This skirt brings joy because it is quick, easy and oh-so-customisable. Enjoy! This version is intended for little girls, but it can easily be scaled up for grown-ups.
The skirt can have pockets or double layers, ribbons, pom poms and applique.
I have provided here a skirt tutorial for a very basic skirt that you can add pockets etc to as you wish, once you’re feeling confident. Go crazy!
This tutorial is aimed at beginners who can just about sew a straight line (!), but it can be handy for more experienced sewists too if you’re looking for simple projects and stash busters.
I hope this is easy and enjoyable for you – have fun!
We are using:
Around 50cm / 20″ of quilting weight 100% cotton
Around 50cm / 20″ of elastic thats around 0.5″ wide
Around 115cm length of ribbon
Prepare your fabric
1.Fabric should ideally be washed before cutting, this is because cotton will usually shrink a little bit. If you’re making this in a class or sewcial session at a fabric shop and you’ve selected your brand new fabric as part of the class, you won’t be able to prewash your fabric. Don’t worry, this style is so loose you can sew it up and when you wash it it a bit of shrinkage won’t matter.
2. Work out where you want your skirt to sit on its lucky recipient. For example, our 6 year old likes them snug on her natural waist, and to the knee. Our 9 year old likes them loose on the hip and below the knee.
Measure between those 2 points (e.g. waist to knee). Add around 4cm/1.5″ to this measurement as we will need around this for the waistband and hem.
3. Cut out or tear your fabric to this length. Use the entire width of fabric, it is likely to be around 115cm/45″ if using quilting cotton.
Sew the fabric to create a loop
4. Fold your fabric widthways, right sides together, and pin.
Stitch the back seam along the inside of the selvedge (so the selvedge doesn’t show on the right side). The selvedge on the fabric featured here is 1.5cm wide, so I was able to sew a 1.5cm seam using the seam gauge on the needle plate. Using the selvedges means we won’t need to finish the edges, and I think it tells the story of the fabric too as often the fabric manufacturer and designer’s names are printed on the selvedge (of quilting cottons).
‘Optional (and recommended) – Press the seam open and secure the selvedges either side with a straight stitch. This makes your seam very robust, and will help when it comes to inserting the elastic into the channel at the waist.
Create the elastic waistband
5. Fold around 1cm down onto the wrong side along the width at the top of your skirt, and press. Put your elastic along the edge to work out how wide you want your channel to be. If it is double the width of your elastic you’ll give yourself a bit of wobble room! Now fold again, and press. For example, if your elastic is 0.5″, folding over 1″ should give you a decent waistband width. Sew close to your folded edge to create the channel for the elastic as shown in the photograph underneath. Sew all around the loop, stitching over your first stitches with your last stitches.
Optional – Now sew another row of stitches by edge stitching from the top edge of your skirt. This means sew just a couple of milimetres from the top edge as shown here.
6. Now here’s a clever trick to create a neat opening for your elastic, that also enables you to replace with longer elastic as your girl grows! At the back seam, within the channel for the elastic, carefully use the unpicker to unpick the stitches in between your two rows of horizontal stitching. If you opted out of the top row of stitching, just stitch an inch or so of horizontal stitches along the top instead.
It should look like this when you’re finished.
Hem your skirt
We are going to hem the skirt with a length of ribbon. Its a lovely way to finish a raw edge, adds a cute detail, and gives the skirt a bit of extra weight to help it hang nicely.
7. Check that your ribbon is long enough to go all the way around your skirt with about 2.5cm/1″ extra. Starting at the back seam, pin the wrong side of your ribbon to the wrong side of the fabric. It doesn’t need to be exact, but around 1cm or 1/4″ from the raw edge works well.
Sew along the top edge of your ribbon as close to the edge as you can.
When you get to the beginning again, turn the end of the ribbon under to conceal the cut edge and sew over the fold.
8. Turn the skirt right side out and turn the ribbon to the right side, folding along the stitching line. This should encase beautifully the raw edge. Pin in place and sew as close to the top edge as you can.
Insert the elastic
9. To get the right length of elastic, you’ll need to put it around the waist (or hips, depending on where you want it to sit), it should sit comfortably, not tight. Make a mark at this point, add another about 2.5cm / 1″ further along and cut. This is because you’ll need a bit of extra to sew the ends together.
Put a large safety pin in one end of the elastic and feed it through the channel – be careful you don’t pull the other end through! You can always secure the other end with a safety pin to be sure. Once its completely through, overlap the ends and stitch them together securely.
Leave the gap open in case you want to adjust the fit any time.
Voila! You have made a very cute skirt. Well done!