You have more chance of bulls-eyeing a Womp Rat in your T-16 than finding a child’s Star Wars skirt or dress for sale at a major retailer.
While Ashley Eckstein’s innovative fangirl brand Her Universe has a couple of Star Wars dress options, is she your only hope? No, there is another.
It’s you – by embracing Craftivism. If you can’t find the merchandise you want, simply make it yourself. My daughter recently received an awesome skirt from our friend Francesca Cambridge, that she made using officially licensed Star Wars fabric. There’s lots of Star Wars and other official licensed fabric available, which is intended for home sewing use such as this.
In an act of wanton selflessness (her business Sewing Circus proudly creates and sells children’s clothes that don’t conform to gender stereotypes), Francesca has put together this step-by-step guide so non-dressmakers like me can make a children’s skirt ourselves.
Whenever my daughter wears this skirt – which is most days at the moment – everyone asks where I got it from. Follow this guide, and you’ll have a Star Wars skirt that’ll make someone as over the moon (or space station) as my daughter is with hers. 🙂
This elasticated skirt is one of the easiest items of clothing you can make for your child. It is so simple you don’t need a pattern or special equipment – you could even get away without a sewing machine!
But you can choose any fabric you want, in any theme, colour or style. That is how I started out, making Dinosaur skirts and Space dresses for my daughters when we couldn’t find anything remotely similar on the high street.
Once you’ve built a bit of confidence you can add pockets, a drawstring, applique – anything! The sky’s the limit for your creativity and inspiring your child to do the same.
To make a Star Wars skirt for kids, you will need:
- A waist measurement and preferred length of skirt from your chosen recipient
- Approx 50 x 110cm of your chosen Star Wars fabric (you may not need as much but fabrics are often sold by the quarter/half/full metre and 110cm in width) Cost approx £7-9
- 1″ wide elastic measured and cut to your chosen waist size
- Standard ruler and a pen/chalk
- Sewing machine if possible or a needle and thread
- Thread colour to match your chosen fabric
- Safety pin
- Iron/Ironing board
- About 30 mins of spare time!
Cut your elastic and ensure there is ample flex room on the width of your fabric. For ages 12 plus you may need to add an additional panel to create a wider piece of fabric.
Step 2 – Measure and cut length
The skirt length is 28cm, but we need to add on a little more to accommodate our waistband and hem, so I’ve added an extra 8cm to the length. If in doubt add more, not less – you can always trim more later. Use a ruler to guide you in cutting, never trust the pattern!
Step 3 – Cut length and trim selvage
This white part (that reminds me of bacon rind) is the selvage and needs to come off too. Check for an perforated dots from manufacture as you don’t want them in your final skirt.
Step 4 – Sew the side seam
All raw edges must be “serged” or enclosed to prevent fraying, so for this skirt we’re going to use an enclosed seam. This means we sew wrong sides together (or right sides outwards as shown), trimming the seam slightly and then turn inside out to sew the seam again on the other side – trapping the raw edge inside. Like this…
Your side seam should now look like this…
Step 5 – Transfer to the ironing board for pressing
Create a channel for the elastic at the top of the skirt by folding over a thin raw edge, and then larger fold to fit the width of your elastic. You can use your elastic to guide the size, but leave at least 5mm for a sewing edge. Once this is done you can measure the length again and fold up the hem using the same method at the other end. Again, use the ruler to measure as you will now create the final length of your skirt.
Step 6 – Hem
Sew down your pressed hem, back stitching or tieing up the ends of your thread to prevent your work coming undone.
Step 7 – Elastic waistband
Use your elastic to guide you as its essential there is enough room for it to fit through comfortably. If you find the channel is too narrow take it back to the iron board and press larger.
Sew the channel closed, but leave a 1.5″ gap at the end. This will be the opening to thread through the elastic.
Step 8 – Add the elastic
Attach a safety pin to the end of your elastic Thread the elastic by pushing the saftey pin through the channel.
Secure the other end of the elastic as its really easy to end up loosing it as your pull through!
Once you have pulled the elastic through, use a zig zag stitch to connect the two ends together with a good 1″ overlap. Don’t worry about the waist measurement just yet – you can always adjust in the next step.
Ping the elastic into the skirt band, and check you’re happy with the waist measurement. If not, pull the elastic back out a little way to cut a section out and restitch together.
Step 9 – Close the waistband
Once you’re happy, close the waistband “channel” and tie up the threads to finish.
Step 10 – Admire the awesome skirt you have just created all by yourself!
This is a little bit of Craftivism shared from what I have learnt since starting Sewing Circus, but for more inspiration please check out the many wonderful sewing boards on Pinterest for free patterns and advice! Got stuck on a sewing element? Check out the free tutorials on YouTube – even after years of sewing I find it a fantastic resource with clear instructions on almost everything.
Thanks so much to Francesca for sharing with us her Craftivist solution to the lack of Star Wars clothes aimed at girls.
A version of this tutorial was originally published on Let Clothes Be Clothes.