December 10, 2012
In the midst of Crazy Craft Show Prep 2012 (aka the last three weeks), something inside my brain broke down, and I…
Not sit on my ass and watch more Futurama on Netflix. Not clean up my disaster of a craft studio (Hoarders,here we come!), nor organize my baking cabinet in preparation for holiday baking.
Yes, you would think I would have had enough sewing, but that wasn’t the case.
I wasn’t sewing for anyone else.
It was all for me.
And it was Christmas related, so naturally I enjoyed it.
I made a tree skirt!
Yes, it’s Instagram. Making crappy cell phone pictures look all hipstery since 2008! Or whenever. They started it before it was cool.I stitched that sucker together in TWO hours with NO pattern and NO tutorial.
“Come on,” you say, “Did you Google a tutorial?”
I Pinterested (dude, there’s got to be a better way to make Pinterest searching a verb).
I found nada.
Okay, fine, I found plenty. But it was a crapload of tree skirts like this:
I was like Mommy Dearest with those Ruffled Tree Skirt Tutorials.
“No Ruffled Tree Skirts EVAR!”
So with Google and Pinterest having fruitless searches, I conjured my own pattern and tutorial:
SUPER BASIC REVERSIBLE DIY TREE SKIRT
Finished measurement :: Approx. 42″ in diameter
What you’ll need:
-1 1/4 yard of main fabric – 45″ width
-1 1/4 yard of contrast fabric – 45″ width (or if you want the tree skirt to have the same fabric on both sides, you’ll need 2 1/2 yards)
If you end up using Home Decor weight, just be sure to calculate the width of your fabric and buy the matching yardage (example, your fabric is 50″ wide, so be sure and convert the yardage to inches before getting it cut to ensure you’re cutting 50″ in yardage).
-Thread – your choice for coordinating or contrast
-Tape measure (the flexible kind you see in fabric stores and the Nordstrom bra department!)
1- Fold your fabric in half, selvage edge to selvage edge, then fold in half again (so you’ve basically got it folded into quarters).
Selvage edge is the ends that have not been cut- they usually have fabric designer information on one side of the fabric.
2- Measure it out.
Take your fabric marker and your tape measure, hold the 1″ end at the folded corner of your fabric, and mark your fabric (I marked it at 21.25″, because I wanted a 1/2″ seam allowance, and that was as long as I could make it).
Remember using a compass in geometry class or using one to draw a circle? Same principle.
Begin at the folded edge, and hold the tape measure at the corner, but rotate the other side (the one at the edge of your fabric) across the fabric, marking as you go.
When you’re done, you’ll have a nice curved outline of dashes.
Using those dashes as a guide, cut that sucker out!
3- Tree skirt opening
Now go to the folded corner where you were holding the edge of your tape measure.
Follow the same instructions from marking the outer tree skirt. I measured about 3″ out from the corner, but it all depends on how large you like your opening for tree access.
Following the dashes, cut out your tree skirt inner opening.
4- Fold in half, cut along one side
In order to easily fit the tree skirt around your tree, you’ll need to fold the circle in half and cut from the outer edge to the inner circle, but only along one side. Wow, a photo would really help explain that, huh? Welp, there is not a photo. I took a photo, but apparently I must have been driving by at 50 mph, because it turned out blurry. PHOTO TUTORIAL FAIL.
Anyway, cut your tree skirt by giving it a Pac-Man mouth. Fold it in half so it looks like a half moon, and cut along the fold, but only until you reach the inner circle.
5- Repeat steps 1-4 for other side of tree skirt.
6- Pin both sides together, right sides together.
Be sure to mark where you’ll leave an opening to turn the tree skirt right sides out.
I found quite a few “No-Sew” tree skirts when searching for a basic tutorial, and I really don’t understand what the big deal is with sewing. Ornotsewing, for that matter. Yes, it seems intimidating at first, and yes there’s a machine with a scary needle moving up and down, but once you learn, you don’t forget.
Sewing is a lot like painting a wall- it can always be fixed. Walls can be painted over. Seams can always be ripped out and started over.
But like painting, a good foundation is key. The wall needs to be in a good condition for the paint job to look the best. The fabric needs to be cut out correctly to look the best.
Oh–I was writing a tutorial. Anyway, you know where you marked the tree skirt to leave an opening? Don’t sew there!
8- Clip inside circle
Clip the seam allowance of the inner circle, every 1/2″ or so. Be sure not to clip through the seam you just stitched. This will help the inner circle lay better.
Next, turn the tree skirt right side out, pin the opening closed by folding in the raw edges to match the rest of the tree skirt, and topstitch closed. I was initially going to just topstitch the opening slit and the inner circle, but I really liked the way it looked, so I just topstitched around the whole damn thing. I used a zigzag stitch, ‘cuz that’s my style.
9- BOOM! Done. Looks awesome, huh?
So if you’ve got two hours to kill (and you’re not even tired of sewing things for craft bazaars), whip up this tree skirt!
Hey there, I'm Holly Marsh (Maker/Illustrator/Mama/Nerd), the force behind MarshMueller. I started the company in 2011 after getting frustrated with the ho-hum options in big box stores when creating my first son's woodland-animal-themed nursery. I hand-pick every fabric, thread color, and zipper, design my own sewing patterns, and moosh them all together to create rad products for parents and gift-givers in my Astoria, Oregon studio (aka MarshMueller Secret Labs).