Tiered Skirt with a Surprise Tutorial

This post was originally shared at The Ribbon Retreat. I was provided with materials in exchange for a tutorial. 

This skirt is a little something I made last spring. I'm still working on catching up on old projects. But, the skirt still fits so I'm not that far behind...right!?

This fun tiered skirt has a tulle layer built in for interest. All this skirt requires is being able to sew a straight line. But, the addition of the tulle layer gives this skirt a je ne sais quoi to it! 

As I go through this tutorial, the measurements will be for a fairly skinny 3T wearing toddler. I’ll show you how I measured so you can make it in any size.

For a 3T skirt, you’ll need:
1/4 yard cuts of four different fabrics
1/2 yard of the fabric you want to use for the waist band and the bottom tier 
6 inch wide tulle closely matching one of your tier fabrics
Approx. 19 inches of 1 inch elastic
Sewing machine, rotary cutter/mat, etc.  

First, let’s measure our kiddo. Measure the waist. With a toddler, you’ll want to do this below the wonderfully chubby toddler tummy. For my kiddo, that was 19 inches.

Measure from the waist to where you want the skirt to fall. I got 13 inches a little below her knees {I’m hoping to get two years out of this baby}.

So, addition and subtraction time.You have your length, 13. Subtract 1 inch for the waist band to get 12. Now, divide that number by 5 {the number of tiers}. Round that number to something easy to cut. So I got 2.4. I rounded it to 2.5 inches. Round very closely or you’ll add a lot of extra length to your skirt without realizing it.

Start by pre-wash and iron the fabric. This really matters, I promise!

For all these strips of fabric, you’ll be cutting selvedge to selvedge {along the width of the fabric}. I’m guessing you could get away with using the width of the fabric for up to a size 8. The skirt just won’t be as full. After that, you’ll want to cut strips that are however tall you need by double the girl’s waist measurement for the width.

Ok, so for the 4 middle tiers, You’ll cut 3.5 inch strips. This is the 2.5 you got plus 1 inch for seam allowances.

For the bottom tier, you’ll cut a 4 inch strip, that’s 2.5 plus 1.5 inches for seam allowances and the hem.

For the waistband, you’ll cut another 4 inch {3 inches for the waist band that will be folded and 1 inch for seam allowances}.Your final cut is the tulle. You’ll want to cut a 176 inch length of tulle {that’s your width of fabric quadrupled} off your 6 inch wide roll.

Sick of cutting yet? It’s ok, we’re finally on to sewing.

Start with your bottom tier fabric. Press the bottom edge up 1/2 inch towards the wrong side of the fabric.Then press 1/2 inch again and pin.

Sew, making sure to back stitch. I sewed two lines of stitches for a fun look. Grab your next tier. Pin, right sides together, along the top of the bottom tier. Sew with a 1/2 inch seam allowance. Finish your seams as you like.

If you don’t have a favorite way, here’s mine:

Trim your seam allowance down to 1/4 inch using your pinking blade on your rotary cutter {or regular old pinking sheers, even plain scissors if that’s what you have}.

Zig-zag stitch over the edge of the fabric. This greatly reduces fraying. Press the seam up. Now, add you next tier. Keep going until you get to the final tier. Make sure you finish the seams and press up as you go along. This is where you’re adding the tulle.

Fold that massive strip of tulle in half, leaving you with 88 inches. Run a gathering stitch along the top and bottom of the tulle.

Adjust the gathers so that your tulle is the same length, if not a little bit longer, than the width of your tiers.

Lay down your already sewn together tiers, right side up. Place the ruffled tulle piece on top of your top tier. Use your ruffle stitch as what you line up along the raw edges of the fabric. This will make sure the stitch doesn’t end up showing. Place your final tier, right side down, on top and line up raw edges of the two fabrics.Sew, using a 1/2 inch seam allowance {make sure the raw edges of the fabric are what you’re judging the 1/2 inch from}.

Finish the seam just as you have with all the rest of the tiers. This will encase the tulle so there’s no itchiness for your kiddo.Your final seam of the tiers will be the waistband. First, fold the waistband in half, hot dog style. Press, with wrong sides together.

Line up the raw edges of the waistband with the raw edge of the final tier and the tulle. You’ll have tulle sticking out quite a ways. That’s ok.

Sew, finish, and press the same as all the other seams.

Now, square up the ends of the skirt.

Thread the elastic through the waistband using a safety pin.Tack down the elastic on each side using a zig-zag stitch. Go over it multiple times.

Pin your skirt ends together, right sides together. Make sure you take care to line up the tiers. You want the seams to match up or things will look wonky.

Using that good old 1/2 inch seam allowance, sew the final seam. Finish just as before.Turn right side out, add a cute kid, and you’re all set!


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