If you know my daughter, Abby, you know she’s a lover of all things Disney. And Peter Pan may just be her favorite. So when a friend sent her a picture of a Peter Pan skirt, she was immediately inspired and asked if I could help her make one. So that’s just what we did. And you can, too. All you need is a little faith, trust, and pixie dust.
And some fabric.
And some basic sewing skills.
And even if you don’t want a design on your skirt at all, this is a very simple tutorial on a basic double-layer elastic waist skirt— Disney characters optional.
This how-to will work well for older kids, teens, and smaller-sized women. Other sizes can work with this method as well, but may require some tweaking.
You will need some lightweight fabric such as broadcloth in a standard 45″ width. Determine the amount of fabric you will need by measuring the waist size needed and multiplying that length by 1.75. For example, if you want a finished waist size of 36″, take 36 X 1.75, which gives you 63. You would need 63″ (or 1 and 3/4 yards).
You’ll also need a wide elastic band long enough to fit the waist size. We got our black 1.5″ elastic (as well as the green fabric) at Hobby Lobby.
This skirt is made with a double layer to make it more substantial and less sheer. In order to get the built-in under layer, you will leave the fabric folded in its natural fold (just like it comes off the bolt) to begin. A standard fabric width of 45″ will give you a skirt of around 23″ or shorter.
Determine the length you want your skirt to be, taking into consideration that the elastic band will add a little more length as well. Then, lay out the entire length of fabric, still folded lengthwise in its natural fold, and press the hems for both the under layer and the outer layer. We didn’t have to cut the fabric before hemming because it was already the length we wanted. Shorter skirts would have to be cut before hemming.
The under layer should be at least an inch shorter than the outer layer. Be careful to keep the hem consistent all the way across the length of the fabric so it will match up well when finishing later.
After pressing, sew the hems.
Next, sew a gathering stitch across the length of the folded edge, which is the skirt top. A gathering stitch is simply a stitch sewn at a longstitch length settingwhich will later allow you to pull the top thread and gather up the fabric. It’s best to sew a gathering stitch in lengths of about 12″, stopping and starting again so you can gather smaller sections rather than trying to gather one long length of fabric.
Next, cut the elastic to the length you need, adding a couple extra inches. You will fit it more exactly when finishing the skirt.
Then, pin the gathered edge of the skirt to the elastic. Be sure you pin the gathered edge to what will be the underside of the skirt. (Your under layer should be facing up and the elastic should be underneath, as pictured.)
Now the elastic is ready to be sewn on.
Fit the skirt to the waist once more to determine where to sew up the back seam.
Pin together down the back of the skirt, then sew.
Carefully cut the excess fabric close to the seam.
Turn right side out and your skirt is done!
If you want to take it a step further and add your favorite silhouettes, follow the directions here for freezer paper stenciling.
Abby downloaded the silhouettes from the project on this site, then she sized them, printed them, cut them, ironed them, and painted them herself.
If you decide to do the stenciling, be sure to paint only the outer layer of the skirt, placing plastic underneath to protect the other layers.
I may be just a tad biased, but I think she did a fabulous job.
Hope you love it, too! Sharing with a few of these friends.