Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Craft-tastic Tuesday - Crib Bedding Series 3 of 4 - Crib Skirt Tutorial

I wanted an adjustable crib skirt, and for Meara's crib I only needed to cover the front. I had a lot of options  (pleats, ruffles.... etc.) but I decided to use this as an opportunity to practice some new skills and go with a more simple look.
I wanted one more chance to practice using piping before working on the sheet, so I decided to apply piping to the edges of my crib skirt. And since I thought using the mushroom fabric might make things too busy I decided to go with a solid purple to match the blanket and use the mushroom for an applique.
So with out any more chit chat, enjoy the tutorial.

2 Yards of solid cotton for front
2 yards of cotton to line the back
3-4 yards of  piping
2 pieces of medium weight fusible interfacing for each applique, at least one inch larger on all sides
Cotton Print fabric for applique
Snaps, Velcro, buttons, ribbon ties or what ever you plan to use to attach to your crib.
Basic sewing notions

I decided to go with a finished height of 21" (cut 22") and a finished width of 52" (cut 53"). I also used a 1/2" seam allowance for this project.

The first step in this project is to cut your back and lining pieces. You can set the lining aside as there are a few more steps to go before we will need it.
It is time to start the applique. In this project, I am using reverse applique. I found a clip art image to use for my applique, printed it out and then used my interfacing like tracing paper to copy the image.
Once I had my image on the interfacing, I applied the interfacing to the back side of my print fabric. I also applied interfacing to the back side of my crib skirt fabric where I planned to apply the applique because I wanted to prevent fraying from occurring.
When all the interfacing was applied I used a basting glue stick to fix my print fabric to my skirt fabric. The important thing to pay attention to here is that none of the glue is applied inside the image, as this will make the final step in the applique process very difficult. Then I began to stitch very slowly over all the lines in my image. Resist the urge to go quickly here as any mistakes will be very visible in the final project. I practiced my applique technique on scraps before I started this project.

 Now we are at the fun part, it's a bit of a mini-reveal, seeing how your applique turns out. You will need a pair of embroidery scissors and a seam ripper. You also need to be extremely cautious too.
From the front of your fabric you want to pierce the top layer, and you absolutely don't want to pierce the print fabric in the back, so if your image is large enough, try pulling the two layers apart before piercing with your seam ripper. You just need a hole large enough to fit the tip of your scissors into.
Cut out the image, close to the stitches removing all the fabric within. Your beautiful image will soon appear.

Now that the applique is done, it is time to apply the piping to your fabric. This is actually easier than it looks, I didn't even need to use pins. Using a zipper or piping foot, and a wide basting stitch, set your fabric on the line for your seam allowance and then place the piping against your foot. Because we are only covering 3 of 4 sides, we don't have to leave any length of piping out, and can start right at the edge. The piping is applied to the front side of the fabric, with the edge of the piping against the edge of the fabric. Stitch all the way around keeping an eye on your seam allowance and pulling the piping gently against your presser foot.
Once the piping is to the front piece, pin your lining to all 4 sides but for now we will only stitch the piping sides (this is where I got ahead of myself, as I have yet to sew the tabs to attach the skirt to the crib.
As you stitch over the lining fabric, you just need to keep the foot tight against the piping, you have already taken care of the seam allowance when you applied the piping to the front piece.

Cut out 5 pieces of fabric to use to make the tabs. I am using kam snaps, so I only wanted mine to be about 3/4" wide and 3" long, so I added an inch to the length and multiplied the width by 4, giving myself a size of 3" by 4". Press the top down 1/2", fold in half and press, open and press the sides into the middle, close and press. Now stitch around the two long sides and the end you pressed in. Repeat on the other 4 pieces.
Once your tabs are complete you can pin them, evenly spaced to the un-sewn top of your skirt. Stitch the top edge, leaving yourself a 6" gap between 2 tabs to turn your project right side out.

You can slip stitch closed or go the lazy route and edge stitch the opening since the top of your skirt wont be visible once attached to the crib.
Now attach the closure to your tabs. Since I didn't have a purple snap that matched my fabric, I decided to match the piping. I applied the socket to the skirt and the stud to the end of the tab. I also miscalculated a little on the tab length so I ended up attaching a second socket a little lowed down on my skirt to make sure that my skirt could fit properly over the very edge of the spring board on the crib.

Guess what, your done now. Put that skirt on your crib, stand back and enjoy your handiwork.

I am pretty happy with my results but I wonder if it might look better if I rip it open and apply interfacing to the inside. Maybe just a good ironing would help, I haven't done that yet. My crib is still on the highest setting but I am sure that wont last, once she figures out how to sit up on her own we will have to drop it down.
Next Tuesday I will be posting the final entry in the Crib Bedding Series, however, I am likely to have a few related posts to this series down the pipeline. Perhaps a pillowcase for when she transitions to a toddler bed, recovering some cushions for the rocker, appliqued wall art, covered light switch plated and another change pad sheet (can never have enough).
Enjoy and happy crafting.
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