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Thursday, February 16, 2012

Refashioned Ruffle Skirt

A while ago we were able to score some t-shirts for only $1! I didn't have a plan for them, but I grabbed a bunch in different colors and knew I would come up with something eventually. Well, project number one was to come up with a new ruffly skirt for the little miss! I must admit, this is my first time EVER making anything with ruffles {gasp!}, but with a cooperating sewing machine and some patience, it turned out great!! So fun. Will definitely be making more.

Pretty cute, right? I love it!

Here's how you can make one, too...
{I apologize in advance for the lack of perfection in the photos, I took some during the day and had to finish sewing at night...}

Starting at the top left, here are the steps to prepping your skirt:
{depending on the size of your child, you may need more than one shirt or get creative with your cuts}
  1. I used an extra large t-shirt. Get out your cutting mat, ruler, and scissors or cutting blade and a washable ink marker. A cutting blade will give a cleaner cut, which is important if you don't plan on hemming the edges {the t-shirt edges won't fray after washing, so hemming isn't mandatory}

  2. Lay the shirt out flat {iron if you want}. Measure around the waist {my daughter's was 19 inches}. I made my measurements and marks from the left side of the shirt on the fold and kept the hem on for the bottom of the skirt. Since you'll be cutting two pieces at once, mark a rectangle half the size {9.5" but I did 10 to be even} plus 2 inches for seam allowance. Mark the length whatever you want your length to be minus 2 inches {we wanted 12", so cut a 10" length} because you will also be adding a waistband . *Remember, you can always cut longer and trim later. Better to have too much than not enough.

    For the waistband, I am not adding elastic. So mark/cut another rectangle 2 inches smaller than your skirt width and 6 inches long {mine was 8"x6"}.

  3. Fold the skirt in half length-wise and trim a SMALL amount off in a diagonal to make for a little bit of an A-line shape. If you want more of an angle, make sure to measure your cut wide enough to do so so you don't end up making your skirt too small. You can barely see it in picture 2, but I marked mine out first and then cut along the line. Now you will have two separate pieces for the skirt. Fold or pin together and set aside.

  4. Now you should have a giant rectangle cut out of the left side of the shirt and the entire right side. I trimmed off the bottom hem and set that aside**. Decide how many ruffles you want on your skirt and how wide you want them to be. I had 5 ruffles at 2 inches wide each. I also cut them 24" long. I probably could have used 6 ruffles, but I wanted some of the skirt section to show.

    The bigger the skirt, the longer you might want to cut the ruffles, and probably wider unless you want to cut a lot of them.

Put right sides of skirt together and sew along both sides.
I used about a 1/4" seam allowance.
*I also recommend trying the skirt on at this point to make sure it fits.
Flip and iron the seams {optional}

Flip the waistband and sew along the open edge.
Fold the top edge over so that your waistband is now 3" tall.
Iron the fold to keep it folded.

Not sure if all sewing machines work this way, but I am SO glad mine does. I set the tension on my sewing machine to about 7 1/2 and to the longest stitch. {I took a picture of the settings, but it didn't turn out that great - just set to highest tension and longest thread length} Then I just took one of the ruffle strips and sewed about 1/3 of the way in and the machine ruffled for me!

After a few times, I also made sure to leave lots of extra thread at each end so the ruffle didn't come undone... You can still adjust the ruffles if they gathered too much or not enough. Just carefully shift the fabric and be sure to hold on to the threads at each end. Make sure all the ruffles the same length and will fit around the skirt.

Sew the short ends of your ruffles together so you have ruffle loops. Sew the ruffles on one at a time, starting at the bottom. I lined up the first ruffle with the top stitch of the hem of the skirt. You can mark guide lines on your skirt before sewing, or align each ruffle with the top of the ruffle below it, barely touching. Pin the ruffle down as much as you want {I pinned a lot because mine kept shifting and I'm OCD like that...} and sew along your ruffle stitches.
I also lined up the ruffle seam with one of the side seams.

Once all your ruffles are attached, slide your waistband over the skirt with the fold side facing the bottom. Line up the waistband edges with the top of the skirt and the one seam of the waistband with one of the skirt seams.
Sew around the entire skirt with a 1/4-1/2" seam allowance.

Flip the waistband up and press the seam. Trim all extra threads.

Now you're done!

And of course I had to show it off on the model:
Gotta love that pose!!

**Remember that extra hem piece I told you to set aside?**
It made for a great matching headband!!
I'm also planning on making some other hair accessories with the leftover t-shirt.

Would you like to comment?

  1. I love this Lindsay! So adorable! My niece is having a birthday soon and I think I may need to make one of these for her-thanks for the awesome tutorial. Totally pinning this!


  2. GREAT refashion Lindsay! Your model is a Cutie! Come over and link up to DIY Diva Thursdays!! ;)

    1. That is just a darling little skirt! - as well as the fashion model. :-)

  3. I love this idea! So, so stinking cute! :) Seems simple enough for a newbie like me to do! Keep the good idea's coming!

  4. My girls would love this! I am not too good at the sewing machine... but for $1 I will give it a try:)
    As always, thanks for sharing posts that bringa smile to my face!
    ~Jen @

  5. So cute and I love that you made it out of a t-shirt! The ruffles are adorable!! Thanks for linking up at Pocket Full of Pink. I am featuring this on FB today!!

    Karen@Pocket Full of Pink

  6. This skirt is adorable!! You are very talented! Love you blog. Now following via linky followers. Would love for you to check out my blog and follow back :)

  7. LOL awessome. She looks adorable!

  8. this is so cute i love it! I have a pink "golf" shirt that I was thinking of refashioning in some way for my daughter since I haven't worn it in years and this looks so cute, maybe this is what I'll do!

  9. Love this!! I'm going to put it on my FB page this week!! I'm now following on Linky. Would you be willing to follow back?

  10. This is soooo cute and I cannot believe by looking at it that it was your FIRST TIME making ruffles! Way to go!! Super cute refashion and super cute model!
    Seamingly Smitten

  11. Wow.. Love The color and ruffles.. Thanks for linking up

  12. This just wonderful ! and nothing better than PINK !

  13. Beautiful ruffly skirt and a wonderful tutorial too Lindsay! Great refashion of that t-shirt! I love it!

    Thanks for linking to a Round Tuit!
    Hope you have a fabulous week!
    Jill @ Creating my way to Success

  14. Thank you for linking up this precious skirt on Monday Mommies on 'Ol Mother Hyder. :D
    Hope to see you again next Monday.

  15. Lovely! I just did a sewing hack and recycled ties to make a dress for my daughter if you want to hop over for a peek.

  16. Oh my goodness! That is adorable and so is your little girl!! Now following you on LF :)

    Sarah @

  17. SO CUTE!! My daughter wears a dress or skirt everyday and she would LOVE this. I need to learn how to sew PRONTO!! Thanks so much for sharing at my party this week :)

  18. Newest Linky follower here. Love your blog! So glad I found it! Come by and visit me at

    Would like to post this tute to my Favorite Tutorial Tab. Let me know if that's okay with you.

    I have a page for Blog Buttons in the top tabs. Leave a button if you like so others can find you. If you have a place for mine, I'd appreciate that too.

    Nice to meet you.
    It's A Handmade World

  19. Love this SO much! I'm featuring it on my spotlight post tonight! Thanks so much for sharing at my party!

  20. Love the skirt!! I would love it if you would link it up at my party going on now! (It's my first one!)


  21. The color, the ruffles, love it all!! :) I tweeted out your link... thanks so much for sharing at oopsey daisy!

  22. so darling!!! Thanks for linking up to I Spy refashion this month! I've given your FB page a shoutout! :)


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