I have been mad jealous of Erin’s sparkly skirt since she first posted about rocking it at a mud race. I had a 7 day old baby when she posted the first picture, and I wasn’t the paragon of awesome fitness that I am now, and had zombies, aliens, or an escaped zoo lion attacked, I’d have been the first one eaten.
Now, however, there are at least three or four people who will bite it before me in such a scenario, so I clearly deserve a glitzy skirt as well. Even so, I don’t think I’m ready for this jelly, so the skirt does double duty of being awesome and not forcing anyone to look at what’s under it instead. (FYI, this fabric is sheer, so the skirt is meant to go over capris, shorts, etc.)
Since I make stuff, I have a really hard time justifying paying $25 for a bit of elastic and confetti dot fabric, though I give major props to those who can start and run a business selling such awesome gear. I know that most people will happily fork over the dough for some blingy runwear, but if you’re like me (poor and/or crafty), I’ll show you how to make your own for about $5. (I’m sorry about the crappy iPhone photos – I’m trying to teach the 4 year old to take pictures, but it’s slow going!)
DIY Glitzy Running Skirt
You will need:
1 yard or less (depending on size – you can do some complicated math after you measure or just buy 1 yard and call it good) Confetti Dot Fabric (Wait for a sale or use a Joann’s coupon to nab this for super cheap!)
Waistband Elastic, black preferably (I used 1.5″ because that’s what they had!)
Sewing machine, thread, measuring device
1. Measure yourself where you want the waistband of your skirt to hit. Usually a couple inches smaller than that number will get you a comfortable fit. A good way to customize for yourself is to cut the elastic to your waist measurement and then overlap it 2 inches and pin. Try it on and adjust in or out from there.
2. Once you’ve determined a comfortable waistband size, sew the overlapping ends. I sewed the living crap out of it to make it really secure, though the sparkle fabric weighs about the same as a butterfly eyelash, so it’s not under a lot of stress. (You can match your thread, I used contrasting to show the stitches.)
3. Measure your hips. A good rule of thumb for running is about 4″ of ease, so you’ll take your hips measurement (h) and add 4″ to it for cutting your fabric. You’ll need to cut two long rectangles from your fabric. I cut the selvedges off (the bits on the edges with no little mylar dots) before cutting my rectangles so that none of my skirt was unsparkled. First, cut a strip of fabric around 5.5″ tall that is the width of your hips + 4″ measurement. Depending on your size, you may need to cut two strips and sew them together along one end.
Then, cut the rest of your fabric into strips around 8-9″ tall. You’ll need at least twice your hips + 4″ measurement, so you’ll be sewing strips together, and it’s best at this point to leave it longer than you think is necessary just in case.
4. The easiest way to do the next part is to use a gathering foot for your sewing machine. There are two settings on a gathering/ ruffler foot – one that determines the depth of the gather and the other that determines how frequently the foot places a gather. The setting I used was #2 depth and #6 frequency (I believe that means every 6 stitches it puts the gather). That worked out to need just about 5 inches beyond twice my hips + 4 measurement (this is why you wait to cut it!).
Place the longer piece on the bottom, wrong side up. The shorter piece goes on top, right side up. The bottom piece should go to the right just a small amount – too much and the part that sticks up between the layers will be too tall and flop over. Sew the pieces together. Trim off any excess long piece.
If you don’t have a gathering foot, you just have a few extra steps. First, go ahead and cut your long piece to twice the length of your hips + 4 piece since you’ll be controlling the gather instead of your presser foot. Next, set your machine to the longest stitch it has. On your longer piece, run one long row of stitches about 1/2″ from the top without backstitching (you’ll remove these stitches later). You’ll find that your fabric bunches up slightly as you go – this is okay, good even. Using the threads from these basting stitches, gather the fabric even more so that the piece is the same length as your hips + 4 piece. Lay your gathered piece just over the bottom edge of the hips + 4 piece, both right sides facing you, pinning in place. Using a regular length stitch, sew the pieces together.You can remove the basting stitches at this point.
5. Fold in half long-ways, right sides together. Sew the short sides together and voila, you’ve got something that looks like a skirt! Set your sewing machine to the longest stitch length it has and run one line of stitches along the very top of the waist without backstitching (you’ll remove these stitches later!). You’ll find that as you sew, the fabric starts to bunch up. This is good! When you take it off the machine, use these basting threads to gather the edge a little more sew that it is the same circumference as your waistband. It may help to pin the skirt to the underside of the waistband at this point to help get them the same. (The picture below shows the basting stitches gathering the edge slightly.)
6. Using a 3-step zig-zag stitch, attach the skirt top to the underside of the waistband, stretching the elastic ever so slightly as you go. If you forget to 3-step zig-zag, any stretch of the elastic (like, when you put it on?) will break your stitches and your skirt will fall off the waistband halfway through your race and someone will step on it. Or step on you after you trip over the sparkly fabric around your ankles.
7. If you’re anything like me, you flew by the seat of your pants a little when you were cutting, so at this point you should probably trim up the bottom nice and even(ish), and put your awesome skirt on to make sure you like the length. If not, trim to where you feel the fastest.
8. Let loose with phrases like “shake your moneymaker” while you admire yourself in the mirror in your fabulous skirt.