home About Tutorials Featured Follow Contributors Sponsor Contact


Tuesday, February 21, 2012

.:Tutorial Tuesday - Bustle Skirt, 1st Edition:.


This skirt makes me happy. Like reeeaaalllly happy. I love the full, fluffy, ruffley look of it. And the best part: it's super easy to make since you use ruffle fabric. As I said yesterday, it’s the same as this bustle skirt, just using ruffle fabric instead of manually making ruffles.


I got to have a sewing nite with some of my friends awhile back, and my dear friend Sarah (whom I refer to often!) made this darling skirt for her little two year old. I about died over the cuteness, and just knew I had to make some for my girls.



Before you go buy your supplies, you need to figure out your skirt. I used this pattern from Whimsy Couture; it's my go-to skirt pattern. So you can use a pattern, or just figure out your own measurements, but either way, you need to know how much fabric to get for the skirt you are making.

Here's what you need:
- fabric
- coordinating fabric for your border (I needed about 1/4 yard for each of my girls)
- ruffle fabric (same length and wide as your back skirt panel)
- elastic for waist band
- sewing machine/accessories


My skirt pattern calls for two main panels, and two waist band panels (both shown folded over, my girls are not that tiny!), so I'll be making my skirt that way in this tutorial. Your skirt pattern may be slightly different, so you can adjust accordingly if you need to!



Cut your coordinating fabric the same width as your panels, and twice the length you want it to be. For any borders, I like to iron it in half so that I don't have to hem it up. Lazy? Maybe a little bit. Plus I like that it weights it down a little bit. So for instance, if your skirt panel is 30" wide and you want a two inch length on your border, then you would cut a strip that is 30" wide and 4" long. Does that make sense? You'll also want to take any length off of your main skirt panels to account for the border.


So here is my front main skirt panel and border.


Take your back main skirt panel and find the middle of it. This will be easy if you've cut on the fold! With it laying width wise, make a small mark about two inches down from the top of the panel.


Fold your panel in half, and use your rotary cutter or scissors to cut a diagonal line from your middle cut, angling down to the bottom corner of your panel. With the panel folded in half, it will be an exact cut on each side.



Here's your back panel now.


Take a strip of border, iron it in half, and pin the raw edges to the raw bottom diagonal edge of one side of your skirt. You could do this in one continuous piece, but I found it easier to do each side separately.


Sew it on.


Repeat this on the other side, and when you get to the middle point, you can continue the stitch to connect the two border pieces.


Where the two borders meet, sew together the raw edges, right sides together. Zig zag the raw edge.


Don't forget to zig zag the raw edge of the entire width of the border as well.


Flip the border down and top stitch the entire width of the border as well.


Cut your piece of ruffle fabric to the same length and width as one of your main skirt panels. Lay it out flat, right side facing up. Lay your cut back panel on top of the ruffle fabric, wrong side facing down and pin together.


Do a gathering stitch along the top of your two pieces of fabric.

Take your front piece, attach your border in the same manner as you did for the back piece, and do a gathering stitch along the top of this panel as well.

Take one of your main panels, and one of your waist panels, and line up the edges, right sides together. If you've cut on the fold, line up your folds and pin.


Evenly gather your main panels on each side of the pin, and pin in place.


Here's what the back panel looks like all gathered and pinned.


Using a regular stitch, sew to the left of your gathering stitch (so that it doesn't show through when you flip the skirt right sides out) to attach the main panel and the waist panel.


Zig zag or serge your raw edges.


Flip the panels right sides out and top stitch.


Here are the front and back panels before they get attached together.


Match up the sides of each panel, pin, and sew together.


Zig zag or serge the raw edge.


Repeat on the other side.

Zig zag or serge all along the top part of your waist panels.


Iron the waist panel down 1" (or whatever measurement you need to for the size of elastic you are using; mine was 3/4").

Sew along the edge, leaving a two to three inch opening to insert your elastic. I also like to do a stitch all along the top of the band as well; I feel like it holds the elastic in place better and prevents it from twisting. Definitely not necessary, though, if you don't want to!


Measure your elastic to your little gal's waist, and insert it into the waistband using a safety pin.

Close up the opening, and admire your beautiful bustle skirt!


C'mon, don't you just love it? It's so flowy and full!


Other options for your skirt: make it more or less full, ruffle your border (like my friend Sarah did), don't add a border - lots of options!


I just love how easy it is to get this look using ruffle fabric! Whoever invented that stuff is genius!





Linking up here:


  1. SO cute! Love it! Hope I can pull this off!

  2. Those are super cute Summer!!!

  3. Oh my heck, Summer!! When I have a little girl, I need you to come teach me how to really sew!! :) That orange skirt is my favorite!! So dang cute.

  4. This is so adorable! Ruffle fabric...who knew?! I totally want to try this!

  5. Pinning this, so cute! Thanks for the tutorial. Would love for you to come link up to Trendy Tots at http://areal-lifehousewife.blogspot.com/2012/02/what-she-wore-wednesday-and-trendy-tots_22.html

  6. This is so adorable--totally pinned it! I came from Somewhat Simple--Please stop by and see my work: http://redheadedmommycan.blogspot.com/ and http://www.facebook.com/RobugCouture

  7. Pinning this to add to my sewing to do list! SO cute!

  8. Stopping by from the Pink Sundays Hop! http://queenofsavings.com

  9. This is soooo cute! I love it!

    I would love it if you linked this up at my first Link Party going on now!! I hope to see you there!

    Katie @ Little Becky Homecky

  10. just adorable! thanks so much for sharing on Craft Schooling Sunday!

  11. Adorable skirts! Thanks for sharing!

  12. These are absolutely gorgeous! They're so unique too! Thanks for linking with Skirt Week - I shared with on my Twitter page. :)


Thanks for leaving a comment! I love reading them! I try to reply to questions the best I can, but you can always email me at sumossweetstuff {at} gmail {dot} com.