Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Bustle Bum Skirt Tutorial

This is a fun and easy skirt that can be made for about any season. Find a lightweight/thin material. Anything thick would not bustle well and cause the back to sag considerably.

First, let’s cut the fabric.
I have the formula below and also put an example in red to see what I used on my skinny three year-old daughter.

To get width, take the waist measurement and multiply it by 1.8

Example. Scarlett’s waist is 20 inches. 20 X 1.8 = 36 inches

For length, measure from the waist to whatever length you desire and then add about three inches for seams and waistband.

We now need to get measurements A and B below.

  • To get A, take the waist measurements and subtract three inches. (20 -3 =17 inches).
  • To get measurement B, take the length and subtract A and then divide in half.


36 (Length) – 17 (Waist minus three inches)= 19 inches

19 inches / 2 = 9.5 inches

At this point, just simply make small marks on the top of the rectangular to record where the division between A and B are. We will be coming back to that shortly.

Ok, how fold the fabric in half, with right sides together, like shown.

Sew the non-folded side closed.

This will create a tube. Now, take the upper edge (where the waistband will be) and fold the fabric down approximately ¼”. Press that down and then fold it about a inch down. This is the waistband and casing where the elastic will be inserted so just make it slightly wider than the elastic you are using (I recommend ¾” – 1” elastic). Pin the waistband down every few inches.

Once pinned, take the pin and have the center seam facing you (skirt should still be inside out). This is where you refer to where sections B start. Like the diagram below, sew the waistband down from B to B (it will take you across the seam).

Next, take the elastic, guided with a closed safety pin, and feed it through the part of the waistband you just stitched.

Secure it on the other side with the safety pin and pull to make it bustle. Pull it until there are about three inches of bustle at top. Secure the other side with a safety pin. This is a great time to have the child try it on to see if you would like the elastic tightened or loosened. Once you find the ideal size, sew a line through the elastic, vertically, at each end, to secure it. That was a mouthful.

See the photos for clarification. Hopefully this makes sense!

Now, sew the rest of the waistband closed (the rest will all be section A). And then chose the length desired for the skirt and create a hem by folding and sewing.

Turn right side out. It is starting to resemble a skirt! Hopefully my directions don’t have you flustered at this point.

For the bow, sew a rectangle and wrap fabric around the middle. Tack to skirt.

And you’re done!


  1. Just found your blog through my friend Taryn, your blog is amazing! I love your style and sense of color. You make me want to learn to sew. Do you have an etsy site?

  2. I love your Facebook photos that Abbey took of your family!! I love Scarlett's dress - you finally made it! Darling. Did you make Autumn's too? I miss talking shop with you. I finally found a fabric store near me today. I did find one 20 minutes away but you know how it is - you need one close. Hope you are doing well. I saw that Gstreet had their groupon deal not too long ago and I was DYING! I hope you snagged a bunch.
    miss you - Tammi

  3. I've just returned to your blog after a while without reading it...it continues marvellous and very creative.
    I'm beginning to learn how to make simple things, sewing simple things, I mean, as I love to knit and crochetting, but I'm a begginner in sewing.
    This bow skirt is marvellous fo my granddaughters.

    All the best for you and your children.

    I'm writting to you from Portugal, near by Estoril.

    Gena Resende

  4. kunjungan gan :)
    bagi bagi motivasi :
    Sesungguhnya di saat kesusahan teman, satu senyum yang tulus lebih berharga daripada sejuta kata yang tiada guna.
    ditunggu kunjungan baliknya gan :)

  5. This is one cute skirt!!! I think your instructions were very clear.

  6. Nice !


    welcome :)

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