Ruffle Skirt Tutorial

It’s no secret that I LOOOVE me some ruffles. It all started with my ruffle lamp and now I’m going crazy over ruffles on my little girl.

The other day, I was shopping with my good friend, and I saw a really cute silky ruffle skirt at Baby Gap. I was tempted to buy it, but the $32 price tag was a little steep for something she’ll wear 3 times and most likely ruin anyway.

So, instead of buying the skirt, I looked really closely at how it was made, and came home to make my own.

And you won’t believe how much it cost me.

Four Dollars.

Take that, Baby Gap!

 I paired the skirt with a plain, pink onesie. The black flower on her onesie is just a hair flower clipped onto the neck.

Her headband is made from nylons, and her hair bow was made using this singed flower tutorial.

And just cause you’re all dressed up, doesn’t mean you can’t play in the dirt!

Would you like to make a sweet ruffle skirt for your own little girl? (or even for yourself?)

Here’s How:

I started out at my favorite place on this planet, HOBBY LOBBY!!

My sister in law was so sweet to give me a gift card to Hobby Lobby. She really knows me! I would take a Hobby Lobby gift card over just about anything, including cash!  Thanks, Shawnee!

I picked up a yard of black Silky Polyester fabric for $2.99 and this waistband elastic for $2.59. I ended up using less than half of this elastic.

made this skirt for my very slim almost 2 year old daughter, so you might have to adjust the measurements according to the size of the child you’re making the skirt for.

I measured my daughter’s waist, which was 18 inches, and decided that I wanted the skirt to bunch a little, but not too much, so I made my skirt 1 1/2 times as big as her waist (27 inches), by 12 inches long (or however long you want your skirt to be.)

So, you’ll just cut a rectangle to those dimensions. (27 x 12)

Then hem under the bottom and top edges (this just shows the bottom edge, but do the top too.)

Now you’ll cut your ruffle strips. They need to be as long as the waist of your skirt. Mine was 27 inches.

I cut my ruffles 5 inches wide, and I used 7 of them.

Side note: Remember how I’m staying with my parents while we build our house? Well, that means I get to use my mom’s sewing stuff, which is a little antique. My mom got this measuring tape in 1967 and it’s been taped back together a few times. I love using her sewing stuff, it really makes me feel so special.

You’ll take your ruffle strips and sew them in half length-wise. There is a right and wrong side to this fabric. Usually you’ll sew right sides together, but for this skirt, make sure you sew wrong sides together.

 You’ll want to make a long tube.

Then take your skirt base fabric.

And pin your first ruffle on the bottom with the sewn edge toward the top. We are working from the bottom up.

(And yes, now I realize that these pictures make it look like I’m starting at the top… oopsie!)

Then you’ll top stitch your ruffle onto the fabric.

Keep adding layer after layer, adding the ruffles on top of each other.

Make sure that your ruffles are covering the seams underneath them.

soon you’ll have all of your ruffles sewn on top of each other.

And this is what it should look like once all of your ruffles are on.

Now you’ll sew your back seem. Right sides together. make sure you start at the top, sewing down, so your ruffles don’t get caught and wrinkled up.

It should look more like a skirt now.

Take the elastic and sew it, right sides together. Make sure the waist band is the actual size of your baby’s waist. So, mine was 18 inches.

Pin the waist band’s seam to the skirt’s seam (this will be the back seam). Then pin the opposite side of the elastic to the opposite side of the skirt.

The skirt is still inside out here, and the waist band is too.

You’ll want to pin the waist band all the way around, but it might be a little tricky because the skirt is bigger than the waist band, right?

So, just keep pinning between your two pins. So you’ve already pinned the front and the back in, now go to the sides and pin them in. Then go between those pins and pin. Keep going until you’ve got it all pinned around.

Now this is the really tricky part. Sewing on your waist band. You will top stitch your waist band to the right side of your skirt. But, you have to stretch the elastic as you go.

Set your machine to the widest and longest zi-zag stitch you have. This will allow the elastic to stretch once you’ve sewn it.

You’ll need to grab the elastic both behind and in front of your presser foot and streeeeetch it. Instead of letting your machine feed for you, you will feed it through the machine yourself.

I did a  pretty terrible job at feeding it through straight, so do better than I did. But, this is what your elastic should look like. Top stitched onto your skirt.

And…. the finished product.

This skirt took me about 30 minutes to make, and like I said, it cost around $4.00.

This is the perfect little dress-up skirt. The high-waist looks especially cute on the little ones.

I may be a little biased, but come on, that is one stinking cute little high-waisted ruffle skirt!!!!

Thanks for following, gals! Please leave a comment or email me with any questions you may have. And, if you really do make this skirt, please send me a photo. I’d love to see what you’re working on!


  1. This is beautiful! And so is the little red-head model. I love this and I’ll surely be whipping one up for my 2 and 3 year olds.

  2. ok Nat this is so so so so so so so and a million more so’s cute!!!! You just may see Clara wearing one of these at church in the near future!! (and maybe me too!)

  3. I doubt Luke will like wearing a skirt so I’ll store this idea on the back burner for when a girl comes into my family. I do think, however, that the skirt is totally cute. Maybe it’s the model that makes the skirt look so cute but I am in love! Very cute. And, I love the vintage sewing stuff. Seriously, love it.

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