This drop waist skirt tutorial is perfect for beginners! With some fabric, elastic and a little time you'll be sewing an adorable skirt you can be proud of! This was one of the first tutorials I ever wrote and it is still very popular! I hope you enjoy!
A rotary cutter and mat are helpful for cutting fabric but not completely necessary. You will need pinking sheers and thread to match (or contrast) your fabric. You can use whatever kind of fabric you choose. I've found lightweight cottons and corduroy to turn out very well. This pattern also calls for 3/4 inch elastic for the waist band. Ribbon or other embellishments are optional.
1. Cut top, "band", piece of fabric about 2 inches larger than the child's hip measurement by 5 inches. If your child is taller, you may want to make this piece 6 or 7 inches long. For example, if your child's hips are 25 inches, cut the fabric 27 inches by 5 inches. As always, this skirt can be customized further by adjusting the lengths. Feel free to experiment.
2. Body of skirt piece can be any width but will look best if it is at least 10 inches wider than the top band. I usually cut mine 44 inches wide.
To determine the length to cut, take the length you want the skirt to be and subtract 1 1/2 inches. This assumes your top band is 5 inches wide. For example, if you want the skirt to be a total of 12 inches long, cut the body of the fabric 10 1/2 inches long by the width you've chosen.
3. Cut one piece of 3/4 inch elastic 1 inch longer than child's waist measurement.
Putting it together:
1. Sew the body of skirt together by folding fabric, right sides together, and sewing a 1/2" seem allowance.
3. Sew top band together in the same manor, iron seem open.
4. Lengthen your straight stitch (to about 5 or 6 on most machines) then "baste" the top of the body piece 1/2" away from the edge. For more info on how to make a ruffle check here.
5. Pin the body piece to the top band, right sides together, matching seems. The body piece is larger than the top band piece so try to pin it evenly all the way around, matching the seems from both pieces.
6. Gently pull on the bobbin strings of your basted stitches and carefully pull the ruffle evenly around.
7. Sew the ruffle onto the body of the skirt. Remember to return your stitch to a regular length!
9. Measure elastic to fit child's waste comfortably, add 1" and cut.
10. Insert elastic into casing. It is easiest to do this by attaching a safety pin to one end of the elastic and inserting that end into the casing. You can then work it around the casing, making sure not to lose the other end.
11. Sew elastic together securly.
12. Finish sewing casing closed. Be careful not to sew on the elastic.
13. Finish bottom hem by folding 1/4", press, then folding 1/4" again.
14. Sew hem. You're done!
Using ribbon to embellish the skirt is one of my current favorite things to do. If you want to sew on a ribbon, I'd recommend doing that BEFORE the first step. I gave instructions for how to do this in the Simple Skirt tutorial.