Saturday, 22 December 2012

christmas tree skirt - tutorial - part 3 (let's get sewing!!)

photos of the tree skirt are here
christmas tree skirt - tutorial - part 1 can be found here
christmas tree skirt - tutorial - part 2 is here

woo hoo, it's time to start cutting!

you will need to cut 12 wedges of fabric for the top of the skirt and another 12 wedges from the back (i managed to get all 24 of my wedges cut from 6 fat quarters of fabric).

if you are cutting from fat 1/8ths, you should be able to fit 2 wedges on (see photo).  this method would also allow you to cut 4 wedges from a fat 1/4 of fabric (fold the fat 1/4 in half before cutting)
if you are cutting from a strip of non-directional fabric you will be able to cut your wedges as shown in the photo below, continue to alternate the direction of your wedges as you work your way across the strip of fabric
you may choose to trace around your template and them use scissors to cut the wedges out, or you may choose to do what i did and use your rotary cutter, ruler and the template.  i simply placed the template on the fabric, lined my ruler up with the straight edge and cut with my rotary cutter.  once i had cut both sides, i traced the curve and tip with my pencil then cut them out using scissors.
once all of your wedges have been cut, you will need to sew them into pairs using a 1/4" seam...
then into fours...
then sixes...

then sew ONE seam that will join the 2 halves of your tree skirt.  remember to leave the other seam open, this will allow you to put the skirt around your tree.  now repeat the process for the back of your tree skirt.
now we get to decorate the top of the tree skirt.  audition your trim options and decide which one you like best.  i have decided to use 2 trims and alternate them around the skirt (remember that you wont need trim on the open edges of the skirt)
if you want to make your own seam covering strips, you will need to cut eleven 3/4"  strips (on the straight grain) from the fabric that you heavily starched earlier.  then you will need to thread a strip into your 9mm bias tape maker (you may need to use a pin to help you), making sure that your fabric is the correct way up
 flip your bias maker over and use a fork pin to hold the beginning in place
use your iron to push the bias tape maker along until you reach the end of your strip (this means that your fingers will be well away from the hot iron and minimises your chances of getting a burnt finger!).  repeat for the other 10 strips
i used my karisma glue pen to hold the trim in place, but you may choose to thread baste your trim on.  DO NOT stitch it permanently in place yet, we will stitch it on after the top of the tree skirt is stitched to the back and turned the right way out - this will quilt the layers together and provide stability.

pin your ties/ribbons in place along the open edge of the tree skirt, also make sure that you have pinned the loose ends well away from the seam lines... you wouldn't want to accidentally stitch them in!

carefully pin the top of your tree skirt to the back and stitch around all of the edges using a 1/4" seam - remember to leave an opening so you can turn it in the right way.

turn your tree skirt in the right way, press it well and top-stitch around the edges.  now is the time to stitch the seam coverings in place - i used a zig-zag on my first tree skirt, but chose to use a straight stitch on this skirt.  at this point you may also decide to add some trim around the outside edge of your tree skirt

and you are all DONE... place your skirt under the tree, tie the ribbons and admire your work!

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