Ballet 101: Making your own chiffon ballet skirts

I started making my own ballet skirts when my mom first taught me how to use her sewing machine when I was 14. Since then, I have been making all kinds of things. I wouldn’t say that I’m an expert at it, Its more of a hobby.

Since ballet skirts are so expensive, I decided to show you an idea of how to make your own ballet skirt without spending so much.

Step one: Prepare the necessary Materials.

I would prefer the grainy kind of chiffon because it is easier to sew on. This one was a bit to soft and the fabric snags while sewing.

You will need a sewing machine and of course your chiffon material for the skirt and biased tape. Make sure that the chiffon material you get is a bit grainy and not the soft kind. Also the biased tape preferably cotton and not satin, so it is easier to sew.

Step two: Make a pattern for your skirt and cut your skirt in the same way

This is usually the pattern that I would use when sewing my skirts.
This is usually the pattern that I would use when sewing my skirts.

Skirt patterns really depend on each person. It either looks like a half moon or a full circle type. I like making them into the full circle type because the flow of the skirt folds look better this way. ( Try getting a pattern from your favorite skirt so that it fits perfectly to your leg length and waistline)

Put the pattern on the skirt and chalk in the pattern before you begin to cut your skirt. I usually just use the normal chalk used on chalkboards.

Before you cut your skirt make sure that your skirt stretches when you pull it sideways. When you pull cloth down and across you will notice the more stretchy angle. This way the skirt will flow properly, if not your skirt will turn out flat with no folds.

Step three: Begin sewing the hem / edges

Sewing the hem is what I hate doing the most.

This is the part that I hate the most, in fact because I hated it so much I used to just burn the edges so the skirt doesn’t run. It would not turn out into the way that I would like it to, so I needed to learn how to sew the hem.

There are sewing machines that are made sew the hem easily. Since my machine is not such sewing machine, I fold the bottom edges twice and pin them before sewing into them. This is the most tedious part of the process.

Step four: Sewing in the biased tape ( This will serve as the ribbon of your skirt )

This on the other hand is my favorite and easiest process.

What I love about biased tape is that there is already a fold in them. So you can fold the top half of the biased tape into the open part of the skirt. Sew the top half near the edge and afterwards it is easy to sew the bottom half of the biased tape.

I like using biased tape more than the actual cloth of the skirt because it is difficult to make your own biased tape. I tried making one with my biased tape maker but because the cloth was too soft it took me a while to even fold it nice and perfectly. So I decided to just skip that and buy some biased tape to make my life easier.

Step five: Check for lose threads and cut them off

This step is already a given since you would like the skirts to turn out perfect.

So there it is! My skirt 101 post as requested by a friend. It’s not as easy to get on the first try, but its worth a shot. Unless you don’t mind spending a lot on an expensive chiffon skirt which clearly shouldn’t be so expensive. Or you can just ask a seamstress to make one for you to lessen the burden of making it yourself.

How one of the four skirts turned out to be. This was the prettiest and easiest to make
How one of the four skirts turned out to be. This was the prettiest and easiest to make

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