Skirt Tutorial

*edited to add…. hi… I feel terrible that I have to add this… but this skirt tutorial is provided for your own FOR FUN at home use ONLY, please do NOT take this and make or sell a pattern of it. I just saw today that someone took my patchwork skirt tutorial and is selling a pattern of it… not cool.. I want to keep putting this stuff up for free and to share, but only if everyone can play nice!****

So for about 1 month, I’ve been stuck inside due to sick kids…. my only outings seem to be to Dr.’s offices or Church… I’m beginning to lose my mind I think… Today while surfing the net to “destress” after my 7 yr old puked all over my car, I found that cute skirt on the Heather Bailey website… I LOVED IT!!! I finally felt like making something! Luckily I stash fabric, and the skirt doesn’t take more than 1 yard of a couple of prints… I even had the t-shirt laying around. I love it when I can make a craft and don’t have to buy anything for it!

Okay, here is the tutorial for the skirt. Tonight after I got home from church I decided that it was not fitting her right. My daughter is very tiny and the skirt is very full. I decided that it needed a waistband to help the transition from the full skirt to the smaller waist.
btw— poor kid was throwing up today but I HAD to try it on her … she was such a good sport and even flashed me a smile.

To make the skirt I started with a tutorial here… House on Hill Road. I can’t leave well enough alone and ended up making some changes. It needed some ricrac.. I love ric rac.. If I were not 35 years old I would sew it to my own clothes!
First of all- it is IMPEARATIVE that you PRESS and steam each piece AS YOU GO.. Don’t wait until the end to do it all.. this is the biggest thing you can do to make your garment look professional and not home-made.

First the pattern…
You need:
2 pieces for the skirt top
2 pieces for the underskirt
2 pieces for the skirt band
1 piece for the waistband
To figure out the size of the skirt top, measure your daughters waist… and double it. Sydney’s waist was 20″ so I cut 2 pieces of fabric 12″ x 40″….she is about a size 6x-7. (I picked the 12″ length after I measured how long I wanted it to be on her)
For the underskirt add 3″ to the length of the top skirt…. and cut two more pieces… so 2 pieces 15″x40″
For the skirt band cut 2 pieces 3.5″x40″
For the waistband measure your daughter’s hips and add 2″… Syd’s were 24″ so I cut 1 piece of fabric 26″x4″…. or just add 4-5″ to the waist measurement.

To attach the band to the skirt, refer to the tutorial above.
After you have done that, sew the underskirt pieces together at the side seams. Press open.
To attach ric rac to the hem of the skirt, do the following:
The bottom of the skirt will need to be finished in some way before you sew on the ric rac, I just used the overcast stitch, you can also use a zig zag stitch or a serger.

Next pin the 2 skirt pieces together.
Run 2 rows of gathering stitches along the top of the 2 skirt pieces. Set aside. On waistband piece, sew side seams and fold under one side 1/4″ and press. Fold under again 1/2″ and press. Then sew along bottom edge, leaving open 1/2″ to make elastic casing.

Gather skirt and attach to waistband. When I gather skirts, I think it is easier to gather in sections rather than the whole skirt, that way if the thread breaks you don’t lose the whole piece.
Sew skirt to the UNFOLDED edge of waistband.
Measure a piece of 1/4″ elastic to size and thread into waistband. Sew casing closed.

Viola! Finished!
Now to make some changes to the t-shirt—- where is a bedazzler when you need one? (I don’t have one any suggestions to add some “bling” to the shirt).

Melissa Mortenson is the author of the Polka Dot Chair blog which is in its 7th year of sharing fresh and creative ideas with readers. She is the author of “Project Teen, Handmade Gifts your Teen will Actually Love”. Her first fabric line “Derby Style” debuted in January 2015 through Riley Blake Designs. A mom of 3, she considers herself lucky to be living in Kentucky.


  1. says

    That is just too much. I never knew how to sew the rick rack on so that it looks so great when you fold it over on the bottom. It is just so cute. I don’t think I could have figured that out, so I am glad I have a friend that did.

  2. says

    Whoa. Okay, I didn’t even know you had this blog. Now I do! Now I can feel like a real sludge compared to your creative BRILLIANCE! BTW, I’ll pay you serious cash if you make one of those skirts for my girls (you know how deep my pockets are) : )! LOVE the site. It’s so YOU!

  3. says

    Oh wow! Traci emailed me about this and I’m so glad she did. This is gorgeous and your blog is FABULOUS! I’ll be linking to this today. Now, off to explore the rest of this beautiful blog!

  4. says

    I have been DYING over the skirt on heather bailey’s site! so, you can imagine my excitement when I saw yours…IT’S DARLING! Thanks for sharing!!
    Jenni Smith

  5. says

    LOVE IT! I saw the tutorial you referred to the other day ~ very cool that you put your own twist on it. I have two girls who LOVE skirts and with spring (hopefully soon) coming, I can’t wait to make some! Thanks for the tutorial!

  6. says

    What a great ric rac trick!
    Thanks for this tutorial. I had a lot of fun combining it with Pink Picket Fence’s tulle skirt… Good stuff!

  7. says

    Woman, thank you so so much because my daughter has asked me about a skirt like this and we found gorgeous fabric, i’M A COMPLETE dumb rabbit and I can barely sew but I’m definetelt gonna take the chance, thanks for sharing this for free!

  8. says

    Wow…I think I may try this one even though I hae never made clothes before only straight line stitches….is this too much of a project for a beginner? Very cute-

  9. says

    Thanks for all of your tutorials. I love your blog. I’ve got 3 girls (two are twins) and these skirts came out so adorable for Christmas. I posted one on my blog and linked back to yours. I just finished the second one and I’m moving on to the third. They are so full and fun. Thanks for sharing your talents with all of us!!

  10. says

    Just wanted to say thank you for sharing!! I have one little girl and 3 boys. So it is fun to make her some fun things. Also thank you for posting it for free. I do hope people play nice!! As we can’t afford to pay for a pattern and then fabric on top of that, these day’s. You can buy clothes cheaper then that. But so not as CUTE!! Thank You!!!!

  11. says

    Thank you for sharing this wonderful tutorial! I made my granddaughter a Dorothy (wizard of oz) dress using it. I posted photos on my blog today. I’ll definitely be making more.

  12. Sunny says

    LOVE this skirt! I’m an honorary grandma to an adorable five year old and I am thrilled to find this cute free pattern (how generous of you!) Here’s a little hint (definitely not original with me…but I love it) Use dental floss and a wide zig zag stitch when you want to gather the waist. It never breaks! :o)


  13. Kathy says

    Thanks Melissa for yet another cute idea. I’m so sorry there are dishonest people who take the work of others and claim it as their own. I am grateful that you are kind enough to share your adorable ideas “free of charge” with the rest of us. I look forward to reading your blog daily. I have some Little Red Riding Hood fabric from Riley Blake. I’m going to use your tutorial to make skirts for my 3 granddaughters.



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