This simple tutorial for a basic elasticated skirt can be made for girls of all ages (and grown up girls too!) and is so quick to sew – I can easily rustle one up in an hour. It’s also a really versatile pattern as there are lots of ways you can customise the skirts so they look different (on my examples in the picture, you can see I attached some ric rac for a fancier edging).
To make a skirt you will need:
- Elastic – I would suggest using one that is 2.5cm width for comfort but you can easily use a thicker or thinner elastic (I’ll explain how to alter the casing for the waistband if you choose to do this!)
- Tape Measure
- Pencil/Tailors Chalk
- Set Square/T Square/Perspex Patchwork Ruler
- Iron and Ironing Board
- Safety Pin
- Sewing Machine
Cutting your fabric:
Before you begin, you will need to work out your measurements. You will need the waist measurement of the girl who will wear the skirt and the measurement between their belly button and knee for the length.
Your rectangle will need to draw will be double the waist measurement (width) x the length of the skirt (+ 5.5cm added on for the seam allowance and waistband casing) (height). I made a skirt for my friend’s daughter who was 3 years old – her waist was 51cm and the measurement between her belly button and knee was 25cm so my rectangle measured 102cm by 30.5cm. If you are making the skirt for an older child, you may need to sew two pieces of fabric together to get the correct width – I would recommend it being two equal pieces so you can use these as the side seams when finished.
Draw your rectangle using your set square (or similar to get a square edge) and carefully cut out using dressmaking scissors.
Assembling your skirt:
- At what will be the bottom of your skirt, turn up 0.5cm of fabric followed by another 0.5cm. Pin and press in place with a hot iron.
- Using a straight stitch, sew a line of stitches to hold the hem in place – try to keep this close to the top edge of your hem.
- Fold your fabric in half and sew your side seam so you have the basic tube of your skirt. I like to use a French seam as it gives a clean finish
Mastering A French Seam
- With the right sides facing outwards, sew your fabric together with a straight stitch with a quarter inch (0.5cm) seam allowance.
- Turn your fabric inside out so the wrong sides are facing outwards
- Press the seam with a hot iron
- Sew the fabric together with another straight stitch seam, this time leaving a half inch (1cm) seam to enclose the raw edges
- Turn your fabric back the right way (if you have any loose threads from a raw edge, pull these out gently or snip them off, being careful not to cut the fabric…I did this once!!)
Back to the skirt assembly…
- If it is not already, turn your skirt inside out
- Cut your elastic – to do this, you’ll need a length of the waist measurement minus 2.5cm. For my skirt, this was 48.5cm.
- To make your waistband, fold down 1cm then fold down a further 3.5cm. Pin and press this in place (if you choose elastic that is thicker or thinner than the 2.5cm elastic I am using, adjust your second fold down accordingly so that it is the width of your elastic + 1cm (eg if your elastic was only 1cm width, your second fold down would be 2cm)
- Sew the waistband casing with a row of straight stitches close to the folded edge (the one nearer the middle of the skirt, rather than the top fold…which wouldn’t give you a casing!), leaving a gap in your stitches close to the side seam wide enough to feed your elastic through (a 2cm gap should be ample!)
- Attach your elastic to a safety pin to help you to feed it through the skirt
- Overlap the two ends of your elastic (by 2cm) and sew together securely
- Sew up the little gap in your waistband
- Marvel at your own brilliance as you’ve completed your skirt!