Tutorial: Double Layered Simple Skirt

I’m so excited to share this skirt with you!  It’s kind of a Sew & Tell, Tutorial and Repurposed Project all in one!  I wanted to do an add-on to the Simple Skirt Tutorial to show you an easy way to add another layer and get a fun new look.  I also had some fabric laying around that needed repurposing, and this was the perfect way to use it.

I started off with a tank top that had a stain smack in the middle of it.  I was ready to let go of it as a tank top, but I loved the unique scalloped eyelet bottom.

I thought I’d be able to use the material for a skirt for Yuki.  Since it has large eyelets I knew I needed another layer underneath so it would be appropriately modest for my little one 🙂  Luckily I had this old bed sheet I had bought at a thrift store for about a dollar.  I’ve used it to make lining for a pillow case, a mock-up for a jacket, and now this skirt and there’s still tons of fabric left.  What a great deal!  The sheet had a ruffle of eyelet fabric on the bottom that I thought might add some volume and why not add small scalloped eyelet to big scalloped eyelet?  Wouldn’t that be fun??

So let’s make the skirt!!  Like I said, this is variation of the original Simple Skirt Tutorial.  The first tutorial includes more information about materials, measurements, and hemming, which is NOT included in this tutorial, so please refer back to that one if you have any questions.

Fabric – You can use two different fabrics, or the same fabric for both layers.  You can also repurpose something or use new material.  It’s up to you!
Elastic – I used 1″ wide elastic and you’ll need it to be as long as the waist measurement plus 1 inch.  If the kid’s (or adult’s) waist measurement is 17 inches, cut 18 inches.

You’ll also need the essentials – sewing machine, iron, thread, scissors, pins, and though it’s optional, a safety pin is super handy.

Let’s get started.

First (and always), wash, dry and iron your fabric.  Then it’s time to cut it.  For more details about measurements, see the Simple Skirt Tutorial.  For this project, I wanted to keep the width of the skirt fabric the same as the tank top so that I wouldn’t lose any of the eyelet and I wouldn’t have to re-sew up the sides (basically, I didn’t cut the tank top yet).  For the bottom layer of the skirt (white) I folded it in half and measured the same width as the top (blue) material plus a 1/4 inch for seam allowance.

For the length, I measured the bottom layer first.  I cut it at exactly the length I wanted the finished skirt to be.  The great thing about using these fabrics is that the bottoms were done and required no hemming!  And yes, you do need a bit of room for seam allowance on top, but you’ll see later why I didn’t add any length to the bottom layer.

For the top layer (blue fabric) I laid it on top of the white fabric at the length I wanted it to be.  Then I added about 1/2 an inch to the top and cut it.

If you are using fabric that needs to be hemmed at the bottom, be sure to add another inch.

Here is my cut fabric:

Make sure the white fabric is folded in half with right sides together, pin and sew up the short end.

If you are using new fabric that is unfinished on all 4 sides, you will need to sew up both short ends on both fabrics.

Turn your fabric right side out and press the seam.  Now you should have two tubes of fabric that are the same width.

Now, with both fabrics right side facing out, you’re going to insert the top layer inside the bottom layer.  So in this case, the blue tube was inside the white tube.  Line them up on the top and pin all the way around.

Sew along the top edge around the entire waist, using a 1/4 seam allowance, back stitching at the beginning and end.

When you are done and you pull the material out from inside, it should look like this.  On the left is the bottom layer, right side up, and on the right is the top layer, wrong side up.

Flip the top layer down over the bottom layer.  I did not want any of the white fabric to show at the top of the skirt, so instead of pressing it open right on the seam, I made the fold with about a 1/4 inch of the blue fabric on the inside of the skirt.  This is why I didn’t add any seam allowance to the bottom layer fabric when cutting the length, but I added an extra 1/2 inch to the top layer – a 1/4 inch for seam allowance and another 1/4 inch to fold over to the inside of the skirt.  Does this make sense??

Press all the way around and pin.  Now we’re going to make the casing for the elastic.  Leaving about a 2 inch opening, sew all the way around the waistline, making sure your casing is wide enough for your elastic.

In the picture above, I was using the elastic to make sure I was sewing my casing wide enough.  After you’re done, you should have a 2 inch gap that is open for you to slide the elastic through.

If you have a safety pin, insert it into one end of the elastic.  This will help you guide the elastic through the casing.

Pull apart the two layers to find the opening for the elastic.  Using the safety pin, pull the elastic through the casing.

Pull the elastic all the way around the waist and back out through the opening.  Make sure the elastic hasn’t twisted at all and is laying flat the entire way around.  Overlap the elastic by about an inch and sew them together.

Finish sewing up the casing and you’re done!!

Now, I don’t know if you noticed this, but in the original simple skirt tutorial, I said you needed about double the waist measurement for the width of the fabric.  So for a 17 inch waist, you need 34 inches of fabric.  For this skirt, I didn’t want to cut any of the blue fabric away, so I left it at it’s original width, which was at least 42 inches.  All the extra fabric, plus the extra layer made this skirt really full!!

This skirt reminds me of something you’d wear to a tea party or something.  But all our lil’ tomboy wants to do is climb things and play with dirt and rocks.  That’s our girl!

Luckily, we live in California where an outfit like this might still be appropriate for November.  But it won’t last long, so I promise I’m going to start focusing on more winter-ish clothes soon.  Fleece, flannel, and sleeves, here I come.

As for this tutorial, I’d really like some feedback.  When I’m trying to explain the steps, I feel like I’m not being clear and that it’s too confusing.  If you have any suggestions for parts that need clarifying, I’d really appreciate you letting me know.  Or asking me questions if you need help.  I want to help!  🙂  I hope you try a Double Layered Simple Skirt.  And if you do, please send me a photo!!  Have fun!

Tutorial: Simple Skirt

My first tutorial!  The first few tutorials I’m going to put up are very easy projects and are nothing unique or original.  I figured we should start with some really basic items and then we can get into more add-ons, embellishments and complicated patterns later.  And this is also really good tutorial writing practice for me.  I would LOVE feedback on things that I missed or things that need clarification.

Although I’m starting with a really simple project, I am not starting from the very beginning.  I’m assuming that you already know the basics of how to use your machine and use some of the basic stitches.  If not, that’s ok!  Just search the internet for some sewing 101 info and I’m sure you’ll find TONS of helpful tutorials.

So today I’m going to show you how to make a simple skirt for a toddler.  This is probably one of the most basic pieces of clothing you can make.

If you haven’t already, take a look at the supplies I consider essential for almost any sewing project.

Here’s what you’ll need:
Fabric (a lightweight cotton or cotton blend should work nicely)
Matching thread
Safety pin (optional)

And that’s it!  First (and always) wash, dry and iron your fabric.

The amount of fabric and elastic will depend on the size of the skirt you are making, but I’ll try to help you figure that out.  You’re going to be cutting 2 rectangles of fabric.  It’s easiest if you fold your fabric in half and cut them at the same time.  Here’s how you figure out what size to cut your rectangles.

First, measure the child’s waist.  This will be the width of your 2 rectangles.  For example, if the child has a waist size of 17 inches, you’ll want 2 pieces of fabric that are 17 inches long.

If you can’t measure the child, find a pair of pants or a skirt that fits them and measure the width and then double it.  In this case, the pants measure 8.5 inches across, so if you double that you get 17.  Again, you’ll want 2 pieces of fabric of this width.

For the length, measure the desired final length of the skirt from the waist and then add 3 inches.  It’s always better to have extra fabric that can easily be shortened when hemming, than to cut it too short.  I wanted the skirt to be 8 inches long, so I cut my fabric to 11 inches.

You’ll want enough elastic to go around the waist and then add 1 inch for sewing the ends together.  This will leave plenty of room for your little one to grow into the skirt (longer wearability)!  I cut my elastic to 18 inches.

Here are my two rectangles: 11×17.

Now we’re ready to start sewing!

Place your 2 rectangles on top of each other RIGHT sides together (The right sides refer to the side of the fabric you want to show when finished, the wrong side is the side that faces in when finished.  Most fabrics have a right and wrong side which you can tell by the print.  Some don’t).

Pin up the sides and sew a straight stitch about a 1/4 inch from the edge.  Back stitch at the beginning and end (always!).  If you want, you can zig zag stitch the edges to prevent fraying.

Press the seams open.

Now we’re going to do the waist.  Fold the top edge down about a 1/4 inch and press.

Now fold the fabric down again and make sure that your fold is slightly larger than your elastic. Press and pin in place.

Sew along the folded edge.  I like to start in the back about 1 inch right of the center.   Sew all the way around and stop 2 inches from where you started leaving an opening to slide your elastic through.

Attach the safety pin to one end of the elastic and push it all the way around the skirt back through the opening.

Overlap the two ends of elastic about 1/2 an inch and sew them together.

Close up the opening by sewing along the edge.

We’re almost done!!  Now we just have to do the hem.  Fold the bottom of the skirt up about a 1/4 inch and press.

Make another 1/4 inch fold and iron again.  Pin and sew.

And you’re done!

Now step back and admire your handy work and how cute your little one looks.  Take pictures and then show them to me!

Phew, for a simple project, that was still a lot of directions.  I hope you were able to follow along, but if there is anything that needs clearing up, please let me know!  And really, if you make this project, I’d love to see your pictures.  For the next tutorial I’ll show you a few ways that you can spice up your simple skirt!