Feb 21, 2013

DIY Little Girl Ruffle Skirt

Ruffle skirts are so perfect for little girls. Did you know that you can make one from a few old shirts in less than an hour? I created this tutorial to make a skirt (with no pattern or special sewing skills needed) from 2 t-shirts (may need 3 depending on the size).  All you need is the t-shirts and a sewing machine.

To start you will need to cut a square/rectangle from one of the t-shirts.  Depending on the size of your child you may need to have a shape that is longer or wider.  This is forming the base of the skirt so it needs to be big enough to fit your child comfortably.  I honestly didn't measure but cut a shape that I knew would fit Small Fry.
Now, if it has writing on it leave the writing side out, and sew both side seams (this way the writing gets turned to the inside and is not visible on the finished skirt).
To make the waist band cut 1 long strip from another t-shirt.  This piece should be long enough that when folded in half it will fit around the waist of the girl you are making this for (try to cut somewhere where there is no writing).  You may need to cut 2 strips and sew them together (depending on the size you want to make).
Fold that strip in half lengthwise.
Sew the ends together to make a circle band.
Pin this to the outside of the skirt with the open edge pinned to the top of the skirt (note that the skirt piece has been turned with the writing to the inside-this is now how it will stay).
Sew along the top edge of the skirt-stretching the waist band as needed to fit the skirt piece (there should be a little bit of gathering).
To make the ruffles cut 3 to 4 inch wide strips from the remaining t-shirts (cut through both layers of the shirt leaving the side seams intact).  Sew a gathering stitch along one edge and pull to ruffle.  Pin this to the skirt just below the waist band, evening out the gathers as you go.
Sew along the ruffle piece (I use the gathering stitches as my guide for where to sew).  Then repeat with remaining ruffles.  I lift up the above layer and pin the next ruffle below (about 1 1/2" below).  Stitch over the gathering stitches as you did on the previous ruffle.

You could measure and mark a line where you want to pin the next layer.  That would help you to keep everything more even. 
Continue to add strips until you have a long enough skirt.  I sewed 5 ruffle strips and ran out of plain black t-shirt pieces so I called it good.  My under skirt piece was still longer but I trimmed that off just below the last ruffle.

And there you have it.  Simple, and super fun for any little girl.  No need to finish any seams-jersey knit doesn't fray or run-which makes it so perfect for children's clothing.
Here is my "not so little any more" girl modeling hers.  She was gracious enough to stop for a max of 2 minutes to let me take some pictures.  She keeps me on my toes with my photography skills.  If I can't get the picture I want in 2 minutes then I guess I don't need it.
I made my girls matching skirts and they loved them.  They are soft and durable.  You don't have to worry about them snagging on something, or coming unraveled.  They are perfect for kids like mine that don't care about fashion but just want comfort.  But guess what-they are fashionable too.

(this one she has a leaf stuck to her bum because she was sure I wanted a picture of her in it rolling on the ground).
Stay tuned for a rainbow version coming soon.  I am super excited about it.  Now you have yet another reason to visit your local thrift store-old t-shirts to dress the little girls in your life.

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  1. I have to try this! I'm sure mine will be crooked and ugly, but thank you for this post! My daughter is obsessed with this kind of skirt! :)

    1. The beauty is that it is really hard to tell that it is crooked and ugly. Because mine is pretty crooked-you just can't tell and on a wiggly little body you can't tell.


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