Monday, December 30, 2013

Tiered Maxi Skirt Pants Tutorial

Hello! This is Harmony from 3Giraffes back to show you how to make an awesome pair of pants that look like a tiered maxi skirt for kids.

Why would you want to do this, you ask!? Wellllllll if your child is anything like my children, they have yet to figure out that skirts are supposed to stay DOWN. And that hanging upside down, or sticking your leg in the air are unacceptable things to do while wearing a skirt. I've had this idea kicking around in my head for a while and finally decided to just jump in, figure it out, and make something that I hoped my girls would love and want to wear.

The first pair I made turned out pretty cute, but I could see where I could improve on them. So of course I HAD to make another pair the next night. hehehehe I love the way the second pair turned out even more than the first pair. They are perfect!!

For the technique/instructions that follow I would suggest not going above a size 6. At the end*** of the post I will say my thoughts about larger sizes in this style and how I think it would work out best.

First you need your favorite pants pattern. *MY* personal favorite is Jocole's Essential Pants. But I'm sure the other pants patterns would work just as well for this. (Everyday Ruffle Knit, Flounce Ruffle, Mega Ruffle, maybe even the Skinny Minnie)

All of the actual measurements that I'm posting are for the size 4 pants and include a 3/8" seam allowance. I am including instructions on how to get those measurements so that the same technique can be used for ANY size pants.

Use the pattern for whatever size pants you would normally make. Measure down about an inch below the crotch and go straight across from there. It's like cutting out super daisy dukes. But don't worry! It will eventually be a pair of pants! You could either do what I do and just fold up the pattern so it's all hiding underneath, or you could cut it off and tape it back together. It's up to you!

Micro Daisy Dukes compared to the entire pants pattern. The pink lines are on the size 4.

Next measure from your 1" below the crotch measurement to the hemline. In the case of the size 4 it's 15 3/4" to where the actual hem should end. I use this measurement because I wanted to do a serged finish on this instead of folding under for a 1" hem. BUT even if you want to do a 1" folded under hem you should still remove that 1" from this measurement for your pants at this time. It will be added back in later. (I promise it will make sense as to why later!)

Take this measurement (in the case of the size 4 - 15 3/4") and divide in half (7 7/8").
Halfway point between the bottom hemline and the 1" under the crotch markings.
Then add for seam allowance (3/8") x2 (1 5/8") for the top tier piece (total of 9.5").  This is how high your first tier will be. If you want to do just a serged bottom for the second tier then this is also how high your second tier will be. If you want to do a 1" folded under hem then this is when you add 1" to the measurement for the second tier only. Next you need to measure how wide your first tier should be.

Lay out your micro daisy duke pieces, overlapping the seam width at the side seam (if there is one depending on which pattern you use). Measure how long the bottom is. (For the size 4 it's 17.25".)
Front and back cut out super short daisy dukes.
For the first tier you want to have a piece that is your first measurement from the steps just above (for the size 4 it's 9.5") x 1.5 times the width of the bottom of the shorts. So for the first tier for a pair of size 4 pants you need a piece that is 9.5" x 25.5". (The 25.5" is because the bottom of the shorts would measure 17.25". Take this, divide in half and you have 8.63"...I rounded it down to 8.25" to make measurements even. I like easy numbers...and lets face it a fraction of an inch" isn't going to make this ruffle that much rufflier. Add 17.25" and 8.25" and you have 25.5".)

For the second tier you need to use your height measurement (either including or excluding a hem allowance) x 1.5 times the width of the first tier. So for me it was 9.5" x 38.25".

Sew the micro daisy dukes as if you are going to make them shorts as-is. Right sides together, center front. Right sides together, center back. Open both front and back and put them right sides together and sew the sides. Do NOT sew up the crotch/inseam yet!!

Mark the center points of each of your tier strips and gather them all using whatever gathering method you prefer. Right sides together pin one of the gathered first tiers to one leg, matching up your marked center to your side seam (if there is one). Do the same thing with the first tier to the second leg. Sew these together. Mark the center of the bottom of the first tier and pin the right sides of the second tier to the first leg matching up the center points. Do the same thing with the second leg. Sew tier 1 and tier 2 together.

Now sew up the entire inseam starting at the bottom of one leg, all the way up, to the crotch, and back down the other leg. Turn right side out and hem however you have chosen to. Attach elastic.

And voila! Pretty awesome maxi skirt pants!! YAY!
Looks like a skirt with the legs together, right!?
The hardest part is the math for it all. And really, as long as you have a good guestimating mind or a calculator that's not even hard to do! It's all addition and division.
Shirt was made using the Easy Cap Sleeve shirt pattern and altering it. But that tutorial is for another day! :)

***Thoughts on doing sizes larger than a 6: Starting at a size 6 or 7 and up to a girls size 12 or 14 there should be four or more separate sections. The first section would be the micro daisy dukes and then three or more tiers. This is more for aesthetic reasons because the point of these pants is to get the full maxi skirt look. Since the kiddos are taller/bigger it needs to be fuller at the bottom to achieve this. You would do the calculations in the same manner, but the height of each tier would be based on dividing the leg portion by 3 or 4 (depending if you have 3 tiers or 4 tiers) instead of 2. You would continue to do the length of each tier as 1.5x the length of the piece above it for a beautiful full skirt look.

Jodi, thank you for letting me come play over here again!! It was fun!

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