Sunday, November 28, 2010

Reversible Christmas Tree Skirt Pattern and Tutorial

Last year I designed this easy Christmas Tree skirt. I put together a tutorial but by the time everything was finished, it was too late so I decided to save it for now.

First you'll have to print out the pattern pieces, cut them out and tape them together along the line that's marked. Here is the bottom and here is the top. Print them out in landscape mode with no scaling. They should each easily fit on the page no matter what your printer margins are.

What you'll need:
4 fat quarters (or large scraps for the top). A quarter-yard cut will not be wide enough.
2/3 yard of something weighty like corduroy or a home decor fabric for the back (more if you're dealing with a directional pattern, less if the fabric is wider than 44")
1 pack of ric rack (more if you're making a larger skirt -- my Mom has 2 foot skirt radius and we needed just over 3 packs to make it all the way around)
thread and all that

This will fit with a four-foot tree (as shown above). If you want to make it bigger, add some paper below the rounded edge of the pattern and extend that curved line as long as you want it. Use a ruler to extend the straight lines. You will need to remove some of the top to compensate for a larger trunk.

This pattern piece will work for both the top of the skirt and the back. I used 8 sections for the top as shown. The back only has 4 sections to save some time piecing. So to make the same skirt, you'll need to cut 2 pieces each of 4 different fabrics for the top. Then for the back, fold the seam allowance under on one side (or just cut if off), and use that pattern to cut 4 pieces on the fabric's fold.

Lay out your top fabrics and stitch them together at the side seams RST (right sides together). You'll have seven seams.  Do the same with your back fabrics. You'll have 3 seams. Iron your seams open (this will save bulk later).

Now, place the front on top of the back RST. Stitch the big rounded edge and the top edge and one side. You may want to leave a little section of the side open to tuck your ric rack into later. (I did not do this, I just popped the seam open with my seam ripper when I got to that point).

Clip those rounded seams. I like to make my clips about 2 inches apart. Every third clip I make v shape. This allows for easier turning.

Next, the fun part! Reach all the way inside the skirt and turn the whole thing inside-out. Beautiful! Press, press, press!

Tuck your seam allowance in on the open edge and pin that up. Then place your ric rack where you want it. Mine is about 2" from the bottom seam.

Pin about 1" of the tail of the trim into your pinned edge and stitch that seam closed. Finish placing the ric rack along the perimeter of the skirt and topstitch it into place.

When you get to the other straight edge, tuck the other tail of the trim into the opening you left and close everything up.

The last step is to topstitch your top. This will help it to lie flat.

I am happy to add more photos if anything seems confusing. Please let me know if you have any questions or problems with the pattern.

EDIT: There seemed to be some problems with the jpeg form of the pattern not printing the two pieces at the same size. I have uploaded pdfs and they seem fine.