on my butterfly birthday girl! I think the skirt came out great. It maybe needed a little more twirl factor, but she was pleased. I liked that I didn't have a bunch of folks ask if I made it. Unless I've made something pretty unique, when it comes to garments, to be asked that means to me that I've done some sloppy work.

finished skirt

 Good thing my machine can't speak to me or it'd be saying "My feet are tired!". Now I can get back to quilting on the wholecloth wall hanging I designed as a wedding gift. We leave for the wedding on Thursday!


  1. Awesome skirt and beautiful girl!

    When I read the line "so all I needed to do was stitch a seam ..." I had to chuckle. To a non-garment sewer like me, that was the equivalent of an architect saying "all I needed was a few nails here and ..." I would have given up just reading the pattern. She's one blessed little girl to have a mommy that perseveres!

  2. Very nice! Congrats. I dont do clothes very much (ok never), but one day I might try!