How to Make a Pettiskirt

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So your little princess wants a pettiskirt just like her idols on TV (Hannah Montana anyone :))
Here's how to make one...

Things You'll Need

  • 1 yard satin
  • approx 5 yards nylon chiffon tulle (fine netting)
  • 1/2 inch elastic long enough to fit around child's waist
  • First measure the waist of the child who will be wearing the garment. Double that measurement and divide by 3. Then decide how long the waist drop will be. If the waist measurement is 25" then take 50" divide by 3 gives you 17" by 8" (for waist drop). This 17 by 8 is the measurement for the top tier (draw out on newspaper for a pattern). Cut 3 pieces of the satin for this step.

  • Lay out tulle/nylon chiffon and cut strips width wise (shortest side) of the fabric. Have each layer be at least 8 inches in width. For tier 2 of the skirt sew 2 strips of the tulle end to end, taking care not to twist the layers. For tier 3 use 4 strips and for tier 4 use 6 strips (add 2 strips for each additional layer). The more tulle you have the more "fluff" the skirt will have.

  • Assemble the skirt starting with the bottom layer. Because Nylon chiffon doesn't fray you don't need a bottom hem. Gather the top of the tier using a gathering/ruffle foot on your machine or your chosen method of gathering (I sew a length of yarn using a large zigzag stitch taking care to not catch the yarn with the thread, Pulling the yarn causes the fabric to gather. I've also been known to ruffle and gather the fabric using pins and patience). Once the gathering is finished pin and stitch to bottom of next tier. Repeat this step until you reach the waist (satin fabric).

  • So you've reached the waist of the skirt. By this time you've seen and gathered enough tulle that you never want to do it again. But one more gather, a casing and we're done.
    So you now gather the top of the last tulle tier, sew it to the bottom of the satin waist. The satin will probably fray, what I do is after cutting the satin I do a tiny zigzag around the entire edge of the satin pieces, or a serger/overlock would do the same thing (just be careful to not take off any additional fabric). Now turn down and press the top 3/4 inch of the waist (for elastic casing). If you haven't "finished" the top edge fold in 1/4 inch before the 3/4 inch casing. Stitch 1/4 inch from salvage/folded edge of casing (1/2 inch from edge of fabric). Leave 2 inches unstitched to allow for insertion of elastic. Cut elastic to fit child's waist and add 1 inch to overlap and stitch. Thread elastic thru casing, being careful to not twist it, and stitch ends together. I usually stitch a square and then diagonally from corner to corner inside the square. Stretch to tuck in elastic and stitch opening closed.

  • Try the newly finished pettiskirt on the princess and watch her twirl.

Tips & Warnings

  • Use any color of chiffon or satin as you would like.
  • to make any size skirt simply take the waist measurement, double then divide by 3. Add nylon chiffon/tulle in adequate amounts to create the "fluffy" look.
  • May seem confusing at first. Once you have the first one done then other ones will come easier.
  • May cause a dislike of working with tulle. Especially if your sewing machine is like mine and has no ruffler/gathering foot.
  • Not hard but takes an extreme amount of patience.

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