Sunday, July 3, 2011

Easy Pioneer Trek Skirts from Thrift Store Sheets & My Own Trek

Welcome to The American Homemaker!  Thanks for visiting.

I'm sure there are people out there who will never have need for a pioneer outfit.... but if you're anything like our family then pioneer outfits are randomly needed quite often.  Next week Nina is going on a pioneer handcart trek and she needs two skirts.  I have several pioneer dresses, but she needed skirts and button up shirts.  I LOVE using thrift store/yard sale sheets for costume making, especially for pioneer outfits.  There is no cheaper way to get a good piece of fabric.  I whipped up two skirts in under an hour, start to finish.

Here are the step by step-by-step instructions for making a pioneer skirt from a sheet or a 2 1/2-3 yard piece of fabric.  The instructions are the same either way.

A twin sheet will be 96" long, which is about 2 2/3 yards long.  If you're using fabric, you'll want to use at least 2 1/2 yards, but no more than 3 yards... unless you are a bigger person.  Lay the fabric flat on the ground.  Measure your subject from waist to ankle.  This is how much fabric you'll need to cut.  If you are making the skirt for someone short (5' or less) you'll be able to get two skirts from one sheet.  Skirts for a pioneer trek are recommended to be anywhere from mid-calf to ankle length.  If you are making mid-calf length skirts, you'll be able to get two from a sheet even if you're a little taller than 5'.  When using fabric, you may not need to cut the fabric at all.

You will be using the finished edge of the sheet (or salvaged side of fabric) for the bottom of the skirt so no hemming will be necessary.   Fold your sheet in half the long way measuring from the fold to the finished edge.  Adjust your sheet until you have the size you need (the waist to ankle measurements you took).

Cut along the fold line.  Cutting this way keeps your cut nice and straight.

If your sheet/fabric is really wrinkly go ahead and iron it.  I gave Nina an ironing lesson and had her iron the fabric for her skirts.

Next you'll want to iron your elastic casing to make it quicker and easier to sew.  First iron just a small fold on the cut edge down the whole length of the fabric.

Next measure 1/4-1/2 bigger than the width of your elastic so you'll know how big you need your casing to be.  I have used anything from 1/2"-1 3/4" elastic for the skirt waists.  Iron your casing.

Sew a straight line near the edge of your fold to secure the casing.

Measure the waist of your model to know how much elastic you'll need.  I cut my elastic right at the waist measurement without adding any extra.

Use a safety pin to thread the elastic through the casing.

Sew your two side together, wrong-sides-out, doubling your stitches over the elastic to secure it well.

Turn it right-side-out and you're done!  Less than 30 minutes start to finish!

This one was made out of fabric I had on hand instead of a sheet.  The special thing about this fabric is Nina had a pioneer dress made out of it when she was six!  Now she has a pioneer skirt made from it as well.

All set for Trek!

We've been getting Nina all ready for trek for a couple of weeks... buying her special shoes and socks, telling her to start preparing, worrying about everything she'll need, etc and then Thursday I got a phone call from my best friend, Jake saying, "Guess what we're doing tomorrow??? Bring some hiking shoes, clothes, snacks and come up to my house."   Oh boy!  I am NOT hiker.  I don't own hiking shoes, I barely even own any shoes that aren't heels or flip-flops.  My extent of working out is 30 minutes of yoga or 20 minutes of the shred.  I was NOT prepared for a serious hike on a trail rated "difficult" and "not for first time hikers".  But I said ok!

We took the Skyline Trail close to North Ogden.  It's a long uphill trail with a ton of switch-backs. 

This was about a mile into the hike... I was already wanting to die!

We didn't make it all the way to the top, but you can see how high up we were... This is as high as we got while we could still see the tiny speck of our car.  The hot pink arrow and writing I added (click to enlarge the pic) is our car.

This was the first rattlesnake we saw on the trail (after Jake shot it).  It was the small one.  The other one was VERY large.  We had planned on camping overnight without a tent, but after seeing more than one rattlesnake right on the trail we decided to head back to the car before dark.

This is when we stopped to eat on our way back down... I was SO tired!  We hiked several miles in a four hour span.

You can see how NOT prepared my feet were for the hike!  If you are sending a child on trek, please, please, please make sure their feet are more prepared than mine were!  Two days later I still have massive pain in my joints and muscles too!  I could barely walk yesterday and I still really hurt today!

I tried to keep a happy face on the whole way even though I wanted to die!

The scenery was beautiful!

We made it back to the parking lot right as it was getting dark (thank goodness)... I can't believe how high up we climbed!  For two wussy people who are not hikers we did a pretty dang good job of it and I'm proud of us! :)


TheAlbrechtSquad said...

My son went on the Trek a few weeks ago and had a fabulous time. My husband was able to go with him. I hope your daughter has a great time as well!

Joanne Kennedy said...

Great lesson on the skirt. Now you have to show us how you make the shirt and hat :)

Scary hike! Sorry your feet hurt so much.

Anonymous said...

First...great on the skirts. Second...omgoodness.. What beautiful scenery. But your feet..oh my!!! Bless your hearts.

Sonya said...

Wow that view alone is worth the hike! thats just beautiful! and good for you for doing it!

MaryBT said...

What's a pioneer trek?

Also, what did Jake shoot that snake with that didn't ricochet off the rocks and kill/maim/blind you all?

The American Homemaker said...

For their trek they are going up to Wyoming and hiking 15 miles in three days on the handcart trail the Mormon pioneers took. They dress like pioneers and pull/push their gear (they have to fit it in a 5 gallon bucket) in a handcart. It's a pretty amazing and spiritual experience.

I believe Jake used a .357 :)

MaryBT said...

That sounds really cool! I would have loved that! I still would.

Holy cow. My husband shot a dog that was attacking my child with a .22 with bird shot and all hell broke loose.

Karla Ariens said...

This tutorial is so helpful!! I think I can actually make my daughter's trek skirts now! Thank you~

Chelsea's Favorite Brother said...

I have to make two skirts for my daughter's trek this summer and I have a question for you! I've heard that elastic waistbands were not ideal for the trek. Did your daughter have any trouble with it at all on her trek? I would love to hear from you. Thanks so much!

Angie Toone said...

She didn't have any issues with the waistbands at all :)

Angie Toone said...

She didn't have any issues with the waistbands at all :)

Abigail said...

We made drawstring waist bands. This way if someone steps on your skirt it doesn't easily come off. We also were told to make them calf length instead of ankle length. Calf length makes it easier when going up hill.