Make Knit Skirts with Jenny Doan of Missouri Star and Simple Simon! (Video Tutorial)


Hi, I’m Jenny from the MSQC and I am so
excited to be here today. I am here with Liz and Elizabeth Evans from Simple Simon Company.
And they do the same thing I do. They like to teach people how to sew. They just love
to sew and want to teach people how to sew. And you guys may not know this about me, but
my background is actually in clothing sewing. And so I’m really excited today because
we have a clothing project that we’re going to do. And one of the things that’s new
coming out in the markets are these knit fabrics. And I know knits aren’t new. They’ve been
around for ever. So actually tell me about your line of fabric here. Liz: Well this is our very first line of fabric
with Riley Blake Designs. Jenny: It’s so cool.
Elizabeth: It is. Liz: And we’re super excited, and we’re
excited because it will come in quilting cottons but also knits. And we started sewing, loving
to make clothing, so it’s really fun to have some knits to work with to make our clothing
with. Jenny: And the fun part for me about this
is that when I started sewing clothing for myself, knits weren’t around. We didn’t
have any knits. And so when knits came I didn’t actually really learn how to use them but
I just kept sewing regular clothing without knits and now knits are, they’re so versatile.
And there’s just so many amazing things to do with them. And there probably was at
the time but I just ignored it and went on with my cotton sewing.
Elizabeth: They’re fun. Jenny: I’m actually really excited to do
this and have you guys show me how to do this. So tell me about your, the project we’re
going to do today. Liz: Well it’s going to be a simple A-line
maxi-skirt. All you need are two pieces of fabric and some elastic.
Jenny: Oh my gosh. Liz: It’s a great beginner project.
Jenny: That’s awesome. Liz: So if you’ve never sewn a garment before,
this is a great project to start with. Jenny: Oh that is really cool. So how, how
are we going to do this? Actually tell us what we’re going to need as far as amounts.
Elizabeth: So there will be a free downloadable PDF pattern of all of the different sizes
of skits. So it will go extra small through extra large. So you’ll just take your measurements.
Jenny: That means them and me can both wear a skirt.
Elizabeth: Anyone can wear this skirt. Jenny: Ok
Elizabeth: And if you’re not comfortable with the pattern, we also have a tutorial
on our website that you can just use your own measurements and make a maxi skirt if
that’s more your style Jenny: Oh that is awesome. But we are going
to offer a pattern, correct? Elizabeth: Yes
Jenny: Because a lot of people, you know, I mean it’s like the computer thing, the
PDF thing, but if we can just get our hands on that pattern, you know, that’s what we
love. Elizabeth: There will be both. There will
be a free PDF and then there will also be a paper pattern available.
Jenny: So generally how many yards are we talking about here?
Elizabeth: Depending on sizes between two and two and a half yards.
Jenny: Ok, and a lot of that depends on your height, correct?
Elizabeth: Exactly. Jenny: So, you know, because I’m taller,
because they’re 60 inches wide, correct? Elizabeth: Yes
Jenny: Yes, that’s, I love that about the knits too. Alright, so we’re also going
to use this cool new elastic. Elizabeth: This is fun new elastic. It comes
in two inch elastic and it’s really soft. And if you’ll notice a lot of the skirts
on the market, they’re using this great elastic. It will come in fun colors. So you
can mix and match. Jenny: Oh my gosh. You actually don’t even
have to make a waistband. You’re just going to attach this to the skirt.
Liz: Exactly. It will be like a Jenny: That’s so cool.
Liz: An exposed elastic waistband. Jenny: So why don’t we get started on this.
Tell us, tell us what we need to do here. Liz: Alright let’s do this.Today, to save
time we have already cut out our skirt pattern for you. So I’m just going to lay it out.
Jenny: Ok now when, when they get the pattern, when they download the PDF, obviously it’s
not going to download on one nice big sheet of paper.
Liz: No Jenny: They’re going to download it in their
printer and then what happens? Elizabeth: So it will be on sheets of paper
and all you’re going to do is line them up so they’ll have dots and a guide map
showing you how to line it up. And then you’ll see the skirt pattern come onto it. So you’re
just going to take your measurements. Jenny: So do you just tape it together?
Elizabeth: Tape the paper together. Jenny: Oh ok.
Elizabeth: You’ll have a large pattern sheet after they’re all taped together just as
you would if you sew with any of the big pattern companies or independent patterns that turn
out the same. But you can just print it on your home computer.
Jenny: Oh that’s awesome. Elizabeth: You don’t need a special printer.You
can just print it right from there. Jenny: So that PDF information will be in
the description below. But we, it’s, it’s, that’s really cool to know because a lot
of times, you know you have to go buy this big pattern, this and you know it’s so awesome.
So tell me about this, this, what’s happening right here. We’ve got this skirt laid out
here. This is our nice A-line shape. Liz: This is, this is it. This is so easy.
So once you have your pattern you’re going to cut out two pieces of fabric.
Elizabeth: And the only other thing is you want your front and back pieces to match.
So the easiest way to do that is to keep your knit folded and then you’ll have the horizontal
stripes. Jenny: Cut them out at the same time?
Elizabeth: Yes, cut two out at the same time. Jenny: Oh, ok, cuz, cuz this is what we’re
talking about right here. When you put these seams together here, like this. You want these
two stripes, you know, all these pieces to line up. Doesn’t that drive you crazy when
you see a skirt and it’s just like…the pattern is just off like this and you’re
like, Could you not have taken two seconds and line that up?
Elizabeth: Your skirt is going to look a lot better than skirts in stores if you do that.
Jenny: Awesome, awesome. Alright, so what’s next.
Liz: Well I was going to say too, when I lay this out I’m kind of fussy around the pattern
to make sure because I wanted the black on the top and the bottom because I like it to
match. But you’re saying it’s really directional if we used a different print like this
Jenny: That wouldn’t even matter. Liz: Then it doesn’t matter. It doesn’t
matter. Jenny: No, and I love these prints. They’re
so fun. Look, look at these circles. Is this not going to make a great skirt? I mean they’re
just Liz: We love this.
Jenny: Beautiful. Alright so let’s get busy. Let’s get going here and show everybody
how to do this. We’ve got our pattern. We’ve cut out our skirt. We’ve matched the seams.
And now. And now. The magic happens. Elizabeth: The magic happens. With the Serger.
Liz: Well actually the first thing we need to do is we need to put our right sides together.
Jenny: Ok Liz: So I am just going to flip these over.
Jenny: Now tell me actually too, one of the reasons we’re using a Serger is it because
it, it sews with a stretch stitch. Elizabeth: It does. If, if you’ve ever had
trouble sewing on knits on your machine, if you get a Serger, it’s a whole different
ballgame. The Serger really does all of the work for you. If will stretch and finish off
the edges as you go. So you just sew as if you’re sewing in a regular sewing machine.
You’re not stretching the knit. You’re just pushing it through the machine and it
will do all the work. Jenny: Ok, awesome. But we do know a lot of
people don’t have Sergers. Elizabeth: Yes.
Jenny: So if you, if you want to sew this on your regular machine, then, then what do
we do? Liz: Well I actually learned how to sew with
knits without a Serger so I did for years. Jenny: So she’s the pro.
Liz: Without a Serger. And I used a stitch that looks like a lightning bolt which I learned
is actually called Jenny: A stretch stitch
Liz: A stretch stitch Jenny: That’s actually a stretch stitch
Liz: It looks, if you look on your sewing machine, it will actually look like a lightning
bolt. Jenny: Ya, and so that let’s the fabric
go ahead and move without breaking. Ok, perfect. So if you don’t have a Serger then just
look for the lightning bolt stitch or the stretch stitch on your sewing machine. That’s
awesome. Liz: Now I wanted to wait for just a minute
before I started pinning. Elizabeth has a special way that she likes to pin when she
uses a Serger because when you use a Serger you don’t want to sew over the top of your
pins. That’s all sorts of scary. Jenny: Ya, I don’t actually ever pin with
a Serger. But if you have a special way, let’s see it.
Liz: I, I usually don’t pin anything but Elizabeth does so I’m going to have you
tell us which way you like to Elizabeth: I just like to keep, so we are
sewing this skirt with these horizontal stripes. And sometimes when you’re serging you get
them off a little tiny bit. You can get them off a little tiny bit so all I do is I just
make sure if you’re using a stripe or something that’s directional, and then I just put
my pins in about an inch and a half to two inches so that when I’m serging this side,
I will never even go near a pin but I can keep those stripes perfectly together.
Jenny: Great idea. So are we going to do that all the way down?
Elizabeth: We can just pin it, we’ll just pin these gold stripes.
Jenny: Alright. Liz: Now there’s lots of different ways
to pin and a lot of people have big feelings about how to pin with knits. So if there’s
another way/method that you like to use, we’re not saying this is the right way but this
is the way that Elizabeth has found is Jenny: Oh absolutely. You know there are just
so many different ways people do things and it’s really just whatever works for you.
There’s so much personal preference. Elizabeth: If we do one more, we’ll be great.
Jenny: Alrighty, there we go. Liz: Ok Perfect.
Jenny: With any luck Elizabeth: With any luck we’ll have perfectly
done stripes. So I’m going to take this over to the Serger now and I’m just going
to start with them lined up at the top. And then my pins should be holding those gold
stripes into place. One thing you need to be careful of, there is a blade on a Serger.
If you’ve never used one before. There is a blade on the Serger, so keep your fingers
away from the blade part. So I tend to just keep guiding the fabric through with my left
hand and my right hand is all the way down here so it doesn’t get.
Jenny: It is actually really hard to, to get into that blade so
Elizabeth: It is. Jenny: There are little covers and things
like that. I mean if you have like an old wah chah Serger you know, you could be in
trouble but mostly, mostly these new ones are pretty good.
Elizabeth: Alright, and I am just going to serge the side.
Jenny: I love a Serger. Elizabeth: All the way down. And you’ll
notice that it is cutting off a little part of my fabric. There are already seam allowances
on the pattern so you don’t need to worry about that little bit that’s being cut off.
Jenny: Now let me ask you about that. So in quilting our seam allowance is a quarter of
an inch so on, on a sewing pattern it’s generally ⅝. Is it a 5/8ths?
Elizabeth: 5/8ths. Jenny: But you’re sewing right along the
edge on this? Elizabeth: Because there’s so much stretch
in this knit, we’ve only added just a little bit of seam allowance for what the Serger
is going to take off. If you’re on a machine, I probably would do maybe half an inch of,
if you’re sewing it on your machine. Jenny: Perfect.
Elizabeth: And we’re almost down to the end at the bottom.
Liz: Sergers are so quick. Elizabeth: And they would be quicker if I
weren’t so precise about my stripes. If you’re using a non-directional print you
can Jenny: You can fly.
Elizabeth: Breeze through this. Jenny: You probably should have pinned both
sides while it was up there. Elizabeth: Probably. The other trick to using
a Serger is that you need, you always need to leave a long tail. Often people wonder
why their Serger comes unthread, unthreaded, and it’s because they haven’t left a long
enough tail. So I just pull a long tail and come up and pull and cut it off. We’re going
to do the exact same thing on the other side. Elizabeth: So now we’ve serged both sides
of our skirt. We’re going to lay it out and get the elastic ready. And we’re using
this two inch elastic that is a super soft stretchy elastic that’s perfect for the
waistband of a skirt. Jenny: I just love the idea of the elastic.
It just makes a whole nother step out of it. It makes it really easy.
Elizabeth: And fast. You can make a skirt in 20 minutes or less.
Jenny: Oh my gosh. Elizabeth: So you’re going to cut it out,
the measurements will be on the pattern itself. Jenny: Uh huh.
Elizabeth: And we’re actually not going to cut it to our waist measurement. We’re
going to cut it a little bit smaller because it’s so stretchy you want it to be a great
fit. Jenny: Ok, that’s a really good idea.
Liz: You want it to stretch and keep snug. So it doesn’t slide down
Jenny: Yeah, you don’t want, you don’t want to lose your skirt halfway through the
day. Alright, so this is a size medium. So how, what size pieces do we want to do.
Elizabeth: So we’re going to cut a 20 inch, a 28 inch piece of elastic for this size medium
skirt. Jenny: Ok
Elizabeth: And then you can sew this part on your machine. But I just like to put two
sides of the elastic together and run it through your Serger just like you did your skirt.
Super fast and quick. Jenny: And it doesn’t look like there’s
right or wrong sides. So it’s just, you just put it together and sew it down.
Elizabeth: Yep. And there we have it. We have our waistband that’s ready to go.
Jenny: That’s so awesome. Jenny: So now we’re ready to add this elastic
band which I, I just think is the coolest thing. So do you want to, are we going to
trim these off. Liz: Yes, yes
Jenny: I guess I should ask. Alright. Elizabeth: Yes let’s trim off our tails
really quickly. That will make it a little bit easier for us.
Jenny: And then you have this awesome trick for how to attach this waistband.
Liz: It is so easy. It is the easiest trick. So you can see that my waistband is already
folded in half. Jenny: Uh huh.
Liz: And one half of it is marked with our seam.
Jenny: Sure. Liz: So I’m just going to put a pin in the
other side of it. And now we know the halfway point in our band. Then we’re just going
to open it up like this. Jenny: Oh Perfect.
Liz: We’re going to match the seam to the pin. And then we’ll put a pin on each side.
And now our band is marked off into quadrants, into four pieces.
Jenny: And then we obviously, we’re going to do that on here, right.
Liz: We’ll do the exact same thing with the skirt.
Jenny: So this is kind of cool because we already have our sides marked so all we have
to do is open it this way. Make sure these match up and then put a pin in each side of
it. Do I have this right? Liz: Exactly. That’s exactly. You’re a
pro. Elizabeth: You’ll use this a lot on waistbands
or in garment sewing if you’re doing gathering on a girl’s skirt or a women’s skirt and
you want those gathers to be even. You can use that same quadrant trick.
Jenny: Now on this you want to put right sides together correct?
Liz: Yes, yes we always say that when we sew. Right sides together with garment sewing.
So I’m going to flip this so. Jenny: So this seam is now on the outside
Liz: Yes and I’ll flip it. Jenny: So then shall we just attach that seam
first? Liz: Yes, let’s do that. Now Elizabeth likes
to put her seams together. So I’m going to put this seam next to
Elizabeth: That’s just a personal preference Jenny: Ya, I was wondering, I was wondering
about that. Elizabeth: Because you can do it in the back
or wherever you like that. Wherever is most comfortable for you.
Jenny: Ya. I never know the front or the back of my clothing unless I have something in
the back, you know so I always put that seam back there or I sew a little piece of fabric
on so, you know I make my own little tag or something like that so I know it’s the back.
Perfect. Liz: Alright and I am just.
Jenny: Now do you take, are you, do you take, do you use one of these pins as you’re going
around or do you line up the pins and then. Liz: I’m just, I’m lining up the pins
and then I’m taking out one pin and then using the other to hold them together.
Jenny: Great idea. Liz: Now as you can see as I’m pinning this
around that the waistband is smaller than the skirt. And that is how it should be and
we’ll show you how that’s all going to work, how it will come together in just a
minute. Elizabeth: It just makes a great fit because
your waist is usually smaller than your hips Jenny: With any luck.
Elizabeth: With any luck. And so well and you don’t want your skirt to fall down.
Jenny: No you don’t. Now that would be bad. That would be a bad day.
Elizabeth: It wouldn’t make for the best of skirt days.
Liz: Ok, so now we’re pinned. And it fits on the inside, and you can kind of see that
it gaps Jenny: Which you want
Liz: That this. Yes, Yes Jenny: You want it to gap.
Liz: To gap. So when you get to this part, don’t think that you’ve done it wrong
or that you’ve cut your elastic wrong because it should, it should have some gaps. A gap
right here. Jenny: Ok, perfect. So
Liz: Ok, now I’m going to hand this over to Elizabeth.
Elizabeth: So we’ll take this back over to the Serger. I’m going to kind of show
you right here because I’m not sure you’re going to be able to see well on the Serger.
When I’m holding it on the Serger, I’m basically going to hold where the two pins
are. And then all I’m doing is stretching the elastic to meet the fabric.
Jenny: Perfect. Elizabeth: As I’m going around and serging
it . So I’ll show you that right here. I’m just going to pull the elastic to match that.
And then I’m just going to serge all the way around the top. And I’m going to pull
the first pin out so I can get ready. Liz: There’s you a pin cushion.
Elizabeth: Here if you have a Serger that has a blade in it, you can pull the blade
out. I’m really lazy so I don’t. I just make sure that I’m not cutting off any bit
of the elastic as I’m serging around. Jenny: Ok Elizabeth: I’m almost all the way around.
And all I’m doing is stretching that waistband and not stretching the knit fabric. That’s
when you get puckers and things. So if you can help not stretching that fabric, it’s
going to be great. Jenny: Now one of the things I’m noticing
here is that you have your elastic on the bottom and the knit on the top. Is that important?
Elizabeth: It’s not important. That’s just the way, I can just see them if I’m
cutting off any of the fabric and keeping the elastic underneath.
Jenny: Alright. Elizabeth: So here we are.
Jenny: Oh my. Elizabeth: Alright
Jenny: That is so cool looking you guys. Liz: Pull it out from here. This is a long
one. There we go. Jenny: And maxi skirts are so popular right
now. Look how cute that is. Elizabeth: They are so comfortable.
Jenny: Ok, let’s take a look at this waistband right up here. Let’s move it right out here
a little bit. That looks great. It actually looks really good with the seam on the side
because it’s such a clean waistband. So that actually looks really great. But we’re
not quite finished. Elizabeth: Not quite, we have about five more
minutes left. Jenny: Alright.
Elizabeth: On your 20 minute skirt. Jenny: There you go.
Elizabeth: This is the longest part around. So we’re just going to hem the bottom of
our skirt. And I like to give knit a little bit of steam when I press it just because
you can see knit tends to curl up. But if you just kind of press that out and then I
think we’ve done a half inch hem on the bottom of our skirt.
Jenny: And do we have to turn it under and turn it under or just once?
Elizabeth: You can actually, let’s serge the bottom of it and then we can only have
to turn it under once. Jenny: Let’s do that real quick.
Elizabeth: And this I can just zoom through. Jenny: Alright, here we are at the end.
Liz: Done. Jenny: So now we, it, it, it probably won’t
tend to roll as much either. Elizabeth: Exactly.
Jenny: So then we’re going to just kind of iron it up like a half an inch.
Elizabeth: Exactly and then we’ll take it over and show you that twin needle. Jenny: Alright, let’s move this out of the
way so we can see what you’re doing over here. Now we’ve already put our twin needle
in which, which works just like a normal needle. It has one, one top piece. Put the thread
holder in there so we’re running and we just, you
Elizabeth: You thread it the exact same way with two. So you’re just going through the
normal channels you would thread your sewing machine. But then when you get to the bottom
you’re going to divide your threads and put each one of them in the bottom.
Jenny: Each one in each hole. So, so let’s see how it works.
Elizabeth: And if you don’t have a twin needle, again, it’s not, it’s not necessary.
It just gives a great professional look on your clothing. Alright so I think I’m, I’m
going to start right on a seam. I have lengthened my stitch length a little bit on this machine.
That I like to do when I sew with knits. So I’ve put mine at a 3.5 right now. But you
can look at your machine and just decide what you like best. Elizabeth: Alright, so we’ve finished sewing
that hem. We can pull it out here. Jenny: Let’s take a look at this. Let’s
just take a look at this. Oh look how pretty that is. I mean it’s just perfect. I love
how that looks. That’s a really cool hem. Liz: I love it. It’s the difference between
handmade and homemade. Jenny: Yep. And that’s what we’re going
for. We want things to look like you bought them off the rack. You don’t want to walk
around in something that looks like, you know. Ya, we don’t want that. Alright let’s
take a look at it. How cute is this? Alright who’s going to model it?
Elizabeth: Liz is a medium Liz: NO
Jenny: Come on. Oh we won’t make you model it. Alright so on your site, Simple Simon
and Company. Is that what it’s called, right? Elizabeth: Uh huh.
Jenny: So they can find the what, the instructions Elizabeth: All of the instructions for the
maxi skirt if you want to use your own measurements there we have a knit pencil skirt that’s
just as fast and easy. And lots of other tips and tricks for working with knits.
Jenny: Ya, I was going to say, there’s a lot of information on their blog. So be sure
and check that out. Also we will have a pattern for this. There’s also a free PDF that you
can download and print out yourself. So be sure and check that out. And girls, it’s
wonderful having you here today. It’s been so much fun.
Liz: Thank you so much for having us. We’ve had such a good time.
Jenny: Oh I have loved it. And we hope you enjoyed this tutorial on how to make a quick
and easy knit skirt from the MSQC. Outtakes: Jenny: Don’t you talk to me like that ever
again. Elizabeth: That was awesome. You couldn’t
have done that better if you tried. Jenny: No
Elizabeth: Karate chop!