Tiered Skirt Tutorial

In case you missed my guest post over at seven thirty three on Tuesday…

Tiered Skirt


I’d say the fullness of this skirt would probably be best for kids’ sizes 2 through a slim 12.  (Here’s the part where I admit to trying my 10 year old daughter’s skirt on my 2 year old son, just to see.)

Determine the length you want your finished skirt to be. Divide that number by 3.5.  I wanted my finished skirt to be about 12”.  17/3.5 is 3.42-ish.  I rounded up to 3.5”.  All the strips you cut will be this measurement plus 1” high (so 4.5” in my example) EXCEPT for the very top tier/waist panel.  That strip will be 1/2” taller than the others (so 5” in my example).

Tier 1 (the waist panel) will be cut the entire width of your fabric, roughly 45”.

Tier 2 will be 60”.  Cut 2 30” long strips.

(tiers 1 & 2)

Tier 3 will be 80”.  Cut 2 40” long strips.

Tier 4 (the bottom band) will also be 80”.  Cut 2 40” long strips.

(tiers 3 & 4) 

You’ll notice that with seam allowances and whatnot these tiers won’t end up precisely the measurements I’ve listed.  IT’S OK!  This skirt is SUPER forgiving.

All seams are 1/2”, unless otherwise noted.

Start by sewing the short ends of each tier together.  You should have 4 giant loops.  Tangent: Because I have issues, I seamed my tier 1 twice.  I like having a seam there to match up with all the other seams.  You really don’t need to do this and you’ll be 100% fine just matching up the half way point with the seams on the other tiers.

(actual seam on the left, seam I added in support of OCD on the right)

Take tier 4/the bottom band and press it in half, wrong sides together.


Matching seams, sew tier 4/the bottom band to the bottom of tier 3 (right sides together).


Serge, zig zag, or otherwise finish your seam.


Press seam allowance up towards tier 3.


Top stitch.


Run a long gathering stitch (stitch length as long as it’ll go on your machine and NO BACKSTITCHING) along the top edge of tier 3.


I did mine about 1/4” from the edge and did one for the front and then one for the back.  I know many people like to do 2 rows of gathering stitches, just in case one breaks.  I never do…I like to live on the edge.  Or, I’m lazy.  You decide.

Gather (by pulling the bottom/bobbin thread) the top of tier 3.  Matching seams, middles, and/or anything else that makes you happy, pin it (right sides together) to the bottom of tier 2.


Stitch in place.


Finish your seam.  Press seam allowance up towards tier 2.  Top stitch.

Here’s what you’ve got now:


Run a long gathering stitch along the top edge of tier 2.

Gather the top of tier 2.  Matching seams/middles/etc., pin it (right sides together) to the bottom of tier 1/the waist panel.  Stitch in place.  Finish your seam.  Press seam allowance up towards tier 1.  Top stitch.

Fold the top edge of tier 1 down 1/4” and press.


Fold the top edge down 1” and press.


Stitch along the edge, creating your waist casing.  Leave a 2-3” gap in the back for inserting the elastic.


Thread elastic the same length as the waist of the intended wearer through your casing.  Once it’s threaded, have them try the skirt on if at all possible.  It seems like my elastic always gets stretched out a little during this step!

Overlap the elastic ends and stitch together.

Close up your casing.

Aaaaaaaaaaand you’re done!




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  1. I love it, I love it, I love it!!! Definitely making this one for my lone little girl! (…. with those neckties for my boys! Ha!)

  2. Mommy of Two 24/7 says:

    Lovely! This coule even be modified for an "adult" size using your formula. :) Thank you for the great tutorial.


  3. Lynne's Somewhat Invented Life says:

    This is the darlingest. And the model is the darlingest too!

  4. casserole says:

    What a pretty skirt!! I linked to your tutorial over at Craft Gossip Sewing:


  5. Brandy Bollen says:

    Love Love Love!! Found this tute form CraftGossip.
    Can I say it again…LOVE!

  6. Elizabeth says:

    Hi – I've stumbled across your blog from the Crafty Batches site – and seriously – I LOVE your title (how funny is that…?) I think I've often referred to some of my creations as crap as well. BUT, what I've seen so far is far from crap. So this skirt is AMAZING and so cute – I think I need one…longer of course;) I'm now following. Come on by and visit Sunny Bug sometime ;)

  7. Heather says:

    love this skirt. great tutorial. I will link it up on my blog. love reading your blog!!

  8. Megan - A Ruffle In Time says:

    i shared this on my blog! thanks for sharing it with us, i'm definetly gonna have to give it a shot!

  9. Knudsen's says:

    I'm loving the fabric! Can you tell me what brand it is? Thanks! Camille

  10. Char…LoVe it!! I need to make some of those for my girls! Thanks for the tutorial!

  11. That is so pretty and you explained the skirt so well. Thanks so much, I'll be linking.

  12. More Than "Just Mom" says:

    I love this!! I actually just used the same fabric on these outfits from my daughter, and on a ruffle clutch for me :)


  13. Char @ Crap I've Made says:


    It's the Brother Sister Design Studio (store brand) from Hobby Lobby!

  14. Totally cute!! I made one for my daughter's birthday. I tried to upload it to the flikr group…not sure if it worked, but I also posted it on my blog http://mommakesithappen.blogspot.com/2010/08/party-skirt.html

    I love all your ideas and creations, Char! Keep em coming!!

  15. I made a tote bag from these exact fabrics! So cute! Now I wanna make a skirt too!

  16. MaryJanes and Galoshes says:

    You make it look so easy! Bookmarking to try this one.


  17. Melanie Canick says:

    So cute…about what size is the skirt you used for the tutorial? I love it!

  18. Char @ Crap I've Made says:

    The little floral one is probably a 4/5. The red white and blue one is closer to a 12 slim.

  19. Adorable! And the tutorial is so easy to follow. You can see the one I made following your tutorial here: http://craftyjules.weebly.com/1/post/2011/02/boutique-style-tiered-skirt.html

    Thank you!

  20. To Sew With Love says:

    thanks for this tutorial. I made one for my daughter here: http://tosewwithlove.blogspot.com/2011/04/what-ive-been-up-to-and-post-birthday.html

  21. This was a great tutorial! I just started making clothes again after 10 years and I can’t stop now :) I made the ruffled skirt for my 2 year old daughter. The great thing about it is I can let the waist band out as she gets older!

  22. I just made this for my 8 year old and it is A-DOR-ABLE! I want to make a matching one for my 1 year old for an upcoming b-day party. Any suggestions on what changes to make to the pattern?

    Thanks again!

  23. Angelique says:

    I have been trying to find a tutorial like this and I found you through Pinterest! Thank you.
    Just one little typo I wanted to help with… The first paragraph says “Determine the length you want your finished skirt to be. Divide that number by 3.5. I wanted my finished skirt to be about 12”. 17/3.5 is 3.42-ish.”
    Please change the “17″ to “12.”
    Thanks again and I can’t wait to make one!!!

  24. Totally gonna do this!

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