Friday, January 15, 2010

Tutorial: Layered Jersey Skirt

Inspired by this skirt...

(Crewcuts - Girl's Layered Cake Skirt - cotton and silk- $34.50)

I made this jersey version for my toddler:


And here is how I made it. It's super simple and soft for summer! Keep in mind I made this for a size skinny 2T. You will need to increase or decrease the measurements for your child's size. Also, don't worry about the ruffles all being the exact same width. The variety adds a little sass.

Also remember that sewing with a small zig-zag or stretch stitch is recommended on knits, as it allows the fabric to stretch slightly, without breaking the threads.

1. Start with 1 yard of two colors of jersey (total of 2 yards but you'll have extra left over).

2. Cut a rectangle. I just used one of her skirts and added several inches in both width and length for seam allowances. Mine ended up being 13 X 25 inches. **Make sure you make this a little too large in the body to allow stretch when you put it on, or the threads will break. It will end up fitting perfectly as you pull the waist in with the elastic waistband. Always error on too large as you can always take some away but you can't add material.

3. Cut three, 2 X 36 inch (approximately) strips of each color. You should have a total of 6 strips.

4. Ruffle all the strips of fabric. The easiest way to do this is to set your tension at it's highest (typically 9) and the width to the longest and just sew ( do NOT backstitch). It will naturally gather the fabric. Leave excess threads on both sides so you can have room to ease the gather to the length of the skirt (it will most likely be too tight and you'll need to loosen the ruffles).
5. Then, pin the ruffles onto the rectangle and sew them on, one row at a time. Leave about 4 inches of material at the top, where you don't add ruffles. You'll use this area for the waistband.

6. After all ruffles are sewn on, put the short sides of the rectangle together (right sides together) and sew. It will now be a tube and start to resemble a skirt. I think this is the hardest part of the skirt as it can be difficult to line up the ruffles on both sides. Mine ended up being slightly off but I just trimmed the ruffles afterwards to help them match up.

7. Now fold over extra material on top to meet the first ruffle and sew. Fold it over again and top-stitch with a zig-zag stitch. Leave a small section of the waistband (near the seam of the tube) open so you can insert the elastic.

8. Add elastic (I used 1/2 inch non-roll). I just measured my daughter's waist and added a few inches. Sew the last few inches of the top-stiching on waistband. And you're done!

Email me with your versions of the skirt and/or any questions! melhoney(at)gmail(dot)com.


  1. I have to say the being a "boy mom" and not really someone who ever wanted girls, your blog is almost enough to make me wish I had a little one to sew for!

  2. What an awesome skirt!! I blogged your tutorial over at Craft Gossip Sewing:


  3. I have to say, I personally, like yours better than the one that was the inspiration!

  4. I am so glad I found this. I saw the JCrew version a few days ago and was brainstorming how to make it. Now I know! Thanks for the great tutorial.

  5. Oh thanks! I hope it works well!

  6. this is wayyy to cute! I love it and it looks like something my daughters would be comfortable in!

  7. Hey Mel, its Julie from CCW I say this post on craftgossip, you are really rising up the craftblogging chain! Way to represent. PS I can't believe how big Scarlet is getting. Love the skirt I will have to make one for Elliot.

  8. So cute!! I linked the tutorial on my blog!

  9. Way to go! I love this skirt, I need a girl. I was looking at jersey fabric at Joann yesterday with this very skirt in mind! I really want to make one for my niece.

  10. cute! I want to make one for me!

  11. This would definitely work for an adult too!

  12. I love this skirt! I definitely want to make one for myself, though I am pretty much a beginner when it comes to sewing. How much fabric do you think I would need (size 6)?

  13. Katie,

    I'm not sure exactly. For my 18 month old daughter's skirt, I just used one of her current skirts as a base and just doubled it (for front and back) and then added about 6 inches more, just to be safe. If in doubt, always go bigger as you can always take away but not add more!

    It's not a hard skirt. I think it would be great for a beginner.



  14. cute! isn't jcrew an awesome source of inspiration?

  15. So cute! You might be interested in my new weekly linkup called Make it, Wear it!

    Andrea @

  16. Love this so much! I am going to make one for my little girl!

  17. So pretty! Thanks for sharing! :)

  18. i am a sewer from hk=]
    i love this skirt so much and i would like to try to make one for myself~
    actually, do i need to hem the bottom of the strips first?

  19. great tutorial! definitely going to make this one!! THANKS!


Question or comment? I'd love to hear it!