DIY Girl’s Tiered Skirt

Kids, Projects, Sew

Learn to make a cute, DIY girl’s tiered skirt.

My 6-year old daughter loves to rummage through my box of fabric remnants. After pulling out a bunch of floral prints, she asked what we could make. So, Gigi got to work on an adorable tiered skirt. With different layers of ruffle, the randomly selected fabrics look coordinated.

Halloween prints for DIY girl's tiered skirt

This is also a great project for seasonal prints. We’ve made adorable Fourth of July and Halloween tiered skirts. Even if you don’t have fabric laying around, this tiered skirt would be an inexpensive, and fun, trip to the fabric store.

DIY girl's tiered skirt
@creativelyhome

This DIY tiered skirt is perfect for a summer afternoon. ☀️💐Check out the tutorial at creativelyhome.com – search “tiered skirt”. #sewing #diygirlsskirt #sewkingtiktok #sewgirl #sewforkids #sewinglove #sewingproject #sewingkidsclothes

♬ Feels Like Summer – Samuel Jack

Sewing Tip: Rotary Cutter

Cut fabric into strips for DIY girl's tiered skirt with rotary cutter

We use our handy rotary cutter to cut strips for this tiered skirt. A rotary cutter is a cutting tool with a sharp circular blade, mostly used in quilting. Coupled with a quilting ruler and self-healing mat, the rotary cutter makes measuring and cutting straight lines a breeze. Plus, the sharp wheel can cut through multiple fabric layers at one time. Because of that sharp wheel, the rotary cutter should not be used by kids.

The process is quick and fun, but can take a little practice. Working on a self-healing mat, use the quilting ruler to measure the cut. Hold the quilting ruler firmly in place and run the rotary cutter along the ruler’s edge.

Looking for other sewing projects? Check out some of our favorites:

DIY Girl’s Tiered Skirt – Materials

Three floral prints for DIY girl's tiered skirt

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Supplies:

  • 1/2 yard of primary fabric
  • 1/4 yard of 2 complementary fabrics
  • 1 yard 1/2″ non-roll elastic

Tools:

How to Sew a DIY Girl’s Tiered Skirt

1. Measure and Cut Material for DIY Girl’s Tiered Skirt

Measure the kiddo’s waist circumference (“Waist”) and desired finished skirt length, measuring from the waist (“Skirt Length”).

For ease of cutting, we used the full fabric width – 44″ – for each tier. This extra width creates lots of fullness in the skirt. If the skirt is for a kiddo with a smaller waist, consider reducing the width of the tiers.

Bottom Tier: Skirt Length + 1 1/4″ (for 1/2″ top seam allowance and 3/4″ bottom hem)
Middle and Top Tiers: Divide Skirt Length by 3, then add 1″ (for 1/2″ top and bottom hem)

Cut 1 strip for the Bottom and Top Tiers. Cut 2 strips for the Middle Tier: one the full fabric width and the other 1/2 of the fabric width.

Cut a Waistband from the same fabric as the Top Tier: length – 3″; width = Waist + 6″.

Using above measurements, cut each tier and the Waistband.

Here are our tiered skirt measurements:
Waist: 18″
Skirt Length: 15″
Bottom Tier: 44″ x 16 1/2″
Middle Tier: 44″ x 6″ and 22″ x 6″
Top Tier: 44″ x 6″
Waistband: 24″ x 3″

2. Sew the Bottom Tier

Fold Bottom Tier in half widthwise, right sides together, to form a loop. Sew back seam with straight stitch using 1/2″ seam allowance. If fabric will ravel, sew along seam with zigzag stitch.

Draw line where middle tier attaches to bottom tier

Turn right side out. Draw a light pencil line where the Middle Tier will attach to the Bottom Tier – 1/3 from the top of the Bottom Tier. On our skirt, we drew a line 5″ from the top.

3. Sew the Middle Tier

Sew the 2 Middle Tier strips, right sides together, to form a loop. Sew side seams with straight stitch using 1/2″ seam allowance. If fabric will ravel, sew along seam with zigzag stitch.

Hem the bottom edge of the Middle Tier by turning fabric under 1/4″ with wrong sides together. Fold over another 1/4″, iron and pin. Sew with straight stitch 1/8″ from folded edge.

Repeat to hem the Middle Tier’s top edge.

Sew basting stitch to gather middle tier

Turn Middle Tier right side out. Increase sewing machine stitch length to a basting stitch. Sew basting stitch 3/8″ from top hem. When removing fabric from the sewing machine, leave the thread long to gather the fabric.

Gather fabric on middle tier on  DIY girl's tiered skirt

Gather by holding the free end of 1 basting thread and pushing fabric down the other thread, until the width is the same as Bottom Tier.

Pin middle tier onto skirt bottom for DIY girl's tiered skirt

Feed the Bottom Tier through the Middle Tier, lining up the top of the Middle Tier with the pencil line on the Bottom Tier. Pin in place, making sure to spread gathers evenly.

Middle gathered tier on DIY girl's tiered skirt

Return machine to regular stitch length and sew over the basting stitch line.

4. Sew the Top Tier

Fold Top Tier in half widthwise, right sides together, to form a loop. Sew back seam with straight stitch using 1/2″ seam allowance. If fabric will ravel, sew along seam with zigzag stitch.

Hem edges of top tier

Hem the bottom edge by turning fabric under 1/4″ with wrong sides together. Fold over another 1/4″, iron and pin. Sew with straight stitch 1/8″ from folded edge.

Attach top tier to bottom tier for DIY girl's tiered skirt

Turn Top Tier right side out. Feed the Bottom Tier through the Top Tier and match the top, raw edges. Pin to secure. Increase sewing machine stitch length to a basting stitch. Sew basting stitch with 1/2″ seam allowance. When removing fabric from the sewing machine, leave the thread long to gather the fabric.

Gather until the width is 1″ less than the Waistband. Sew basting stitch 1/2″ from raw edges (over the prior basting stitch line). This basting stitch holds the gathers in place and maintains the gathered skirt width.

5. Sew Waistband

Fold Waistband in half widthwise, right sides together, forming a loop. Sew back seam with straight stitch using 1/2″ seam allowance.

Fold over waistband

On one edge, turn fabric under 3/8″ with wrong sides together and iron. Do not stitch.

Sew waistband onto skirt for DIY girl's tiered skirt

Turn skirt wrong side out and feed inside the Waistband so the wrong side of the skirt faces the right side of the Waistband. Line up the unhemmed edge of the Waistband with the skirt top and pin.

Sew straight stitch with 1/4″ seam allowance.

Fold Waistband over the skirt top, so that hemmed edge of the Waistband lies on the right side of the skirt and pin. Sew straight stitch 1/8″ from the Waistband’s folded edge. Leave 2″ opening to insert elastic (we mark each side of the opening with a double pin).

Pin waistband for DIY girl's tiered skirt

Cut elastic 1″ longer than child’s waist. Attach a safety pin to one end of the elastic and feed through the casing (the safety pin makes this process easier). Overlap elastic ends by 1/2″ and secure with pins.

6. Finish the DIY Girl’s Tiered Skirt

Time for a fitting. Fit the skirt on the child, adjust overlap on elastic (if needed) and re-secure with safety pin. Aim for a snug, but not tight, fit on the child’s waist.

Fold up the bottom raw edge by at least 3/4″ and check the length. To shorten the skirt length, fold up more of the bottom edge and measure the fold.

To finish the waistband, remove the safety pin and sew the overlapped elastic ends together forming a rectangle with an X through it. Slip elastic into casing and stretch Waistband to evenly spread the elastic.

Sew elastic casing closed on DIY girl's tiered skirt

Close the opening by sewing along the 1/8″ seam allowance, making sure not to sew over the elastic.

To finish the bottom hem, turn the raw edge under 1/4″ so that wrong sides are together and iron. Fold up the remaining length, iron and pin.

Sew hem on skirt

Sew a straight stitch along the top of the turned fabric, 1/8″ from the top fold.

Letter sewn into back of DIY girl's tiered skirt

For a fun, personalized finish, sew the kiddo’s initial into the back waistband. This is also helpful to identify the back of the skirt.

How to Involve Kids in Sewing a DIY Girl’s Tiered Skirt

If your kiddo is old enough to sew, work together on the skirt. For younger kids, encourage them to select the fabric. Even a wild combination of colors and fabrics will look adorable. Kids will learn a TON about sewing just by watching and listening to you explain the process.

DIY girls tiered skirt
Girl twirling in DIY girl's tiered skirt

DIY Girl's Tiered Skirt

Learn to make this cute, ruffly tiered skirt. This is a great project to use up fabric remnants or combine fun prints from the fabric store.

Materials

  • 1/2 yard of primary fabric
  • 1/4 yard of 2 complementary fabrics
  • 1 yard of 1/2" non-roll elastic

Tools

  • sewing machine and notions
  • fabric scissors
  • rotary cutter
  • acrylic quilting ruler
  • self-healing cutting mat
  • sewing pins
  • safety pin

Instructions

  1. Measure the kiddo's waist circumference ("Waist") and desired finished skirt length, measuring from the waist ("Skirt Length").
  2. For ease of cutting, we used the full fabric width - 44" - for each tier. This extra width creates lots of fullness in the skirt. If the skirt is for a kiddo with a smaller waist, consider reducing the width of the tiers.
  3. Bottom Tier: Skirt Length + 1 1/4" (for 1/2" top seam allowance and 3/4" bottom hem)
    Middle and Top Tiers: Divide Skirt Length by 3, then add 1" (for 1/2" top and bottom hem)
  4. Cut 1 strip for the Bottom and Top Tiers. Cut 2 strips for the Middle Tier: one the full fabric width and the other 1/2 of the fabric width.
  5. Cut a Waistband from the same fabric as the Top Tier: length - 3"; width = Waist + 6".
  6. Using above measurements, cut each tier and the Waistband.

    Here are our tiered skirt measurements:
    Waist: 18"
    Skirt Length: 15"
    Bottom Tier: 44" x 16 1/2"
    Middle Tier*: 44" x 6" and 22" x 6"
    Top Tier: 44" x 6"
    Waistband: 24" x 3"
  7. Fold Bottom Tier in half widthwise, right sides together, to form a loop. Sew back seam with straight stitch using 1/2" seam allowance. If fabric will ravel, sew along seam with zigzag stitch.
  8. Turn right side out. Draw a light pencil line where the Middle Tier will attach to the Bottom Tier - 1/3 from the top of the Bottom Tier. On our skirt, we drew a line 5" from the top.
  9. Sew the 2 Middle Tier strips, right sides together, to form a loop. Sew side seams with straight stitch using 1/2" seam allowance. If fabric will ravel, sew along seam with zigzag stitch.
  10. Hem the bottom edge of the Middle Tier by turning fabric under 1/4" with wrong sides together. Fold over another 1/4", iron and pin. Sew with straight stitch 1/8" from folded edge.
  11. Repeat to hem the Middle Tier's top edge.
  12. Turn Middle Tier right side out. Increase sewing machine stitch length to a basting stitch. Sew basting stitch 3/8" from top hem. when removing fabric from the sewing machine, leave the thread long to gather the fabric.
  13. Gather by holding the free end of 1 basting thread and pushing fabric down the other thread, until the width is the same as Bottom Tier.
  14. Feed the Bottom Tier through the Middle Tier, lining up the top of the Middle Tier with the pencil line on the Bottom Tier. Pin in place, making sure to spread gathers evenly.
  15. Return machine to regular stitch length and sew over the basting stitch line.
  16. Fold Top Tier in half widthwise, right sides together, to form a loop. Sew back seam with straight stitch using 1/2" seam allowance. If fabric will ravel, sew along seam with zigzag stitch.
  17. Hem the bottom edge by turning fabric under 1/4" with wrong sides together. Fold over another 1/4", iron and pin. Sew with straight stitch 1/8" from folded edge.
  18. Turn Top Tier right side out. Feed the Bottom Tier through the Top Tier and match the top, raw edges. Pin to secure. Increase sewing machine stitch length to a basting stitch. Sew basting stitch with 1/2" seam allowance. When removing fabric from the sewing machine, leave the thread long to gather the fabric.
  19. Gather until the width is 1" less than the Waistband. Sew basting stitch 1/2" from raw edges (over the prior basting stitch line). This basting stitch holds the gathers in place and maintains the gathered skirt width.
  20. Fold Waistband in half widthwise, right sides together, forming a loop. Sew back seam with straight stitch using 1/2" seam allowance.
  21. On one edge, turn fabric under 3/8" with wrong sides together and iron. Do not stitch.
  22. Turn skirt wrong side out and feed inside the Waistband so the wrong side of the skirt faces the right side of the Waistband. Line up the unhemmed edge of the Waistband with the skirt top and pin. Sew straight stitch with 1/4" seam allowance.
  23. Fold Waistband over the skirt top, so that hemmed edge of the Waistband lies on the right side of the skirt and pin. Sew straight stitch 1/8" from the Waistband's folded edge. Leave 2" opening to insert elastic (we mark each side of the opening with a double pin).
  24. Cut elastic 1" longer than child's waist. Attach a safety pin to one end of the elastic and feed through the casing (the safety pin makes this process easier). Overlap elastic ends by 1/2" and secure with safety pin.
  25. Time for a fitting. Fit the skirt on the child, adjust overlap on elastic (if needed) and re-secure with safety pin. Aim for a snug, but not tight, fit on the child's waist.
  26. Fold up the bottom raw edge by at least 3/4" and check the length. To shorten the skirt length, fold up more of the bottom edge and measure the fold.
  27. To finish the waistband, remove the safety pin and sew the overlapped elastic ends together forming a rectangle with an X through it. Slip elastic into casing and stretch Waistband to evenly spread the elastic.
  28. Close the opening by sewing along the 1/8" seam allowance, making sure not to sew over the elastic.
  29. To finish the bottom hem, turn the raw edge under 1/4" so that wrong sides are together and iron. Fold up the remaining length, iron and pin. Sew a straight stitch along the top of the turned fabric, 1/8" from the top fold.
  30. For a fun, personalized finish, sew the kiddo's initial into the back waistband. This is also helpful to identify the back of the skirt.

Notes

How to Involve Kids in Sewing a DIY Girl's Tiered Skirt

If your kiddo is old enough to sew, work together on the skirt. For younger kids, encourage them to select the fabric. Even a wild combination of colors and fabrics will look adorable. Kids will learn a TON about sewing just by watching and listening to you explain the process.