Beginner friendly, can be made in 1-2 hours
To begin, you will want to take a few measurements: Waist, Hip, and desired Length
For my daughter, this was: Waist 25”, Hip 32”, and Length 16”
We decided to make two tiers, so we cut our top tier at 9” and our bottom tier at 11” because there is a 2” overlap at each tier, plus a 1/2” hem allowance at the bottom, and another 3/8-1/2” seam allowance at the top. Keep reading this example and it’ll make more sense…
Cut the following from your main fabric:
- 3.5”x waist measurement+.75” for waistband
- half your length+1” x 1.5x waist measurement for top tier
- half your length+3” x 1.5x hip measurement for bottom tier
Cut the following from your lining fabric:
- half your length-1.5” x hip measurement+4”
Cut the following from your interfacing:
- 3” x waist measurement+.75”
So I cut the following based on my daughter’s measurements: W 25” H 32” L 16”
- Waistband: 25.75 x 3.5”
- Top Tier: 9” x 37.5”
- Bottom Tier: 11 x 48”
If you wanted to make 3 tiers, or add length, simply divide your length by the number of tiers you want and then add hem allowance, seam allowance, and 2” to each tier after the top tier.
Begin by hemming both tiers of your skirt. My favorite trick for quick hemming is to serge along the bottom, and then fold twice and press before stitching with my sewing machine. If you don’t have a serger, simply sew a line of stitches 1/4” from the raw edge and then fold along the line once and press, and then again to enclose the raw edges and press again.
Finally, sew a line of stitches 1/4” from the folded edge to enclose your hems.
To prepare the waistband, attach the interfacing to the wrong side of your main fabric following the manufacturer’s instructions. Leave 1/2” on the top free of interfacing. Fold the waistband in half lengthwise and press. Fold the top raw edge of fabric in by 1/2” using the edge of the interfacing as a fold guide. Press again.
Mark wrong side of waistband as follows: seam allowance at 3/8” from either short end, center of waistband, and halfway from center to outer seam allowance marks on either side (so mine are about 6.25” inches from the 3.8” marks).
Next, sew two lines of gathering stitches on the top of each tier and the top of your lining fabric by doing the following: Extend your stitch length to 4, and pull a bit of thread from the bobbin and the top needle so that you are starting with a few inches of excess. On your main fabric, sew two lines of stitches 1/4” and 1/2” away from the top edge of the fabric, leaving thread tails at the beginning and end of each line. On the lining, stitch your two lines at 3/8” and 5/8” from the top edge. Return your stitch length to a normal setting of about 2.5.
Mark your fabric to show the length broken up into fourths along the top of each tier and the lining fabric on the top and the bottom. My lining fabric is 36”, so I marked at 9”, 18”, and 27”. These little marks will help us to distribute all the gathers evenly.
Place your bottom tier on the bottom of the lining. First pin your fabrics together at your center marks. You will then work from one side at a time, and gather the bottom tier fabric until it is the same size as the lining fabric. To gather, simply hold the thread tails on the back side of the main fabric, and gently pull the fabric toward the center. As you gather the fabric match up the the remaining two tick marks, and pin every few inches.
Once your fabric is gathered and pinned, stitch the bottom tier to the lining fabric with a 3/8” seam allowance. Pull gently on the gathering threads to remove them. Finish the seam allowance with a serger or zigzag stitch and press seam allowance toward lining fabric.
Next, gather and pin your top tier to the unfolded edge of the waistband (right sides together) in the same way you just attached the bottom tier to the lining. Use a 3/8” seam allowance to stitch them together. Remove gathering threads.
Now gather the top edge of the lining right side onto the top tier. You will be pinning and stitching this directly on top of the top tier, so that when finished, you will have three layers stitched together. Stitch this layer to the other two with a 1/2” seam allowance. Yes, this is intentionally larger than the previous seam allowance. Remove gathering threads.
Finish seam allowances on either side with a serger or zigzag stitch.
Attach zipper foot to machine. Align invisible zipper so that the top of zipper teeth is at the fold of the waistband. Stitch zipper to the left side.
Pin at the top, bottom of waistband, and bottom of stitching in order to keep zipper aligned, then stitch right side of zipper.
While zipper foot is still attached, finish sewing down the back of the skirt with a 3/8” seam allowance.
Press open back seam
Attach walking foot or A foot to your machine. Fold waistband over zipper with the WRONG side showing, and sew close to the inside of the zipper teeth. Repeat on the other end.
Fold waistband along the center crease, and press in place. Using a 1/8” seam allowance, sew around the outside of the waistband, catching the folded inside edge to finish the skirt. Backstitch at the beginning and end.
That’s it! You’ve made a completely adorable tiered ruffle skirt!