Skirt tutorial

I keep seeing these adorable vintage style skirts with suspenders everywhere and melt every time one comes across my Instagram feed.  I have seen them in linen, chambray, plaid and corduroy, and I want them all!  I love that they look like something my mom would have worn when she was a little girl, especially when they are paired with knee socks and Mary Jane shoes.  I just cannot get enough of them!

skirt with straps-36Obviously, I had to make some for Baby Kate, but I wondered if she might be too little.  Definitely not!  I made this cute little blue one on a whim the other day, and it is perfect!  The best part is how easy it is to make. So, of course, I had to write a skirt tutorial to share with you!  You have got to make one too!

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It’s super simple to adapt these skirts to any age as long as you can take a few measurements. The instructions below tell you how to measure your baby/big girl.

skirt with straps-33I put the little blue skirt on Kate, went to add the red shoes, and realized I had a Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz outfit!  Totally unintentional, but great!  Too bad I did not have any red and white plaid fabric to make her some bloomers!

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  • Fabric of your choice: the amount depends on the measurements, so read below on how to measure.  If you’re making one for a baby or toddler, you can probably get by with a yard of fabric or a little over a yard.  Linen, chambray and cotton quilting weight fabrics would be perfect, but really just about any fabric will work. Get creative!
  • 3/4 inch elastic for the waist band.  Measure your child’s waist and add one inch to know how much elastic you need. (17 inch waist + 1 inch for seam allowance = 18 inches.)
  • coordinating thread

Measure your baby/big kid:

  1. Measure their waist and double that number. (17 inches x 2 inches = 34 inches)
  2. Measure from where the waist of the skirt will rest to where you want the hem of the skirt to hit and add two inches. (10 inches + 2 inches = 12 inches)
  3. Measure from where the waist of the skirt will rest up to the shoulder and down the back to where the waist in back will rest and add one inch. (15 inches + 1 inch = 16 inches)

Cut your fabric:

  1. For the skirt: Take your measurements 1 and 2 from the previous steps and cut a rectangle with measurement 1 being the length of the rectangle and measurement 2 being the width of the rectangle.  (34 inches by 12 inches)
  2. For the straps: Cut two rectangles that measure 3 inches by the measurement from step 3 above.  (16 inches by 3 inches)

Make your straps:

  1. With the first rectangle, fold the two long edges toward the center until they meet and iron them. Repeat with other strap.
    skirt with straps-1
  2. Fold the rectangle in half so that the two folded sides meet.
    skirt with straps-2
  3. Sew the strap together by topstitching about 1/8 inch from the long edge of your strap. Repeat with the other edge, so you have a row of stitching along both strap edges.
    skirt with straps-3 skirt with straps-4
  4. Repeat with the other strap.
  5. Serge across the raw edges of both straps at the bottom and top of straps.
    skirt with straps-5

Make the skirt:

  1. Serge around all four edges of your rectangle.
  2. Fold the rectangle in half so the two short ends are right sides together. Sew together with a 3/8 inch seam allowance.  Press your seam allowance open.
    skirt with straps-6
  3. Fold the top edge of your skirt towards the inside about 1 inch.
    skirt with straps-7
    From the right side of the skirt, sew the fold down with a 5/8 inch seam allowance.   Leave a 1 inch opening to insert the elastic.
    skirt with straps-8
  4. Thread the elastic through.  Overlap the ends of the elastic about 1/2 inch and sew the ends together.  Make sure to sew all the way across and back a few time to secure the elastic.
    skirt with straps-12 skirt with straps-13
  5. Sew the 1 inch opening closed.  You will have to pull the elastic from behind the machine foot and in front of the machine foot to flatten your fabric well.
    skirt with straps-14
  6. Fold the bottom edge of the skirt up 1/2 inch and press it.  Fold it another 1/2 inch and press again.  You should not see the serged edge of the fabric along the hem.
    skirt with straps-9 skirt with straps-10
  7. From the right side of the fabric, sew the hem with a 3/8 inch seam allowance.
    skirt with straps-11

Add straps to your skirt:

  1. For the straps in the front of skirt, place your straps with right sides facing the wrong side of the skirt.  They should be about two inches from the left side of the skirt and the other about 2 inches from the right side of the skirt.
    skirt with straps-15
    To attach the straps, sew them to the skirt along the line of stitching you created for the elastic.  This means you will sew the straps to the skirt from the right side of skirt along the row of stitching along the waist band.
    skirt with straps-16
  2. To attach the other side of straps to the back of skirt, cross the straps in the back and pin them on either side of the center back seam of skirt.  they should be about 1/2 inch on either side of center seam.  Sew them in place along the waistband row of stitching.
    skirt with straps-17

Now go put that skirt on a cute little baby and make a few more!

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3 responses

  1. So cute!! I’m just finding this now through the Hawthorne Threads newsletter. I have an almost three year old granddaughter and her sister just born this month. My daughter was ecstatic when she saw me looking at this tutorial. She said ‘can you make two matching ones right away for Christmas pictures?!’ Of course Nonna cannot say no!
    Thank you for the tutorial!

    • Congrats on the new grandbaby and thank goodness for grandmothers! Little girls are so much fun to sew for! These will be adorable together! Happy sewing!

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