Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Kangaroo Pocket Skirt Tutorial

Today we have Anneliese from Aesthetic Nest joining us with a quick, easy, but absolutely darling skirt for us all to admire and make.....thanks Anneliese!

I have such fond memories of my mother sewing for me. I loved going to the fabric store with her to pick out patterns and material. I certainly learned from her example and show my love for my own girls by sewing for them. Every girl deserves to have something sewn for her, so I the Skirting the Issue campaign is just perfect! I hope a hundred or more girls feel the love coming to them when they pull on their new skirts.

When I sew for my girls I seem to choose more complicated projects. I've loved sewing skirts with fun classic details, or interesting construction, or yards and yards of fabric, but this time I decided the skirt needed to be quick. I wanted to come up with something that could be done in about an hour so that those of you participating in this effort could make a few. And I wanted to be able to pull off a set of three for my own girls in time for the Independence Day holiday.

I call this a Kangaroo Pocket Skirt, and it's something I experimented with for myself, though not as successfully as I would have liked! I love that it's a skirt-meets-hoodie, in comfortable, stretchy knit cotton and replete with drawstring and...kangaroo pocket. I even left the hem "raw." For my sporty girls I think it can take the place of shorts or jeans or even go to the beach over a swimsuit! It's nice to have plenty of stretch on these busy bodies.

In this fun red, white and blue camoflage I also think it can go to our Independence Day barbecue! 



...of July, to you who are celebrating today!

My tutorial shows you how to make this in "girl" sizes 2-8. This is a nearly straight skirt so it hugs and would do best with a modification for older girls and women with hips--you could easily throw in a curve from waist to hip or use an existing slightly flared skirt as a pattern.

Ready to play?

Here we go...


First, you'll need to create your pattern using my "key." I just drew these measurements directly on the fabric with a pencil and then cut but you could also draft this on paper first. Note that line "D" illustrated below should be placed on the fold.
You can find my pattern for the kangaroo pocket here. (Download the PDF file and then print it without scaling or resizing the image.) This pattern uses different seam allowances for sizes 2, 4, and 6/8.

Now for the cutting. I would recommend using a medium weight knit. I used some that feels like a heavier t-shirt fabric but I think something a bit heavier would be great too. Cut out two of the skirt pattern pieces on the fold, cut two of the pocket pieces, and then cut a long 2" strip for the tie. The strip should be your waist length plus 20" for sizes 6-8, 18" for size 4 and 16" for size 2.

Then you'll sew the pocket. Do this by placing the two pieces of fabric right sides together and stitching all the way around except for a 2" opening in the bottom for turning the pocket right sides out. (Note the different seam allowances per size noted on the pattern template.)

Clip the corners and trim if necessary to 1/4" (but leave as much allowance as possible next to the opening so it is easier to press it under after turning).

Turn and press the pocket, being careful to turn under the seam allowance next to the opening. Pin closed.

Stitch the curves using a 1/4" seam allowance.

To make the skirt, first start with the buttonholes, which will form the opening for the tie. Place one of your skirt pieces (this will be the skirt front) folded in half along the "D" line (as you cut it if you cut the fabric folded wrong sides together). The waistband will be formed by turning down the waist 1.5" to form a casing. So with your tape measure about .5" from the fold, measure down 1.5" from the top to account for that (the yellow pin below), and then measure 3/4" below that (the blue pin). Place a pin at the 3/4" mark. This will mark the top of your button holes.

Stick a pin through the reverse side in the same position to mark this position for two buttonholes, equal distance from the center line--about 1" apart.

When you unfold your skirt piece it should look like this with two pins marking the top of the buttonholes.

Cut a small square piece of fusible interfacing and iron it to the wrong side of your fabric where you will be creating the buttonholes. This will give the knit fabric some stability.

Now sew two button holes 3/4"-5/8" high. Remember to have the top of the button holes places where you marked your pins.

Snip open your button holes.

Now place your pocket on the skirt. Place the top .5" from the botton of the button holes and center the pocket horizontally.

Pin the pocket in a few places to keep it stable. I feel like less pinning is more when it comes to sewing with knits. Then stitch the top, the sides and the bottom of the pocket with a 1/4" seam allowance keeping the curves free.

Place this skirt front with the other skirt piece (the back), right sides together. 

Stitch the side seams. (I didn't even pin for this.) Stitch from the waist to the hem but 2" above the hem, backstitch and then baste the rest of the way. This is to form a little slit for extra ease in the skirt.


Press the side seams open so they lay flat. On the right side of the fabric, top stitch the side seams from the hem up 2" using a 1/4" seam allowance on either side  and cross the side seam at the top. Remove the basting stitching and you've got slits.

To form the waist casing, fold the waistband down 1.5" with the wrong sides of the fabric together.

Pin in a few places.

Stitch the casing in place sewing 1/4" from the raw edge. Note that you can sew all the way around as the buttonholes create the opening to insert your tie.

To make the tie, take your 2" strip of fabric and iron it in half lengthwise, then fold each half in towards the center (as you would to make a double-fold seam binding) and press again.

Stitch the tie very close to the folded edge.

Using a large safety pin, thread the tie through the buttonholes.

Knot the ends. (Note that I left the ends of the ties raw.)

And you've done it (no hemming). You've sewn a Kangaroo Pocket Skirt for some lucky girl!

I hope she enjoys it!

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