Tiered Ruffle Skirt Tutorial

Sewing, Tutorial

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Ruffles are all the rage right now; make an adorable tiered ruffle skirt for your little girl (or yourself)! Learn how to sew a gathered skirt with this simple tutorial and you can use this technique for any size skirt, even for yourself! This girls skirt pattern is simple, beginner-friendly and perfect for a lazy afternoon of sewing.

Last year I was involved with Skirting the Issue: Project Run and Play‘s massive effort to donate new handmade skirts to girls in foster care before they go back to school.  It was so fun and rewarding! I’m excited to post about it again only this time with a brand new tutorial.  You can learn all about the effort here, including how to participate yourself.  It runs through July, so let’s get sewing!

I’ve been seeing tiered ruffle skirts all over the place lately and finally got a chance to try to make one. I used this cute red & white polka dot chiffon from my stash, along with a white cotton woven for the lining.  Read on for the full tutorial on how to make a gathered skirt with a ton of cute little ruffles!

What you’ll need (for a girls’ size 6):

1-2 yard woven fashion fabric (I used chiffon; you could also use quilting cotton, rayon, linen, or just about any light to mid-weight fabric)
1 yard lining (optional)
22″ 1″ elastic
coordinating thread

  1.  First we’ll need to cut our fashion fabric into a variety of strips, one of each of the following measurements:
    *waistband: 28″ x 3″
    *skirt body: 28″ x 6″
    *ruffles: 47″ x 6″ (cut TWO, 1 for top ruffle and 1 for bottom)[spacer height=”20px”]Cut the following strips out of your lining fabric (or out of the same fashion fabric)
    *skirt body lining: 28″ x 6″ (optional – I only needed a lining for the skirt body because my fashion fabric was sheer)
    *top ruffle lining: 30″ x 5″
    *bottom ruffle lining: 32″ x 4″[spacer height=”20px”]NOTE: As a rule, I always use a 3/8″ SA unless otherwise noted.
  2. Sew your skirt body into a loop by stitching short ends RST, and press well (if you’re using a sheer fabric like I did, first baste your skirt body lining to wrong side of skirt body before sewing into a loop.)[spacer height=”20px”]
  3. Create waistband by also sewing short ends together (RST) and pressing.  Then fold waistband loop in half lengthwise (like a hotdog!), WST and press well.  (I didn’t line my waistband because the elastic made it opaque, but I probably should have for durability’s sake). [spacer height=”20px”]
  4. Sew waistband to skirt body: pin them together, with raw edges lined up and right sides together, and stitch, leaving about 2″ of the seam open. Press waistband away from skirt. [spacer height=”20px”]
  5. Insert elastic: pin a safety pin to one edge of the elastic and thread it through your waistband casing until it comes out the other end.  Stitch raw edges of elastic together with a zig zag stitch, being careful not to twist elastic.  Close up hole in waistband seam and finish raw edges with a serger or zig zag.
  6. Take the top ruffle piece and stitch it into a loop by sewing together short edges, RST . Gather your ruffle by stitching 2 lines of basting, 1/4″ and 1/2″ from the raw edge.  Pull thread taut and gather fabric. Take your lining piece and cut each short edge down diagonally by 1″ so that the top edge now measures 28″ and the bottom still measures 30″ (this makes the lining piece more of an A-line shape so that your little girl can walk better in it)  Then sew your lining piece into a loop as well and then baste ruffle to lining.  [spacer height=”20px”]
  7. Sew the ruffle to the skirt body, matching back seams and lining up raw edges.  Adjust gathering if necessary to fit.

  8. Repeat steps 6 & 7 with the bottom ruffle (only when cutting down lining, your top raw edge will end up measuring 30″ instead of 28″ – so that it matches the bottom of your top lining).
  9. Hem both ruffles by turning under raw edge 1/8″ and then again 1/4″ and stitching close to fold.  If your fabric is slippery, you can sew down first fold before folding a second time to keep fabric in place.  Press well. That’s it!  Super cute little skirt that takes hardly any time to put together.  I hope you enjoy this little project and let me know if anyone tries it for themselves!  I’m dying to make an adult version along the lines of some amazing inspiration skirts below!

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  • Reply
    July 17, 2017 at 9:25 am

    Awww! Ruffles are adorable! 🙂 Thanks for the tutorial!

    • Reply
      July 17, 2017 at 10:33 am

      You’re welcome! Aren’t they the cutest trend??

  • Reply
    August 24, 2017 at 4:37 pm

    This is so cute!

    • Reply
      August 26, 2017 at 4:31 pm

      Thanks so much, Teresa!

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