Monday, September 26, 2011

Rick-Rack-Ruffle Skirt + Tutorial

Fall has come around in my part of town, which means no more summer clothes for my kiddos. Usually I shop clearance racks after each season and build up my girls wardrobes a year in advance. Somehow I got behind and when the cooler weather started rolling in, I realized that my oldest daughters wardrobe was sorely lacking in the fall clothes department. So I headed out in search of finding all her fall clothes in ONE day. Once I got shopping I realized just how expensive clothes are when you don't buy them on sale or clearance! Holy Cow! So after searching, getting a few deals here and there, but finding no fall skirts or dresses within my tight wad budget, I decided that I would just make all of her skirts and dresses for church for this fall.
These days I have to say that making your own clothing isn't always cheaper than buying it in the stores, but making skirts are one thing that is almost always cheaper than buying pre made. When I can buy a yard of fabric with a coupon and use it for two skirts (one for each of my girls-one and two years old), making my own skirts is super cost effective! Plus skirts are the easiest thing in the book to make!!

Last week after my frustrating shopping trip, I headed to Joann's in search of the perfect fall fabric. I fell in love with this polka dot corduroy. It was on sale for under $8 per yard. I got a roll of rick-rack for $2 and then used some elastic that I already had. 

Supplies to make this skirt:
1 yard corduroy

My daughter wears a 2T-3T so the measurements coordinate for that size.

Fabric to cut:
a 12x38 inch piece of fabric for the main part of the skirt
a 5x57 inch piece of fabric for the ruffle of the skirt
(you will need to piece together 2 pieces of fabric to get the 57 inch length)

***If you are making this skirt for another size- here are the ratios to calculate out the fabric sizes:
Measure the waist and multiply by 2 to get the length of fabric for the main piece. Then measure from waist to wherever you would like the skirt to end on the leg for the width. (remember when measuring that there will be a 2 inch ruffle on the bottom of the skirt that will be adding length, but you will also need enough fabric for the waistband casing depending on what size elastic you use.)***
For the ruffle, measure the waist and multiply by 3 for the length and then the width is 5 inches.

Step 1: Zig zag, surge, or clean finish the edges of fabric for the main part of the skirt. Lay aside. 
Now piece together the pieces for the ruffle by putting the two pieces of fabric right sides together and sew along the edge to connect them. Then press the seams open.

Step 2: Fold the fabric in half (hot dog style) so that the rights sides are together and press flat with an iron. 
Step 3: Open the folded fabric and sandwich the rick-rack along the unfinished edge between the fabric and pin every few inches to hold in place.
Step 4: Sew along the edge, making sure the rick-rack is lined perfectly along the edge as you go.
Step 5: Turn the fabric right side out. You can use a chop stick or something similar to assist you if needed.
Step 6: Once the fabric tube is turned right side out, press flat.

Step 7: Now it is time to ruffle the fabric tube. To create a ruffle, set your stitch length to the biggest/longest length possible.  Now sew all along the top of the fold (the edge that doesn't have rick rack). Don't stitch back and forth when you start or finish the stitch. Now take one of the two strings on one side and start pulling it, gathering the fabric. Once you get your fabric evenly gathered, line it up along the bottom edge of the right side of the fabric for the main part of the skirt. Pin to hold in place.
Step 8: Sew along the edge to attach the ruffle to the skirt. After you are done sewing, press the seams so that both sides are facing toward the top of the skirt instead of laying flat. Next, making sure that the seams are still facing towards the top of the skirt, top stitch on the right side of the fabric. (this is just to make sure that the ruffle doesn't lay funky and also to give it a more finished look. Make sure that the seam allowance you use is the right size so that it is catching the fabric underneath and holding it in place.)
Step 9: After the ruffle is all sewn in place, fold the fabric so that the right sides are together and sew along side of the skirt. 

Step 10: Now it is time to create the casing for the elastic to go in. Start by folding the top edge of the skirt under 1/4 inch and press all the way around the top edge. Next measure your elastic. I used 1 1/2 inch elastic so I folded my fabric over 1 3/4 inch and press. (I like to sew along the top of the casing so that the elastic can't turn as easy- but if you don't want to do this step, don't include extra when folding.) 
Step 11:  Sew all the way around the top of the casing as close to the edge as possible. Then sew all the way around along the bottom edge but leave a 1 1/2 inch opening unstiched to stuff the elastic in.
Step 12: Feed your elastic into the casing. (I attach a safety pin to the end so I can feed it easier and I also mark the top side of the elastic on the other end with something so once I have fed it all the way around I am sure which side is up so I don't sew it twisted)
Step 13: Once it is fed all the way through, zip zag a couple times to close your elastic waistband. Then pull it all the way into the casing and stitch the 1 1/2 inch gap closed. 

And just like that, you are done! Easy!!!


  1. Beautiful skirt! I am so impressed! I love creating skirts, so I may have to make this as well. :) Thanks for sharing!

  2. Great tutorial! Love the fabric. The rick rack is so cute peeking out at the bottom.

  3. I heart rick rack and polka dots! What a great combo. Btw, new follower :)

  4. Awesome tutorial!! I love the skirt! I'll definitely make it for my little girl too! Thanks for sharing! xoxo

  5. This is so cute! I've really been loving your fabric that you've been using lately :) Super cute! Thanks for sharing!

  6. Oh I love this! I have a thing for Ric rac too, so this is right up my alley :) Pinned!

  7. Cute little skirt! The ric rac finishes it off nicely. I love the bright fabric.

  8. oh, this is darling!!! great tutorial. and pretty fabric!!! i love the backdrop too, and cant wait to see what you make out of that!

  9. This is super cute, and HOW EASY! thanks for sharing!! :) Now I know what to do with the adorable courderoy fabric I just HAVE to purchase!!! LOL

  10. SOOOOOO darling. I love it. Ash, you are just getting better and better!!!!

  11. This is simply adorable!! Love it!

  12. Holy heaven this skirt is adorable! I, too, am a cheapskate and this will definitely be made for my daughter this fall! Thanks for sharing!

  13. Such a cute skirt, and I love the fabric!

  14. So cute!! Ric rac is awesome!!
    Thanks for linking up to Show & Share!!!

  15. This is so adorable! I have two girls and I can't wait to make this!

  16. Hello,
    Love the skirt and am trying to make it and adjust the measurements to my daughter size, but need to know what you use for a seam allowance? 1/4, 5/8 like most patterns? Thank-you and love your website and tutorials!

  17. Also, one more question, how did you figure out the length of elastic you needed for your child's waist?
    Thanx again!

    1. I just measured the waist and cut my elastic to that same measurement. Once it is overlapped for stitching the elastic closed it was just the right "snugness" on my daughter- but you can experiment with how to cut yours.


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Thanks so much for stopping by! Have a great day!
xoxo, Ashley