Sunday, February 24, 2013

Tiered Skirt Tutorial

I was recently asked how to make a tiered skirt like the green & pink bicycle one I made for my daughter, so here's a tutorial that will hopefully get the idea across.  I like to sew-as-I-go, so ask if you have any questions or I didn't make something clear enough! :)

I had 4 fabrics; so sewed the strips together to get the maximum lengths, then cut them to "stair-step" lengths.  The first/top layer is about 3 inches longer than the waist measurement.  The bottom layer is the longest piece of fabric.  Since I was making 2 skirts, I divided my fabrics in half before starting.

For just a few layers, you might want to make a big "difference" in the stair-steps, to get it plenty ruffly.  If there will be lots of layers (example: if you are using a jelly-roll or 2.5 inch strips and will have 8-10 layers): you want enough difference that there will be some ruffling, but too much will result in a bottom layer that is too ruffly/full.  Completely confused yet?  Hopefully the picture helps some.

Next sew each strip into a circle, with right sides together, and iron seams open.  I begin by heming the bottom layer, then ruffling the top of all layers (excluding the top layer).
Ruffle each layer to the layer above, and serge or zig-zag the edge of your seams.  This is very important for 2 reasons.  First of all, your 1/4 inch seam won't last very long- and the skirt will fall apart, if all the threads come loose.  Second of all, when you wash the skirt- the edges will start to fray, and whomever is wearing the skirt will be irritated by the "strings" hanging all over and tickling.  A serger is not necessary, and I've often used the zig-zag stitch myself.  Either makes it look professional, and will last better than plain seams.

Another very important tip, is to use your iron.  I strongly dislike having to iron laundry, but I always get out the iron when sewing.  If you press seams flat as you go, it makes it look professionally finished, and also helps with accuracy!  It's much easier to match up seams that have been pressed.

The inside, once all seams have been gathered & finished.

For the waist, finish the top edge, turn down enough to cover your elastic, and sew a casing to fit the elastic. Pull elastic through casing, check for snug fit, and sew closed.

The hem was also finished before turning up.

And the end result.

Closer up.


When I finished there were some little pieces leftover, so I added some coordinating green polka-dots and made matching dolly skirts!

What fun, think I like the doll skirts even better!

1 comment:

Little House on the Hill said...

Little girls will love this skirt. I really like the colurs you have used. Thanks for the tutorial.

Cheers Pauline