Easy Elastic Band Skirt Tutorial

My daughter LOVES to wear dresses and skirts. She is a princess through and through! I have decided to start making her some clothes. This is one of my first sewing tutorials. While putting together the pictures and instructions for this tutorial I realized two BIG things:

1. I need a better camera. My little point and shoot is great for convenience, but when it comes to taking nice indoor pictures, it just can't really perfrom {so, sorry for the not-so-great pictures}.

2. I desperately need a new ironing board cover! I think that might be one of my next sewing tutorial projects! It has been well used and is well loved, but it's about time to say good-bye!

Wanna make one of these for yourself or your daughter?
Here's how I did it:

I found a cute remnant at my local Joann's and bought a piece of 3 inch wide black knit elastic to use as a waistband for this skirt. Start by taking measurements:

-Measure all the way around your waist {or your daughters}
(Cut elastic 1" larger than your waist measurement)

-Measure from your waist to your desired skirt length (my fabric was 44" wide -- a little more than double my daughter's waist. If you are making this for yourself, make sure that your fabric length is at least 2x your waist measurement)

Trim your fabric to your desired length of skirt. My elastic strip was 3 inches wide, so I subtracted 2 inches from my desired final measurement for seam allowances.

To cut long pieces of fabric... I have a trick. I lay my fabric out on the floor and figure out what 1/2 of my desired length is.

Then, I fold my fabric up to 1/2 the length. Then I cut the fabric just above the edge that was folded up. When unfolded, the piece you cut will equal your desired length.
 {If you happen to be lucky enough to have the table space and rotary cutting mat long enough to cut it that way, then by all means, go ahead and use it!}

 Take your cut piece to your ironing board, and fold one of the long edges over about 1/2" and iron flat. Then, fold it again {another 1/2"} so that the raw edge of your fabric is concealed. Then take it to your sewing machine and finish the hem by sewing a straight line along your top fold about 1/8" from the top of the fold.
I used my serger to create a more finished edge on the top of my fabric {the un-hemmed edge} but if you don't have a serger, don't worry about this step!

Next, sew a basting stitch along the top edge {not the hemmed edge}. Set your machine settings for the largest stitch width and sew a straight line about 1/4" from the raw edge of your fabric.

Grab the bottom thread and gently gather your fabric. I laid my elastic band out on the floor so I had an idea how much gathering I needed to do to get my fabric the same length as my elastic!

Then pin your fabric to the elastic. I used lots of pins to make sure that my fabric stayed put while I sewed! Since I was going to be sewing the sides of the skirt together, I matched the edges of my fabric with the edges of my elastic.

Sew slowly on your machine making sure to catch all the gathers that you have created. I chose to add a colored thread to my bobbin so that the top side of the elastic {the one visible while wearing} would have colored thread on it. You can choose to match your thread with the color elastic that you choose to conceal your stitching.

Next, match up the two sides {right sides together} taking care to match the bottom hem and the elastic waistband -- you don't want an uneven skirt! If you find that they don't quite match up, add a small gather just under the elastic to make things even! {No one will ever know since it's on the back!}

Once again, I serged the seam joining both sides of the skirt. If you don't have a serger, you can just do a zigzag stitch and reinforce it with a straight stitch on the inside edge of your zigzag stitches.

Then it's ready to wear!


  1. This is GREAT!!! My mother in law just gave my daughter some homemade aprons and some little "placemats" and "washrags" for her new play kitchen! They were so cute! I wish I knew how to do this. I remember playing in my grandmas leftover fabric squares when I was little. I think I am ready to start learning how to do this! So much more rewarding when you DIY!

  2. Just calling by via the Monday blog hops. Hope you are having a wonderful start to the week. Love this. Will definitly have to try it.
    "Keep your heart open to dreams. For as long as there's a dream, there is hope, and as long as there is hope, there is joy in living."

    Come by and check out my new look blog. Sarah www.jamarahcraftycreations.blogspot.com

  3. Hi, love your blog. I am following you!!


  4. WOW! That is great and your daughter is a doll! Just wanted to let you know how much I have enjoyed reading your blog! I gave you an award...come on over and claim it. www.8aplenty.blogspot.com



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