Sunday, June 27, 2010

Twirly Girl ruffle skirt tutorial

According to my daughters, life is best experienced on your tip toes spinning in circles! And to do that, of course you need something twirly! This adorable ruffle skirt is sure to inspire the little ladies in your life. Simple yet elegant, this skirt can be adorned with a fabric flower and buttons, and this is sure to be your little princess’s new favourite!

You will need:

About 1/3 to 1/2 yard of fabric of your choice (or double that if creating double layer skirt)
Coordinating thread
¾ inch elastic
Scissors, pins, safety pin, iron and ironing board
Decorative button (optional, if you would like one on your flower)- tutorial to follow!


All of the dimensions for cutting pieces for your skirt are included in the table below. Please cut 2 band pieces and 2 ruffle pieces to the dimensions stated. Keep in mind the direction of your pattern if you are using a patterned fabric. Only cut one piece of elastic. Elastic size here is generous- it is best if elastic size is cut to fit your little one- more on that later. All seam allowances are 1/2 inch except where specified.

Size 18 mo/2T : Band (cut 2) 5” by 9”, Ruffle (cut 2) 7” by 18”, elastic (cut 1) 15”
Size 3T/4T: Band (cut 2) 5.5” by 11”, Ruffle (cut 2) 8.5” by 22”, elastic (cut 1) 18”
Size 5T/6T: Band (cut 2) 6” by 14”, Ruffle (cut 2) 9.5” by 26”, elastic (cut 1) 21”

Start Sewing!

I suggest you read the entire document through before starting. E-mail me any questions before you start so you don’t get stuck!

Get your fabric ready: (2 pieces band shown above, 2 ruffle below)
Begin by placing the right sides (the side with the pattern) of the fabric of the Band pieces facing together. Sew a straight stitch along the 2 short ends to join, backstitching at both ends.

Repeat for 2 ruffle pieces, again sewing short ends together. Reinforce seams by sewing a zigzag stitch to the outside of the straight stitch, backstitching at both ends. Trim excess fabric and threads to tidy. You are ready to make the ruffle. Return your sewing machine to a straight stitch, and set the length setting as large as possible. Open up your joined ruffle pieces, and sew along the long side at ¼ inch from the side. Do not backstitch this time!

To make your ruffle, grab a piece of the free thread at the end of the long stitch and begin to pull gently. You will notice that the fabric starts to gather.
Push the bunched up fabric down the thread towards the bottom, and continue to pull the thread end. Be sure to evenly distribute the ruffle along the length. Stop once the new gathered length of the ruffle pieces matches the length of the band pieces.

With right sides together, pin the ruffle piece to the band piece along the length. Make sure your middle seams are aligned with even ruffle on either side.
Place fabric in machine with ruffle piece on top. Make a straight stitch at ½ inch, which should place this seam inside of the loose gathering stitch that you made in the last step (see below). This is important in order to conceal that hem. Before starting, remember to return your machine to your regular stitch length setting and to backstitch. Once finished, repeat with a zigzag stitch and trim excess as above. Turn the fabric to inspect the right sides. The junction should look like this:

Fold your fabric to align the open ends with right sides facing. Stitch together with a straight stitch, then finish with a zigzag stitch and trim. Turn it right side out. It is starting to look like a Twirly Skirt!
Turn the bottom hem over ¼ inch and use your iron to press. Turn again 1/3 to ½ inch to make a nice clean hem. Press again.

Return to your machine and sew a straight stitch along the top edge of the hem as shown: To make your waist band, turn the edges over ¼ inch as with the hem and press with the iron. Now turn it over 1 inch and press. We need this space for the elastic. Sew a straight stitch at the edge as you did with the hem, but leave an opening of an inch or so to feed your elastic through. Attach the safety pin to one end of the elastic. Insert in the hole. With your fingers, work the pin along the length of the waist band until it comes out the hole again on the other side.

If possible, fit is best if your try the skirt on your little one now. Use safety pin to mark best length of elastic to fit- cut elastic 1” beyond this point to allow room to sew together.
Zigzag stitch the ends together. Place inside the waist band and sew the insertion hole closed.
Congratulations! You have completed the skirt!

You can leave it as is or add a flower. I will be posting my fabric flower tutorial later this week- come back and check it out!

I hope you enjoy your Twirly Girl ruffle skirt, but please remember that this tutorial is intended for home enjoyment only and not for commercial use. Feel free to blog about your creations; a link back to this page would be appreciated. I would love to see your finished skirts, so please send me an email with your pictures or blog links to me so I can admire them, or add them to my Flickr pool! Have fun!


southolive said...

Love it! So cute and Simple. I'm going to make some for my girls right now!

asli said...

hi, ı'm aslı, from istanbul,this skirt is so cute.May be ı can do it. :)

Heidi said...

I saw the cutest owl corduroy fabric at Joann's the other day and just HAD to look up a ruffle skirt on pinterest. Your skirt is EXACTLY what I was looking for, thank you for the great tutorial. I can't wait to make this skirt!!

Lillian said...

Mine came out great but I used a really heavy fabric and made things a bit harder than it would have been but...oh well now my baby girl (okay she's 6) has a holiday skirt.