little petal dance skirt

em is still loooooving her ballet class.  we are in full-blown ballet mode over here.  whenever she meets somebody new (a neighbor, a friend of mine, the cashier at the grocery store), the first thing she announces to them is “i go to ballet class!”  it’s pretty much the greatest thing in her life right now.  i’m loving it too – it’s really fun to watch her concentrate so hard, and do her pliés with a big smile on her face.  i took her to see a oregon ballet theatre rehearsal of “the nutcracker” at a public park, and she was completely riveted.  she’s in the white sweater sitting on the bench.  she sat like that for about a half hour.

we loaded “the nutcracker” score onto our ipod and she dances around all the time at home.  as you can see, she’s itching to go en pointe like the big ballerinas.

small issue, though.  originally, i had her going to class dressed in her leotard and tights with a bun, you know, the classic little girl ballerina outfit.  about half the girls in the class had the same look the first day, but each week, more and more started to wear dance skirts (not tutus, these just drape and flow and are allowed by the dress code).  soon, it was just em and one other girl with no skirt.  after her class two weeks ago, em DEMANDED that she also have a dance skirt.  i’d say it’s 3 year old peer pressure, but really em wants to wear skirts/dresses every hour of every day, so it’s no big surprise.  i took her to the fabric store that same day, found the “silk georgette” rack in the wedding section, and then proceeded to fight her away from baby pink and HOT pink because i just couldn’t handle that.  too much pink for me.  i finally talked her into a shimmery fuchsia.  surprise too, the fabric wasn’t as spendy as i expected.  $3.50 for a real silk dance skirt = not too shabby!

the green poplin waistband is my touch (it’s leftover from this skirt).  i thought the green would make the skirt look like a flower (inspired by this beautiful photo i spotted on pinterest).

i asked the saleslady at fabric depot about how to actually sew silk georgette (i’d never sewn with something like that before).  she suggested a size 10 needle, and maybe a rolled hem?  i bought the needle, fretted, did some google searching, fretted some more, tried to serge it (no good, too bulky), then finally decided to try a baby hem.  jackpot.  it worked with no trouble at all!  i gathered it at the top with basting stitches, then added the slim green waistband with 1/2″ elastic.

the shape is the same as her teacher’s dance skirt.  i cut a long rectangle, rounded the edges, and overlapped them by a few inches in the front.  she seemed to love dancing in the skirt on and i caught her swishing it around and watching herself in the mirror during class.   it moves really beautifully, and i’m not afraid of fancy fabric anymore!  it was easier to sew than i expected and i’d totally make more of these, if her ballet obsession continues…which i think it might for a while.


12 thoughts on “little petal dance skirt

  1. jessica says:

    that is just perfect for ballet class! I love the green waistband and rounded edges overlapping in the front. This makes me hope my baby girl wants to take dance some day 🙂

  2. Trinh says:

    quick question. what technique did you use for the baby hem? or is there a specific foot? s is dance crazy too. i’ve even bought fabric to make these kinds of skirts but have been too scared to actually try to sew something up.

    • kristin says:

      quick answer: i pressed down a little less than 1/4″ (as narrow as i could), stitched about 1/8″ from the edge, pressed it flat, folded over again, stitched along my first stitch line, pressed again. does that make sense? here’s the full tutorial where i learned a baby hem if you need pictures: i think the fine needle is key, and i set my iron a little hotter than the silk setting to really press it.

      it did fray pretty quickly as i worked with it, so the raw edges definitely need to be encased somehow. good luck!

  3. anna says:

    that is so pretty! and it looks great. We’ve been in gymnastics this summer and those dance clothes are expensive! and most of the time so cheap and PINK! Love yours and the green is such a pretty touch!

    • kristin says:

      thanks! they really are – just the shoes and leotard were spendy enough! another girl in the class’ father mentioned that his daughter’s rosebuds keep falling off her dance skirt…definitely nice to be able to sew this type of thing. good “bang for the buck” project. 🙂

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