Thursday, March 06, 2008

It's Aloha Friday

Your daughter needs a pa'u or hula skirt. This is very important. You can run downtown to the International Market Place and pick one up for $40. Or you can head over to the swap meet and grab one for $25. Or, for just $6 you can sew your own.

Go to Walmart and pick out two yards of your favorite Hawaiian print fabric. Just get the cheap $2.99/yard stuff. While you're there, you'll also need a pack of 3/8" elastic.


It's hard to choose my favorite pattern. I love all the bright colors and flowers.

There's no need to pre-wash, so get ready to sew!


Open out your fabric and fold it in half matching the cut ends. You are going to sew those edges together as the side seam of your skirt. Some fabrics have a definite top and bottom, others don't. That will determine how you cut it. Once you decide how long you want the skirt to be (it should hang down a couple inches past the knee) add on about 4 inches for the waistband and trim off the extra length. (I cut mine at about 32")



Sew your side seam right sides together, then finish the seam. A big zig-zag works, or you can use your serger. Now you have a large tube of fabric. After you iron that seam flat you'll want to zig-zag the top edge, too.


Iron about 4" down at the top edge.



This is what takes some time. You are making the casing for the elastic. Start by sewing a 3/4" seam at the top of the waist band. Go all the way around the 2 yards and finish by stitching over the beginning of your seam. Scoot your presser foot over 3/4" and go around again...



You are going to go around 4 times, each seam 3/4" away from the last seam. I used 3/4" scotch tape to mark the distance on my sewing machine, but if you are brave you can eyeball it.


When the waistband is finished you can live dangerously and finish the bottom edge of your skirt now with a little rolled hem. Or be safe and wait until your skirt is finished to let your little hula girl try it on before you hem it.


Look at those four sections at the top of the skirt. The first one will be a ruffle at the top. The next one will be elastic casing. The third one will be empty. And the fourth one will have elastic. Pick open the side seam of sections 2 and 4 to insert elastic. That is so confusing in writing...


A large safety pin attached to the end of the elastic makes inserting the elastic much easier. I didn't have any safety pins, but I found that large paperclips work, too. I think it's easier to insert both elastics at the same time. Have you done this before? Just squish and slide the elastic through the casing while the fabric gathers at the top.


Tie off your elastic when you get back to the opening. You can trim off some of your elastic, but it's okay to leave some extra to make your skirt adjustable.



Now you're ready to kaholo!

11 comments:

nikko said...

I would have sewn my own, too!

How 'come there is never cute fabric like that at our walmart?

txmommy said...

sew cute! How fun to learn to hula too :)

Mary said...

I love this post! The step by step instructions make me want to make a mini version of that for little Lindsey - can a non hula-ing girl wear a skirt like that?

Deanne said...

Maybe you need to make hula skirts along with your towels?! Sounds like you could make some real moolah! :)

Tori :) said...

I want one!!!

(army)Wife said...

That's awesome!! I wish I could sew. I tried to sew my Halloween costume this year, the hem was 1/2 inch on one side and like 2 inches on the other side.

Battleship Bettie - Proud Navy Wife said...

Oh my goodness the FABRIC! I love sewing... those colors! I could redo my whole Tiki Bar!!!

JoyceMcB said...

I had a phone call while I was working at the Cotton Shop asking if we had Hawaiian prints and no we do not - yet. We still have snow for goodness sakes! I think you must have made more than one skirt because the girl in the green-blue one didn't look like Sydney. I think she is the cutie in the orange brown floral. Am I right? Mom

Carrot Jello said...

Um, I pick...swap meet, since I do not even know how to thread my sewing machine.

Mary Peterson said...

Wendy,
You are so talented! What a mom!

wendy said...

Mom - great observation! I did make way too many hula skirts last week. 7. seven!!! seven skirts x 2 yards around = a lot of thread!

and you're right, syd is in the more red/orange skirt with the brown and yellow leaves in the front right of the photo.

My favorite fabric was the bright orange with the green leaves (skirt in the center back of the photo) I am hoping to make it back to Walmart to see if they have any more of that fabric for a table cloth or curtains or something...