Monday, August 20, 2012

Colorblocked Twirly Jumper Tutorial - Sew Easy Part 15

Free Sewing Tutorial: Colorblocked Twirly Jumper

colorblocked jumper sewing pattern and tutorial

You can read the story behind this series and the first part here. Click here to read the secondthirdfourth, fifth, sixth, seventh, eighth, ninth, tenth,  eleventh and twelfth , thirteenth and fourteenth edition of this series.

I have made a gypsy skirt with a pattern quite similar to this. But this style is so easy to make and offers so many possibilities that I wanted to try it again in some other form. Then I saw these two Tshirts in my stash with really bright and cheerful colors  and I just had to try a color-blocked jumper. I really love the way it turned out and I also like that its so easy to sew. Here's a tutorial if you want  to make one your little bean.


  • Knit fabrics in 2 coordinating colors - Since the pattern is cut in circular strips it uses a lot more fabric than regular skirts. I used up 2 XL sized tank tops to make this jumper in 2-3T size. I recommend doubling whatever amount of fabric you use for a regular jumper.
  • Coordinating buttons - 2
  • Fusible interfacing like Wonder Under by Pellon
Here's the pdf pattern for sewing the jumper  in 18-24 months size. Cut 10 pieces ( 5 in each color), use the line that is shown as 'Flush' while cutting your pattern. Ignore the 'Spike' line. 

Drafting the pattern:
You could also draft your own pattern for other sizes. It is pretty easy to do it.

First you need to measure the required length of the skirt. This is the length of where you want the jumper to end minus the length of bodice and shoulder straps. Lets call it L1. Now calculate L=L1-0.5 inch

Now take a big bowl or plate and measure L along its circumference. Mark the begin and end points of L. Now take a big paper and draw along the circumference of the bowl, between the points you have marked.

Now draw a 3 inch line starting at the top of the curve you made in step 3.

At the other end of the horizontal line, again place the bowl and draw the curve between the two points. The only thing to remember is that the skirt has to flare from top to bottom, so make sure the bowl is not placed in the same curve as the first one, but makes a curve away from the first one.

Join both the end points. This will become the hemline of jumper.

If you're making a gypsy skirt with uneven hem, draw another line perpendicular to the second curve. Extend the first curve to meet the line we just drew. Lets call this line "SPIKE" and the one we drew earlier "FLUSH". We are going to use "FLUSH" line for this jumper.

Now calculating the number of pieces making the skirt.

First measure the waist and add 2 inches to it - lets call it W

Now lets assume a half inch sewing margin for simplicity.  So divide W by 2 inches. The 'quotient' is the number of pieces you will need to finish this skirt.  Cut half of the pieces from one color and the other half of them in another color. If the number of pieces is odd then add one more piece to make both the colors equal. It will adjust when we add the waistband by gathering the skirt slightly.


Assembling the skirt:

sewing a redondo

piecing together the circular strips
 This part is really easy. Basically place convex side of one strip with the concave side of the other strip in different colors and sew with right sides together. Just make sure to keep the top of the strip at the top.

Sew the godets together in alternating colors.

Keep going until you go through all the godets.

circular skirt pattern

Sew the last one to the first one to complete the circular skirt.

Sewing Shoulder Straps:
interfacing for belts

For the shoulder straps cut two pieces of 4 inch X 10 inches. If you're also using knits to sew it then you will have to use fusible interfacing ( like this one from Pellon) to make sure shoulder straps don't sag and loose shape over time.
sewing the belts

To make belts fold the pieces in half along the length and sew along the longer side. Then turn the seam such that it is in the center and sew along one shorter side. Here's a detailed tutorial on how to sew belts.
turning out the belt and ironing

Turn out and iron.
cutting pieces for bodice

For the bodice, cut three pieces. For the inner lining - cut a piece 6 inches X 19 inches. For outer bodice cut two pieces 4 inches X 19 inches and 2.5 inches X 19 inches in the second color.

Sew both the strips for outer bodice together along the 19 inch side (right sides together). This would make a single bi-colored strip of 6 inch X 19 inch. Fold it in half along the 19 inch side and sew the shorter ends (rights sides together).

Fold  the inner strip in half along the 19 inch side and sew the shorter ends ( right sides together)

sewing shoulder straps to bodice

Now insert outer bodice piece inside the inner ( right sides together) such that their 19 inch sides and shorter seams align. N
Sandwich the shoulder straps between the two layers such that its raw side lines up with the raw side of bodice pieces and the strap seam is facing the inner bodice.
Keep the straps 2-3 inches apart with the center falling at the short seam on the bodice pieces. Sew a seam along the 19 inch edge making sure to sew over all the layers including both bodice layers and shoulder straps.

Note: The photo doesn't show that the shoulder straps are only 2-3 inches apart but that's how it should be.
finished bodice for twirly jumper

Turn out. The bodice is now ready to be joined to the skirt

sewing bodice to the skirt

Turn the skirt inside out and insert over the bodice. Line up the raw edge of bodice with the top edge of the skirt. Sew along the edge with a 3/8 inch margin.
turn out finished jumper

Turn out. Spread it on a flat surface and cut out any uneven hems. Since this is a knit fabric cut on bias, I didn't see any need to hem it, but you can finish the hemline whichever way you like.

making fabric pinwheels

To make the pinwheel embellishments, fuse one fabric with wonder under on the wrong side.

making fabric pinwheels

Peel the paper backing and fuse with the other fabric on the back. cut out 1.5 inches squares as shown above. Make diagonal slits that stop a little before the center.

sewing pinwheels to the jumper
Fold alternate corners of each petal towards the center to make a pinwheel. Hand-sew it onto the jumper on the seam joining bodice and skirt.
sewing pinwheels to the jumper

Repeat with other pinwheels.
Sew on two buttons on each of the shoulder straps. Make buttonholes on the bodice.  you may need to use stabilizer if the fabric you're using is not sturdy enough to make buttonholes.

I also added a bigger pinwheel at the back.

colorblocked pinwheel jumper

 While I was busy taking pictures, a tiny cloud found its way near the jumper and showered a colorful bunch of droplets. Not that I'm complaining.


  1. The skirt is adorable! What little girl wouldn't want to twirl wearing this!?

  2. What a gorgeous, little pinafore!!! The two colours you've chosen are quite striking together and I LOVE the pinwheels you've added. As always, a great tutorial!!!

  3. I love the dress! You did a fabulous job on it. I'd love for you to link it up to our What I Wore Sunday link party:

    See you soon!

  4. How cool! I LOVED twirlies when I was little.

  5. Thank you for participating in Show Your Stuff Blog Hop, You are invited to come back:

  6. That is just gorgeous! Love the little pinwheels on it!

    Thanks for linking to a Round Tuit!
    Hope you have a fabulous weekend!
    Jill @ Creating my way to Success

  7. It's adorable, I love it all :-) Thanks for sharing, I'm going to make one on my own.


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