Now that Milla's main amusement comes from toddling about the house, the sharp edges of our piano bench rise like fangs from a rabid dog's mouth whenever she rushes past. Maybe I'm exaggerating a bit, but my motherly instinct says the piano bench could use a cover so that when the crash comes, Milla will have a bruise and bump rather than something worth stitches.
I couldn't find any piano bench skirt or slipcover tutorials online, though I did discover a few tutorials for piano cushions. Since I'm going to dress our bench, I figured I might as well share the experience with others. So, let's get started. Might I suggest you go ahead and get that diaper change and nursing festival out of the way? If you're lucky, you might get to sew with the help of a happy, dry, well-fed little assistant.
- Fabric yardage for top and skirt-- you can mix and match scraps or go for a single color (I chose contrasting fabrics to add color to a dark and overly classy-looking piano)
- Long strips of fabric for ruffle (if desired) or long strips of lace
- Measuring tape
- Pins and pin cushion
Milla and I found the best tool for this was a tape measure because it allows you to grip the edges as you note your numbers.
The top of the piano bench measured 36 inches length and 15 inches width.
I wanted a skirt that shows a little leg, so I decided to get a measurement from the top of the bench midway down to the floor for my skirt length. 12 inches was the measurement for my below-the-knee piano skirt bench. Since I plan to add a little ruffle to the bottom, 12 inches is perfect.
This project has five pieces. The top piece sits on top of the bench. Pieces A and B skirt the long sides of the bench while pieces C and D span the short sides of the bench.
Before cutting fabric, I always add an inch or two to each edge for finishing. I cut the top piece to measure 37.5 inches length and 16.5 inches width. Pieces A and B were cut to measure 37.5 inches by 13 inches. The 13 comes from adding an inch to the piano skirt length. Pieces C and D were cut to measure 16.5 inches by 13 inches. I laid out my five pieces to get a sense of which was what.
Sewing tip: It helps to use a sharpie marker and masking tape as fabric piece labels. You can label each piece to keep it straight as you sew.
Flip all your pieces wrong side up. You are going to stitch a 1/2 seam along the edge of each piece to the top piece. Start with pieces A and B. Pin them and then stitch 1/2 inch away from the edge on the wrong side. After you finish, turn your skirt right side up and lay it on the piano bench (as in the photo).
Make sure everything looks fine and dandy. Then turn it over wrong side up and lay it on the piano bench. Time to get that pin cushion.
You will pin all four corner pieces to each other. To do this, make sure you have all the fabric at the top of the corner before you squeeze it together and pin it just under the top piece seam. Continue pinning down the edges all the way to the bottom of the skirt. Your pinning should resemble an upside-down triangle with more fabric at the top and less at the bottom.
Go ahead and pin all four sides.
Fire up your machine and stitch the sides together. Look out for pins as you sew.
Cut off the extra fabric corners once you have stitched the sides together.
Take a deep breath because the end is nigh.
Hemming just didn't excite me today, so I decided to add a little ruffle-thingamabob to the edge of my bohemian piano skirt because our lovely Miss Piano felt a hem would be too Puritan for the sorts of pieces she likes to have played. Of course, Miss Piano did not express this directly. Rather, Milla used her excellent communication skills to translate and convey this to me. Whatever would I do without little Mills to assist me when sewing?
To make your hem, just roll 1/2 an inch under twice and stitch it down. Do this along the entire bottom edge of your skirt.
To make a bright white ruffle like the one below, I suggest The Southern Institute's ruffle tutorial at Pick Up Some Creativity. I am still quite the ruffle novice who loves learning tips and tricks from the more professional rufflers out there. Small apology due for the awful quality of photos-- the time right before dinner means every scene is an action scene.