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!
i love this skirt! thanks for the tutorial. i can’t wait to make one for my little girl.
Lila Jo says
Ooh – I will add this one on my list! Love how it turned out! Thanks for the tutorial.
I can’t get over how cute that skirt is! I love the fabric!
the mama monster says
i love this skirt! to bad i have three little boys…maybe a mom version is in order!
Lila Jo says
It didn’t stay on my list very long… I have one completed!
new to the crafting blogging world also… love your site – i love to craft when the babes are sleeping – and sometimes it spills over into the awake time and i get cranky –lol
LOVE this skirt – i have stayed away from pockets because they scared me – seemed simple enough, but never worked out, I will try again – thanks for the inspiration!
Agustov@Rumah Dijual Jakarta says
I agree with a lot of what you’re saying here but it could do with more detail. They stayed away in droves.
This is so stinkin’ cute!!
I posted a link to your skirt tutorial on Craft Gossip Sewing:
Love this tutorial! Thanks, from one crafty mom to another!
My sister and I just started a crafting blog as well. I love yours. Thanks for this tutorial, it was great–even better, you made me laugh! And that, on an early Monday morning is priceless.
Melinda H. says
I found your site through CraftGossip and I love it!! There are so many tutes! :) Good luck with the blog ladies!
Hi girls, your tutorial looks great, I will keep on following you.
Jennifer Caudle says
I love it! Thanks for posting. I found your site from Grosgrain and Ruffles and Stuff. I’m a mom of 3 kids, 2 girls and a boy (4 1/2, 3, 17 mos). I love your blog name and I can totally relate to it. Thanks for inspiring the creativity in all of us!
What a gorgeous little skirt! I will try this one, thanks! And I do appreciate a tutorial that factors in some toddler taming!
Wow! Absolutely fabulous skirt! I love your tutorial here, thanks so much for sharing! :)
Loved it immediatly! Made one immediatly last night! My daughter is very happy with her new skirt. I skipped the gathering and made some pleats on the front. I posted some pictures on flickr.
love your site. May I use the picture of the skirt tutorialed to show an example of how to do a bias binding? I am reviewing sewing machine feet. I will add a not identifying the source that means you and your site.
What a darling skirt! I found your blog through Ruffles and Stuff…so glad she pointed you out. I made 2 of these skirts this evening for my daughters. They were so easy and I did not have to use my seam ripper once…must mean your directions were perfect!!! Thanks so much!
Well we made our patterns and have finished 3 skirts today. I will be posting them on my blog, Shepherdsfold tomorrow as the girls are to tired to do photos tonight. I have a serger which made it come together so quickly. This was so simple and so cute, thank you does not seem adequat. I am very grateful to all my Sister in the Lord who sacrifice there time to share with all of us.
Totally Blessed, Christie
Wife to David, Mother of 11
Thanks for the tutorial. I’ll try it in a few days!
oh my goodness I just learned something. what a great tip about sewing w/ the needle all the way to the side for bias trim.
*life is changed, probably forever*
Great tutorial! Can these instructions be used for a mom size skirt too?
Cotton Kiwi says
This is exactly the pattern I have been looking for everywhere so thank you so much for your tutorial!! We’re heading into winter in the Southern Hemisphere so I am going to make it in denim or courdoroy. I’ll let you know when I do it. Thanks again.
little girl, shmittle shmirl! I want one for me! And yay for me having all boys so I don’t have to feel guilty about that.
I just need to attach the waistband and I will be finished with a skirt for my 10yo! This skirt is cool enough for a 5th grader to want to wear. :)
Now that I’ve got the pattern drafted, my mind is busy thinking up new fabric combinations. Thanks for the great project!
I think this is the cutest outfit ever. If I had a little girl, I would make this for her.
Is there anything you’d do differently for an adult skirt? I bought some material yesterday for myself (Walmart clearance!), and I think this skirt would be GREAT for it! I just wanted to check with you before I start cutting….
Hi Sara, I hope you see this, I couldn’t find another way to respond. If I personally were making an adult version, I think I’d make sure to use a fabric with a really good drape (ie: no quilting cottons or anything stiff like that). If you fabric is not very drape-y, maybe cut the side seams so the skirt is more straight than a-line so it doesn’t stick out weird. Also, I’d probably skip the bias tape around the pockets and hem, as that makes it look a bit childish, in my opinion. But that’s just me. If you’re comfortable with it, I’d probably make a zipper closure on the side or back instead of elastic too. I’ve had about 4 other people send me pics of their adult versions, and they were all great, so you should have luck. My favorite was the one made with a soft linen/cotton blend. It really hung nicely and looked store-bought. Just my 2 cents!
Adrienne Doherty says
I have wanted to make this skirt since I first saw the tutorial right around when my daughter was born (I really hoped she’d want to collect rocks in her pockets). I finally did it today and I just love it. Thank you so much!
Just Trish says
Thank you for your directions. i actually made this skirt in a mom size and it is perfect. i did my bottom width of the skirt +4 inches from the top width on the front and the back pattern piece. I am using a 1 1/4″ elastic and this skirt fits perfect.
Crafty Beth says
How did I not know about moving my sewing machine needle over for sewing edges? Thank you so much for that tip! I just made the grown-up version of this skirt but I used the bias trim method from the little girls one, and I linked to you here:
Do I add the 2 inches to the front or the back?
the tute said to the back but after I cut both pieces out and read on down step by step the additional 2″ should have been added to the FRONT where she put the gathers… I didn’t put 2 & 2 together till I … Put it together ? my back pattern is 4″ too wide and my front doesn’t have enough material to gather and still fit, thankfully I have a little more material though.
Crafty Beth says
I just finished my little version! Hopefully I can get the girl to wear it for Thanksgiving.
Melissa Ann says
Would you give me a rough estimate on how much yardage this might use? My girls are 3 years and I’d want a shorter skirt. I’m trying to cheaply design a spring collection for my twins… need to order the correct amount ;-)
Thankyou for the clear (and amusing) skirt tutorial – have made one for my 3 yo daughter this Easter :). Don’t know how to post links to photos but I made it in dark denim with printed lilac cord binding on pockets and hem and cord waistband too and it looks great (it’s autumn over here in Australia). I like your half elastic method – it worked well. Thanks very much :)!
You have been featured on a +30 little girls skirt round up- thanks for your great tutorial! http://www.patchworkposse.com/2013/07/30-elastic-waist-skirt-tutorials-little-girl-summer-skirts/
This looks good, thank you. May well try it for my 6 year old.
The skirt looks great and i love the blue fabric from the first Picture. Could you tell me the name of this fabric? Thanks very much!
It’s Erin McMorris’ Park Slope!
What seam allowance do we use?
Thanks so much for sharing! This has been on my “one day” list for a while now but I finally completed one. It was easy to make with clear instructions. Thanks again.
I was thrown off by the inside outside pocket bit but after I began tracing and cutting out the pattern and scrolling up and down I figured it out (they are both inside the pocket, but one looks like Idaho and is the “front inside” and the other “rectangle” is the back of the pocket inside)?
I’m in the process of making this for my 5 year old daughter! Be cut it all out now I’m pinning for sewing and we shall see where this new adventure takes us ;) thanks for posting!