Be-ribboned Skirt & T-shirt tutorial

I got the idea for this skirt while perusing one of my favorite children’s clothing catalogs… I saw it and thought “hey I can make that for a lot less $!”

I hope you like it… here’s the tutorial PLEASE contact me if you have any questions about it!

First you need a pattern to work with.. It can be a skirt, a dress a pillowcase… anything that you would like to “be-ribbon”.. The skirt I used here is one of my own creations, the Sydney skirt… you can click here for the full tutorial on the skirt construction.

Once you have cut out your pattern lie your skirt front piece out flat on a table (keep the skirt back piece separate for now).

Pick out the ribbons you’d like to adhere to your skirt (just a tip, if you are nervous about making this, it’s better to put the ribbon towards the bottom of the skirt the closer you get to the top, the harder it will be to line the ribbon up with your waistband)

I chose to do a Christmas theme and picked out red and green ribbons of various widths and patterns. I used 1 spool of each, I just bought the pre-packaged ribbon at the craft store.


Lay the ribbons out in a pattern that you like. Leave at least 2″ of ribbon hanging off the edge of both sides. Don’t adhere any ribbon within 2″ of the top or bottom of skirt piece.
I used spray adhesive to help keep the ribbon in place while I sewed. There are alot of different brands out there, just make sure you use one safe for sewing or you will gum up your machine.
One piece at a time turn ribbon over and spray with adhesive. You will want to do this on a piece of wax paper or garbage sack so you don’t make your sewing table all sticky.
*NOTE: if you do not want to sew down your ribbons you could use fusible seam tape, I didn’t use it because I was worried it would be stiff on the skirt.
I used the grid on my cutting table and a water soluble pen to make sure that the ribbons were straight. I drew lines on the fabric then lined up the top of my ribbon pieces with the lines. This also helps while you are sewing down the ribbon.
Pin ribbons in to place (put a pin at least every 3″)
Working in one direction at a time (sew all the left sides of all the ribbon, flip around and sew all the rights). Sew down both sides of your ribbon. It will pucker up and look like a mess at some point… don’t stress.. you can press it smooth. (also, the fewer ribbons you sew down the less puckering that will occur)

When you are done sewing your skirt front piece, take out your skirt back piece and line it up right next to the side of your skirt front. Using a marking pen, mark the location of each ribbon piece. This will help you to make sure the ribbons line up at the side seams. Mark the other side. *tip- when matching front and back side seams, lay them out on the table in the way they will be sewn…you may think the ribbons are straight all the way across but just in case they are not, mark each side separately*
Sew skirt back the same way you sewed the skirt front.

When you are done with both pieces, line them up and pin where each ribbon meets. Sew side seams.
Finish your skirt according to your pattern. (you can find mine here)

To make the present applique on the t-shirt, cut a piece of matching fabric 3 1/2 x 4 1/2 *note: this shirt is size 7-8 if you are making a smaller shirt, you will want a smaller rectangle*
Adhere a piece of Heat & Bond light to the back of the rectangle.

Iron the rectangle onto your t-shirt. Using a straight stitch, sew around all sides of the rectangle.

Cut a piece of ribbon the same size as your rectangle. Put a small dab of fray check on the ends of the ribbon.

Pin ribbon in place and sew around all 4 sides.

Using 2 types of ribbon, form 3 loops in the ribbon. Stitch the ribbon so that it stays this way. (you will stitch under where my thumb is)

Lay the ribbon on top of the rectangle “eyeball” where you will want another ribbon tail.

Lay a 2nd piece of ribbon down to form the “tail” of the bow. Using a machine sew into place.

Using a needle and thread, sew your bow onto the top of the present. Use the needle and thread to get the bow just how you like. Sew decorative button to the top of the ribbon.
Cut the ribbon tails to the size you would like, apply a dab of fray check to the ends and voila! You’re done!
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

    Found you on TCB! Love the Halloween banner (in addition to this cute skirt, but I LOOOVE Halloween). I went to high school in Louisville so . . . we have something in common! Come visit me sometime –


  2. says

    Hey I found your blog through U Create, and I love it! I especially love the confessions from your previous post, as I read, and I was vigorously nodding my head, thinking; “yep, me too,…yep…oh yeah I did that today…” Anyway, super cute blog, and super cute ideas! Thanks for sharing!

  3. says

    I am so happy I found your blog thru U Create! Fabulous tutorial – that present applique is adorable, and I forsee it gracing more than a few things I make this winter ;o) Oooooh and birthdays, too!

    Have a fabulous weekend!

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