Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Lace for Days Skirt

So, remember how 2 weeks ago I told you I had a new skirt tutorial?  I am just now getting around to creating it, so sorry about the wait!  I have had the lace for this skirt for about a year now (seriously), and have finally gotten around to making it.  This idea has been in my head for a long time and it's nice to see if finally completed!
(you can tell how long it took me to do, because my nail polish changes throughout the tutorial)

I found this lace at Joanns and fell instantly in love.  

Want to make one?

If you don't know how to sew, or know the basics but are interested in learning more, Merrick and I have created The Modern Girl's Guide to Sewing, online sewing courses that teach you everything you need to know about clothing construction. You can take our Beginner Course or our Intermediate Course, and learn how to follow tutorials like this one! Make sure to check out moderngirlsewing.com!

Click through below for the tutorial...

Lace for Days Skirt

You will need:
  •  1.5 yards of fabric.  I used a cream sateen fabric.
  • approx. 5 yards of lace.  But this will depend on how long your skirt is, and how thick your lace is.  My skirt was 21" long and my lace was about 4" thick.
  • zipper
  • small button
  • a pencil skirt that fits well to use for a pattern
  • 1.5 yards of pattern fabric (optional)

Step 1:
Lay your pencil skirt on your pattern fabric/paper to create the pencil skirt pattern for the main structure of the skirt.  Draw an outline around your skirt, but make sure to leave 1/2" all around the body of the skirt for the seam allowance.  I kept the length extra long so that I could hem it later.  Trace around the waistband separately.  I allowed for a 1/4" s.a. for the waistband on the top and bottom, 1/4" seam allowance for one side of the waistband, and 1" seam allowance for the other side (this will help when creating the button closure).

You can do this directly onto your main fabric, but I used a grid fabric just to be safe.   I also wanted to have a pattern so that I can make a quick pencil skirt again in the future.  I used a lightweight pattern material with a grid printed on it.  This can be found up by the cutting section at Joanns and is pretty inexpensive.  

 Make sure to note of where your darts are, if your skirt has any.  I measured how wide my darts would be if they were laid flat, and added this onto the width of the top of the skirt, so that I could create the same size darts.

Step 2:
Cut out the front and back pieces of your skirt (these will probably be different sizes if one side has darts), and cut out 4 waistband pieces. 
* Remember to cut 2 of the waistband pieces about 1" longer than the other two.

Step 3:
You are going to create your skirt (minus the waistband) first.  So the first thing that I did was to sew in the darts.  I marked where they were with a yellow highlighter (ghetto fabulous, I know.  But I was too lazy to find my marking pencil)

Sew up the darts, and press them so that they are pointing towards the center of the skirt.

Step 4:
Now take the front and back skirt pieces and place them right sides together.  Pin up the sides, make a note of where your zipper will go, and sew the side seams with a 1/2" seam allowance.  
Make sure to switch to a basting stitch when you get to the section where your zipper will be placed.

Step 5:
This step comes a little sooner than most of my other skirts, but now it's time to hem the skirt.  It is way easier to do it now, than to try to do it with the lace already on.  It might be a little tricky without the waistband on yet, so pay close attention to where the top of the skirt will rest on your waist once the waistband is on.   (it might be helpful to pin the waistband on, just to get a better visual)

You are welcome to make the hemline as thick or as thin as you want.  I surged the ends of mine and sewed it under 1".  You wont really even see the hem of the skirt, since the lace will hang over it a little.  I made my hem about 1/2" shorter than I wanted the finished skirt to be, because I wanted the lace to hang over that extra 1/2".

Step 6:
Take a deep breath and insert your zipper.  Remember this tutorial I linked to when making the Pinwheel Skirt?  I still watch it every time I sew in a zipper.

Step 7:
Not it's time to cut your lace.  This can get a little tricky, figuring out the spacing of the rows, cutting the lace, etc.  I crashed and burned a few times, and had to make at least 3 different trips to Joanns for more lace.  This step is going to be hard to explain measurement-wise, because your lace might be a different width, but here are a few tips I picked up:

Pin your lace on loosely before you cut it to give you an idea of what you want the spacing of the lace to look like.  

I found a little trick to cutting your lace.  Make sure the width of the lace is the same width of the skirt at the part where you are sewing it on.  Pencil skirts naturally get bigger around the hips, so lay the lace across where each layer will be to get the measurements.  If all your lace is the same width, it wont fit onto your skirt.

Also, when cutting out the lace, for each layer cut out two strips (one for the front and one for the back) and sew up the side seams.  Another helpful trick is to gradually have the lace get wider at the bottom of each strip (about 1" wider worked for me).  This will help your lace from fitting too snugly around your skirt.  See the picture below:
Dont pay attention to the cut strip of fabric above the lace.  That was one of my ideas that crashed and burned.  Just look at the lace underneath.  See how the bottom of the lace is wider than the top?

*Note:  When sewing up the side seams of your lace, don't sew together the lace at the side seam of where your zipper will be.  these will be sewn directly to the zipper in the next step.

Step 8:
Now it's time to sew your lace to the skirt.  Start with the first few top rows of lace that will be touching the zipper.  Those might get a little tricky.  As you are pinning them to the skirt, take the lace ends that your didn't sew together, and tuck those under the zipper flaps.


Pin as close together as you can, and sew the lace onto the zipper flaps.

Once you have tackled adding the lace to the zipper, you are almost home free.  Now sew on each row of lace.  It is a good idea to mark all along where you want each row of lace to go with tailors chalk, or a light colored pencil to keep all of the lines straight.

Keep pinning and sewing the layers of lace, until the skirt is covered.  Remember to keep in mind on your bottom layer of lace where your want your skirt to hit.  It is a good idea to try it on pinned first, before you sew the last few layers, just to make sure the length is good.

Step 9:
Waistband time!  For my waistband, I wanted it to be a little more sturdy, to give it a crisp look.  So I iron on some interfacing for some support.  This is the interfacing I used:

Only put the interfacing on 2 of your 4 waistband pieces.  It's very easy to use, and attaches onto the fabric quickly.  I cut out the interfacing 1/4" smaller than the waistband on all sides, since I used a 1/4" seam allowance.

Take 1 waistband with interfacing and one without, place them right sides together, and iron along the top with a 1/4" s.a.  Repeat this for the remaining 2 waistband pieces.

Open up the waistband, and pres the seam allowance over to one side.  Close it back up and press.

Match up two of the sides of each waistband, and sew together with a 1/2" seam allowance (this measurement may differ, depending on the seam allowance you allowed for when your created your waistband pattern).  Press open, and serge or zigzag stitch the s.a.

Step 10:
Attach your waistband to your skirt.  Keep in mind that one waistband will be longer than the other.  This is for the button closure at the top.  On my skirt, I had the longer waistband go in the front.  The shorter waistband should hang over the side about 1/4".  We will hand stitch this closed once the waistband is attached.  The longer side will hang over about an inch.  
To attach your waistband, I used the same method that I did for my Pinwheel Skirt.  You can go here for the tutorial.  Follow steps 20 and 21. 
Notice in the picture above that the longer side of the waistband still has a raw edge?  take those edges and fold them into the waistband, iron flat, and hand sew them together for a nice finish.

To finish off the corner sides of your waistband, just fold the raw edges into the waistband, iron flat, and either hand stitch, or sew closely along the edge.

Step 11:
Attach your button and sew your button hole.  I sewed my button to the longer end of the waistband, and  sewed the button hole to the shorter end.  When it is buttoned, the longer end lays under the waistband, out of sight.

This is one of the harder skirts I have done for sure, so just have patience and try not to get too discouraged.  And make sure you get plenty of lace.  Or at least get your lace at a pace like Joanns, where you can always go back for more if you need to. 


  1. So adorable! But what if you have a big booty like me? Do I need more fabric/lace?! lol. You are so talented!

  2. this is gorgeous but there is no way mine would turn out that nice!! i might try but maybe I'll just tell people to come see your blog instead:)
    I've got an adorable giveaway right now too, if you like owls!

  3. Well, I'm officially obsessed. That is the most gorgeous thing and the most gorgeous lace. I want to make one. DARN pregnancy!

  4. LOVE this one! So gorgeous! I'll have to try it! You're amazing.

  5. Love the nailpolish color changes. Hee hee! You are so talented. Love this skirt so much. I'd be happy to send you a check in the mail if you were to make me one. :)

  6. Looks Fantastic. Thanks for laboring over a tutorial for us. It can be so much work, but I appreciate it. I'll have to add this one to my list, but I still haven't gotten to the pinwheel skirt....we'll see how long it takes.


  7. LOVE this! I love the name of your blog...that's my daughter's name!!! ;) I might have to "copy" this...


  8. This is so fabulous! And utterly gorgeous!

    I just finished taking a sewing class, and it only took me 8 weeks of class, at 2 hours a class to complete a basic skirt with a similar pattern to yours. Phew! Now I will have to try this one!

  9. Lovely skirt! I have been wanting to do a similar one for my DD for quite sometime now. this will urge me further. thanks

  10. Came by from UCreate. Love it. That's funny about the nail polish.

  11. Awesome! I am in love with lace, this will be so pretty for the summer...or in black for Christmas ♥

  12. Such a pretty skirt thanks for putting the time into making a tutorial.

  13. Love, love, love this! Thanks for sharing such a detailed tutorial.

  14. SO pretty! I just love checking your blog to see what lovely thing you will share next.

  15. This is great! When I was in LA over the summer I went to the fabric district and picked up a big role of that type of lace. This will be perfect!

    1. do you know what street you picked the lace up from? I go to LA about every 6 months and know Santee Ally like the back of my hand...is it close?

  16. nice skirt and thanks for tutorial:)

  17. Wish u made these and sold on Etsy for all us non sewers! so pretty!

  18. If you didn't want to tuck the ends of the lace into the zipper, you could put the zipper in after you have sewn on the lace.

  19. I love this! I featured it today on my blog - today's top twenty! I'd love if you could stop by! While your there please click on my widget at the top. For every click P&G will donate 1 day's worth of clean water! {Plus you get free samples and coupons!} Talk soon!


  20. This skirt is AMAZING!!! I'm hoping I can attempt it one day soon...probably in black so it won't be as obvious with all the mistakes I will make :) I also LOVE the cute A-line skirt you made with the striped fabric...You are SO talented!!! Thank you for sharing :)

  21. I love this idea, and you did a great job with it! I've included it in my link round-up on the FaveCrafts Blog: http://www.favecraftsblog.com/national-craft-month-sewing-link-love/

    Would you like to publish your tutorial on FaveCrafts? Email me if you're interested :)

  22. This is a pretty skirt that economizes on materials while having an elegant look.

  23. This is my favorite of all your tutorials. :) I can't wait to make it sometime!

  24. I just found this and am now wiping the drool off of my keyboard. This looks so fantastic I'm rushing to the fabric store after work to grab some lining - have a huge stash of about 20 meters of lace at home from the thrift store and I didn't know what to do with it. THANK YOU! :)

  25. I love this! I have been thinking about making my own clothes for a while, because i love fashion too :) haha and you just inspire me so much!

  26. So beautiful! I found you through Pinterest. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE.

  27. LOVE LOVE LOOOOVE you are so pretty! Pinned this on my fashion board! maybe i could "attempt" sewing this one day!
    XOXO Andrea

  28. This came out gorgeous! I am in the process of buying the materials needed to make it, but I can not find 4" lace anywhere to save my life. This stinks. I might just have to buy double the amount in 2" lace instead.

  29. You are fabulous! Can't wait to make this.

  30. lovely skirt and cool idea. fyi the lace here is called "cluny lace".

  31. This skirt is TO.DIE.FOR! I will probably never get around to making it because I'm intimidated by working with lace, but I just had to compliment you on it! Amazing!

  32. Thank you so much! I just got my lace and need to get my fabric. So excited to start this project!!

  33. Wow, this looks amazing! I will definitely have to try it out when I get a chance! I have 4 patterns already waiting to be used though :P

  34. How about you make hundreds of these, sell them on etsy and become a millionaire...

  35. wow, i just came across your blog. you are super talented! your ideas and fabric choices are awesome!!! i love all your nautical ideas :)
    thanks for the great tutorials.

  36. Wow, I love your style. Especially this skirt!! Where did you purchase the lace? It's gorgeous.

  37. I can't find that lace anywhere : (

    1. Joann Fabrics. Try online if not in.store even ebay

  38. DARLING! You and the skirt! :)

  39. Your skirt is so amazingly beautiful! I absolutely love it! I am sharing it today as part of Skirt Week on my blog.

  40. Love your skirt! Wish I could buy it so I wouldn't have to sew it! I'm not much of a seamstress. Pinned your skirt on Pinterest.

  41. Your skirt is beautiful. You have the perfect figure for it as well. I love that you made it up yourself.
    I will be a new follower. I have sewn for over 40 years and love, since I turned 7. I love seeing younger people (lots) sewing and sharing.

  42. this is so adorable. I want to try this sometime. Great work!

  43. This is adorable! I'll probably do something like this soon!
    This is just extremely gorgeous!!

  44. Mine is in progress. I am making it black. I had intended it for a wedding, but that came and went last weekend.
    Wish you had a tutorial for button holes.
    Also, my lace is not as wide as yours and is requiring a lot more than your 5 yards. Thankful for JoAnn's!

  45. Starting at the bottom and working up is easier.

  46. I wish I could just buy one from you!!

  47. I love this skirt! I just found your site and you are so amazingly talented that you make me want to run out and buy a sewing machine!

  48. So gorgeous, I'm definitely pinning this!! Thanks for being so thorough in your instructions, it means that maybe a newbie sewer like me can even accomplish a skirt this cute!

  49. How do you wash it? I just made this with the exact lace from Joanns. Do you just spot clean or do you throw it in a delicates-mesh bag and wash it that way? I assume you would air dry but curious how or if you wash it?

  50. Thank you thank you thank you! I have seen so many lace skirts in the stores, but they are so expensive! Thank you! I was wondering, if you don't mind my asking, approximately what size that skirt is? Just wondering if I need to get more than 1.5 yards of fabric to accommodate my much wider hips?? Lol!

    1. Thanks! The skirt is about a size 2.

    2. Merci beaucoup! C'est super joli!!! :-)

  51. This comment has been removed by the author.

  52. Super cute and I'm wanting to make it. Quick question: some pencil skirts have slits in the back or are a stretch material. As the lace makes it so it can't be with a stretch material and you didn't sew in a slit, did you notice that not having a slit limited movement or was the skirt decently comfortable to wear? The pencil skirt of your own that you used as a pattern...it didn't have a slit did it (wondering if I should find a pencil skirt without a slit as a pattern to make sure it's plenty conducive to walking...?

  53. I love this idea. I think it would be a lot easier to make if you do not sew up the back seam and leave it open while you put the lace on a flat skirt. then when the lace is on you can easily sew up the back seam and do the zipper and a slit in the back if you want one. . The zipper at this point could be done by hand easier than by machine.

  54. شركة زهرة الخليج اكبر شركات التنظيف والمكافحة بالدمام تقدم العديد من الخدمات :
    * تنظيف الخزانات فزهرة الخليج افضل شركة تنظيف خزانات بالدمام وبالمملكة تستخدم افضل مواد غسيل الخزانات
    *تنظيف المنازل والشقق فزهرة الخليج شركة تنظيف منازل بالدمام و افضل شركة تنظيف شقق بالدمام لديها عمالة فنية مدربة على كافة اعمال التنظيف
    * تنظيف الفلل بالدمام فاروضة تعد افضل شركة تنظيف فلل بالدمام تقوم بتنظيف المساحات الواسعة باسرع وقت وباجود المنظفات
    * تنظيف السجاد والموكيت فشركتنا افضل شركة تنظيف موكيت بالدمام تقوم بتنظيف سجاد وموكيت المجالس العربية
    * تسليك المحارى من اهم خدمات شركة زهرة الخليج فهى تستخدم سيارات تسليك المجارى وافضل مذيبات الدهون فزهرة الخليج تعد افضل شركة تسليك مجارى بالدمام

    * مكافحة حشرات بالدمام ان القضاء على الحشرات يتتطلب مهارة وخبرة عالية لا تتوفر الا في زهرة الخليج افضل شركة شركة مكافحة الحشرات بالدمام وافضل مكافحة حشرات بتبوك
    تقضى على كافة انواع الحشرات
    * رش دفان بافضل المبيدات الفعالة فزهرة الخليج افضل شركةرش دفان بالدماموافضل افضل شركة رش دفان بتبوك وبالمملكة
    * تنظيف الجالس من اهم خدمات افضل شركة تنظيف مجالس بالدمام تقوم بتنظيف سجاد وستائر وكنب المجالس
    * شركة تنظيف بيارات بالدمام تقوم بتنظيف البيارات وشقط البيارات باحدث السيارات والمعدات
    بالاضافة الى انها افضل شركة مكافحة النمل الابيض بالدمام تستخدم افضل مبيدات النمل الابيض وتقوم برش الدفان قبل الصبة للتخلص من اى تواجد للنمل الابيض او بيضه فهى تتميز بجودة عملها وفاعليتها في مكافحة النمل الابيض بالدمام

    مكافحة النمل الابيض بالدمام

    ان النمل الابيض من اخطر الحشرات على المبانى وعلى صحة الانسان وقد يؤدى الى انهيار المبنى واضرار صحية جسيمه فلذلك وانطلاقا من ايمان زهرة الخليج شركة مكافحة النمل الابيض بالدمام فاننا نقدم افضل مكافحة للنمل الابيض بالدمام وفي الخبر وبالمملكة العربية.

  55. شركة بيت العرب
    من افضل الشركات التى تخدم كل عملاءها الكرام

    حيث تقدم افضل عدد من الخدمات المتواجده فى الاسواق التى لا غنى عنها من قبل اى عميل من عملاءنا الكرام

    فتاكد انك فى حاجه الينا فنحن لدينا افضل خدمات من التنظيف العامه وخدمات المكافحه للحشرات وعزل وتنظيف الخزانات

    والقيام بنقل العفش والاثاث فاذا كنت تبحث عن افضل الشركات فعليك ان تتصل بينا على الفور للقيام بكل ذلك فلا تتردد فى الاتصال بينا الان

    شركة نقل عفش بالرياض
    شركة رش مبيدات بالرياض
    شركة نقل عفش بالدمام
    شركة تنظيف بالدمام
    شركة تنظيف شقق بالدمام
    شركة تنظيف منازل بالدمام
    شركة تنظيف فلل بالدمام
    شركة تنظيف خزانات بالدمام
    شركة رش مبيدات بالدمام
    شركة مكافحة حشرات بالدمام
    شركة كشف تسربات المياه بالدمام
    شركة تسليك مجارى بالدمام
    شركة تنظيف بالاحساء
    شركة تنظيف بالخبر
    شركة تنظيف بالقطيف
    شركة تنظيف بالعزيزية
    شركة بيت العرب

  56. يعتبر شركة الضحى
    من اهم الشركات التى تقوم بخدمات التنظيف من الالف الى الياء

    فلدينا امكانية تنظيف الفلل – تنظيف المنازل –البيوت – المكاتب – الارضيات – الموكيت وغيرها من الاماكن كما ان اهتمام شركة الضحى بالتنظيف من الداخل والخارج

    فلا تتردد فى التواصل مع شركة تنظيف بالدمام
    الان ولدينا امكانية الوول الى اى مكان فى الدمام او خارج الدمام

    شركة نقل عفش بالرياض
    شركة تنظيف خزانات بالرياض
    شركة رش مبيدات ودفان بالرياض
    شركة نقل عفش بالدمام
    شركة تنظيف خزانات بالدمام
    شركة رش مبيدات ودفان بالدمام
    شركة تنظيف بالدمام
    شركة تنظيف منازل بالدمام
    شركة تسليك مجارى بالدمام
    شركة مكافحه حشرات بالدمام
    شركة كشف تسربات المياه بالدمام

    شركة الضحى

  57. اهم شركات نقل الاثاث بالرياض شركة اوائل الخليج

    وتفتخرشركة اوائل الخليج
    انها تقدم هذه الخدمات لاهل المملكه خدمات شركة نقل اثاث بالرياض

    هل تريد ان يكون النقل بسعر رخيص حتي تستطيع الدفع بسهوله ؟

    طلبك عندنا عزيزنا . . .ان شركة اوائل الخليج
    تقوم بنقل الأثاث من باب بيتك القديم الي الجديد في اماناً تام و لا تقلق علي عفشك او اثاثك من الكسر لأننا نهتم به تماماً . . . و يمكنك ان تشاهد بنفسك هذا عزيزي العميل

    أنت بنفسك ستكون موجوداً في عملية النقل . . . العمل سيتم تحت اشراف 4 مديرين للنقل و فريق عمل احترافي جداً و معتاد علي هذا العمل منذ الأزل و يستلموه اباً عن جداً لأن عملاً وراثي

    ننقل العفش او الأثاث الي اي مكان في المملكه و في امان تام علي عفشك او اثاثك المنزلي

    لا تقلق ابداً .

    شركة تنظيف بالرياض
    شركة تنظيف منازل بالرياض
    شركة تنظيف فلل بالرياض
    شركة تنظيف خزانات بالرياض
    شركة مكافحه حشرات بالرياض
    شركة تنظيف بيوت بالرياض

  58. شركة مكافحة حشرات بالرياض

    تعد شركة نور الحياه
    من احدى شركات مكافحة الحشرات ولكن شركتنا تختلف عن باقى الشركات

    شركة نور الحياه
    تعمل من اجل راحه العميل وتعمل بالامانه ولديها المصل الاميركى الاصلى والمصل الالمانى الاصلى فنحن نعمل من اجل راحه العميل

    ولدينا بعض الخدمات بالدمام ايضا تقدم شركة زهرة الدمام
    هى احدى افضل الشركات التى تعمل فى مجال تسليك المجارى بالدمام

    وتقدم شركتنا افضل العروض التى يمكن ان تجدوها فشركتنا هى احدى افضل الشركات التى تعمل فى مجال تسليك المجارى

    وتقدم شركتنا خدمه ممتازه ذات فاعلية اكيده فشركتنا تعمل على مدار اليوم

    شركة تسليك مجارى بالدمام

    وتقدم لكم ايضا الشركة المثاليه

    أفضل شركة كشف تسربات المياه بالدمام

    وهذه الخدمه من اهم الخدمات التى يعانى منها الكثيرين من المملكه العربيه السعوديه فشركتنا هى افضل شركة كشف تسربات المياه بالدمام

  59. سعيًا منا على راحة عملائنا الكرام بالمملكة العربية السعودية نقدم خدماتنا في كلًا من شمال وشرق وغرب وجنوب ، وذلك في مجال التنظيف لكل من المنازل والبيوت والشقق والفلل والقصور، خدمات نقل وتنظيف وتخزين وشراء وبيع جميع قطع الأثاث، وخدمات مكافحة الحشرات ورش المبيدات وكذلك وتنظيف وتسليك البيارات والمجاري، بالإضافة إلي تنظيف الخزانات والكشف عن تسريبات المياه والقيام بأعمال العزل الحراري والمائي لأسطح المباني، وذلك حرصًا منا على تقديم خدمات متكاملة لعملائنا الكرام في الرياض .
    حيث يستطيع عملائنا الكرام في الرياض وعملائنا الكرام في جدة وعملائنا الكرام في الدمام وعملائنا الكرام في الجبيل وعملائنا الكرام في الخرج الحصول علي خدمات التنظيف عن طريق شركةشركة ركن العربي
    ، ففي الرياض يستطيع عملائنا الحصول علي خدمات التنظيف على أيدي خبراء ، شركة نظافة بالرياض، شركة تنظيف شقق بالرياض، شركة تنظيف بالرياض، شركة تنظيف واجهات زجاج بالرياض، شركة تنظيف واجهات حجر بالرياض، شركة تنظيف موكيت بالرياض، شركة تنظيف منازل بالرياض، شركة تنظيف مسابح بالرياض،شركة تنظيف كنب بالرياض، شركة تنظيف فلل بالرياض، شركة تنظيف قصور بالرياض، شركة تنظيف سجاد بالرياض، شركة تنظيف بيارات بالرياض،شركة تنظيف مجالس بالرياض، شركة تنظيف خزانات المياه بالرياض، شركة تنظيف خزانات بالرياض.


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