Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Pro Panel skirts: A Sewing Project

Today I'm going to tell you about how I made attractive and useful "skirts" for my Pro Panels.

If you read my blog, you might remember that I bought Pro Panels for my art booth last year. (If you don't know what I'm talking about, you can read about it here.)

Pro Panels are carpet-covered display walls that can be put up and taken down easily to display various kinds of art. I use mine to hang my framed watercolor artwork at arts & craft shows. The Pro Panels have adjustable legs to hold them up off the ground. When the legs are extended, you can see underneath my panels and into the next artist's booth, or into any storage areas that I may have. I wanted an attractive way to solve this problem, so I decided to make removable skirts that would attach to the bottoms of my panels and hide whatever was on the other side. Pro Panels does sell a type of removable covering on their website, by the way, but their covers are very plain, and I wanted something better-looking.

I purchased some pretty upholstery fabric online, designed a pattern, and set to work. I chose upholstery fabric because it looks more upscale, and the heaviness of it prevents my skirts from blowing around at outdoor shows. They retain their shape nicely wherever I go. I also decided that they would attach to the Pro Panels along the bottom by fastening them to the back of the panels with Velcro. This meant that they would need to be tall enough to overlap the back of the panels. My panels are 38 1/2 inches wide, and I usually set the legs about a foot or so from the ground. After a little bit of trial and error, I also decided that they needed to be a little bit wider than the width of the panels, to ensure good coverage. My completed skirts measure 14 1/2" tall and 40" wide.

So... I cut large rectangles out of my fabric (18 1/2" x 43 1/2"), and hemmed them as shown.

First I hemmed the sides.

Then I hemmed the top and bottom.
I made the hem the largest on the bottom (2") to make it look nice and professional.

For each hem, it is necessary to first measure, then pin, then iron in a crease. Then do the second fold. Pin it and iron it. Then sew a straight stitch all the way from one end to the other. If you are using upholstery fabric, like I am, don't forget to buy upholstery or heavy-duty thread! Once you have hemmed all four sides of your skirt, sew the velcro all the way across the top of the skirt. I sewed mine to the front of the skirts so that I could attach them to the back of the Pro Panels.

Three sides done.. measuring for the bottom hem.

Finished skirts!

Thanks so much for reading my blog and I hope you found my instructions helpful! I would love to read your comments, and would be glad to answer any questions.

My watercolor art site: www.lauraposs.com

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Laura D Poss watercolorsMy new skirts in action! :D