Making a Simple Skirt

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When you first start out sewing, you are probably looking for a really easy project to boost your sewing confidence. Well, this project is probably one of the easiest, and you will make something beautiful and useful at the end, which is amazing! The first sewing project that I decided to do was making a simple skirt for my 15 month old little girl. These are so easy to make, but here is a tutorial on how you can get some pretty and professional results.

*this post has been updated – it was originally posted in July 2018

Making A Simple Skirt

 

Making A Simple Skirt - a picture tutorial of how to sew a pretty skirt with an elasticated waist - perfect first sewing project for sewists of all ages. Great to sew skirts for little girls, but can be made in any size. Great beginner's project. Suitable for a total novice. Easy tutorial with pictures. #sewintutorials #sewingprojects #sewing #sewingclothes #sewingskirt #sewingtips #beginnerssewingprojects #beginnersewing #easysewing #easydiy #easyfirstsewingproject #picturetutorial

I loved making this project, because it gave me so much more confidence going forwards in my sewing. Plus, at the end of it I had made a really gorgeous little skirt for my little one.

One of the best things about this project is that you can make it with any fabric. But for total beginners I would recommend cotton or poly cotton, as it is easy to work with and easier to sew.

So are you ready to make a pretty little skirt? Then read on how!

You Will Need

simple skirt materials

  • Fabric – I chose a metre of this cotton fabric – but how much you need will depend on the size of the person you are making the skirt for. See the next section to find out how much fabric to use.
  • Coordinating thread 
  • A sewing machine
  • A ruler
  • An iron
  • Pins and scissors

 

Measuring Up To Make The Skirt

 

The amount of fabric that you need will depend on the age group and size of the person that you are sewing this pattern for. You can use this guide if you are sewing to sell, or sewing a skirt for a gift or child you cannot measure beforehand.

In my case I measured my little girl before sewing the skirt, to give me the measurements for the width and length of fabric I needed, plus the amount of elastic I would need for the waistline.

I measured my little girls waist to decided how much elastic I would need.

Then I doubled that waist measurement figure to give me the width of the fabric I needed. A double width gives a very full gathered skirt.

TIP: Short on fabric? Only have pieces? Join fabric together to make the width of fabric you need. I made a lot of skirts from my little girl out of fat quarters of fabric. And fat quarters are cheaper to buy (and thus better to practice with IMO)

TIP: Don’t have the width of fabric? Try only measuring 1.5x the waist measurement. This won’t give as full or gathered a skirt, but still looks great!

Finally, I measured the distance from her waist to her knee and then added on 6cm for my waistband and hem allowances to give me the length of the fabric.

I cut this fabric rectangle out from my fabric.

cut out pattern

Making The Skirt

 

side seam sewing

Squarely placing the two ends of the cut fabric right sides together, I sewed them together with a 1cm seam allowance. This makes a tube of fabric.

finishing with pinking shears

I finished the seam allowance with pinking shears. This stops the material from fraying and gives a neater finish. Look how pretty that is? You could also overlock (but more about that in another blog!)

pressed open seam allowance

I also pressed open the seam allowance.

Making A Waistband Casing

 

Now you need to make a casing for the waistband elastic. I folded over the top edge by 2 cm and ironed (pressed) the material.

waistband casingI then folded the top fabric over again, to create a neat finish, making a 2cm wide casing of fabric at the waistband.

casing part 2

We now need to sew this casing shut. But it is important to remember to leave a few cm gap open so that we have room to thread the elastic! I usually pin the casing in place, but place 2 different coloured pins at each side of the gap to ensure I leave one!

casing gap

I sewed the casing a couple of mm from the folded edge – leaving enough room for my elastic.

sewing casing

The waist band elastic. I measured my little girl’s waist and then cut the elastic to this length minus a couple of cm. Once the elastic is placed and there is another couple of cm lost to sewing it together this should create a tight enough waistband without it being too tight!

waistband elastic

I attach a safety pin to one end of my waistband elastic so that I can feed it through the casing. Also, I like to mark the other end with a washable marked to help make sure I haven’t twisted the elastic whilst threading it.

elastic pinned

I also pinned the free end of the elastic to the skirt. This stops the elastic from being taken into the casing.

pinned elastic part 2

Once the elastic has been completely threaded through the casing, take the ends of the elastic and overlap them. Keep the right sides together to ensure the elastic isn’t twisted inside the waistband. An overlap of a couple of cm is enough. Sew the elastic ends together in a few places.

elastic ends sewn

Even out the elastic within the casing to evenly distribute the waistband folds, and then sew the casing opening shut.

sew casing shut

Nearly there…

The nearly completed skirt just needs to be hemmed.

nearly complete

Hemming the skirt

Using the same technique as at the waistband, I like to double fold and press a hem of 1cm width. You could also overlock the bottom and then only fold once, or use a bigger hem allowance.

hemming

Give it all a good press once you have finished hemming and you have a finished skirt!

The finished project

 

So here is the finished skirt! And I made a little head bow to match.

 

finished skirt

How easy was that?! And I was so happy with the result that it spurred me on to try lots of other new projects.

These make great gifts and presents for friends. And you can just size up the whole thing to make a simple skirt for an adult too!

 

Making A Simple Skirt - a picture tutorial of how to sew a pretty skirt with an elasticated waist - perfect first sewing project for sexists of all ages #sewintutorials #sewingprojects #sewing #sewingclothes #sewingskirt #sewingtips #beginnerssewingprojects #beginnersewing #easysewing #easydiy #easyfirstsewingproject #picturetutorial

Live far away from the recipient of the gift? Here is my article on what measurements to use when making a simple skirt as a present.

Do you fancy having a go at one of these simple skirts? I would love to see your versions of the simple skirt. Do find me on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter and tag me into your makes. Or comment below.

Why not read about how I made my little girl a Superhero Dress?

Or feeling a bit more adventurous? Why not try sewing in stretch fabrics and make Childrens’ Leggings Without Needing A Pattern? These are a great staple for any child’s wardrobe.

And please do pin this post for later.

Making A Simple Skirt - a picture tutorial of how to sew a pretty skirt with an elasticated waist - perfect first sewing project for sexists of all ages #sewintutorials #sewingprojects #sewing #sewingclothes #sewingskirt #sewingtips #beginnerssewingprojects #beginnersewing #easysewing #easydiy #easyfirstsewingproject #picturetutorial

Making A Simple Skirt - a picture tutorial of how to sew a pretty skirt with an elasticated waist - perfect first sewing project for sexists of all ages #sewintutorials #sewingprojects #sewing #sewingclothes #sewingskirt #sewingtips #beginnerssewingprojects #beginnersewing #easysewing #easydiy #easyfirstsewingproject #picturetutorial

My Random Musings
 
Musings Of A Tired Mummymaking a simple skirt
 
 

15 Replies to “Making a Simple Skirt”

  1. Rachael Hope says:

    This is such an amazing tutorial. Really clear and informative, the images work really well. I used to do a lot with textiles, this has inspired me

    Rach

    Reply
    1. Jo Boyne says:

      Thank you Rach for such a lovely comment. I hope to do lots more tutorials in the future. Jo

      Reply
    1. Jo Boyne says:

      It really is such a great hobby, but you do need the time to do it, which isn’t always possible! Thank you!

      Reply
    1. Jo Boyne says:

      I think I’ve been lucky to get the time to learn how! Thank you for reading!

      Reply
  2. Stacie says:

    What is the wooden measuring device you use to measure hems? I love it! And would love to know where to buy. Thx!
    I love this tutorial…very easy to understand!

    Reply
    1. Jo Boyne says:

      Thank you. The wooden hem gauge is from Etsy – a seller called Arrow Mountain. If you put wooden hem gauge in as a search you should find it!

      Reply
  3. Nicole says:

    I love this tutorial, very simple. I’m trying to make a skirt for my daughter’s Halloween costume. My question is this…. the material I bought is already stretchy material. Do I still need to add elastic? Or can I just fold the top and hem it ?

    Reply
    1. Jo Boyne says:

      Hi. Yes, you will still need to add elastic gather the waistband up. Happy making!

      Reply
    1. Jo Boyne says:

      This is such a brilliant first project. Dead easy to make.

      Reply
  4. Lisa says:

    That’s such a pretty skirt and it looks so straightforward to make too. I really need to dig out my sewing machine, this is just the sort of project to get me back into using it – thank you!

    Reply

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