Monday, July 9, 2012

Double Cinched Skirt Tutorial

In honor of Skirting the Issue, being hosted by the lovely ladies of Simple Simon & Co, I'm posting this tutorial for a sweet little double cinched skirt.  

I first shared this skirt as a part of the girls' 2nd birthday outfits and I've had several requests for a tutorial, so here we go!

To make this skirt, you will need:

- 2 coordinating fabrics (1/2 yard each should be enough for most sizes)
- 3 yards of coordinating 3/8" grosgrain ribbon
- 1" wide non-roll elastic
- coordinating thread
- sewing stuff

You will need two measurements for this skirt: your child's waist measurement and the waist to knee measurement.  From your underskirt fabric, cut one piece from selvage to selvage the length of your waist to knee measurement.  For the 3T skirt I was making, this was 12" long.  Also from the underskirt fabric, cut one piece from selvage to selvage that is 3" wide.  From the overskirt fabric, cut a piece from selvage to selvage that is 3" shorter than your overskirt (so 9" for my 3T size).  Once you have all the pieces cut, fold them in half width-wise so the selvage ends are together.  With all the pieces folded in half, cut 2" off the selvage ends.  Save the two pieces from the overskirt fabric and discard the rest.

With right sides together, stitch both your overskirt and underskirt pieces up the short sides using a 1/2" seam, forming a tube.  This seam will be your center back seam.

Hem both skirt pieces by folding up 1/2" and pressing and then another 1/2" and pressing, then sew in place.

Take the two rectangular pieces you cut off your overskirt and finish the long raw edge (the other long edge should be a selvage edge) and one short raw edge by serging, zig zag stitching or cutting with pinking shears.  These will be the casings for your ribbon.

Lay out your overskirt and find the center front.  Mark it with a pin.  Determine where you want your cinches to be on the skirt and place your casing pieces evenly away from the center.  Mark with pins. I put mine about 3" to either side of center, but you may want to go closer together or farther apart depending on the size of skirt you are making.

Place your casing pieces right sides to wrong side with your overskirt, positioning using your pin marks from the previous step.  Make sure the finished short edge is down by the hem!  Pin in place and edge stitch down the two long sides and down the center.  Don't stitch the top or bottom closed!

It will look like this from the front.

Cut four pieces of grosgrain ribbon, each about 24" long.  Using a safety pin, thread one piece of ribbon through each of the four casings.  Pin the ribbons in place, even with the top edge of the overskirt.

Baste the ribbons in place.

Now place your underskirt inside the overskirt, right side to wrong side, and baste all the way around the top using 1/4" seam allowance.

To make the waistband, take your 3" piece and stitch the short sides together with a 1/2" seam allowance.  It should now be the same size as the top of your skirt.

Turn your skirt inside out and place the waistband's right side against the wrong side of the skirt.  Pin in place, matching the center back seam.  Stitch the waistband to the skirt using a 3/8" seam.

Flip the waistband up and press.  You should now see the right side of your waistband and the wrong side of your skirt.

Turn your skirt right side out.  It should look like this from the right side.

Turn the top edge of the waistband down 1/4" all the way around and press.

Fold the waistband down so it covers all your basting stitches and press.  Stitch it down close to the edge, leaving about 3" open to insert your elastic.

Cut a piece of elastic to your child's waist measurement plus 1".  Using a safety pin, thread your elastic through the casing.

Using your extra 1", overlap the ends of the elastic, make sure nothing has twisted up in the waistband, then pin and sew the ends together.  

Tuck the elastic up into the casing and sew the opening closed.  Stretch the waistband out to evenly distribute the gathers.

Now just cinch up the overskirt to your liking, tie a couple of pretty bows and you're all done!


  1. Those are adorable outfits! Thanks for sharing the how-to. =)

  2. How wide should the skirts be for a waist that is 19in.?


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