This Ombre Stripe skirt is super cute and it’s a great beginner sewing project! It’s fun and fast to make. I designed this for sewing club students [we’re on sort-of a faux chenille kick], and I thought this would be fun to share on the blog. The sewing tutorial is for both girls and dolls!
Here’s what you need to get started:
3 – 1/4 yard pieces of solid color quilting cotton, 3 shades of a single color or whatever colors you fancy (avoid cheap fabric on this one. Buy the quilt shop quality fabric, or your fabric may not hold up to many washings)
1/2 yard (or more for larger sizes) cotton, fine-wale corduroy, or chambray type fabric for the base skirt (I used baby cord by Robert Kaufman)
1 yard or less of 3/4″ wide, non-roll elastic
[pre-wash all fabric]
Start by cutting the skirt base fabric to the size you need. The skirt base is a simple skirt design that is found all over the web. There are literally hundreds of blog tutorials on how to make this simple skirt. [sameness overload, am I right?] For more help with sewing the skirt, check out some of my other tutorials or patterns.
In case you missed all those other tutorials:
- Fold fabric on the straight on the grain and cut the selvages off of the fabric width (the width of your skirt piece will be the width of the fabric)
- For the length, measure the child or adult and determine a finished length.
- Add 1 1/4″ for the waistband casing and 1″ for the hem. The sum of those 3 numbers equals the length you need to cut your fabric.
I cut my skirt 16 3/4″ long by 40″ wide. Its finished length is about 14 1/2″ long.
Step 1 for the Girl’s Ombre Skirt
Cut the strips for the ombre stripes 2″ by the width of fabric. Make sure you are cutting straight on the grain–if you’re off, the fraying won’t be as pretty. So square up that fabric first. See this post for how to do that. My strips were 2″ by 40″.
Check all the widths: skirt and strips need to be the same.
Open the skirt piece up and place the darkest strip along the bottom, 1″ up from lower raw edge on the right side of the fabric. Pin it in place. I placed clear rulers along the raw edge to make it fast and easy! [note: if you are using fabric with an obvious right and wrong side for your ombre stripes, then be side the strips are right sides facing up.]
Sew the lower edge of the strip, 1/4″ from the raw edge. I like to move the needle position so I can use the edge of the presser foot as my guide.
Sew a second row of stitching, 1/2′ from the first. Again, I will move the needle position, so it is 1/2″ from the edge of the presser foot. This way I can sew with the first row of stitching next to the edge of the presser foot as my guide. Works beautifully!
Sew a third row, 1/2″ from the second row of stitching.
Sew a fourth row of stitching 1/2″ from the third row of stitching. This row of stitching should be 1/4″ from the upper raw edge of the strip. But don’t worry about it being all perfect. As it frays, those little imperfections won’t show.
Place the medium color strip directly above the first strip you’ve just sewn into place. The edges should just touch and not overlap. Pin the second strip in place and sew it just as you sewed the first strip (step 3)
Repeat for the third strip.
Look the strips have become stripes!
Cut in between the stitching rows. Be very careful not to cut the skirt fabric, just the strips you sewed into place.
Hem the skirt with a double folded hem. Fold the lower edge 1/4″ toward the wrong side and press. Fold 1/4″ again toward the wrong side and press. Sew across the lower edge with a straight stitch to hem.
When you sew the hem, work with the right side facing up, so you don’t accidentally sew the strip. You want to leave that raw edge free to fray.
Sew the side seam, using 1/2″ seam allowance and fabric right sides together. Finish the seam allowances with a zigzag stitch or overcast stitch. I serged this seam. You’ll want to try to match up the strips at this side seam before sewing it.
Make a casing for the elastic. Make sure your second fold is wide enough to accommodate your elastic. Fold 1/4″ toward the wrong side and press. Fold again 1″ toward the wrong side and press. Sew all the way around, leaving 4″ to 6″ unsewn for an opening, for inserting the elastic.
Insert the elastic and feed it through until it comes out the other side of the opening. Sew the ends of the elastic together. Sew your casing closed and you’re all done with the sewing part. How much elastic? 1″-3″ less than the waist measurement of the child. Some kids like the loose feeling elastic waistband, and some like their elastic waistbands tight-fitting.
Wash and dry your skirt in the dyer a couple times to help the edges of the ombre stripes to fray and soften.
Gently pull and trim all those loose threads. Just gently pull on the stragglers to see where they are attached and trim these threads close to the fabric. Don’t pull every hanging thread all the way out. Just clean things up a bit.
And there you have it.
But who doesn’t love a matching dolly skirt? So onto the matching skirt tutorial…
a piece 22″ x 7″ for skirt
3 strips 22″ x 1″ for ombre stripes
[pre-wash all fabric before cutting out]
Hem the skirt piece with a double folded hem. (see step 7 in girl skirt tutorial)
Pin the first strip onto the right side of the skirt piece, lining it up with the hem. Sew 1/4″ from both the upper and lower edges.
Add the second and third strips in the same way.
Cut down the center of the strips, in between the stitching lines. Be careful not to cut the skirt fabric. (see step 6 in girl skirt tutorial)
Sew the side seam with a 1/4″ seam allowance, right sides together. Finish the seam allowances if you want.
To finish follow Steps 9-12 from the little girl skirt tutorial. Insert 10″ of 3/8″ wide or 1/2″ wide elastic for the doll skirt.
What fun way to give a simple skirt some pizzazz! I can see a rainbow striped faux chenille skirt in my near future 😉 Hope you enjoy this fun beginner project!