A Fresh Snow Blog Hop day 3 – A Skirt Tutorial

Good morning everyone! This morning is day 3 of A Fresh Snow Blog Hop hosted by Marian of Seams to Be Sew. This hop involves sewing a winter project with anything other than cotton.


Here’s the line up of bloggers who are participating today:

 Jan 24

Elm Street Quilts
Resourceful Momma
MooseStash Quilting
Any Pattern
SeaCoast Quilter

Yep! That includes me for today. πŸ™‚ 

I simply adore long, layered skirts on my little girl, and she loves wearing skirts and dresses! She balks at wearing anything other than dresses. I can get by with putting skirts on her, but her preference, hands-down, are dresses. She loves it when I make her anything! If she’s wearing something I made when we go out, she’ll proudly will tell anyone and everyone who will listen that “mom made this for me” and I melt every single time. πŸ™‚ So I try to whip her up quick, easy but still cute dresses and skirts.  
For my project, I’m sharing with you this skirt that I make a bunch of. It does not require any pattern pieces to print out and can be made in any size. It’s made using simple rectangles cut to size. Let’s get started! (As you can see in the photo – this was from Christmas time and she was wearing a skirt I made for her a number of months ago – I made another one specific for this but didn’t have time to photograph it on her as I just finished sewing it up around 11pm last night. They are exactly the same though, just different fabric. I thought I had step-by-step photos of the previous one, but I don’t…)
We’re going to do some figuring now to make your skirt so get out something to write with and something to write on to make note of these numbers. Personally, I’m making this in a girl’s size large (10-12) and will include the measurements for that for reference and ease of describing. 
There are 2 measurements that you will need – 1) waist measurement (or widest part of the bottom half of the body) (28″) and 2) length you want the skirt (22″). Now, take the length you want your skirt and divide it by 4. Since I want my little girl’s skirt to be 22″ long, 22 divided by 4 is 5.5″. Add 1″ to that number for seam allowances (5.5 + 1 = 6.5″). Add 3″ to that number for the top tier to allow for the waistband (6.5 + 3 = 9.5).
Now let’s figure out the width of the rectangles. Take the waist measurement (or widest part of the bottom half of the body) and add 5″ (28 + 5 = 33). Now take that number and divide it by 2 (33 / 2 = 16.5). Add 1″ to that number to allow for seam allowances (16.5 + 1 = 17.5).
The first and shortest rectangles you cut out will be the top ones. Mine will measure 9.5″ x 17.5″ and I’ll need to cut 2 this size. The next tier down will need to be 5″ longer than the top. Mine will measure 6.5″ x 22.5″ and I’ll need to cut 2 this size. The next tier down will need to be 5″ longer than the previous. Mine will measure 6.5″ x 27.5″ and I’ll need to cut 2 this size. The bottom tire will need to be 5″ longer than the previous. Mine will measure 6.5″ x 32.5″ and I’ll need to cut 2 this size. 
Each of the 3 longest pieces (all except the very top tier with the added width for the waistband) will need to be ruffled or gathered on one long edge so that it is the same size as the tier above it.
One long end on both of the 6.5″ x 32.5″ pieces will need to be gathered until they measures 6.5″ x 27.5″. One long end on both of the 6.5″ x 27.5″ pieces will need to be gathered until they measure 6.5″ x 22.5″.
One long end on both of the 6.5″ x 22.5″ pieces will need to be gathered until they measure 6.5″ x 17.5″.
This can be done in any number of ways including: pin tucks, pleats, ruffle foot on your sewing machine, or by making a large basting stitch on your sewing machine and pulling the top (or bottom) thread. Personally, since this denim is so heavy, I knew if I attempted to pull thread to gather the fabric it would just break under the strain. I decided to go with couching some cheap yarn. Basically, what you do is get a length of yarn that is a few inches longer than the length you need to gather up. Set your sewing machine to the widest and longest zigzag stitch it has and literally sew the zigzag over the yarn while keeping the yarn in the middle of the zigzag so the thread from the sewing machine does NOT get caught in the yarn! If it does, you won’t be able to pull it to gather your fabric!!!
After I’ve done this to the 6 pieces, I pull on the yarn on one end and gather up the fabric until it is the length needed to match the tier above it.
Then I pin, pin, and pin some more. You can do this in numerous ways, with a raw edge from the top tier, with a raw edge from the bottom tier, raw edge from both tiers, or clean edges from both tiers. For this one I chose to do clean edges from both tiers so I matched up right sides together. Sew the seam and continue with the rest of the tiers until you have a front and a back of the skirt that has 4 tiers on it.
Then you will line up the sides of your skirt with right sides together and sew both sides.
Now it’s time for the hem. Some fabrics don’t require a hem, or you may not want one for the way it looks. However, I wanted this skirt to have clean lines so I chose to do a double folded hem. I didn’t want frayed edges from the hem hanging down below the hem. I simply folded over approximately 1/4″ of the bottom edge and gave it a light press and then folded it over another 1/4″ and pressed it again so it would hold while I sewed it. 
Now for the waistband. Once again, there are numerous ways you can do this. A simple fold over casing for the elastic, elastic sewn right to the edge of the fabric without any covering, sewn onto the fabric itself, etc. Still going for those clean lines, I decided I wanted to encase the elastic within a casing but not just by folding it over, leaving a space to thread my elastic thru and then sew the opening shut. I made a casing by folding the fabric over the elastic twice and then sewing it all together while holding the elastic fully stretched out. If you choose to do this, realize, the elastic will appear to be permanently stretched out when you are done sewing. However, this is not the case! Once you run it thru the wash it will shrink right back to the size it’s supposed to be. 
And, we’re done! (Seeing as how I just finished this at 11pm last night I’ve not had time to wash and dry it to show you how the waistband will really look. But, like I mentioned earlier – it’s the exact same as the floral one.)
Structurally, the skirt is finished. However, it is not quiet “done” yet. Huh? Well, my BFF seen me post pics of it on IG yesterday and offered to embroider a unicorn on it for my unicorn-loving little girl! How sweet!!! So, one it comes back with that done, I’m going to sew some detail seams in a matching color. 
Just in case you think your limited by the type of fabric you can use to do this with, I’ve done this same skirt in many different fabrics – corduroy, demin, cotton, fleece, flannel, vintage bed sheets, upcycled sweatpants she outgrew, cheap lining satin, knit. The list goes on! 
Anyhow, I hope this has sparked your interest. If you make one, I’d love to see it! Please feel free to email me or tag me on Instagram
Still here? That’s good! Because there’s a give-a-way!!! Whoop whoop! Isn’t Marian from Seams to Be Sew simply amazing? Not only did she organize this hop, but she also donated the prizes! Today’s prize is this awesome kit:
I hope you liked my project. By for now!

50 thoughts on “A Fresh Snow Blog Hop day 3 – A Skirt Tutorial

  1. That is really a very cute skirt and looked so easy to make. I use to make my daughter a lot of stuff when she was little too.

    1. Thank you Joyce! πŸ™‚ It really is that easy. It’s so fun to make them all sorts of frilly girly things when they’re little – and the best part is they LOVE the stuff too!

  2. so sweet. my little girl would tolerate dresses and skirts when we dressed up or went to church. In the summer between 1st and 2nd grade she announced in the car on the way to church that she did not like dresses. Sigh. What does a mom with only one little girl say to that? LOL Well my little tom-girl give ma at least a few years to sew sweet things for her. She is now 29 and only wear dresses if absolutely necessary. A year ago, when my son got married, our daughter was one of the brides maids. The wedding was Civil War Themed. So she had to wear one of those dresses with a corset and a hoop skirt. To her credit, she said nothing. But as soon as the wedding was over she was in jeans.

    1. Thank you Lori! πŸ™‚ LOL I like how she announced it to you. My oldest daughter (who’s 23 with a little girl of her own) was like that too so I’m really enjoying our late-in-life blessing that’s a real girly-girl!

  3. I had a black dress with ruffles like that in 1980! It had shoe=string straps and was made of a soft cheesecloth. I was in my 20’s and loved it!

  4. I made skirts quite similar to yours when my girls were little. They loved dresses too! Those days are gone….nothing but jeans and leggings.

  5. Now that makes me wonder if I could use the same rules to make a long skirt for me! I need a white one, cotton lawn maybe. I may have to fool around with that and see if it works! She looks adorable in the skirt. I hope you’ll show this one again after the embroidery is finished.

    1. Yes! πŸ™‚ I’ve made one for myself (but don’t care for the way it looks on me because of my shape). Ooooh, I bet one in a white cotton lawn would be so beautiful, light and femine! Maybe with some small eyelet ribbon added to the tiers too. πŸ™‚ Ummm, now I think I’ll have to make one like that for my little girl! Oh yes, I’ll share when it’s done. πŸ™‚

  6. Thanks for the very clearly written tutorial. It’s always great to have a pattern for an easy skirt to whip up at the last minute.

    1. YAY! I’m glad you think that it was clearly written! πŸ™‚ I actually woke up in the middle of the night thinking I mixed things up and the calculations were all off and that I put in the wrong photos. LOL

  7. Adorable little miss in her beautiful skirt! I like to make long skirts and dresses for my grandaughter because she loves wearing them, too, and to run around kicking up the skirt. Very easy pattern idea. Thank you for sharing … πŸ™‚ Pat

  8. You are lucky. My girls wanted to wear jeans almost exclusively. And now my granddaughter is the same way, haha. Thanks for the tutorial.

  9. Oh my cuteness! So nice to meet you and your little one. I got 3 boys, so I don’t have s daughter to sew for and dress up.

    1. Awww, thank you Rachell! I’m kinda partial to her myself. πŸ˜‰ I couldn’t imangine not have a little girl. Maybe one day you’ll have lots of granddaughters to sew for. I have 2 others – a girl who’s 23 and a boy who’s going to be 22 soon. I also have a 2 year old granddaughter. This little one is our late in life blessing. πŸ™‚ Thank you for stopping by!

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