Since my blog passed the 1000 hits mark yesterday, I am celebrating by sharing with you how I made the 3-ruffle skirt for Nikki.
I started by googling for an online pattern or tutorial. Here is the one that I used as a jumping-off point:
Of course, this tutorial is written for a little girl’s skirt, so I had to make a few alterations. Here is what I did:
1. Measure around your doll at the widest point that the skirt will have to go over. My doll measured 11 1/2″ at the lower hip (her widest point). Add 1/2″ to this measurement for ease and 1/2″ for the 1/4″ seam allowances. My final measurement was 11 1/2″ + 1/2″ + 1/2″ = 12 1/2″.
2. Measure how long you wish the skirt to be. I wanted my doll’s skirt to be 5″. I wanted the top section to finish at 1″. Then I added 3/4″ for seam allowance and turn down at the top when the elastic is sewn on. So that measurement was 1″ + 3/4″ = 1 3/4″. Then I cut the top piece which measured 12 1/2″ x 1 3/4″.
3. Now I have 4″ left for the ruffles (the skirt length minus the finished length of the top piece; mine was 5″ – 1″ = 4″). Next divide that measurement by 3 to find determine the finished length of the remaining 3 sections (4″/3 = 1 1/3″). But how much is 1/3 of an inch? So I used 3/8″ since it is very close to 3/9″ which is equal to 1/3″. Now I need to add my 1/4″ seam allowance. My ruffles need to be 1 3/8″ + 1/4″ = 1 5/8″. But I don’t want to have a hem. So I multiplied the ruffle length by 2 so that I could fold them in half making a very nice finished edge. That means the ruffle piece will be 2 x 1 5/8″ = 3 1/4″. Okay, the hardest part is done. Way to go!
4. I decided that I wanted generous ruffles, so I needed to cut the ruffle 3 times the length of the top piece in step 1. My top piece was 12 1/2″; multiplying that times 3 gives a length of 37 1/2″. If you want less generous ruffles, you can multiply by 2 or 2 1/2. So I cut 3 ruffle pieces at 37 1/2″ x 3 1/4″.
5. Now for the lining pieces that we will attach 2 of the ruffles to before putting them on the skirt. In step 3 we determined that the ruffle pieces when folded would measure 1 5/8″. I didn’t want the lining pieces to show below each ruffle, so I subtracted 1/8″ from this measurement to arrive at 1 1/2″. The lining pieces are cut the same length as the top piece and a little less in width than the folded ruffle. Mine were cut at 12 1/2″ x 1 1/2″.
6. For each ruffle:
- Sew the short ends together with a 1/4″ seam allowance and press the seam open.
- Fold in half lengthwise with wrong sides together and press.
- Gather the double layer of fabric along the long raw edge.
7. For the top piece and each lining piece:
- Sew the short raw edges with a 1/4″ seam allowance and finish the seam with your choice of finish.
- Press the seam to one side. Tip: To reduce bulk I pressed the seam of the top piece and one of the lining pieces (this one will be on the bottom) in the same direction and the other lining piece (this one will be in the middle) in the other direction.
8. Matching up the back seams and using a little less than a 1/4″ seam allowance, baste the top ruffle to the bottom of the top piece. Baste the middle ruffle to the bottom of the middle lining piece and the bottom ruffle to the bottom of the bottom lining piece in the same manner.
9. With right sides together and matching up the back seams, sew the top of the middle lining piece to the bottom of the top piece using a 1/4″ seam allowance. The ruffle will be sandwiched between them. Finish each seam as desired. Press the seam up and topstitch 1/8″ from the seam through all layers above the seam so that the seam will stay up when pulling the skirt on the doll. Repeat these steps for joining the top of the bottom lining piece to the bottom of the middle lining piece.
10. Now for the elastic waist:
- Using 3/8″ elastic, wrap very snug around your doll’s waist. Tip: You want this very snug because elastic stretches when you sew on it.
- Cut the length that you decided on. Overlap the ends and sew with a zigzag stitch.
- Determine 4 points (the back center, the front center, each side) on the skirt that are equal distances apart. I did this by using the back seam as center back and folding. Do the same thing for the elastic.
- Matching these points, pin the elastic to the right side of the skirt a little less than 1/4″ from the top edge. Sew along the edge of the elastic that overlaps the skirt while stretching the elastic to fit.
- Fold the top of the skirt to the inside so that the elastic does not show from the outside. Stitch along the other edge of the elastic while stretching it to fit.
You have a beautiful new skirt for your doll.
If you have any questions, please feel free to leave a comment. I will gladly help as best I can.