So, my sister Janice the Manice mentioned recently that she wants to get my 2-year-old niece, Princess Petunia, something called a "pettiskirt" for twirling around in circles, but she hasn't yet because they are so expensive. Having only boys at our house, I didn't know what she was talking about until the Chasing Fireflies catalog came in yesterday's mail. For those of you who are as ignorant of pettiskirts as I was, a pettiskirt looks like a tutu from a ballet costume, only a little longer, with satin at the top and some kind of bow. I dug around a bit and discovered that Martha Stewart had a segment on pettiskirts on one of her television shows, there are a whole slew of tutorials on how to make them on the internet, and the high end children's boutiques and catalogs charge $80 for them. This is apparently a very hot item for girly-girls.
Where were pettiskirts when we were little girls, dressed in drab maroon velour and plaid back in the '70s? Not only have I decided that yes, Princess Petunia does need a pettiskirt to fulfil her inner twirler, but I probably need one, too. I googled "pettiskirt pattern" and found this one by Kari Me Away.
This site also sells kits with pre-cut rolls of polyester chiffon and everything you need to make one skirt, but they only had a couple of colors to choose from so I just ordered the pattern. Like I said, I found several sites offering free instructions for this skirt, but they all seemed to have been written by sewers with more garment making experience than I have, and the directions didn't seem clear enough to me. Also, whereas the Kari Me Away pattern calls for 16 yards of 54" wide chiffon to make one size 3T skirt, the free pettiskirt instructions only called for 4-6 yards per skirt. I want this pettiskirt to be just as full and floofy and over-the-top as the boutique skirts, so I'm going with the double layer, 3-tiered, 16 yard version from Kari Me Away, like the purple one shown in this photo. However, one tip I picked up from reading the online tutorials was to look for nylon chiffon rather than polyester chiffon, because the nylon chiffon doesn't fray. I found a pretty azure blue shade of 100% nylon non-fray chiffon for just $1.59 per yard here. Now I just need to get a little piece of satin for the top of the skirt and brush up on the ins and outs of my ruffler foot!