Oh Sweet Joy!

sew it yourself paper-bag skirt graphic

My inspiration for this DIY was two-fold.  1. Every time I wear or post about a paper-bag skirt I’ve made, I get asked for a tutorial. (( here // here // here ))I’m sure there are tutorials out there for it already, but I’m happy to share a simple little graphic I made and further explain it below. 
2. I purchased this dress from Anthro and just wasn’t in *love* with the coloring….it felt too summery and it’s a bit late in the game to buy a summery dress when Fall is just around the corner. I also felt like it was super dressy, it was a bit long and I wanted a more cotton than silky/polyester-blend skirt portion. I returned it, found a collared chiffon sleeveless blouse at Marshall’s for $12.99 and paired it with one of my favorite homemade skirts. Voila! Here’s my inspiration next to my finished product. 

Let’s get started shall we? 
What you’ll need:1 yard of fabricelastic (for this tutorial & skirt, I used 1 inch elastic)sewing machine & threadsafety pin

1.  Cut your fabric into two identical pieces, using the measurements above. For the width I measured the widest part of my rear and/or hips and divided that measurement by two. I then added 3 inches for seam allowance and to add more of a paper-bag effect. 
For the length, start your measuring tape where you’d like your skirt to “sit” and proceed to where you’d like it to hit on your leg. Add four inches to that. This is for the bottom hem and the top paper-bag element. 
2.  Measure where you’d like your skirt to “sit.” I used my natural waist. Subtract two from that number & cut your elastic. Subtracting two allows for the elastic to stretch a bit and will make it fit better. You may even need to cut more after you thread through the elastic & once you try it on. 
3.  Line up your fabrics right sides facing each other. ((optional step: pin)) Sew along the sides using a 1/4-1/2 inch seam. Another option? Serge, zig zag stitch, or use pinking shears on the side seams to finish them. 
4. Fold up your bottom hem 1/4 inch and press all the way around. Repeat so that the raw edge is inside the finished edge and not exposed. Stitch all the way around, starting at a side seam. Don’t forget to backstitch!
5.  With your skirt still wrong-side out, fold the TOP of your skirt down 2 1/2 inches, press, and pin in place. Stitch along the edge of the fabric leaving an inch wide opening on a side seam. This is for the elastic to go through. 
Depending on how wide your elastic is, sew above the stitch you just sewed to create a casing for the elastic. Again, my elastic was an inch wide so I gave a teeeensy bit over an inch. Sew all the way around.
6. Pin one of end of your elastic to the top of the skirt so that it doesn’t accidentally go through when you’re pulling the elastic through your casing. Use another safety pin to “scoot” your elastic through, inch by inch. 
Hint: use a large safety pin and thank  me later. One your elastic is all the way through, pin the ends together and try your skirt on. Trim elastic as needed. Once you have it to the desired fit, overlap the edges and zig zag stitch back and forth to secure. Close up the “hole” you had to pull the elastic through. 
Put it on and strut your stuff!

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