Split Twirl Skirt Tutorial

(Seriously…if someone has a better name than that, PLEASE tell me and I’ll change it!)

Print off a copy of the worksheet, found here.

Measure the waist of the intended wearer.

Measure from where you’d like the top of the waistband to sit to where you’d like the drop waist panel to end and the skirt to attach. This is completely personal preference! Leave the top of your tape measure where it is and measure what you’d like the completed length of your skirt to be.

Enter all 3 measurements on the worksheet.

Multiply your waist measurement by 1.5 (for example: 26” waist X 1.5 = 39”). EVERY piece you cut for this skirt will be this width. From here on out, this will just be referred to as your width measurement.

Cut one piece your width measurement by your drop waist measurement + 1.5”. My drop measurement was 4”, so I cut this piece 5.5” tall.

Cut 2 pieces for your underskirt from contrasting fabric (see directions on worksheet).

Cut 2 pieces for your overskirt from same fabric as waistband (see directions on worksheet).


That’s it. 5 rectangles, all the same width.

All seams are 1/2” unless otherwise noted.

With right sides together, sew the short ends of the drop waist panel together.


Unfold your overskirt pieces and stack them right sides facing. Sew short sides together.

Unfold your underskirt pieces and stack them right sides facing. Sew short sides together.

Now we’ve got 3 tubes of fabric.


Finish your seams (serge, zig zag, pink, whatever), press to the side, and topstitch.

Turn your overskirt tube right side out (make sure your print is facing the right way if there’s an up and a down) and measure over 1/4 of the way from the left hand side. (Macy wanted her skirt split on this side. If you’d prefer it on the other side, measure from the right edge instead.)


See the crease? That’s the half way point. 1/4 for me will be about 9.5”. Yours will be different. Draw a line there.


Take a pair of scissors and cut on that line, THROUGH THE TOP LAYER OF FABRIC ONLY!!!


Now we’re going to hem the edges we just cut. Turn under 1/4” and then another 1/4”. Sew in place.


Next we’ll hem the bottom of the overskirt. Turn and press under 1/4” and then another 3/4”. Sew in place.


Do the same to the bottom of the underskirt…1/4” then 3/4” and sew in place.


Put your underskirt inside of your overskirt, matching seams and lay it flat. You’ll have a gap where the underskirt peeks out. Pin all the way around the top edge.


Take your giant pinned tube over to your machine and do a long gathering stitch (stitch length 5 on most machines) about 1/4” from the top/pinned edge.


I did the front and stopped and cut my threads. Then, I did the back the same way. I don’t like to gather the whole skirt at once, but you certainly can. You can also do another row of gathering stitching about 1/8” from the first if you’re worried about threads breaking. I like to live on the edge, so I usually skip that part. ;)

Turn your giant tube inside out. This will leave you with the bobbin thread (aka the one you’ll pull to gather) facing you. I also think it’s easier to have your gathers facing you instead of crammed on the inside.

Grab your drop waist panel and turn it upside down (but right side out). Insert it in your underskirt/overskirt tube.

Pin, matching seams, middles, etc.


Now’s when you’ll pull your bobbin thread only and gather. I find it easier to way over gather and then ease it out as I pin. Evenly distribute your gathers and pin every couple of inches.

Sew your skirts to your waist panel.


Finish the edge (serge or zig zag).

Press the seam towards the waist panel and top stitch.


To make your casing for the elastic, fold and press 1/4” along the top edge and then another 3/4”. Sew in place, leaving a 2” opening in the back.


Thread your elastic through the casing and stitch the ends together. Sew the rest of the casing closed.

Try to get a better picture than this one in the dark with a flash:


You’re done!

If you make one, be sure to add it to the Crap You’ve Made Flickr group. I’d love to see it!

The Girl Creative

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  1. Cheryl @ a pretty cool life. says:

    Ah, if only I had a little girl…

  2. Ah, if only I sewed and not staple gunned everything. Might poke Ashlyn when she sat down?!?!?!?!

  3. (un)Deniably Domestic says:

    Looks like a great summer project for the girls. Thank you!

    unDeniably Domestic

  4. Very pretty! I have no little girls…so I want one for myself! :)

  5. Al, Wendy, Max, and Lil says:

    Oh so cute! I love the fabrics, too! Good work! You are really catching on to this sewing thing.

  6. michelle@somedaycrafts says:

    This is one of the cutest little piece of crap, I mean skirts, I have ever seen! Way to go!!!!

  7. CraftCrave says:

    Thank you! This blog post will be advertised on CraftCrave in the Handcraft category today (look for timestamp: [22 Feb 01:00pm GMT]).

  8. super cute, Char. I love that fabric, too.

  9. Kari @ Ucreate says:

    LOVE THIS fun take on the twirly skirt! I'll be featuring!

  10. What a fun skirt. Now just for some time to do it!

  11. Kristine Robinson says:

    Love it, love it, love it!

  12. love it! can't wait to make one for my daughter! :)

  13. MammaDucky says:

    Just found your blog and the title alone has me hooked. You're my kinda lady!
    Super cute skirt. Everyone is talking about making one for their daughters…I'm so making one for myself! I guess I'll make them some skirts too…if I have to, ha!

  14. The worksheet is such a great idea, I love this!

  15. Ashley Welling says:

    I have been a skirt sewing fool lately! Thanks for the Toot! P.S. Love the name of your blog!

  16. O my this brings back memories. I had a skirt just like this one when I was a little girl. My sisters and I use to call it our "Flap up skirts" :) Mine was red with little white flowers. O how we loved them. Wish I had a little girl to make this for. Maybe for myself. Thanks for the tutorial.

  17. cute cute! fabric choices are awesome as usual!

  18. OH! This is SO cute!! I linked to your tutorial on Craft Gossip Sewing:


  19. How about calling it a peek-a-boo twirl skirt? Really cute!!

  20. jaya pratheesh says:

    three tips…
    1. don't sew up the overskirt into a tube, then cut it to make the split.. just make the overskirt into a long rectangle and arrange it so that the two open ends come together at the split. easier than sewing it up, cutting it down, and hemming again.

    2. use the whole width of fabric(usually 44") for the overskirt. that way, you can just fold in the selvage and call it a hem. gives a wonderful amount of twirl, too.

    3. did you know that you can gather fabric without basting on a normal machine? just turn the tension dial to 9 or however high it will go, and sew with a normal straight stitch. the fabric gathers up like magic. you can control the amount of gathers by how fast you sew. (slowly, and you get light gathers, fast and you get thick, full gathers.).

    try this on a scrap piece to see how full you want the gathers to be.. you can adjust pedal pressure and play with the tension dial till you get the perfect fullness.

    then, attach the gathered fabric to waistband.

  21. Erica Leigh says:

    very cute skirt! would love to try to make it sometime. <3

  22. Char @ Crap I've Made says:

    Jaya, The reason I made the tube and then cut is because I wanted the seams to line up (I have major OCD tendencies) and because I wanted a little bit of a gap so the fabric was more visible.

  23. So cute! Can't wait to make one for my little lady…all she'll wear these days is a skirt so it will be fun to mix it up a bit!
    Thanks for the pattern.

  24. This went on my "To Do" list the minute I saw it! Thanks for linking @Creative Itch's "Sew Cute Tuesday"!!

  25. Do not change your name. I peed a little when I clicked the link for your blog. So funny. Love it! Thanks for making me laugh.

  26. Thank you, I can't wait to try this!

  27. When I came across your blog and saw this skirt, I knew I had to make one for my little girl! Thank you for sharing your wonderful talent!

  28. Cute stuff!
    Andrea @ TheTrainToCrazy.com

  29. If Phil divorces me because of the amount of money I spend on projects because of your blog can I come live with you???

  30. Andy Porter says:

    I've totally enjoyed jumping around your blog today! You've done a great job with it and it's nice to meet you! I love this skirt tutorial! I dream of sewing cool things one day:) I need all the help I can get!


  31. Ruth Thompson says:

    I just made this skirt today for my 7 year old daughter…it is SO FREAKIN' CUTE!!! I'll take a photo tomorrow and post it…Thank you SO much for the great tutorial. I love your blog.

  32. Mommyof2girlz says:

    Adorable skirt and love the fabrics you used. Found you through SeviDesigns, wonderful blog!!

  33. I made one last week and immediately had to get fabric to make another one. My daughter LOVES them! Thanks for making such an awesome tutorial to follow! I will try to get pics of mine posted soon.

  34. Lisa Marie says:

    This… is WAY… too flippin' cute! Must make one! Now!

  35. Thanks for the tutorial! I took it a step further and made it into a dress – I posted pictures in the Flikr group!

  36. Love your tutorial, and I'm with you about matching the seams!

    I made one for each of my girls: http://www.lyannajeandesigns.com/2010/05/yardsale-ing-chocolate-croissants.html


  37. I made this today for my daughter. Great tutorial. I had to improvise because I had my mind set on not going to the store and using the fabric i had. I love it!!

  38. I just made this skirt today for my granddaughter. It turned out SO cute. I uploaded a picture of it.

  39. I love this skirt! I have sewing skills, I usually will stitch some things by hand with a really simple stitch, I have access to a sewing machine, so do you think this would be a good starter project? The ruffling scares me a little. Or does anyone have a good idea for a beginner on a sewing machine??


  40. Your style is very unique in comparison to other folks I’ve read stuff from. Many thanks for posting when you’ve got the opportunity, Guess I will
    just book mark this site.

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