Monday, November 21, 2011

Dusting off the sewing machine, holiday project #4

To be honest, there was a lot more than dusting involved... My sewing room, aka the guest room and my throw everything in there and forget about room, needed a bit more work than just dusting... in fact you couldn't GET to the sewing machine nor to the guest bed. Since I not only have projects I'd like to get done for the holidays but guests coming for the Thanksgiving holiday, well I needed to at the minimum to clear a path!

After spending a number of hours cleaning, clearing and decluttering my sewing table was at least in a usable state (and you and my guests will be happy to know that the bed is too!)....

My sewing project?  A new tree skirt.  This one is for my small dining room tree that sits on top of my buffet... not the "real" tree (although I do have plans to make a similar one for it!).  I had some drop cloth fabric and I purchased one yard of quilt type fabric for $6.99/yd to embellish it... with ruffles.  No pattern here... I was just winging it.  In fact, I wasn't sure if one yard of fabric would be enough but I plowed ahead.

I started with cutting a rough circle, translation... I cut a rough square and folded it like I was making a paper snowflake, into a wedge or pie shape... cut the raw ends to form a circle.  Not perfect but I wasn't going for perfection and it was at least roundish, if not actually round.

The next step was to measure the quilt fabric and tear 3 inch strips from selvage to selvage. 

Now if you can do the math, one yard of fabric should have yielded 12 strips... I only got 11 since the fabric wasn't cut straight across the weave.  Don't you hate that?

Fortunately, before I got any further, I also realized I needed to make a "radius" cut of the circle of drop cloth or it wasn't going to go around any kind of tree very well.... I just folded the circle in half and cut to the mid point.  I did turn this edge under and did a rough hem, I did not hem the outside of the "circle".

Next up was to sew a basting stitch along the long edge of each strip of quilt fabric...about 1/2 inch from the edge.  You can see the torn edge here.

After gathering the strip by pulling on one of the threads, I pinned... with lots and lots of pins, so that the ungathered edge ran along the edge of the skirt's circle bottom. Then I stitched right on top of where the basting stitches were.  To start each piece I started at the cut opening and kept going until I got all around the circle... layering a new piece over the previous piece as needed.  The first ruffle took about 3 1/2 or 4 strips of fabric... of course the ruffles took less fabric as I moved up the circle.

The next ruffle was pinned so that it just covered the top of the prior ruffle.  I was able to get 5 rows of ruffles this way.  If I had measured and planned I would have bought another 1/6 or so of a yard so that I could have gotten two more strips... to make it closer to the center with my ruffles.

I do like how it turned out.... the quilt fabric has small gold dots on a sort of muslin looking background.  Since this tree will be decorated with gold, silver and mercury glass, with perhaps a few of my vintage shiny brites, the cream and subtle gold will work well.  So... this project didn't have any glitter, but there is a bit of gold and of course the ruffles!

So once again, I give you, my farmgirl with a bit of bling... all for just $6.99 plus thread and my drop cloth scrap!

And speaking of girls, ruffles and gold?

It seems that I'm not the only farmgirl here at Red Gate Farm that appreciates a ruffle or two,

linking up to



  1. How CUTE (referring to your fur baby on the pillow)!!! I have a black labby..

    I've been wanting a skirt like that but I can't sew a stitch. I love yours...and your pink chair is super pretty too!


  2. I was just at Lowes yesterday with hubby, he was picking up a drop cloth and I was thinking that a person could probably make something with that...You certainly did and how lovely it turned out! Thanks for the tutorial.

  3. Maybe if I would dust off my sewing machine I could do some nice projects like that...I guess it's something else I'll put on my LONG "to do" list! Looks great!!

  4. I need to dust off my machine too...thanks for the inspiration! And's in a room where I need to kick a path to get to it! Oh I love old farmhouses, and those back rooms where we can hide things (aka junk!) It'll look lovely under your sure to share a picture. -Mary

  5. Looks awesome Chris...I love those "winging it" type projects....My big holiday project this yr is finding my living room under the assorted clutter so I put up the Christmas tree lol.

    I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

  6. gotta love dropcloths! Your tree skirt is so charming - love it! :)

  7. That is a great idea! It is so cute.

    Thank you for stopping by my blog.

    Happy Thanksgiving

  8. Love it! I've been wanting to make a new tree skirt and stockings for several years and never get around to it. There is always next year...

  9. And it's gorgeous and certainly worth all that work!

  10. Hey there~wanted to let you know that Jennifer Rizzo's store is back open.... hope you go back to visit! Her items are all so pretty!
    xoxo, tracie

  11. What a beautifully crafty tree skirt. I might have to copy that idea for one of my many trees. Thanks for the inspiration! Come on over today to see me and enter my giveaway!

    Happy Thanksgiving!


Please, feel free to leave a comment... it really makes my day! Chris