How to make a scrappy gathered skirt

May 18, 2013

Today I made this sweet little skirt for Isabella.  It is a very simple project - one for beginner sewers.  It takes a bit of time to put together but there are no complicated techniques.

It is gathered at the waist with one row of elastic.  The skirt is lined - with the lining peaking out below the hemline.  The hem is edged with two rows of ric rac.

You will need...

1.  Scraps of fabric for outer layer - you will need them to be the skirt length you like plus 5cm.  You will need enough to allow for a skirt that is about three times your child's waist circumference in width.
2.  Lining-  I lined my skirt.  Again you will need the desired length of your skirt (I added an extra 2cm than my outer layer as I wanted my lining to peak out the bottom).  You will need the same skirt width as your outer layer - approx. 3 x waist... but cut your lining after your outer layer is assembled.  For example, Isabella's waist measurement was 57cm, so I used 180cm in length of lining.  You don't need to buy 180cm of lining though.  Fabric is usually 115 - 150 cm in width.  With a seam, you could achieve the required amount for Isabella from twice the skirt length (ie. 45 x2), so you would need 90cm off the roll of fabric.
3.  Some 2.5 mm width elastic (You will need 10cm less than your child's waist circumference).
4.  Ric rac - 3 x waist measurement again.
5.  Pins and safety pin.

How to make...

1.  Measure your child's waist.  Isabella's was 57cm.
2.  Measure the skirt length you would like: measure from waist to finished hemline - add 5 cm (this includes 4 cm for waist and 1 cm for hem).  I wanted Isabella's skirt to be 40 cm long so I cut 45 cm strips of fabric.
3.  Cut several pieces of fabric at differing widths at 45 cm in length.  Iron your pieces before sewing.

My cut pieces looked like this...I paid little attention to matching colours/patterns.

Start sewing your pieces together down the long edges (with right sides together).  Neaten each seam.

Repeat this process until you have a strip of pieced fabrics that will look something like this.  My length of fabric now is 180cm (So a little more than three times Isabella's waist circumference).
Ta da!  Hope you like it!

Linking up with Sew Country Chick and also taking part in Skirt Week with this one at Crafterhours.

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  1. Gorgeous! Great way to use up odds and ends in the stash. The ric rac is lovely - I need to start using it more!

  2. Beautiful! I will add this skirt to my long list of things I want to sew right away.

  3. love it! i might try a much bigger version for me xx

    1. Thanks mezz! Let me know if you make a 'big girl' version !

  4. I love to make simple elastic waist skirts for my daughters and this is a great idea to use all my scraps!

  5. I had the perfect scraps to make this. You can see my version here:
    Thank you for the great tutorial.

  6. Thank you for this! My 7 year old and I are learning how to sew together and this project turned out beautifully! Appreciate the photos and easy to follow instructions. I was skeptical about our abilities, but this project proved me wrong :)


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