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Knock it Off - Running With Scissors

Tuesday, November 6, 2012
It is an honour to have Jessica from Running with Scissors here today to share her amazing tutorial.  Ever since I became a huge fan of her work during her season of Project Run & Play, I have followed her blog and been wowed by her skills in so many different areas of crafting.  And here she is today with yet another incredibly creative look: her pleather hand cut skirt for toddlers.  Thank you, Jessica!

I am excited to share my knock off idea here with you!
I love making clothes for my kids, especially to save money or create looks you'd never find in stores.

Lately, I've liked the current trend of laser cut leather.
Making leather which usually seems tough and edgy delicate like lace is a cool technique.

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So today, I thought I'd try my own version of this leather skirt, but for toddler girls:
Whistles laser leather cut out skirt, £250
 I liked the fact the cut out design was mainly around the hem, so you wouldn't have to line the skirt.
Also, I don't have a laser, so the design would be hand cut and simple is obviously better.
I chose not to use real leather, going with chocolate pleather because it's cheaper, more kid-friendly, and easier to punch.
I thought this was a cute way to have a different textile in your girl's wardrobe without seeming sexy or too adult, which I usually associate with leather.

The detail on the skirt are simple punches in overlapping circles along the hem. 
Using a simple template, the marking goes really quick and the punching wasn't too bad either. 
A lot faster than hand embroidery or hand sewing!

 for toddler sized skirt
-1/2 yard pleather
-1/2 yard 1" or wider elastic
-sewing machine, sharpie marker, masking tape
-buttonhole cutter set or snap/ grommet pliers
available from amazon and other craft or fabric stores

uses one 8.5"x 11" page, cardstock recommended

Depending on the size of the skirt, you can adjust the length and waist of the circle skirt.
Basically you're just drawing a donut shape.  
The included template is for a skirt that would accomodate a 18-22" waist and the finished skirt is 6.5" long.
To adjust for larger waists, cut 1/4" down on the smaller curve (narrow end of pie) of paper template.
To add to the length of skirt, add however much you need to the larger curve (wide end of pie).
Because pleather is thick, I traced the entire circle out on the wrong side, using tailor's chalk.
Carefully cut out pleather donut making as smooth edge as possible with scissors or rotary cutter/ mat.

Using printable circle template, I used a piece of masking tape to make a quick, even mark from the skirt edge, putting the circles 3/4" away from hem.  I marked each dot with a blue sharpie marker.
This showed up so I could see on the dark pleather, and went on easily without smearing. 
 To mark the next circle, I overlapped with three holes between the top and bottom shared holes as shown below.
To accommodate the curve of the hem and different sized skirts, you may have to adjust this overlap.  My skirt ended up working with 2 circles overlapping 3 holes, then one with just 2 holes, to have an even distribution around the curve and keeping the 3/4" space from the edge.

To punch out each hole, you can use the snap pliers or the buttonhole cutter circle.
I chose to use the buttonhole cutter:
smaller hole, cleaner punch, more time consuming
I found pressure straight down along with twisting produced clean, perfect holes
snap pliers:
quicker to use, larger hole, not always a clean punch, hard to reach holes farther from edge.

First, measure the elastic for desired fit around child's waist.  
Ellie is an average 18 month old and I used 15" of 1" wide brown elastic.
Sew the ends of the elastic together.
Mark the quarters of the elastic and the waist of your skirt.

Pin the elastic on top of the skirt, overlapping 1/2" and pinning at the quarter marks.
The elastic is smaller than the waist hole, so as you top-stitch the elastic to the skirt, be sure to stretch as you sew.

I top-stitched the elastic to the skirt 1/4" and again below 1/8" (not shown) away from elastic edge.

You're finished!
Ellie put the skirt back on after the pictures to twirl, which is kind of nice about using the thicker pleather, it stands out without a pettiskirt to make it full.

Hop over to my blog, Running With Scissors for more kids clothing projects along with a bunch of other junk!

10 comments on "Knock it Off - Running With Scissors"
  1. Just stumbled upon your are so talented! Love it all! Wish so bad I didn't have 100 things to go do because now I just want to sew all day!!!

    Have a great day:)

  2. Ooh, so adorable and creative! Love the first pic with her feet up on the wall. (Ha! Ha!)

  3. ADORABLE!!! (The skirt and the babe :)

  4. This skirt is beyond amazing! Love it. =)

  5. Being a bookbinder there is a really cool tool called "Japanese Book Drill" or "Japanese Screw Punch". They can be bought on the internet at several sites and Amazon's prices start around $10. Because they are extremly sharp and are made for cutting leather it is a great tool for a project like this. It cuts through materials effortless because it works like a hand-held drill. If you are making several projects with hand cutting in a design it would be well worth the investment. Most come with several punch sizes.

  6. so awesome, jess!!! i want to try!


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