Tumbler Skirt Tutorial

In the spirit of AccuQuilt and their AWESOME GO! Cutter giveaway (which you can still enter through Friday by going here), I wanted to share another project with you. And I wanted it to be something non-quilty.

I came up with the Tumbler Skirt.

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***If you don’t have a GO! Cutter or have access to one, you can cut the tumbler blocks yourself….They’re just trapezoids. They measure 6 1/2” high. The top is 3 1/2” wide and the bottom is 6 1/2” wide.***

First, I want to show you how I cut the tumbler blocks. The light in my kitchen was awful that day, so excuse the crap-tacular photos.

The GO! Cutter box says it can cut up to 6 layers of fabric and I decided to put that to the test. I folded my fat quarters into sixths like this:

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Then I gave it a quick press with the iron.

My tumbler die looks like this:

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I’m going to place my fabric right on top of the outline you can see vaguely. That’s where the blade is.

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Then I put my cutting mat on top.

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And rolled it through my GO! Cutter.

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The verdict on cutting 6 layers of fabric at once? Over all it was good. There were a few cuts where I had to snip a couple of threads that didn’t quite get cut, but it was still WAY fast, even with the snipping.

If you want to make your own Tumbler Skirt, you’ll need to measure the waist of the intended wearer, and round up to the nearest multiple of 3”. (The finished top width of the tumbler piece is 3”.) That is how many tumblers you’ll need for your top tier.

You’ll need double that number for your 2nd tier. For a shorter skirt or younger child, 2 tiers may be long enough.

You’ll need double the 2nd tier number for your 3rd tier.

And so on and so on and so on.

My top tier was 9 tumblers. The 2nd tier was 18 tumblers. And, my 3rd tier was 36 tumblers. You’ll also need a short (4”should be sufficient) zipper. I used double fold bias tape for both the hem and the waist line, but you don’t have to.

Sew the blocks for each tier together (1/4” seams), small sides up. On the top tier, sew only the bottom 2 or 3” together on the last seam. This is where the zipper will go.

The finished bottom width on each tumbler is 6”, aka double the finished top width. So, when you connect your tiers, you can line up seams nicely…2 tops for every bottom.

Install your zipper and have the wearer try it on. It will be too big. That’s good! You’re going to make some darts to get a custom fit. I darted (is that even a word?) every seam about 3/8”. I started on my seam line about 1/3 of the way up and then veered off so I was 3/8” over at the waist line.

Have the wearer try it on again. Now it should fit. If not, re-evaluate your dart situation and try again.

This is when I applied bias tape to the waist line and the hem. I’d recommend it for the waist for sure, but you could just hem the bottom and be fine. And I still need to sew an eye hook on the waistband, but I wanted to get pictures before it got dark.

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It’s super twirly, too.

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So twirly, in fact, that you might land in the bushes about .5 seconds after your mom takes this picture:

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So, try something different! Make a skirt out of a quilt block! You might really, really like it.

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Comments

  1. I want one! Love the fabrics (one of my favorite lines EVER!) and the design. awesome!

  2. That is so cute! The fabric choice was a particularly good one, too. Perfect for summer!

  3. casserole says:

    That's such a gorgeous skirt!! I love the twirly, flared shape that the tumbler blocks create!!

    I linked to your tutorial over at Craft Gossip Sewing:
    http://sewing.craftgossip.com/tutorial-make-a-pretty-patchwork-tumbler-skirt/2010/06/23/

    –Anne

  4. C U T E ! Love this skirt!

  5. I love that skirt and I want to go cutter even more now!

  6. Ms.Kristi says:

    Pretty!

  7. I chose the tumbler as my favorite, it seams so fresh!
    Hope I win that thing, it is awesome!

  8. Tonya's Sewing Room says:

    love this………i'd like to made this for my mom since she's much smaller than myself

  9. I love it! How twirly and fun. Now I really need to win that cutter. Any chance I can rig this contest???

  10. That is way cute!!!!

  11. The Little House Frau says:

    BEAUTIFUL! My daughter is going to want one, size "extra twirly!" Going to enter the contest. Right. Now.

  12. [email protected] says:

    That is so pretty and fun! Thanks so much, I'll be linking.

  13. Melissa says:

    Very pretty. Good job!

  14. Madigan at madiganmade says:

    Love, love the colors! Adorable.

  15. scottylover says:

    That is adorable! I love the Tumbler pattern and like seeing it made in something other than a quilt. Great job!

  16. That is absolutely beautiful!!!! Makes me want to win that giveaway even more! lol! Thanks for sharing!

  17. jenpetersen says:

    How fun! Maybe we should make it for sewing group!

  18. Sarah or someone like her says:

    That. Is. Adorable.
    Now I have to change which diecuts I'll choose when I win. Because I AM going to win. ;)

  19. The Go! Cutter is the best! Love it :)
    Angie @ http://www.craftedAngles.com

  20. Cutest skirt ever!! Love the fabric and print combo! I have a question: About how long is each block?

  21. That is one adorable skirt. Your instructions are so clear! Thanks you.

    Love the model's twirling too.

  22. Lesa Antone says:

    I cannot sew a button ….. however….I AM up for adoption! I love that skirt! God make crafty people like you so the rest of us can stand in amazement! Thanks for sharing! I look forward to seeing if you have anything on here for the Crafty-Challenged! ;)

    Lesa

  23. Just in case I don't win the cutter, is it possible to make this without the cutter? What would the measurements for the tumblers be?

    I LOVE THIS PATTERN AND THE FABRICS! Lovely colors!

  24. I am so in love with your skirt!
    So, I have a question for you~
    I don't have a cutter, and I noticed that we both live in Utah. Could I pay you to cut mine for me, or do you have dimensions of the shape I could use?
    I really want to make a skirt like yours!!!
    songberries(at)gmail(dot)com

  25. Char @ Crap I've Made says:

    I've updated the post to include the dimensions of the tumbler pieces. HTH!

  26. Hi–Just wondering if the inside of the skirt is just unfinished fabrics? I love this skirt and realized to make one for me, I need 91 tumblers. Yowzers. I think I will love it though. :)

  27. Oh, by the way. I went to the site you said and blew up the picture until the shape was 3 1/2" across the top and then traced it on paper so I would have the right dimensions.

  28. BeautifulSeams says:

    Love it, very cute and fancy…

  29. I'd better make one. Except, I'll have to think about the dart thing. I might be slow cuz I don't really get it. maybe a few more reads and it will click. Or maybe I should read it first thing in the morning before kids have dulled my braincells.

  30. Avon Beautiful says:

    I just absolutely positively love love love this little skirt! Holy crap, whoever thought I could think something so simple was the cat's meow?! (and whoever thought I'd say that? wow!) … I don't think I can even make it another day without the Go! Cutter now that I've seen how much better my life is sure to be with it! Honestly, just what the heck am I supposed to do now? Oh, I know… I'll enter your giveaway! *fingers crossed* :o)

  31. Char @ Crap I've Made says:

    Kama,

    I serged all my seams. It was a little bit tedious, but worth it…I think.

  32. corvustristis says:

    I must have this skirt for my very own!

    Time to dig through ye olde fabric stash.

  33. call me crazy says:

    that is just adorable!

  34. KelleBelle says:

    Awwwwwesome idea! I am so making one this year! It turns into a perfect A-line, and love the patchwork look!

  35. Wow…great skirt! You did a beautiful job. Thanks for the instructions!!

  36. SewSweetStitches says:

    omg this is seriously THE cutest skirt tutorial I've EVER seen! Do you have an estimate of how many yards this takes? thanks!

  37. Char @ Crap I've Made says:

    SSS,

    It'd depend completely on the size/length and how you cut the tumblers. We used about 10 fat quarters (2.5 yards) for this one.

  38. Angeliquez says:

    oh char this is so so beautiful..i will be linking to this this is incredible!
    i love your site,love your work..i love you!

    i never would have thought of this..

    thankyou so much for this!

    love,
    Angeliquez

  39. Kristine says:

    Hello fellow mother of three boys and a girl. Thankyou so much for sharing this lovely skirt pattern. I can't wait to try it out. It's just perfect in those fresh blues and greens. Beautiful!

  40. Any chance there's an easy way to print this to refer to while I work? I tried printing the page, I tried selecting and printing the selection – no go – I'm frustrated :(

  41. Char @ Crap I've Made says:

    CAB,

    I don't know! Great question, though. Have you tried copying and pasting it into a Word document? I don't actually have a printer right now, or I'd mess around with it for a bit!

  42. Also, I might've missed it, but how many different fabrics did you use and how did you place them? Just eyeballed to see what looked good?

  43. I copied/pasted – should've thought of that earlier :)

    Had one more question though – did you line the skirt or use a slip underneath? I guess partly it would depend on the type fabrics you use….

  44. Char @ Crap I've Made says:

    I believe I used 12-ish different fabrics.

    And it isn't lined.

  45. Love this idea!!! Thank-you for sharing.
    http://www.thriftyideastoday.com/

  46. Love it! And a great use for the tumbler block! Thanks for sharing!

  47. Did you put a liner inside the skirt? If not,how did you keep the thread from inside from fraying? Did you use a regular stitch? I LOVE this skirt!!!! I’m thinking about doing an elastic waistband and adding a liner to it to hide the thread on the inside. Do you have any thoughts or suggestions?

  48. I love the design and started making one of my own! I measured the trapezoids out and everything and got all of them cut out, but it would appear I have extras for the top tier. Is that normal?

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