Yay for summer! The sun, the color, the vacations……..ahhhh, I love it all! And what a great way to celebrate it……..with this ‘Color My Summer’ series. How perfect! So thanks for having me Delia. 🙂
And my color? WHITE.
I know, I know, not super colorful. But white is such a summery color to me. And enhances all of those other colors of the rainbow. So white seemed perfect for me to work with. And I know, white seems crazy to put on children……but I don’t mind it one bit. Because add a little bleach or oxy clean to a stain, and whites return right back to white. No problem.
This light and breezy little Maxi Skirt is so perfect for these warm summer months. (And yes, I will show you how to figure out the measurements to make this skirt in your size too.)
The number of tiers can be shortened or lengthened, to make your size skirt and size. And just for extra ruffle and flounce, each of the seams are exposed.
If you make one in white like I did (which tends to be see-through)……… no worries. I’ll show you how to add a little lining on the inside, which I made short to keep the skirt cool.
Let’s get started:
The first step is to decide how long you want the skirt, from the very top, down to the bottom hem. Once you know how long you want it, split that number by 5. For each tier, you will add a little extra to the top and bottom length, to accommodate for the waistband, the overlap, and the hem. And to figure out the width of each tier, you need to measure the waist of your model. The first tier width will be the waist measurement multiplied by 1.5. The second tier is the waist measurement multiplied by 2. The 3rd tier is the waist measurement multiplied by 2.7. And so on. I know, 2.7, 3.6, and 4.8 are strange numbers but it keeps the ratio even between tiers. Just go with it!
Something else to keep in mind…….if you are using a serger on the edges like I did, your measurements will be different. However, I figured most people don’t have a serger, so I gave the measurements to fold and hem each of you edges. (But I’ll explain the serging too.)
Here’s a chart to keep all of those measurements straight:
(And keep in mind, if you want the skirt fuller, add some fabric to each width…..and keep the ratio the same between each tier. This will make it even fuller. Do what works best for you though and the amount of fabric you have.)
So, for example: My little girl’s waist is 20 inches. And I measured from her waist down to where I wanted it to end near her ankles, which was 25 inches. So I first divided 25 by 5, which is 5. So each finished tier would measure 5 inches tall. Then, I knew that if I were to fold and hem each edge (instead of serging it, which is what I did), I would add the extra measurements to each tier height (as shown above). If that was the case, they would measure:
Tier 1 = 6.5 x 30
Tier 2 =6.5 x 40
Tier 3 = 6.5 x 54
Tier 4 = 6.5 x 72
Tier 5 = 6 x 96
However, if you’re going to serge your edges like I did, ignore the extra 1/2 inch, 1 inch, 1/2 inch, 1 inch etc. Simply add a 1/2 inch to each tier height. And that’s it. So each of my tiers were 5.5 inches tall and then the same width as listed above.
**Please note, the measurements don’t have to be perfect. You can round up or down so you’re not trying to cut something that is 6.78 inches wide. That would be annoying. This skirt is forgiving since it gathers in and doesn’t have to be perfect.
And one more thing, if you decide to add lining to your skirt (because your fabric is see-through like my white was), cut a piece of fabric that is as wide as your top tier (30 inches in my case) and then however long you want it to be. I decided about knee length would be best (and not as hot as full length), so I cut mine 14 inches long.
Here are all of my pieces. (If your fabric isn’t long enough, you may have to piece fabric together to make your strips long enough.)
Once you have all your strips cut out, take one strip at a time (including your lining strip, if you are adding one) and sew the two ends together with right sides together and with a 1/2 inch seam allowance, creating a circle out of each strip. Then finish off that raw edge (zig-zag, add another seam, serge, use pinking shears, etc.) Then, if you are folding and hemming your long edges, fold the top and bottom edges under a 1/4 inch, another 1/4 inch, and then sew in place. (Except for the top edge of tier 1. Leave that unfinished.) However, if you’re serge-ing like I did, simply serge that top and bottom edge.
Now, grab your first and second tiers. Sew a basting stitch along the top edge of tier 2 and cinch it in to the same width as tier one. Pin it evenly all the way around the bottom of tier 1, overlapping by a 1/2 inch. (Need help making and attaching your gathered fabric evenly?? Go here.)
Then sew that ruffled tier right in place, sewing right on top of that basting stitch.
Repeat with the other tiers, sewing them in place. (If you only had one side seam in each tier, match them all up so that they can be placed at the back of the skirt.)
Now, slide your skirt lining around the skirt section you just made, matching up the top edges. Be sure that the WRONG side of the lining is laying against the RIGHT side of the skirt section. Pin the top edges in place.
Then pull the lining up and push down to the inside of the skirt. Iron that top edge flat.
Then sew a seam 1.25 inches from the top edge of the skirt, all the way around………..
………..except leave about a 2 inch opening in the back. Here’s your casing for your elastic with an entrance.
Then lift up the top layer of skirt and find that opening in the casing you just made. Thread some 1 inch wide elastic (using a safety pin) through the casing. (Measure your child’s waist and then subtract about an inch. That should be a good length for the elastic.)
Leave the ends of the elastic out, then overlap the ends and sew them together.
Then flip the skirt right side out again and sew that opening closed. And then add a fabric tag if you have one. 🙂
And that’s it.
A nice and summery WHITE Tiered Maxi Skirt.
I love that skirt! So cute. I have one in adult size and when I am bored with it, I think I'll make it mini for my little sweetie. Did you add the embellishment to that cute t-shirt too? I'm thinking that would be a great way to dress up a simple cheap shirt and make it 'fancy' enough for my little girl who loves everything bling.
Tansy Dolls says
So light and summery! Love it!
I want to make one for my girl right now. Grrr…working all weekend!
so pretty and summery!
thats great! i own 2 white maxi skirts and ilove them! and ahsley always has the brightest, cleanest, and crispest (is that a word) tutorials. they are very refreshing!
ReStitch Me says
I know my daughter would LOVE this! So CUTE!
It's gorgeous! My friend was just wearing a skirt like this and I was looking at it trying to figure out the best way to make one for myself and then you went and too all the hard work out of it! I definitely want one of these this summer!!
Love the skirt! What type of fabric did you use?
I love this! I had a skirt like this that I love, and can't wait to try this. But I also wanted to know what type of fabric you used for this. Thanks!
Hey Amber and Anon…….the fabric I used is just regular 'ol 100 percent cotton. It probably cost me under $5 a yard when I bought it. Maybe $3? Ack, I can't remember……I've had that stuff for a while. 🙂 but you can get plain colored cotton really cheap at the fabric store. Good luck!
Make It and Love It
And Kristin, no, I bought the shirt like that. It was actually a long sleeved shirt I bought at Gap Kids and then just cut the sleeves right off. I love knit! 🙂
Make It and Love It
I really want to know your ratio for figuring out the fabric increases each layer. I would like to make one for myself and want more layers. So what do you use for a length for layer 6, 7, 8…?
Krystal Cortez says
This is how you do it.
Tier 5 is waist measurement multiplied by 4.8.
To figure out Tier 6: you take 4.8 (Tier 5’s multiple) x 1.33 and you get 6.38, round it to 6.4 instead. So Tier 6 would be WAIST MEASUREMENT X 6.4
To figure out Tier 7: you take 6.4 (Tier 6’s multiple) x 1.33 and you get 8.5 rounded. So Tier 7 would be WAIST MEASUREMENT X 8.5
and so on and so forth. =)
So cute! Thanks for the tutorial. Just a hint for fabric, I used a flat sheet from Wal Mart that was under $5 and it is pretty big, I think somewhere around 66 x 96 for the twin and could make the whole thing, with a little piecing on the bottom tier.
Kathy Strom says
Thanks for sharing. I’m new to your mailing list and I love many of the ideas that you share. Thank you.
I love this skirt!! Thank you for the tutorial. I am making my daughter one for birthday
coming up in a few days. I do not want the inner lining under the skirt, how would I
add the elastic without adding the lining? Thanks for the help in advance!!
Jeanette Hohnke says
thanks so much for sharing this lovely skirt pattern. I love to make skirts for my granddaughters.
Thanks so much for sharing I have been looking everywhere for a skirt like this and have now decided to try and make my own. This has just made it all a bit easier 🙂