Making Memories with Country Flare...

Making Skirts....

Prelude to the Fall Jamboree

Each year our family makes plans to attend the Fall Jamboree and this past weekend was that time again.  The blessings of this time of memory making and sharing in the joys of friendship are always plentiful.

It is always a time for new skirts and this year was no different.  The days fly by around the Smith home so Friday night was here before I knew it.  Kailynn asked Friday afternoon if I would make her a new skirt to wear to the Jamboree and I didn't foresee any reason I wouldn't be able to.  She had picked out the fabric from my fabric bin and the plan was set in motion. 

I began researching the Internet for "SIMPLE patternless" skirt tutorials to see what I could pull off.  Each of these had potential and will probably be visited and applied in the near future. 

With three skirts to be made and a time clock ticking I settled with one from a book I have called Making Children's Clothes...HOWEVER, Friday night rolled upon me and still no time for skirt making...ugh.

Well, to my disappoint I went to bed hoping Saturday morning I could find time to whip them together!  {Bare in mind, I am no seamstress...}  After breakfast, I decided to sit down and begin, cutting out a simple skirt for the three youngest girls.

My measurements for the three skirts were taken from 45" width material.  For Kai's (5) skirt, the pink material was 45"x 27" and the white material was 45"x 13.5".  For Liz's (3) skirt, the pink material was 45" x 22" and the white material was 45" x 13".  Finally, for Carolyne's (1) skirt, the pink material was 45"x 12" and the white material was 45" x 7".  Now, here's the twist to my adaptation of the book's instruction.  Since the material is a lighter weight cotton and they will be wearing the skirts in cooler weather, I wanted to double it up to make a lined skirt, finished on the inside, too. So, what I did was folded each cut rectangle in half lengthwise and ironed to make a nice crease down the width of the 45".  Once ironed each pink rectangle now measured 45" x 13.5", 45" x 11", and 45" x 6", respectively.  I did the same for the white material.

Using an embroidery stitch to attach the ribbon to the skirt

Now, for a non-seamstress such as myself, this was the tricky part.  I wanted to attach the pink and white fabrics together so it would form a larger rectangle without any raw edges {except for the selvage edges, of course}.  So taking the right sides together of the pink and white rectangles, I attached with pins.  Then the cut portion of the pink and white materials were attached right sides together again and attached with pins.  So to look at the two pieces now attached, you should see a long cylinder with wrong side of material out {or in other words, inside out}.  I did a straight stitch about 1/4" from the edge down both pinned sides.  Next, I ironed flat the sewn parts, so when I turned the piece right side out the material would lay nice and flat.  Now the final ironing I did was to re-iron the fold on the white and pink fabrics.  The fold on the white fabric served as the bottom of their skirt and the top of the skirt is the pink fold. 

Next, I brought my two selvage edges together, pinned and ran a straight stitch about 1.25" in from the edge to ensure the selvage edge would not show through once inverted.  Once the stitching was done, I ironed the seam flat, then began the last step of this skirt...creating the waistband.

Since, doubling the fabric made a fold at the top of the skirt, that served as the finished edge for the inside of the waistband.  To create that, I folded the top of the material down about 1.5", pinned and ironed my new fold flat.  A straight stitch was then sewn a little more than a 1" from the new top fold almost completely around the skirt.  Make sure to leave about 2 inches so that you can pull the elastic through.  I cut the elastic three inches longer than each child's waist to allow for overlapping the elastic once it was thread through. 

My husband was a blessing to help with threading through the elastic, so I could work on the other skirts.  He cut a piece of wire longer than the elastic and made a hook on one end then attached a safety pin to the elastic and the hook part of the wire.  Since the wire was fairly thin, he was able to fish it through the opening of the waistband fairly easily.  Once the elastic was completely fished through, he removed the wire and attached the loose end of the elastic to the pin, until I could overlap and stitched the the two pieces together.  After doing that, simply sew the opening for the waistband together following the straight stitch already created without stitching over the elastic.  That's it!  Iron again and turn it right side out.

My explanation may sound like it was a difficult skirt to make, but really...IF I can do it, so can YOU!  I would have taken pictures of each step, HOWEVER I HAD to finish three skirts before we could took me three hours from start to finish.  Someone with more experience could surely cut that time down!

Sweet sisters sharing their skirts with ya'll

The Jamboree...

Although, we didn't make it to the Jamboree before lunch as intended, we DID arrive and three happy little girls energetically wore their new skirts!  They quickly ate their lunch in the van, instead of our normal "picnic" lunch...saved time that way.  ;D 

The day was filled with lots of family bands, of which we are blessed to know several who we call friends.  New friends were made.  Conversations with old friends seemed to pick up right were we had left off without the effects of months in between...times of prayer and times of encouragement were shared.  To see more about this event visit A Bright Light in a Dark World and Sweet Life Under the Savior.

What a blessing it was for me to speak with some of the "seasoned" artisans and glean from days gone by.  Learning from the past ~ that these skills will not be lost in the modernization of today...

Rope Making

Each of the younger children took turns making their own rope
Liz was the unique one making a "pony's tail"

The children had plenty to do and the "Fiddle Hunt" is always such fun to do with friends!

Another favorite each year is the contra dancing!  Graham was MORE than energized this year and the other children all enjoyed putting their feet in action.  Such good, wholesome fun for the family!

With thankful hearts we have these precious memories to look back on and with anticipation we await for the next gathering.

Blessings ~

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Shannon said...

Lovely photos Mrs. Smith... capturing joyful hearts and cheerful faces. The girls skirts were so lovely as well... they looked so sweet in them!


A Baker's Dozen Barnhouse News said...

What a lovely day and what wonderful memories made together with family and friends and as you gleaned from those who shared skills from the past. And the skirts are SO pretty.:)



Seasons of Life said...

Shannon ~

My heart warmed just with the girls' excitement over skirts, swirling and twirling the days away. Loved seeing all your pictures of the day, as well. Thanking the Lord for His goodness in sharing events such as these together.

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Sherry ~

Thank you for stopping over and commenting. It was a good day indeed...and we were all dog tired at the end of each day, making for sound sleep. ;D

Blessings to you and your family ~


Make a Joyful Noise all ye Lands said...

Dear Jarnette,
Your little girls look so precious and beautiful. I know they were so happy to receive such a sweet skirt to wear to your Fall Jamborie.

What happy memories you are making as you guide and teach your family to love and serve the Lord and have fun together as a family..