Purple pettiskirt in all of it's finished glory.
Don't be decieved by it's demure appearance.
"Hey, those super-popular pettiskirts are like 80$! There's no way I'm spending that much on a dress-up skirt for my 3 year old! I'll just make one instead, there's a tutorial on Martha Stewart's website, and it looks easy enough..."
That's how it all started--six or so months ago. Let's just say that the maker of pettiskirts that provided a free tutorial on Martha's show way back when was less than forthright about the important details of making a pettiskirt (like what size they made for starters, and the difference between polyester chiffon and nylon chiffon--and it has nothing to do with fiber content). From that very vague set of directions, I began my pettiskirt journey. Along this journey, I bought the wrong kind of chiffon (and now I have 8 yards of bright purple polyester chiffon), bought too little of the right kind of chiffon as per the tutorial's instructions, and then later I bought waaaay too much chiffon to make up for it. I learned that nylon chiffon is the slipperiest stretchiest lint sheddingest material known to man, and sewing on it is a kin to what it might be like to sew on mucus that sheds tiny bits of fur in large amounts. For months my sewing/crafting room looked like it was slowly being devoured by the purple blob, and I learned that working with and gathering 20-30 yards of fabric strips is no small task.
My breaking point came about a week ago when I saw a really inexpensive pettiskirt at Costco (19$). I almost bought it too, because at that point I had no idea what I was doing, but I looked closer at it and realized that it was made cheaply and with much cheaper fabric and not nearly enough yardage (making it see-through and not as full). So then my pride got the better of me, and for the sake of quality I decided to finish what I had started.
I'm elated to say that last night, I finished the purple pettiskirt! In time to give it to my daughter for Christmas. I was so excited last night, that I literally danced around my sewing room. It was a wonderful feeling of accomplishment, and I'm so glad I stuck with it. It was a great way to start my Handmade Holidays goal, and I feel energized and ready to make a plethora of pajamas.
Did I save money? Maybe a little, but I think I spent close to 60$ for all of my supplies, maybe even more if you count the purple serger thread that I could not have done without. My verdict? The people charging 80+ dollars for these skirts are earning every penny. In fact, I think I would have to charge about 1000$ to make it worth my while to make another one. And with all of the adjustments I had to make, the skirt resembles somewhat of a Franken-skirt, but all in all, I'm happy with the result.
Bottom line: if you are looking for one of these for your daughter, check out your local Costco, or I've heard that they are at Hot Topic in the mall, and of course there is etsy. And if you absolutely positively must make one, do yourself a favor and buy a tutorial from etsy. I will say that once I figured out how to do it, I found that it wasn't too difficult, the hellish part was all of the trial and error. ooh-- and please email me a pic if you decide to do this, I'd love to see it!
I'm not even going to provide the link for Martha's free tutorial because it was so misleading and difficult to understand. Trust me, you are better off without it!
** Oh, and P.S. don't tell my daughter, it's a Christmas present!