Tree Skirt - Ruffles
.5 yard, .75 yard, 1 yard, 1.25 yards and 1.5 yards of different yarn
A ruffle tree skirt is the perfect festive under-tree floor covering for shabby-chic Christmas decor. The skirt can be customized to suit any type of themed tree through fabric selection. To make your own ruffle tree skirt you need 1.5" yarns of felt and five different cotton fabrics in the following amounts: .5 yard, .75 yard, 1 yard, 1.25 yards and 1.5 yards.
The first thing you need to do is cut a 42-inch circle of felt using a string and fabric marker. Tie one end of the string around the marker, measure it out 21" from the marker, and cut the string. Hold the cut end of the string in the center of the felt, and move the marker around in a circle by pulling it taut on the string. Cut out this large circle. Trim the string down to 19", and draw another circle centered inside the first. Repeat this at 15", 11", 7" and 3". Make a cut straight to the center of the circle from the outside of the circle. Cut out the center circle to make room for the tree. The outline of the center circle and the marked circles on the felt each denote where a layer of ruffles will be sewn onto the skirt.
Cut the selvage ends off each cut of cotton fabric. Cut as many 6-inch-wide strips of fabric as you can from each of the five cotton fabrics you purchased. Each fabric will make up one of the ruffle layers. Sew the strips of each fabric together at the short ends to create one long strip for each type of fabric. Create a .5" hem along one of the long sides of each strip if you like, you don't have to hem them if you don't want, since the skirt is designed to be shabby-chic. I hemmed mine, but it definitely isn't necessary, as the finished project will have exposed raw edges of fabric.
Lengthen the stitch length on your machine as long as it goes, and loosen the tension. Sew along the other long edge (if you hemmed one) of each strip of fabric with a .25" allowance. You will use this seam to gather the fabric to create ruffles.
Knot the top and bottom threads together at one end of each strip. Hold the bobbin thread of the seam at the other end of one of the strips. Push the fabric up the thread to scrunch it up. Adjust the gathered fabric moving it down the strip to give yourself move room to scrunch more up. Keep working until you have gathered the fabric strip enough to make it the correct length. The strips need to be the following length, starting with shortest strip: 19", 44", 69", 94" and 120". Knot the top and bottom threads together at that end of the strip once the strip was gathered to the correct length. Adjust the gathers if necessary to make them evenly dispersed.
Start with the outermost circle drawn on the felt circle. Pin the longest gathered strip of fabric along that circle with the ends of the strip lined up with the slit you cut in the circle. Sew the ruffle to the circle. Repeat with the rest of the circles and ruffles working your way in to the center. Make sure, as you are pinning each successive layer of ruffles in place, that the bottom of that new layer of ruffles covers to top edge of the previous layer. You may need to make some adjustments to the position of the new layer in relation to the drawn circle on the felt in order to make this happen. When all the ruffles are attached, trim any excess felt left in the center of the circle
By Shellie Wilson. Shellie is the chief creative editor for Craftbits.