The next step in my quest to get the baby's room ready and perfect was to find the right crib skirt. I had a bit of a sewing high from my successful crib sheet making experience, so I decided to find some lovely fabric options and make the skirt I wanted. I couldn't find a tutorial that I liked, so feeling confident and ambitious, I decided that I would just make my own pattern from my son's old fitted crib skirt and go from there.
I started off browsing around the beautiful shop, Skye Reve Fabrics. Natasha has the best selection of fabrics, so I wasn't surprised to discover that she is actually a freelance fashion designer. Pretty cool, huh?! I sent her several emails enquiring about colors (is this an aqua blue, sky blue or turquoise blue?) she responded quickly and helpfully, and sent me a few swatches to help me narrow down my options. Really, she is the cream of the crop, and one of the people who has converted me to shopping for my fabric online from an individual whenever I can!
(She's also been sweet enough to offer a discount to Lemon Tree Creations readers, so scroll down for more details!)
In the end, I went with this incredibly fun and bright polka dotted fabric, Ocean Ta Dot by Michael Miller, which you can find here.
Measure your crib
First I measured it at the highest mattress setting. I needed my skirt to be 13" long so that it would rest on the floor. (I didn't want my ruffles dangling in the air, I wanted them pooling on the floor a bit.) I added 1/2" to the top and bottom for seam allowance, which brought me to 14". I needed 6 panels to cover all 4 sides of the crib: 2 for each long side, and 1 for each short side. I used some muslin that I had on hand for the center panel of the skirt (the part that would be under the mattress and not seen.)
Cut the fabric
I wanted to ruffle my crib skirt, but many of the tutorials that I was looking at for a ruffled cribs skirt called for 5-6 yards of fabric, and I didn't want to use that much. I had a little over 3 yards of fabric and decided that I would give my crib as much ruffling as 3 yards could give me. Luckily it turned out to be the PERFECT amount! :)
Each of the panels needed to be 26" x 14", so I cut the panels to be 44" x 14" so that I had enough extra fabric to ruffle them. Cutting the fabric was a piece of cake since my 3 yards of fabric was already 44" across! I simply washed and ironed my fabric, folded the 44" length in half, in half again and cut. I'd been told that a sharp rotary cutter can easily cut through 4 layers of fabric and it did perfectly.
The the fabric covered most of my cutting mat and made it kind of hard to see the numbers on the sides, so I marked where I needed the fabric to start and stop with little post it pieces.
Then I could line up the little ruler more easily and make sure that each piece was perfectly straight.
Iron and Hem
Once I had my 6 panels cut, I ironed the bottom and sides down 1/2", and hemmed them. If I was making this for someone or being paid I would have folded and ironed twice before sewing it down, but since no one would ever know the difference on this item I was happy to take a little shortcut. :)
And now for the ruffles! Some sewing machines will have a basting stitch that is solely for this purpose, so if you have one of those you are set! My machine doesn't have this stitch option, so I simply set it to a straight stitch, at the longest length, and the strongest tension.
I sewed a straight stitch about a half an inch from the edge of the fabric. I left a long length of thread at the each end of the fabric and did NOT back stitch. (Most people will recommend doing 2 lines of stitching beside one another, just in case the thread from one of them breaks when you are pulling on it. I tried both methods and this just so happens to be the one I took a picture of. )
I then grabbed the excess string one of the ends of the fabric and tugged gently until the fabric started to gather.
I laid the panel right-side down on the center of my crib skirt panel, adjusted it until it was flush with the side and middle of the panel, and pinned it into place.
I then sewed it onto the muslin. ***BE SURE TO CHECK YOUR SETTNGS BEFORE YOUR START SEWING!*** You don't want to attach your panel and then discover that you have sewed it on using your "basting stitch settings," and then have to pick out your stitches and start again.
Ask me how I know! :)
When sewing your ruffled panel to the main body of fabric, try to take it slow. It's easy for the fabric to bunch a bit in front of the presser foot (above), so whenever this happens, just stop, lift the presser foot (below), tuck the gathered fabric under the presser foot, put the presser foot back down,
and sew on.
Sew to the end and backstitch to secure your stitches. And then you'll have lots and lots of beautiful ruffles.
Continue to do this with each of the other 5 panels.
Add to Crib and Pat Self on Back
You did it, you made a crib skirt!! I'm so happy with mine! :)
Not bad, huh?
In other incredibly fun news, Natasha at Skye Reve Fabrics has a new site full of beautiful fabric like this and is offering a 10% discount to you lovely Lemon Tree Creations readers!! Isn't she sweet?!
For 10% off of your order, simply enter the code BLUESANDBRANCHES at checkout.
Have a great week!!