I love eclectic, crazy and colourful looks, but you could certainly use whatever fabrics suit your taste.
The beauty of this project is that you don't need to print anything out, you can easily draw up your templates and just get going straight away! Plus, it's a great stash-busting project ;)
I made my project for a girls AUS size 8-9. Here's a conversion chart if you don't live in Oz. Material lengths are given for this size. You may need more or less depending on your size choice.
You'll need an overlocker and normal sewing machine. But if you're clever you can probably make the whole thing on your normal sewing machine.
- 4 different scraps of fabric measuring 15" (length) x 20" (width)
- Piece of ribbing or similar stretchy material, such as cotton lycra 4 3/4" (12cm) x 10 1/4" (26cm)
- A couple of small pieces of pretty fabric for the pockets, plus plain fabric such as calico for the back of the pockets.
- Matching sewing thread.
You are going to be using 8 panels of fabric for the skirt, and we need to draw up our template. Work out your measurements using this method:
Measure child's waist then add approximately half that measurement again. I measured 27" around the waist, so 27" + 14" (rounded up) = 41". Now divide this 41" by 8, which equals 5.1". For simplicity's sake, let's pretend that means 5 1/8". I added an extra 3/8" (1cm) to this measurement because I used exposed seams on my overlocker/ serger and that way does not take up much fabric. If you are using a normal sewing machine with hidden seams you can add 3/8" (1cm) to both sides; so add an extra 3/4" or 2cm to that 5 1/8" measurement.
So I have my top measurement at 5 1/2".
Measure how long you would like your skirt. We wanted a 14" length skirt so we added 1" to that and got 15".
Our bottom measurement was an approximate double the top width to 10". You can go larger or smaller, it doesn't really matter, the wider you go, the more twirl your skirt will have.
Now draw it all up to make your template. I marked the centre of my template so that I could measure 5" from either side for the bottom measurement so my template didn't end up being wonky. Add a slight curve to the top and bottom of your template, then cut out following the curved lines.
I used a mix of upcycled fabrics taken from old garments, and new fabrics.
Cut out eight panels. I used four different fabrics, so cut two panels of each to make up my 8. Work out which fabric you would like next to each other and sew them together using a narrow overlock hem, with wrong sides together.
Hem to desired length or use the narrow overlock stitch around the bottom of the skirt.
Next cut out two pockets. Work out your template by drawing a rectangle the size you would like your pockets. Draw a gentle curve for the bottom of your pockets to give them a rounded shape. Add some seam allowance around the whole shape. I added 3/8" (1cm). My finished pocket template measured 6 1/4" (16cm) x 5 1/8" (13cm).
You need to cut out two pockets using your template with your chosen pocket fabric. You will also need to cut two pieces of fabric for the insides of the pockets. Place one pocket fabric and one lining fabric, right sides together and sew around the pieces using your 3/8" (1cm) seam allowance leaving an opening around 2" (5cm) in the top to turn right side out. Turn right side out and iron flat, making sure the top edges are tucked in evenly, and top stitch the opening at the top of the pocket close to the edge. Repeat with other pocket.
Pin your pockets to your skirt and stitch in place close to the edges of your pockets, backstitching at the start and the end.
Next, work out how much stretch fabric you will need for the waist. Make sure to place your fabric so the stretchiest part is going around the waist. For a 2" (5cm) waistband you need to cut a 4 3/4" (12cm) length of fabric. That allows for doubling the fabric plus a 3/8" (1cm) seam allowance. Next, work out your how much you will need to go around the waist. We used 10 1/4" (26cm) which includes 3/8" (1cm) seam allowance. You may need to place your stretchy fabric around your subjects waist to work out your width, remembering to add your seam allowance. Cut out.
Fold over so that the short ends match up, right sides together. Sew. Then fold over down on itself so that the seam is on the inside of the waistband.
Once your stretch fabric is sewn stretch it out comfortably to see how far it can comfortably go for when you sew the skirt to the waistband. You can see below I needed to get my skirt fabric to fit in between the yellow lines. This is how far I wanted to stretch my waistband whilst sewing it on to the skirt.
Using the longest straight stitch on your sewing machine, sew around the top of your skirt, close to the edge. Backstitch at the start but not at the end. Don't sew over the stitching where you started.
Pull one of the threads (the bobbin thread usually works best) to start gathering in your fabric. Once you get your fabric to the size you need, tie off the thread ends to secure, and even out the gathering all around. I straight stitched around the top again just to help keep everything in place.
Here is my skirt top gathered in to the size I need.
Next, mark with pins the centre back and front of the waistband and the skirt, plus mark out with pins in two the sides. Match up your pins on the waistband and skirt, right sides together with raw edges matching, and pin it all together, using a pin for the front and back centre, and the two sides. Place in your overlocker at one of the points removing the pin first, and stretch out the waistband to fit the skirt whilst sewing around the edge, remembering to remove the pins before you reach them!
The waistband sewn in.
Then, turn right side out and present to your chosen fashionista!
The finished skirt.
Let me know if you make the skirt, and if there are any oversights in my instructions please let me know and I will do my best to help you!