Wednesday, July 6, 2011

tutorial: anthropologie knockoff - sugar work skirt

The Anthropologie Sugar Work Skirt retailed for $118. After I saw it on Anthro I saw it on Glee (but I already wanted it before that). Quinn wears it while at the nose doctor with Rachel.
I love yellow and thought this would be great for the summer. The Anthro version was too short for me and um, too expensive. I made it for about $20. Ready?

I used this tutorial from Made for the basic skirt only I used 3" elastic for the waist. I also went somewhere in between the 1:2 / 1:1.5 waist width ratio. (That makes sense when you read her tutorial.) Grosgrain Fabulous also has a gathered skirt tutorial you could use. I bought 2 yards of yellow cotton with a coupon at Joann's for about $10.
Sew your side seam, serge or fold over to finish the top of the waist, fold over just slightly wider than your elastic and sew. Insert elastic, sew elastic ends together, finish off hole that you used to insert elastic. (Really just use Made's or Grosgrain's tutorials. I didn't take pictures of these details.) Hem the skirt to length.

On the Anthro skirt it looks like they sewed lines over the elastic. I couldn't find the skirt in the store so I'm just guessing on this. But before I sewed over the elastic it was super bulky at the waist since I used 3" elastic so it's better for your waist-line if it's sewed down.
So, to sew over elastic and still have it stretch, you have to stretch the elastic as much as you can while you sew. I pulled the elastic behind the machine foot and in front (pull in front and in back otherwise you will pull the skirt right out from under the foot) then just feed it through and keep stretching as you go. Sometimes my pulling would make the machine "skip" stitches here and there, but you can't tell once it's done. I did 5 rows of stitches and they aren't super even. But again, you can't tell once it's done.

Once the skirt part is made you can start with the trim. You'll need about 15 yards, depending on how wide you make the skirt. I ended up getting mine on eBay for $10. I used 3/8" baby chinese gimp. 1/2" would probably work, too and there's lots of different kinds on Etsy, eBay or Joann's.
You want the top loops to be evenly spaced out across the whole skirt. The cross section of the top of the large bottom loop should be half-way between two top loops. (Did that make sense?) Mine aren't perfect, but good enough for me. The bottom of the large loop goes down to just above the hemline seam.
 Pin down at the loops and cross points and at the bottom.
At this point I went ahead and pinned the next two layers of trim down.
I eyeballed about a 1/3 of the way between two loops.
Then again about halfway between the next two. With the last layer of trim I alternated going under and over the other layers so it was weaved through a little.
It was at this point that I took the skirt to my machine to sew and realized it was going to be a little difficult. I had lots of pins that didn't hold the trim down very well and it was hard to manage under the machine foot. I even tried to hand sew it down but that was worse. 

I decided it would have been easier to sew one layer of trim at a time. I couldn't have weaved the other layers through but it would have been more manageable. I also thought it would have helped if I had used a fabric glue to glue each layer in place before sewing. As I sewed I had to move the trim into place and it didn't always work out perfectly. Several large loops ended up a little off, the criss-cross trellis section was often uneven, and the top loops weren't quite what I wanted.

I would also suggest sticking to trim from Joann's or a fabric store. The stuff I got on eBay was much cheaper quality than I found at Joann's. I was apprehensive to use it but didn't want to wait even longer to get back to Joann's and special order all that I needed and then go back again to pick it up when they got it in.

And here it is finished!
And here's how I wear it:
 tank, cardigan, belt--clearance Anthro, leather ruffle necklace and lizard cuff--Slightly Askew, shoes--Steven by Steve Madden


  1. Love it!! Great job- it looks really great. That was a very clever knock-off.
    But what is this cop-out of not showing it ON yourself? Ruff. I am very sad not seeing your hair (and your whole self...) every week at church.

  2. So cute! I love a good anthro knock off. Great job.

  3. Oh my gosh - you did such an amazing job!! Thank you so much for linking up to Saturday Social this week!!



  4. Wow, I pined after this skirt and finally snagged it on sale, but I love your diy version - and the outfit is pretty cute too! :)

  5. WOW that's amazing!! Great job! Without the tutorial, it'd be hard to imagine that it was a diy!

  6. lovely! I must make one myself! Thanks for sharing your tips!

  7. I love what you paired with it in the last picture. I have the 'Quinn' outfit but never would have thought of the green. It looks great!

  8. I want one. I'm in a wedding in may. Wanna.make 3? :)

  9. We featured you knock off skirt today on our blog You can see the post here: Keep up the great work!