Last summer our daughter received some doll shoes and tops for her 18″ doll. The only problem was, she didn’t have any skirts to go with them! So, after the birthday party I ran down to my sewing area, grabbed some fabric scraps, draped them over the doll (for imprecise measuring!), and quickly sewed up two skirts for her doll. And then her younger sister wanted a skirt for her doll, so I sewed up another one. All in about an hour or less.
These are super-easy and fun to make. They would make a great first sewing project for a daughter learning to sew. I’m hoping to show my girls how to make them soon.
Here’s what you’ll need to make one:
- Fabric (This is a great project for using up scraps.)
- Narrow Elastic (I’m using 1/8″ elastic)
- A Measuring Tape
- Small safety pin to thread elastic into the waistband casing.
- Sewing Machine (not pictured)
- Doll (I’m sewing for an 18″ doll, but you can use any size.)
First, measure your doll’s waist. My doll’s waist is about 11″. For a full gathered skirt, you’d want to cut the fabric about twice the waist measurement. If you want the skirt to be narrower, adjust the measurement accordingly.
Next, decide how long you want the skirt to be. I decided on roughly 6-7″ (it didn’t really matter to me how long it was for this project). My little helper was helping me:
Fold the fabric lengthwise with selvedges on the side, and cut out.
I cut my skirt about 8 1/2″ long, and 6″ wide at the bottom, tapering down to about 4 1/4″ at the top, to give it an a-line shape.
Now it’s time to cut out the second skirt piece. Lay the first piece you cut on top of the folded fabric edge. Cut around the first skirt piece (using it for your pattern).
This will give you two identical skirt pieces; a front and a back:
Pin the skirt front and skirt back together at the side seams, right sides together:
Sew side seams, right sides together, using a 5/8″ seam allowance:
Trim seam allowances to 1/4″ and finish edge. I used my pinking shears, but if you have a serger you could use that, too. Press the seams open (or if you serged, press to the side):
Turn under at the hemline (bottom of skirt–the widest part) 1/4″ and press:
Turn under 1/4″ a second time, and press again:
Stitch hem down close to edge:
Now we will turn under the top of the skirt for the waistband. This will make a casing for the elastic. Turn under 1/4″ and press:
Turn under a second time 3/8″ and press (If you are using a different size elastic than 1/8″, you will need to adjust these measurements to make the correct casing size for the elastic):
Sew down casing next to the folded edge, leaving about a 1″ opening to insert the elastic:
Measure your doll’s waist and cut a piece of elastic about 1″ smaller than that measurement. Attach a small safety pin to the end of the elastic:
Thread the elastic through the casing:
Pin down one end of the elastic to keep the whole thing from going through the casing as you pull it through:
After the elastic is threaded through the casing, pin the two ends of the elastic together, and sew them together. I used the sewing machine for this, but the elastic is so narrow that you may prefer to do it by hand. Either way works fine, you just want to make sure it is securely tacked together.
Now, sew up the 1″ gap you left in the casing for inserting the elastic:
Press the skirt, and try it on the doll:
Here are the three doll skirts I whipped up last summer (one denim and two cotton calico):
You can add lace or any kind of creative embellishments to the skirt:
Your dolls will love their new skirts!