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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
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
- 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.
Making The Skirt
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.
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!)
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.
I then folded the top fabric over again, to create a neat finish, making a 2cm wide casing of fabric at the waistband.
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!
I sewed the casing a couple of mm from the folded edge – leaving enough room for my elastic.
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!
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.
I also pinned the free end of the elastic to the skirt. This stops the elastic from being taken into the casing.
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.
Even out the elastic within the casing to evenly distribute the waistband folds, and then sew the casing opening shut.
The nearly completed skirt just needs to be hemmed.
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.
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.
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!
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.