Monday, April 23, 2012

The Boho Skirt with Tutorial! {Quick and Easy Elastic Waist Skirt Tutorial}

I adore everything about this skirt, the fabric, the ruched waist, and especially how easy it is to make. My only complaint is that my little one refuses to wear it everyday. Darn kids! : ) In fact I love it so much that, I will be making one for myself.

Want to make one for yourself or your little one?
Grab some fabric and some wide elastic, and let's get sewing! You'll have a new skirt in no time. Promise.

(The glasses were all her idea!)

Click below to expand the entire tutorial!

You will need:
Fabric.  I used 1/2 a yard for this skirt for my 3 year old. I imagine you'll need 1 yard to make one for an adult.
Wide elastic.  I used 2 inch elastic. If it were for me I may go with the three inch wide elastic.
Measuring stick, ruler, or tape measure.
Fabric Marker (optional).
Sewing Machine, Thread, Scissors

 First things first. Let's get the measurements for cutting your fabric.

First, get your elastic waist band measured and cut.

Wrap your elastic around your little one's waist.  Make sure it is nice and comfortable, not too tight and not too loose. Mark or place a pin were the elastic feels comfortable.  For seam allowances, add one inch to that.  Cut your elastic.

My elastic ended up being 20 inches long for my three year old.

Next you will measure your elastic when it is stretched out.  Stretch your elastic just about as much as possible and measure the length.

Add one inch to that measurement for seam allowances. Now divide by two (because you need a front and back skirt panel). This is the measurement for the width of your skirt panels. Jot that down.

For those who need a formula:
[Stretched elastic length + 1 inch] / 2 = Skirt Width Measurement.

If you need an example, my elastic was 38 inches when stretched so I added 1 inch and got a measurement of 39 inches. I divided by two and got 19.5.  19.5 was the width of my skirt panels.

To get the length of the skirt, measure the length of a skirt that you already have. 

Add the width of your elastic plus 2 inches to your length measurement.  Jot that measurement down.

Here's the formula:
Desired length of skirt + (width of elastic+2 inches) = skirt length measurement.

For example, my desired finished length was 11.5 inches. My elastic was 2 inches wide so  I added 4 inches to my desired skirt length. My skirt length measurement ended up being 15.5 inches.

So I cut two rectangles that were 19.5 inches by 15.5 inches. 

 Whew. The hard part is over. : )
Now it's time to sew!

 With right sides together, sew both side seams using 1/2 inch seam allowance.

Next, you will hem both the top and the bottom of your skirt.  Fold down your fabric 1/2 inch. Press.
Fold down your fabric another 1/2 an inch to hide the raw edges. Press in place.
Do this for both the top and the bottom of your skirt.
 Sew the hem down on both the top and the bottom of your skirt.
 Next, sew your elastic together to form a circle using 1/2 inch seam allowance.  For extra strength, sew several lines on top of each other using any stitch that is appropriate for stretch material (I used a zig zag stitch).

Now you will mark the four mid points of your elastic waist band.  You are essentially dividing your elastic up into four equal parts.  I used pins to mark my midpoints because my elastic was black. Feel free to use a fabric marker instead.   Here is how I did it:

Using the seam you just sewed as one mid point, fold your elastic on the seam and mark or place a pin on the opposite end. (If you are pinning, don't pin the elastic together. You are just using the pin to mark a midpoint on your elastic! : ) )

Line up the mark (or pin) you just placed and the seam in your elastic and mark (or pin) the midpoints on the opposite ends.  Thank goodness for photos!
 (If using pins, remember not to pin your elastic together; only use the pins to mark the midpoints!) 

Now find the four midpoints for the skirt as well.  Your side seams will be the first two midpoints.  Find the other two midpoints by lining up your side seams, mark or place a pin on the two opposite sides. 

  Now you will line up and pin your four midpoints on your elastic with the four midpoints on your skirt.  With your skirt inside out, line up all four midpoint marks; leaving about 1/2 inch of fabric above your elastic.  (Make sure the open seam of your elastic is on the inside; you don't want that open seam of your elastic to show!).   Pin the elastic and skirt together at the four midpoints.
Next, we'll stretch the elastic out to fit your fabric. To do this, I  slipped my skirt and elastic on my ironing board until the elastic was stretched to fit my fabric. You can also use the back of a chair or anything else. 

 Here's another view of how I stretched my elastic.
 With the elastic stretched to fit the fabric, pin the elastic to the skirt. Place pins on both the top of the elastic and the bottom.  I placed my pins about 1 inch- 1.5 inches apart.
 Now it's time to sew your elastic to your skirt. You're almost done!!!

Stitch 1/4 inch below the top of your elastic stretching your elastic to fit your fabric as you sew.  I repeat... make sure you stretch your elastic as you sew so you won't get any puckers in your fabric! I learned this from experience.
: )

Do the same for the bottom of the elastic. Sew 1/4 of an inch above the bottom of the elastic, stretching your elastic to fit your fabric as you sew.

That's it!! You're DONE!


  1. Wow! Fantastic tutorial! You are very very tallented and very gracious for sharing! I love your blog!

  2. Just a question. Do you make a casing for the elastic or sew it directly to the inside? I would like to feature your skirt and tutorial this Saturday. Itis so cute!

  3. Justine, I just sew it onto the inside of the skirt. I know you can make a case for it, but I didn't want to for this skirt. Makes it easy and changes the look of it. : )

  4. I just made this skirt for my niece who has a broken leg and doesn't like girly girl prints. I used female super hero fabric. Turned out great.


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