Hey everyone! Today I'm going to be showing you how to make a simple ruffled petticoat with some regular fabric. This petticoat is fluffy enough to give your skirt some puff without being overly warm during spring. Let's get started!
This tutorial contains a lot of pictures, so if you have a slow connection you might want to stop the page from loading completely and load the pictures separately as you get to them.
Here's what you'll need:
- Fabric - Amount will vary depending on measurements; White is best for color
- Waistband elastic - Length will vary depending on your waist size
- Thread to match your fabric color
- Measuring tape
- Cutting board
- Pins - A pincushion will make them easier to use
- Sewing machine or needle and thread if you're going to hand sew it
- Iron and ironing board for pressing seams
- (optional) T-square or other long straight edge for drawing straight lines
To star with, here's the basic concept I used for designing the pattern I used.
Since my original petticoat using this fabric had turned out rather bulky around the waist, so I wanted to try making a petticoat with a non-floofy waist to try to prevent this. Since my skirts mostly end about knee length, I wanted my petticoat to be about the same length.
Let's start measuring! To start with, you'll want to decide where you want the floof to start (such technical terminology, I know). Measure from there to where you want the petticoat to end (see illustration below). It helps if you have a friend for this, but you can just have the end of the tape measure hanging down about where you want the end of the skirt and read it from the top.
Write this measurement down. Now for a little calculation (not much! I promise). Divide your measurement by how many layers you want. More layers means more floof, but I wouldn't make them too narrow or they'll be hard to gather and sew together. I'll be presuming you're doing three layers in this tutorial. I made my petticoat 3 sections at 6.5 inches tall each, but you can make them a bit shorter or longer depending on the length you want your petticoat. Make sure to add a little extra length for seam allowances and due to the floof causing slight loss of length. Mine ended up around 4 inches shorter than my measurements.
Now let's measure the waistband length. Measure from where you want the waistband to start, usually the waist, to slightly past where you want the floof to start (see image below). Add an inch to an inch and a half to this measurement and then double it. Write this measurement down.
Now that you've determined the length of the sections and the waistband, we'll need to do a few calculations to determine how much fabric you'll need. The sections for the floofy part should be 25-30 inches long, so a 60 inch wide piece of fabric would be better than a 45 inch wide piece. I used the remaining half of a sheet I'd used for my first petticoat which measured about 50 inches wide. You'll need 12 rectangles worth of fabric plus enough for your waistband. Since the fabric will be doubled over, you only need 6 sections worth of fabric lengthwise. Add this measurement to your waistband length measurement to determine how much fabric you'll need (example below).
|Actual results will vary (1.5 yd, not 15yd)|
Once you have your fabric, make sure to wash it first on the same settings you'll use once you finish the petticoat. This preshrinks the fabric so you don't have to worry about it shrinking on you after it's done. Iron it all out then lay it out on a cutting board folded in half widthwise (selvages together). Using your tape measure, mark every six and a half inches, or however long you want your sections to be. Make the marks little arrows pointing at the measurement on the tape. (Ex: v) Mark out six sections like this, then use a T-square or long flat edge to mark out straight lines at these points (see image below). Cut them all out on the lines you made, then cut each of the sections in half. (Leave the fabric folded in hal after cutting the sections to make this a little easier.) You should now have twelve sections that are the height you wanted and about 25-30 inches long.
Sew the edges that you pinned together. Make a small hem on the layer with 5 sections. This will be the bottom of your petticoat. Sew gathering stitches on the top of all of the layers. Gather the bottom layer to fit to the base of the layer with 4 sections. Sew them together, then repeat to attach the middle to the top layer (See image below). Make sure the right sides of the fabric go together and not the wrong sides.
Now for the waistband. Take your measurement from before for the length of your waistband, measure it out on your fabric, draw a straight line, then cut it. Measure around the fullest part of your hips and add two and a half inches to that. This will be the width for your waistband. Err on the side of caution and cut the waistband down to a bit bigger than this measurement. Pin it where you'd put the seam, then check to make sure it will fit over your hips. Once you've confirmed that it does, you can cut off any excess fabric from the width, leaving enough for the seam. Fold the waistband in half lengthwise and sew a tube at the top wide enough for your elastic to easily fit in. Leave a little wiggle room in the tube to make sure the elastic won't be getting folded down. Sew the ends together, making sure to leave the ends of the tube on top open so you can put the elastic in later. Gather the top edge of the skirt to match the waistband then sew them together. Again, be sure to put the right sides together. I messed up here and had to take the seam out and do it over again.
Now for the last step: putting in the elastic waistband. Measure your waist to get an idea of how much elastic you'll need. Depending on the stretch of the elastic you buy and how tight you want it to be, the amount of elastic needed will vary. I recommend slightly stretching the elastic around your waist to the point where it is a little tight, but not so tight it'll leave a mark once you take the petticoat off. Be careful not to use too much elastic as it will pretty much be useless if you do. Attach a large safety pin to one end of the elastic, then insert it into the tube, pulling it along to the other end of the tube. Pin the loose end of the elastic to the edge of the tube to make sure you don't have it go inside. Once you've fed the elastic through, pin the sides of the tube together with the elastic sandwiched between and sew through all of the layers. I recommend hand sewing on this part as elastic can be a little difficult to sew on a machine.
Now your petticoat is done! Here's some pictures of how mine turned out:
Let me know if you have any questions about this tutorial and also how it turned out for you. All pictures taken by me unless otherwise noted. Check me out on Twitter.