This is a super easy way to make a very full, twirly pleated skirt without a zipper and without having to sew the pleats along their length. It's made up of a top band sewn to a pleated skirt. It can be made to any size. I used cotton quilt weight fabric but chorduroy or wool would be great too.
Sorry for the not great pictures and rough diagrams but I'm trying not to be such a perfectionist about such things as it holds me back from posting projects when I try to make everything look perfect...
If you're looking for a ruffled skirt tutorial, take a look at this one I did a few years back.
And don't foget about the book-link-free pattern promotion in my last post if you haven't seen it yet.
What you need:
Tape measure or long string and ruler or yardstick
3/4" wide elastic
Fabric amounts depend on measurements in step 1
Use .25" seam allowances
1.Figure the width and length of the front and back pleated portion of the skirt. Measure child around her hips at the widest part. If you don't have a tape measure use a long string and a yardstick to get this measurement. Divide this number by two and then multiply by 2.66. To this number add .5" (for the seam allowance). Round this number to the nearest whole number. This is the final width (un-pleated) of the front and back panels of the pleated portion of the skirt.
Example: Hips=30". 30/2 = 15(2.66) = 39.9 + .5 = 40.4. Round to 40".
***Note: this skirt is easy to make smaller if the final size is too big but it can't be made bigger. It wouldn't hurt to add one more inch per panel in addition to the seam allowance and then take it by sewing the side seams if it's too big.
To figure out the length, measure from the top of your girls hips, but not her waist as the skirt is meant to sit a bit low, to where you want the skirt to fall. I like it to fall about mid thigh to be worn with leggings or tights. It's best to measure her in back so you can take her backside into account. Subtract 2.75" from this measurement.
Cut a rectangle of fabric to the final width and length measurements.
2. On the top raw edge of both the front and back panels make a mark with a pencil every 1.5". Make a pleat every 3" by pulling up at mark A, folding at mark B and pulling A over to meet mark C (see step 2 diagram). Repeat treating the next mark as "A". Press the first couple inches of each pleat with an iron and pin in place. When you get to the end, if there isn't enough fabric left for a full pleat just leave it un pleated. Before proceeding, make sure the front and back panels are the same size after pleating.
3. To make the top band, cut two rectangles of fabric that are as wide as the pleated portion of the skirt and about 6" long.
4. With right sides together sew the band pieces to the top raw edge of the pleated pieces to form the front and back of the skirt (see step 4 diagram) It's easiest to sew this in the direction of the pleats and with the pleats on top. Remove the pins. With right sides together, sew the front of the skirt to the back of the skirt along the sides.
At this point, try the skirt on your girl. It should fit easily over her hips without being huge. Take it in along the side seams if it's too big and trim the seam allowances.
5. Make the casing for the elastic. Fold the top raw edge of the skirt to the wrong side (inside of the skirt) by .5" and press. Fold again by 1", press and sew close to the folded edge. Leave about 1" un sewn near one side seam as this is where the elastic will be inserted.
6. Pin the safety pin to the elastic and work the elastic through the opening in the casing around and back to the opening. Try the skirt on your girl one more time and pull the elastic so that it's slightly smaller then the skirt but still comfortable. Cut elastic to this length plus 1". Overlap the ends of the elastic by .5" and sew together. Sew the opening in the casing closed.
7. Hem the skirt. Fold the bottom raw edge of the skirt to the wrong side (inside) by .5", press, repeat and sew close to the folded over edge.