Ruffled Layered Skirt

By Max California - November 29, 2009

Sorry I have been so lax with the tutes! Plenty more a-coming!

This one was requested by Bubblesung who I blog-stalk ((prolly the most colourful girl on the planet))! I hope you find this useful!

Please note, that I was pregnant when I made this tute! lol, hence the pregnant-looking-ness under the skirt! ahahah ((and the boobs, oh my :<))

This tute is very similar to the Underbust Pinafore tute, and incorporates some of the same steps. You could add straps to this to make it into an underbust dress as well if you would like!

Supplies:: Sewing Machine, Serger, Zipper, pins, scissors OH AND FABRIC!

This first part is going to include alot of maths :( But its ok, because this skirt is all just rectangles baby! Grab a notebook + pen to keep track of all your measurements!

Step 1
Measure yourself where you want the waistband to be. I'm having this skirt under my bust. This measurement is Measurement A! Write this down! ((My measurement A is 83cm))

Step 2
You'll need to measure from the top of the skirt to how long you want it. This is Measurement B! Write it down! ((My Measurement B is 49cm))

Step 3
Figure out how wide you want your waistband is going to be. This is Measurement C! WRITE THIS DOWN TOO! ((My Measurement C is 7cm))

Step 4
Now you're going to figure out how big to make your pieces. First lets do the Waistband...

Add 4cm to Measurement A. This is how long your waistband will be with seam allowances and we’ll call this Measurement D ((For me, 83cm+4cm= 87cm)). Now get Measurement C, double it + add 2cm for seam allowances. We've doubled it so you can fold the waistband in half ((For me - 7cm+7cm+2cm=16cm)). This width will be Measurement E

So you should have a rectangle. Mine is 87cm ((D)) by 16cm ((E)).

Ruffle One
Take away width of your waistband ((Measurement C)) from the length of your skirt ((Measurement B)). Mine is 49cm-7cm= 42cm.

Divide this number by the amount of layers you're going to have. I'm having three so therefore 42cm/3 = 14cm. This can be Measurement F! Measurement F is going to be how much of each layer will be showing.

Now Ruffle One is going to need seam allowance at the top to attach it to the waistband, and seam allowance at the bottom to hem it. We're going to add 2cm seam allowance to Measurement F to make our first ruffle. So that makes my first ruffle 16cm ((Measurement F+2cm)). And we’re going to call this measurement G.

To work out how wide to make the ruffle, I usually just double my waistband measurement. Double the fabric gives it a nice full effect without being TOO full. You can do more or less but this is how much I do. So the width of my ruffles will be Measurement D x2. That's 87 x 2 = 174cm! ((Let's call this H))

So my Ruffle One is a rectangle measuring 16cm ((G)) by 174cm ((H))

Ruffle Two
Ruffle two is much the same as ruffle one, but we need to make it longer. I used scraps with my skirt, so I made my three layers the same and then stitched white fabric to the tops of them to make them the different lengths. Either way, this is how you work out how long you need it.


So you’re going to keep the same width as your Ruffle One ((H)). The Length is going to be Measurement G x2 minus a few cm for overlap. So my measurement I is going to be 16+16 and lets make the overlap about 1cm, so we’ll take that away from our measurement. My measurement I is 31cm.

So Ruffle Two is a rectangle 31cm ((I)) by 174cm ((H))

Ruffle Three
Similar to Ruffles One + Two, you guessed it!

The width ((H)) is the same!

The length is going to be similar to how we figured out the length of Ruffle Two. We’re going to add Measurement G to Measurement I minus the 1cm for the overlap. My measurement is 16cm((G)) + 31cm ((I)) but minus 1cm. This comes to 46cm ((J)).

So Ruffle Three is a rectangle 46cm((J)) by 174cm((H))!

My Measurements
A = 83cm ((Finished Waist))
B = 49cm ((Finished Length))
C = 7cm ((Finished Waistband Width))
D = 87cm ((Actual Waistband Length))
E = 16cm ((Actual Waistband Width))
F = 14cm ((Visible Ruffle Length))
G = 16cm ((First Ruffle Length))
H = 174cm ((Actual Ruffle Width))
I = 31cm ((Second Ruffle Length))
J = 46cm ((Third Ruffle Length

SO YEY! Now we have all our pieces! You can interface your waistband if you like to make it stiffer.

Let’s hem all our pieces!

Layer your ruffles and make sure they overlap like you want them too. It’s ok if the top doesn’t match up. You can trim the top to make it all even.

((This photo is upside down :D)) Oh yeh. seriously ignore my lack of matching up skills. I worked with scraps!

Pin them together + sew them across the top, do a small seam allowance, less than 1cm. This is just to keep the layers together



Yey! It sorta looks like a skirt!

Now you’re going to attach it to the waistband! We’re going to do these awesome fake lazy-way gathers to attach it. We’ve done it before with THIS DRESS. Do you want me to repeat myself? I can if you want. Or you can check out steps 6 to 9 of that tute!

So now we have this massive piece of fabric that looks pretty cool! Time to insert a zipper!

Step10 - Inserting a Zipper
First let’s Overlock ((Serge)) the raw edges down the length of the skirt. Don’t serge these together! Do them separately. Make sure you start from the top + work your way down because then the layers will lie flat + you won’t get them accidentally caught.

Step 11
Change your stitch length to the longest stitch you have.

Step 12
Choose a zip. I have a box of second-hand zips ((bargain bags from opshops)) that I like to choose from. I’m going to use this bright yellow zip! Hold the zip up against your edge and see if it’s long enough. The key with zips is for the end of it to come down at least past your hips, as this is your widest part. Put a pin at the bottom of the zip on the fabric ((just past the stopper)) as a marker so you know how long your zip is.

Leaving a 2cm seam allowance, stitch your edges together. It’s a good idea to pin these together to make sure your ruffles match up at the back.

Don’t anchor your stitching down at the start, because you’ll be removing these stitches anyway ((you’ll see)). Stitch down to the zipper length marker you’ve left and then change your stitch length back to it’s original setting. Go backwards + forwards to anchor this + sew as normal to the hem.

Step 14
Now open out your seam.

Step 15
Place your zipper face down on the opened seam, make sure the tracks of the match up with the seam. Pin the way that will be easiest to remove while you sew. Your pincs should be going in different directions on either side of the zipper.

I find it easier to place the skirt over my knee so I have a sort of rounded flattish surface to work on when pinning my zip in.

This is me pinning :D

And this is what it should look like all pinned down

Note the directions of the pins :D

Step 16
Make sure you check the outside of the skirt before you sew. Check you havn't caught up any of the pleats in your pins otherwise it's going to be REALLY annoying to unpick + fix later.

look. I made a mistake.

That pin is under the pleat which, when I sew it, is going to look bad! Better fix it!

Step 17
Switch feet on your sewing machine. Most sewng machines come with a zipper foot. Mine is double sided, some machines come with two, one for each side. You're going to want one that runs against the track of the zip and has a few mm between the edge and where the needle will be sewing.

This is my zipper foot ((on the machine)). Once you figure out how to use your zipper foot, you're going to LOVE IT!

If you don't have a zipper foot, don't fret! It's simple to use a regular foot, it's just easier with a zipper foot

Start stitching! Run the edge of your zipper foot against the track of the zip. Remove the pins as you go!

Step 19
Once you get to the bottom of your zip, go backwards + forwards a few times to anchor it. Then go back up the other way on the other side of the zipper!

Almost done!

Now you unpick the seam that's covering your zip. It shouldn't be too hard since you used a long stitch length to stitch it. be careful you don't tear the fabric with your seam ripper.

Clip + remove all the stray threads and you're done! You can embellish however you want! I put a bow on the front but I think i'll make a bigger one :D

Lol pregnant.

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  1. Would the skirt still work if you changed the measurements so that it sits on your waist instead of being underbust?? (this is probably a stupid question...)

  2. thanks so much, this this awsasome.well explained and made.


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