It’s pretty unbelievable that I’m well into my third full decade as an adult and I’ve never put up my own Christmas tree! I was talking to my parents about it recently and we decided it was because I was always travelling during the holidays. Why put up a tree you’re never going to see? This year, my husband and I have plans to go nowhere, as do so many other earthlings. So we wanted to get a big, beautiful Christmas tree. I started planning in July for the perfect tree skirt and I finished it the day we got our tree!
A quick note about my paper dog (in the bottom right): In the Dec. 7 Arne & Carlos Christmas Countdown video, they brought out a Christmas buck, made of straw. They said it was a Swedish tradition to place the Christmas buck in the room and have him guard the tree. I bought this dog made of newspapers about 7 years ago at an employee warehouse sale for $5. He didn’t have a nose, and his tail falls off. We made him a black walnut nose and his tail still falls off. I thought he could happily play the part of the Christmas buck this year.
The pattern I used was from Peek-a-Boo patterns, who are in my state of Oregon. Amy, the designer, makes great patterns. I’ve previously made her Yukon Button-up and plan to make it again. Her tree skirt pattern is free if you sign up for her newsletter and Facebook group. It is also available for a couple of dollars if you don’t want to do all that.
The pattern requires 16 narrow triangles of fabric, which you can make in a number of ways. I chose to buy 3/4 yards each of 4 non-directional holiday prints. If you wanted to use directional prints, you would need to go with 8 fabrics. Of course, I started cutting before I did the math and did not have enough fabric for 4 narrow triangles out of my first piece. When I did the math I realized the triangles were 44″ long, so I needed to line them up on the crossgrain, rather than the grain. That worked beautifully on my other three fabrics and I had plenty of scraps (which will become Christmas-themed knitting project bags).
It was a bit of a chore cutting all out the triangles, but clipping and sewing them together was really fun. This got done in no time at all.
I don’t want to say the fun part was over at this point, but the less fun part had started. The next step was fusing 3 yards of fusible fleece to the wrong side of these pieces. I tried this a number of ways. In the end, what worked best was placing the fleece on my ironing board and smoothing out the skirt on top of it, then cutting the fleece around the bottom of each piece.
I’d then iron each single piece, rotate and then trim the fleece from the bottom of the next piece.
Per Amy’s suggestion, I used a pretty velvet ribbon for the skirt ties. I purchased the fabric and ribbon at my new favorite fabric store in Milwaukie, Or.: Mill End. Just look at the size of this place! The sign out front says it’s the largest selection of fabrics in America.
Thanks go to another Oregon business, Seamwork, for introducing me to Mill End in one of their videos.
With the fleece backing fused on, I only needed to cut and sew the muslin backing. Per Amy’s suggestion, I laid the skirt out on the floor and matched my muslin overtop. Then I drew around the skirt onto the muslin with a fabric pen. I did three pieces, just as her diagram shows. I moved the muslin over to the cutting table and cut them out, then sewed them all together. The last step was clipping this backing to the right side of the skirt.
You can see above the tree is just waiting for its skirt! First thing in the morning on Dec. 4, we went to Cornell Farms and selected a bushy 5-foot Nordmann fir. They were able to slide it right into the back of our car! I strung on a couple of lights and one or two decorations and then went right back to finishing my tree skirt.
I was pretty amazed that the muslin lined up perfectly with the skirt. I had drawn it on the floor, after all! I remembered to leave a gap to turn it inside out and then sewed forever and ever, all around the skirt to attach the muslin. I eagerly turned it inside-out and was really thrilled to finally see it completed!
I crawled all over the floor trying to evenly wrap it around the tree.
Of course, a day later my beautiful skirt was completely obscured by gifts!
I guess I can deal with that this year! -rp
I never knew about the Christmas buck but we always had a cat or two in our tree! A very handsome tree skirt you have.
True! I don’t have any catnip ornaments for them to tear into this year. 😉