Every girl needs a skirt for heading to the market; a market skirt with a pocket for fruit (and a stash of candy).
It’s the perfect skirt for hanging out and sharing sodas with friends.
Whatever your flavor; we have the color.
Let’s get started!
NOTE: Additional Sizing tips at Bottom of the Tutorial.
Skill Level: Easy to Intermediate (with added pocket)
Pattern Size: 2-3T
* 1/4, up to 1 yard of main fabric (depending on the direction of your fabric’s print)
* 1/4, up to 1/2 yard of white cotton (depending on the fabric’s density and if you double-layer it)
* 1 inch wide elastic
* 2 to 4 buttons
* Sewing machine
Average Sewing Time: 2-3 hours
Pick your favorite color and let’s get started!
Here’s what we’re making:
Seersucker works beautifully and allows the skirt to really bounce.
Other cottons work well too.
Choose a nice white muslin or cotton for the waist band, hem, and pockets.
If the thread count is too thin on your white cotton, double-layer it. That’s what I’ve done here. Everything in white was double-layered (except for the waistband, since that will be folded over in the end).
1. Cut out your pattern pieces. The skirt is made of simple rectangles. You will need TWO of each pattern piece below. Remember to double-layer the white hem piece if your white fabric is too thin (I prefer a strong, quality, white look.) These are the pieces and measurements you need (note: picture is not to scale; it just gives measurements; ALL MEASUREMENTS can be adjusted to fit your child’s size. These pattern pieces will help you put it all together. RESIZING info is at the end of the tutorial)
These measurements below are for a 2-3T size, with a total waist measurement of: 21 inches
Waistband – 15 x 4 inches (38 x 10 cm)
Skirt – 24 x 7 inches (61 x 18 cm)
Hem – 29 x 3 inches (74 x 8 cm)
Cut two of each pattern piece from your fabric. If your fabric has a recurring pattern or a stripe, you’ll need to decide which direction you want that pattern to go:
2. Start Sewing.
With right sides together, pin and sew each piece to it’s matching piece:
Finish off each seam with your serger, or zigzag with your sewing machine:
and always iron out your seams. Ironing gives your clothing a very polished look and less of a “homemade” vibe:
By this point you should have three large pieces of your skirt.
3. Gathering and Sewing.
There are proper ways to gather fabric (shown in The Gathered Pocket Tutorial, following this tutorial) but there are always ways to cheat. And if I can do something easier with the cheating method…..why not?! First, I adjust the tension on my machine. This is the normal tension setting for my machine: I change it to the strongest tension setting (so that the thread is working hard to get through, and thus, gathering up fabric on it’s own for you):
I also change my stitch length from a normal length:
to the longest length (this makes the fabric gather even better):
Then (without doing a Stay Stitch – or a start and stop stitch at the ends)….sew a line along the edge of the Skirt Piece, about 1/4 inch from the edge:
It should look something like this:
Lay your Waistband Piece next to the gathered piece. They need to be the same length:
If the Skirt Piece is too short or too long, adjust the gathering by shifting the gathers and letting some out or pulling more in:
Then, line up the two seams from each piece:
And with right sides together, laying the seams right on top of each other, pin the pieces together:
Then sew the two pieces together (with a 3/8 inch or 1/2 inch seam, so the gathering stitch doesn’t show through):
It should look like this when you’re done:
Next, gather your Hem Piece (using the same faux gathering method above.) This piece does not need to be gathered as much as the Skirt Piece, so lessen your machine tension so the fabric doesn’t gather as quickly:Adjust your gathering so that the Hem Piece is the same length as the Skirt Piece. Using the same method above, with right sides together, line up the seams of the Hem Piece and the Skirt Piece and pin both pieces together:
Sew all the way down
(random insert….but a fun Sewing Tip. I always keep a small bowl on my table for all the loose threads/fabric that I cut off. Such a lifesaver! No loose strings falling all over me and my project):
Okay, your skirt should be looking like this:
Finish off both seams with your serger, or zigzag with your sewing machine:
And iron out all seams. It’s okay if some of the gathered areas get ironed down: It’s a cute look:
Now sew the the sides of the entire skirt together. With right sides together, line up the seams, so that the main Skirt Piece lines up with the other Skirt Piece, etc. Your pieces should match up pretty well. But if not, just try your best. Matching the pieces will make your skirt look like one continual seamless piece:
If you have a side-tag to add, insert it here about 3/4 of the way down your skirt, and sew the entire skirt down the side: Finish off your side seam with your serger, or zigzag with your sewing machine.
Then serge (or zigzag) all the way around the bottom of your Hem Piece: And all the way around the top of your Waistband Piece:
and iron out your seams:
Your skirt is coming together! It should look like this:
4. The Waistband.
Fold your waistband in half, over on to the inside of the skirt: iron it over, all the way around the skirt:
If you have a clothing label to add, measure the length and mark your start and stop points with pins. If you don’t have a tag, make sure you leave an opening in this spot for your elastic to be strung through (label will be sewn-in in a later step):
Pin your ironed-over waistband all the way around on the outside of the skirt. You will be sewing it down on the outside so you can make the topstitch look as nice as possible:
On the outside of the skirt, about 1/4 in (or less) from the Waistband/Skirt seam line, sew your waistband down, all the way around. Make sure you go from start point to finish point, leaving an opening for the elastic! It should look like this:
Then, sew a dainty top stitch all the way around the TOP of the waistband, about 1/4 inch (or less) in. You do NOT have to leave an opening on this stitch:
Using 1-inch wide elastic, cut the desired length of your child’s waist. I’ve found that an average good length is 21 inches:Pin a safety pin to the end and start pushing your elastic through the opening and all the way through the waistband:
Make sure you pin down the other end of the elastic so it doesn’t slip all the way through the waistband:
When your elastic is through, overlap the ends, and zigzag them together a few times (make sure the elastic is not twisted inside your waistband):
Finish off your waistband by sewing the opening shut (and adding in your clothing label):
6. The Hem
Iron a very small 1/4 inch hem all the way around the bottom of your skirt: and stitch it down:
It should look like this: And there you have it! Your skirt has come together. If you’re feeling worn out, you can stop here and admire your lovely bouncy skirt. Or you can personalize it by adding a letter, like this. OR, if it’s To Market, To Market we go….then please continue on with to The Gathered Pocket Tutorial!
The beauty of this skirt is that it works for ANY age and ANY size. It can be tweaked, adjusted, added to, taken from, etc. Possibilities! Which means, yes…you can make one for yourself too! The question is:
Looking at the dimensions of each pattern piece in the Tutorial (which are for a 2-3T size), I’ve broken it into ratios; how each piece relates back to the length of the elastic in the waistband. Here are the ratios….
Waistband fabric length to elastic length – 1.5 to 1
Skirt fabric length to elastic length – 2.5 to 1
Hem fabric length to elastic length – 3 to 1
So, for instance, if you’re going to make this for a 10 year old girl:
* measure her waist all the way around. This will be the length of the elastic (remember to add an extra inch for overlap when you sew the elastic together.)
* take that length and multiply it by 1.5. This is the length for your Waistband fabric piece
(NOTE: This is the entire length AROUND the whole skirt. In the pattern pieces from the Tutorial, size lengths shown are only half of the entire skirt – since you’re cutting out two pieces of each pattern. So when you calculate your new number here, cut it in half if you’re cutting two pattern pieces, as in the tutorial).
* Continue calculating the other pieces as you did above (multiply by 2.5 to get the length of your Skirt fabric, etc).
(Also NOTE: Not all measurements are exact, precise, and perfect for each body. The pattern in itself is very forgiving, since it’s a gathered skirt. But make adjustments as you see fit for your child or your body.)
I don’t have any ratios on the width of each tier. Simply adjust those as wide as you like for aesthetic look or for appropriateness. If making one for a teenager or adult….try adding another tier as I did here:
I can’t stress enough that this pattern/skirt can be adjusted in many ways. So get creative and have a go at it! I’d love to see some adult versions!
One additional note on the Tension-Gathering method I described. This is also not an exact science. The gathering will vary depending on the fabric weight and how tight your thread is pulling. If my fabric isn’t gathering enough, I often put a spool of tall Serger thread (the large spools) on my machine and that really tightens up the tension. Play around with it and find out what works for you and your machine.