Have you noticed my slight obsession with ruffles? Ack. It’s a good thing I had a girl first! I love ruffles. I love how feminine and sweet they are. They can transform something from ordinary to extraordinary. How cliché is that? But really. Ruffles make me happy. And ruffles on my little miss make me even happier!
I previously posted the Fabric Quarter Toddler Skirt pt.1 which is a super cute & very simple little peplum skirt. This ruffle skirt is a little more detail-oriented and difficult to make, but still doable for a sewing beginner.
This skirt requires 3 fabric-quarters & elastic. That’s it.
(2) 18″x 21″ Fabric Quarters from your local fabric store – I bought mine at JoAnn’s on sale for $1.99/each
(1) Non roll 1/4″ elastic – Also from JoAnn’s on sale for $2.50
I cut the main skirt fabric into (2) 18″ x 10.5″ pieces. I cut (4) strips of the accent fabric. I cut (3) in 18″ x 6″ and (1) 14″ x 6″. I serged all 4 sides of each fabric piece. If you don’t have a serger you could use a tight zig-zag stitch or just hem all of the sides.
Now we make the ruffles. This seems so much more difficult & intimidating than it really is. Sew a straight basting stitch about 1/4″ of the way down the top of each accent fabric piece. A basting stitch is just a temporary stitch. It is a stitch using the longest stitch length which makes removing them super simple but also makes it so that you can pull the thread in order to gather the fabric. The correct way to gather fabric – or make a ruffle is to sew 2 basting stitches just slightly separated, but, I never do it that way. So you sew the stitch without back-stitching at the ends and leaving at least 1″ of thread on each end. To gather the fabric you GENTLY pull one of the threads & slide the fabric so that it begins to gather. Do this on both ends and pushing the fabric towards the center. It’s important to not make the ruffles too fine and tight because that will use up a lot of your fabric which will then make your ruffle too short in width.
Once you’ve completed making all of the ruffles and you have ensured that they are all the same length still, begin pinning them onto the main skirt fabric. Pin them so that the right sides are facing each other. Start at the top and pin the ruffle upside down because you will be folding it over and ironing it down once it’s sewn. (That makes sense in my head – I hope it does to you) Once a piece is pinned on sew a regular seam across it making sure to sew ABOVE the temporary (basting) stitch. This is important for 2 reasons; 1) you want to be sure that your ruffles don’t space or flatten out as you sew and 2) you will be removing the temporary stitch so that you don’t see it.
Pin and sew one piece at a time because you want to make sure you space them out correctly otherwise the last ruffle could hang too low.
Now that all of the ruffles are sewn on to the back side of the skirt, you’ll sew the front and back of the main skirt together. With this step it is up to you if you sew the ruffles down on the sides or not. I preferred sewing them down in the side seams because it keeps them together. Sew one side of the front & back pieces together. Fold the fabric at the top down just enough to fit the elastic in the hem – just slightly over 1/4″ wide. Sew a straight seam keeping the ends open. Pinned 2 safety pins onto the elastic – one on each end so that the elastic doesn’t get pulled all of the way through.
Pin the side together and sew a straight seam down securing the elastic in with it. Remove all pins – crucial step! I serged the inside seams to make it nice and finished and so that there were no raw scratchy edges against the little one.
Now that the skirt is completed, press the ruffles down right at the top of the seams.
And finally, let your little one model the adorable skirt!!