Wednesday, April 11, 2012

The Bustle Bottom Skirt + Tutorial

For Easter this year, I made my girls outfits to wear to church... For my oldest daughter, I made a this dress, and for my youngest, I made this little bustle bottomed skirt...

I have wanted to try something with a bustled look for a while, so Saturday night at about midnight (leave it to me to wait until the last minute) I came up with this skirt...

It was super simple... 

You will need to measure your little gal before buying your fabric. Measure the waist and times that by 2- that will be your width of fabric needed. Then measure from waist to the top of the knee (or wherever you want the length to fall.) You will need to add a few inches to allow for the hem and the waistband casing- and then after calculating that in- add a few inches to create the bustle part. (I hope this makes sense. For mine, I added a half inch for the hem, and inch and a half for the casing (I used 3/4 inch elastic... I like to sew at the top of the casing as well so I needed a little extra for that) and then I added 2 inches for the bustle effect)

-Fabric (amount determined by your measurements)
-elastic for waistband (I used 3/4 inch)
-either elastic thread or you can use 1/4 inch elastic like I did (this is for the bustled part... I only used 12 inches so you don't need much)

Step 1: Zig zag or serge the edges of your fabric (you will only need to do the sides of the fabric since the top and bottom will be finished off with casing and hem)

Step 2: Put your fabric right sides together and sew up the side and then press the seams open.

Step 3: Iron your hem (roll over 1/4 inch and press, then roll over again 1/4 inch and press) 
and casing for waistband (roll over 1/4 inch and press and then whatever width your waist band elastic is be sure to allow a little extra for your to sew and still fit the elastic into the casing).

Step 4: Ok... like I said, I made this at midnight the night before Easter so I had to use what I had on hand so I made do with 1/4 inch elastic... If you are using elastic thread, skip the next few steps and improvise with your elastic thread...
Cut your elastic strips for the bustled part of the skirt. Since my skirt was 30 inches wide, I cut 6 2-inch strips of elastic so I could space them every 5 inches apart. So when cutting yours, decide how many bustles you want, how much you want them to bustle up, etc and then cut your strips the way you want them.
 Step 5: Space and pin your elastic strips evenly around your skirt. (tuck them into the bottom of the skirt and pin) Like I said, mine were spaced every 5 inches.
Step 6: Sew your hem to secure the elastic pieces. This is how it should look when you are done.
 Step 7:Put your presser foot and needle down to hold your first elastic piece in place. Pull the elastic back towards you as far as it will go and mark that place on the fabric with a pin. Then measure and place a pin for each elastic. (mine stretched 3 1/2 inches) Now when you start to sew the elastic while it is stretched, you can see that visual of where it needs to stretch to and it will be even with each of the 6 elastics once they are all sewn. (Your elastic may be bigger or smaller so it may stretch more or less than mine so take your own measurement to see how high to place the pin.)
 Step 8: Sew each of the elastics in place.

Step 9: Sew your casing. Be sure to leave an opening big enough to fit your elastic in. Thread elastic all the way through the casing. (I hook a safety pin to one end to feed it through easier)

Step 10: Put your elastic ends together, one on top of the other, and zig zag back and forth to stitch it closed. Make sure it is not twisted in the casing before sewing it.

Step 11: Once your elastic is sewn closed, pull it all the way into the casing and then stitch the opening of the casing closed.

That's it! :)


  1. This is just so cute--I"m going to do one but I may use some elastic thread because I just love it :) Looks like you had a great Easter!

  2. Aw, this is super cute! Great tutorial friend! Thanks for the how-to!

  3. I made a dress for my 16 month old with a similar skirt, but instead of using elastic for the bustles, I used elastic thread in the bottom (like shirring, but I only did 2 lines) and then wet & ironed it. I always have trouble pulling elastic taunt when sewing, so this was much easier for me :) I just found your blog thru pinterest & will be coming back!

  4. So cute Ash! I'm sad we weren't there to see your cute girls!!! Can you believe SNAP is next week? EEE! We should get together this week before you head out! xoxo

  5. What a cute skirt! Thanks for the tutorial. Where did the legging on your little girl come from?

  6. I am in love. Such a great and unique skirt! Thanks for linking with Sugar & Spice. I wanted to also let you know I have a Skirt link up going now - and if you link up a skirt you can also enter to win a $50 credit to seven thirty three - - - custom blog design! Hope you stop by and link up!

  7. Super cute Ashley!


  8. I love this skirt. So simple. Thanks so much for sharing:>

  9. I love the skirt... not a sewer, but this looks easy enough for me to try. Also I love the tights/leggings your model is wearing, where did you get them.

  10. I love cute yet simple skirts~ Thanks for sharing Ashley!

  11. Just wanted to let you know I'm featuring you! Feel free to grab a featured button.



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