because it’s faster to sew a skirt, than drive to the store

I know.  Another skirt.
It’s so easy!
But seriously, whenever Lucy’s invited to a friend’s birthday party I spend the week stewing over what to buy them as a gift.  And then I have that “duh” moment when I pull a yard of fabric from my stash, start cutting and sewing….and 20 minutes later, the gift is done.

One of these days I’ll need to tween them up a bit….maybe leather pockets and a faux flat front?

Everybody loves a little handmade love!

Especially when it’s made from good quality cotton.
And this pretty print reminded me of tulips….which Casey brought home on Valentine’s day.
Everybody loves flowers too!
(Thank you Casey).

If you’re making a skirt as a gift and you’re not sure on their waist-size, look online at a standard child’s sizing chart, or simply ask their mom to measure their waist.  And lately, I’ve been making my girls’ skirts 3 times their waist (rather than 2 times)….just to get it nice and full.  There are so many options.  So if you want to mix it up a bit, here are some other skirt tutorials for you:

And don’t forget you can watch the simple skirt video here:

Then let your kids create the wrapping paper, and your gift is ready to go.

I love watching these two together.  Lucy is so patient with Clara, letting her play and tag along with whatever she’s doing.  She’s such a good sister.

Happy sewing and gifting friends!

  1. 1) Deb

    That is so sweet!

  2. I love sewing skirts for little kids! Not only is it super simple to accomplish, but it uses so little fabric and makes them pretty happy. Thank you for sharing!

  3. My daughter was invited to 5 birthday parties in January and I had the same issues as you regarding what to buy them (and that many birthday party gifts straight after Christmas was a little out of our budget). I ended up making them all aprons, which they were delighted with. I think I may add skirts into the mix, especially once all the snow melts (I live in Ontario, Canada).

  4. Love this! And your video tutorial is so awesome! Now I need to go make all the skirts!! 🙂

  5. 5) Barbara

    What about gifts for boys?

    • 6) Opa

      How about a shop apron with a tape measure and a shop pencil (or crayon as my Dad used to call them)? 🙂 A canvas, zippered and gusseted tote to carry small toys? A zippered pencil tote with pencils (maybe a small set of colored pencils) and an eraser. Maybe a cloth lunch bag with a velcro closure? Any of these could be a 45-minute project.

  6. Love this fabric!!! What print/company is it? Also, brilliant idea! I have 2 bday parties in the next 2 weeks. Totally stealing this!

  7. Yes, please, some ideas about tween details and patterns! My oldest is the same age as Lucy and there’s a definite shift happening in what she likes and wants with her clothes. But the kid clothes websites and tutorials are pretty much all for little kids. There’s a definite need for tween sewing!

  8. 9) craftygramma

    To Barbara- I make ‘board’ shorts (as in skateboard) for the boys in their favorite superhero fabric. Just make them a little loose and longer than dress shorts (look at Dana’s tuts/patterns).
    Big hit! I also enclose the seams so they have to look carefully to decide if they’re homemade… it’s fun to watch, there’s always someone who notices.

    Thanks, Dana!!

  9. 10) Julie H.

    What a great idea! I love your simple skirt pattern. I make my daughter a festive skirt for each holiday (just made a valentine one last week) and usually a birthday skirt to match her theme each year. I have gotten it down to 15 minutes or less! In the past, I’ve usually added a band at the bottom in a contrasting color, but since seeing you use bias tape…that has been a game changer for me (especially without a serger). She is 5 and I can still make her a skirt with a 1/2 yard of fabric, so it’s super cheap too!

  10. I have used your skirt tutorial so many times for last minute gift ideas. Thanks for always providing such wonderful ideas and instructions! You are wonderful!

  11. Ah, this is one of the first fabrics I purchased after I started sewing. I think I’m down to just scraps. And all the things I made with it were gifts!! I love giving handmade gifts. They have always been well-received and it seems like the moms, in particular, really appreciate the “one of a kind-ness” of such a gift.

  12. I love everything about this! The handmade skirt and the handmade wrapping paper. I really hope the gifts are appreciated.

    I try to give handmade gifts. Especially to the younger kids as they are still appreciated.

  13. What a cute skirt, the fabric is gorgeous. I love the idea of homemade gifts, I’m determined to find the time to get my machine out the loft & sew. Maybe I can make a skirt for my three year old niece?!

  14. 16) Petra

    Well I think the gift of something homemade is the best kind of gift 🙂 Your skirt is so pretty, and I’m sure the birthday girl will be very happy 😀

  15. 17) Lizzie

    I’m 18 and have a little sister who has recently been through the tween phase (she’s 12) and have many friends who have little sisters who are around the same age, or are younger, and I babysit many girls who are in their tweens and could tell you a skirt that would be both quick and easy to make and 100% fashion forward for a tween is a circle skirt! They are hugely popular right now, between teens and tweens alike and are SO easy to make! The silhouette is a bit less full than a gathered skirt and is extremely popular between the tween, teen, and young adult sets! You can find them at almost any popular teen website marketed as either circle skirts or skater skirts! Good luck!

  16. Somehow I get a feeling that you had to make two of these skirts. The fabric is so pretty. How could she ever let go of that skirt without asking for one for herself?

  17. 19) Carol

    I love that Lucy recreated the fabric pattern as the wrapping paper! Super cute – almost as cute as those two blondies together!

  18. 20) Gwen

    Dana, you have inspired me!! I have not sewn for about 10 years….YIKES! When I saw your skirt video, I pulled out my serger & sewing machine from the back of my storage room and away I went. My huge stash of fabrics is finally being used!!! I have 4 little girls in my care right now and they LOVE them!!! Thank you for sparking my creative flame again :o)

  19. 21) melinda

    i was so excited about making skirt, but all i had was braided elastic. yup, it does roll over…ughhh. but skirt was cute. thanks for easy directions

  20. 22) Terri Miller

    So cute! You inspire me…I am going to make a skirt tomorrow!
    That fabric is really pretty! Wish I had some too.
    Thank you for your videos…love them all. So helpful!

  21. 23) BeckyLeeSews

    Oh Dana, you could TOTALLY begin a new tween series. Just look at this skirt/top set and then fall over when you see the price. $69 for a skirt and t shirt??? No way! I think the trick will be to find cute fabrics online that might not be available in local stores. Tween tops are still pretty easy because the top shouldn’t need any princess seaming (yet) but even a dart here or there would be a snap.

    Handmade gifts are all the rage. My friends all prefer something that doesn’t say “Made in Name-a-Country”.

  22. 24) Ashley

    I love this idea and have done the same. However, some people I have sewed for have put my items on their kids right out of the dryer without pre-ironing and it looks just awful! Then they tell people that I made it. I only give things like this to people that I know will iron it. Is that weird?

  23. 26) Kristeen

    Hi Dana. Hope you’re doing well. I’m always going to mention this , I love the way you explain things, especially for people like me who are beginners. Id like to make a request. If you’ve done tutorials for adult dresses, please give me the link. Thank you.

  24. 27) Paul Saunders

    Some older kids like teenagers are fussy as can be they think cost vs making things is better. I made my son some summer PJ’s he never wore them so I gave up sewing. But I wish I still had it for myself when needing things.

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