Tuesday, 17 October 2017

How to make an Elastic Waist Skirt with a Lace Ruffle ~ Tutorial

Skirts with an elastic waist are such a practical item of clothing for young girls, and they're easy to sew, too. A few gathers and a little lace will ensure the skirt becomes a well worn garment. Today's tutorial will show you how to make a knee length skirt, complete with the all important twirl factor, suitable for ages two - five.

Learn how to make a gathered cotton and lace skirt for girls aged 2 - 5. Tutorial by Threading My Way

Preparation

Take two measurements...
  • waist measurement
  • waist to knee measurement

Materials

  • two contrasting fabrics - I used quilting cottons.
  • cotton lace
  • ¾" (2cm) elastic

Childs' Measurements + Cutting Chart + Finished Length

Size 2
Child's waist measurement = 20" (50cm)
Child's waist to knee measurement = 12½" (32cm)
Finished length = 12" (30cm)
Cut 2 pieces of fabric for yoke 4¼" x 14" (11cm x 36cm)
Cut 2 pieces of fabric for main body of skirt 7½" x 20" (19cm x 50cm)
Cut 2 pieces of lace 3¼" x 26" (8cm x 66cm)
Cut 1 piece of ¾" (2cm) elastic x 18" (46cm)

Size 3
Child's waist measurement = 20½" (52cm)
Child's waist to knee measurement = 13½" (34cm)
Finished length = 13" (33cm)
Cut 2 pieces of fabric for yoke 4½" x 14½" (11cm x 37cm)
Cut 2 pieces of fabric for main body of skirt 8" x 20½" (20cm x 52cm)
Cut 2 pieces of lace 3½" x 26½" (9cm x 67cm)
Cut 1 piece of ¾" (2cm) elastic x 18½" (47cm)

Size 4
Child's waist measurement = 21" (53cm)
Child's waist to knee measurement = 14" (36cm)
Finished length = 13½" (34cm)
Cut 2 pieces of fabric for yoke 5" x 15" (13cm x 38cm)
Cut 2 pieces of fabric for main body of skirt 8" x 21" (20cm x 53cm)
Cut 2 pieces of lace 3½" x 27" (9cm x 69cm)
Cut 1 piece of ¾" (2cm) elastic x 19" (48cm)

Size 5
Child's waist measurement = 22" (56cm)
Child's waist to knee measurement = 15" (38cm)
Finished length = 14½" (37cm)
Cut 2 pieces of fabric for yoke 5" x 16" (13cm x 41cm)
Cut 2 pieces of fabric for main body of skirt 8½" x 22" (22cm x 56cm)
Cut 2 pieces of lace 4" x 28" (10cm x 71cm)
Cut 1 piece of ¾" (2cm) elastic x 20" (51cm)


Instructions

All seams are ⅜" (1cm) unless otherwise indicated.

The skirt is designed to sit at the top of the knee. To make a longer skirt, increase the length of the main body piece of the skirt. Or go up a size and make the elastic a little smaller.

Side Seams
Make three tubes by joining each section at the side seams.

  • Place yoke pieces right sides together. 
  • Sew seams, stitching ⅜" (1cm) from the edge along each short side.
  • Neaten seams with an overlocker (serger) or a zigzag stitch.
  • Place the main skirt body pieces right sides together
  • Sew seams, stitching ⅜" (1cm) from the edge along each short side.
  • Neaten seams with an overlocker (serger) or a zigzag stitch.

  • Turn yoke to right side and topstitch side seams.
  • Turn main skirt body to right side and topstitch side seams.

Topstitching:
  • Press seams.
  • Set machine stitch to slightly longer than normal. I use a 2.6 stitch length.
  • On the right side of the skirt, sew a row of stitching about ⅛" from the seam. This will hold the seam in place and gives a nice finish.


For the side seams of the lace, I did a French seam to ensure the cut threads didn't come loose, but you could do a plain seam, as for the yoke and main skirt body pieces. To make the French seams lay flat...
  • Press the seam to one side.
  • Sew along the outside edge to hold it in place.


Gathering
This is done on both the main skirt body and the lace.


Gathering stitches:
  • Set machine to the longest straight stitch (machine basting stitch)
  • Do NOT backstitch. Leave the threads hanging.
  • Sew a row of stitching ¼" from the edge, going from one side seam to the second side seam.
  • Sew a row of stitching ¼" from the edge, going from the second side seam back to the first side seam.
  • Sew a second row of stitching ½" from the edge, going from one side seam to the second side seam.
  • Sew a second row of stitching ½" from the edge, going from the second side seam back to the first side seam.


Pin main skirt body to yoke:
  • Mark the centre front and centre back of the main skirt body.
  • Mark the centre front and centre back of the yoke.
  • With right sides together, pin the main skirt body to the yoke at the side seams, the centre front and the centre back.
Make the gathers:
  • Pull the two bobbin threads and move the fabric to towards the centre front.
  • Pull until the main skirt body is the same length as the yoke.
  • Tie a knot in the two bobbin threads.
  • Even out the gathers and pin.
Repeat three times pulling the threads from each side seam to the centre.

Hand baste main skirt body to yoke:
  • With needle and thread, sew the main skirt body to the yoke, with long stitches (hand basting stitch).
  • Remove all pins.

Machine stitch main skirt body to yoke
:

  • Set machine back to normal stitch length for straight stitch.
  • Sew between the two lines of machine basting.
  • Remove both rows of machine basting (bobbin and upper threads) and the hand basting.
  • Neaten the edges by overlocking (serging) or with zig zag.  
Sewing two lines of machine basting, makes it less likely for the thread to break as you pull the gathers and it also makes it easy to sew over the gathers so they remain neat.

For more photos of the gathering process, have a look at the following tutorial - How to Sew Ruffles


Topstitching:
  • Press the seam towards the yoke.
  • Set machine stitch slightly longer than normal. My topstitching is 2.6.
  • On the right side of the skirt, sew a row of stitching about ⅛" from the seam. This will hold the seam in place and gives a nice finish.


Follow the steps above to gather and attach the lace to the main skirt body.


Waistband

Casing for the elastic:
  • Fold over ¼"
  • Press
  • Fold over 1¼" (3cm)
  • Press
  • Baste (hand sew with a long stitch) to hold the hem in place.
  • Stitch close to the hem of the casing - a scant ⅛" (3mm), leaving a 2" (5cm) opening in the middle of the back.
  • Sew a second line of stitching a scant ⅛" from the top edge of the skirt. (Missing from the photo below.)

Insert the elastic:

  • Attach a safety pin to the end of the elastic.
  • Feed the elastic through the casing, starting at the back opening. Leave the other end sticking out of the opening. 

  • Remove the safety pin.
  • Overlap ends about ¾" (2cm).
  • Hold the elastic with a wonder clip or hand baste one side of the elastic.
  • Stitch the ends together with a zig zag stitch. 

  • Push the elastic into the casing.
  • Spread out the elastic so it is evenly spaced, placing the join at the centre back seam.


Stop the elastic from twisting

  • Sew through the elastic and casing at the back seam and/or side seams (stitch in the ditch). This will prevent the elastic from twisting.
See Stop Waistband Elastic from Twisting for more detailed photos.


Close the back opening
  • Stitch the back opening closed.

That's it!!! You've finished. There's no hem to sew thanks to the lace. 

Learn how to make a gathered cotton and lace skirt for girls aged 2 - 5. Tutorial by Threading My Way

For more skirt tutorials... 30+ Girls' Skirts ~ Free Patterns & Tutorials

If you make a skirt for a little one using this tutorial, I'd love to see photos:

Perhaps you have a vague recollection of seeing this skirt before. Three years ago I made the first one, then another few after that (but didn't post about the subsequent ones). Ha, ha... I don't rush things. The photos have been patiently waiting all those years, waiting to be turned into a tutorial.

I have a few more tutorials in the works. Stay tuned...

... Pam




25 comments:

  1. Love it! I've pinned it on our shoebox girls' clothing board for other shoebox crafters to find. It would be great for a 2 to 4 year old Operation Christmas Child shoebox.

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  2. Thanks so much for the great skirt tutorial. Your tutorials are always so detailed and easy to understand. Charts for different size options and little tips that make such a big difference too.

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    1. The hardest part is finding the cotton lace.

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  3. That's a lovely skirt! Thanks for the tutorial. While sewing at places with elastic, will a regular foot work? I find it difficult to work with thicker portions of fabric, any tips? I don't have quilting foot either.

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  4. I love this skirt tutorial, you laid it out so completely and with such detail. It equals = success!! Such a cute skirt and I love the lace hem!!

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    1. Thanks so much, Sheila. I have to confess, the lace is my favourite part of the skirt.

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  5. Lovely skirt Pam, the lace ruffle is the icing on the cake!

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  6. What a great tutorial Pam. I know how long these take to put together, so I am particularly appreciative. Very pretty indeed! Mimi xxx

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  7. Such a great stash buster too!

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    1. I’m all for projects that let me bust some of the ever growing stash, Caroline

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  8. Lovely skirt Pam, very pretty :) Thanks for sharing at Creative Mondays :) Hope you can join us again soon.

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  9. Oh, this is the best kind of skirt for twirling in. I used to love a good twirly skirt when I was little!

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  10. That is a fabulous skirt for using up small pieces of fabric. I have pinned! Jo x

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  11. Pam,
    Love your ruffled skirt. I hope you stop by Over The Moon on sunday since you are being featured.
    Hugs,
    Bev

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  12. I love it. I need to figure out a size for my seven year old, but it shouldn't be too difficult. Thank you for sharing the tutorial at The Really Crafty Link Party this week. Pinned!

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  13. Oh, I love it Pam! It's just beautiful! I love the combination of fabrics and that lovely lace at the bottom! Pinned! :) Lisa

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  14. Really nice Pam, and great to see you on craft schooling Sunday!

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  15. Love this! Thanks for sharing this in the To Grandma's House We Go Link Party! It has been pinned. Remember to follow all of us and we hope to see you back this Wednesday!

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  16. Thank you for the tutorial! I've promised all three granddaughters a skirt for Christmas. 'Better get with it!! -Marci @ Stone Cottage Adventures

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Thanks for stopping by! I love reading your comments and try to reply to all of them via email.