Sewing a bassinet skirt yourself will save you a lot of money compared with buying one. It is a bit challenging, but if you are comfortable measuring and making your own patterns, you have all the skills you need to sew a bassinet skirt. When you sew a bassinet skirt yourself, you have a wide choice of fabrics colors and styles and you can make it as simple or complicated as your skills and preferences dictate. This article discusses the simplest way to make a gathered bassinet skirt.
Things You'll Need
Bassinet for measuring
Paper and pencil
Iron and ironing board
Remove the mattress from the bassinet. Determine the inside measurements to form the bottom and sides for the bassinet skirt. Measure the length and width of the bassinet bottom. You will have rectangular measurements, but most bassinets have curved ends. An easy way to find the arc of the bassinet corners is to place a piece of paper on top of the curved portions and trace the angle of the curve with a pencil. When the angle becomes a straight line, stop tracing. Cut the piece of paper following the pencil markings. Save this as your pattern to make the corners for the bottom lining.
Cut a pattern. Fold a piece of newspaper on the table. Use the length of the bassinet for the longest part of the paper pattern. If your paper isn't big enough, tape more newspaper to it. Cut the newspaper to the length and width of the bassinet, adding a half an inch to each side of the pattern for seam allowances.
Place the curve pattern on the top and bottom corners of the newspaper pattern. Cut the angle, making sure you add 1/2 inch as the seam allowance.
Open your pattern, and lay it in the bottom of the bassinet to make sure the measurements are accurate.
Measure the distance from the top and bottom of the inside walls of the bassinet. Add 1 inch for the 1/2-inch seam allowance on the top and bottom.
Make the outside measurement for the skirt. You will need to add a hem allowance, as well as a seam allowance. The depth of your hem depends on the fabric you are using, and your own personal preferences. If you are using lightweight fabric, allow a hem of at least 1 1/2 inches. On the other hand, if you are using a heavy fabric, you probably want at least a 2-inch hem. Write down the length of the outside panels.
Use your tape measure to measure the circumference of the bassinet, and record this measurement. If you want to gather the skirt, multiply the circumference by 2.5 for an acceptable fullness or by 3 if you want it really full.
Calculate the amount of fabric you will need for the skirt and for the inside lining. Add the length of the bottom of the bassinet to the amount of fabric needed for the sides. Measure the length for the bottom. Add the length for the sides. You may need to add extra panels for the sides to meet amount needed. For example, if the width of the side panel is 108 inches and your fabric is 45 inches wide, you'll have to triple the length for the side panels. Calculate the amount that you will need for the skirt by using the same method as for the side panels, remembering to multiply by 2.5 or 3 to get the desired fullness. Add up the total and divide by the fabric's width to see how many separate panels you will have to cut for the skirt. Total all the fabric you need and buy about half a yard extra to make sure you have enough.
Cut the bottom out using the newspaper pattern. Cut the required number of panels for the inside of the bassinet. Sew the panels together so that they form a tube. Pin the side panel to the piece for the bottom. Sew. If you have a little extra slack in either the bottom or the sides, you can either gather the excess or put in an extra tuck or two.
Cut the lengths for the skirt and sew the sides together forming a tube. You will need to put two gathering rows in to gather the skirt. The first gathering row should be 1/2 inch inside the edge, and the second should be 1/8 inch parallel to the first. Pull the gathering threads until your skirt is nearly the same width as the outside of the bassinet and the inside fabric.
Pin the skirt to the top outside of the bassinet sides. You will probably have to adjust the gathering threads as you go to make sure the gathers are uniform and the skirt fits the inside the bed liner. Sew the skirt to the lining.
Turn the project right side out, and put it in the bassinet (with the mattress out). If it fits, return to the sewing machine and zigzag the skirt to the inside or add another row of stitching for a strong seam.
Press the entire project. Fold an 1/8-inch hem toward the inside of the skirt and press. Using the measuring tape or a hem guide cut from a piece of paper, make the final hem and press it down, pinning at intervals, and sew the hem in place. Give the project a final press, make sure all the pins are out, and put it the bassinet.
There are some wonderful fabrics for sewing baby bassinet skirts. Choose one that is washable so you can keep the bassinet skirt clean.
Make sure all the pins are out. You might want to launder the fabric first. Fabric has sizing that can be irritating to an infant's skin.