On a recent trip to London, I bought myself a cute skirt labeled “milkmaid skirt”. Not really sure why, as this would be close to the most impractical thing to wear while milking a lactating animal, but cute nonetheless. I decided I had to copy it in little girl sizes. The following is a tutorial to help you copy it too. Caution: this tute is extremely image-heavy. I’m not good at describing things, so I took a ton of pics. Please leave a comment if there is any confusion.
Step 1: You will need to draft yourself a pattern. First, we’ll make the skirt front. Your “A” measurement will be the desired length. You do not need to allow for seam allowances because we will be using bias tape to hem and adding a waist band. If you wish to make a traditional hem, add 1.5 inches. Please note that if you are making this skirt for a toddler, the waistband will probably hit under their tummy bump. If you measure the length from their belly button, your skirt will end up way too long. Keep this in mind when measuring for the waist as well.
Your “B” measurement is around the waist, divided by 4, plus 1.5 inches. Using those two measurements, construct a pattern piece similar to the picture below. For the outer edge of the skirt, draw a slight a-line shape, but remember that it doesn’t need to be very pronounced or the skirt will be very wide. The skirt I made using the pattern below ended up a bit too wide, if that gives you any indication. For the next few pics, please ignore that little piece cut out of the top. I got ahead of myself, as usual, when taking pictures for this tute.
Don’t cut your fabric yet, as we have a few steps to do before that. You will need to draft a pattern for the back of the skirt that is identical to the front, but with 2 inches added to the “B” measurement, like so:
Now comes the part where you will need to wrestle your screaming toddler to the ground to obtain their back waist measurement. Because your toddler will be flailing and most likely hop around and catch you under the jaw with their thick skull (don’t you hate that?!), it is not necessary that this measurement is scientifically exact, but you should try to get as close as possible. You’re just measuring from one side to the other, ie: half their waist measurement. You could just use half their waist measurement, but I find that their little frog bellies make it so the back waist is actually less than half. Cut your elastic to this measurement minus 1 inch.
Hook a safety pin through one end of the elastic, and lay the other end over the bottom half of your folded waistband. Pin in place. Then, using a 1/2 inch seam allowance, sew the ends of the waistband and the elastic together. You may want to go back and forth over the elastic to make sure it is good and in there.
I used Amy Butler quilting cotton for this set, but I think this skirt would be even better with a lighter fabric like lawn or voile (just add a lining and skip the bias trim on the hem). Or, make it winter-friendly by using corduroy, denim, or velveteen. Use your imagination! Have fun! When you’re done, add pics of your finished product to our flickr site!