I love to wear these skirts myself – so why not to make a one for my doll? First step is constructing your own pattern. Have no fear, it’s easy!
Get some paper, pencil, ruler and a tape measure. Measure your doll’s waist and hips circumferences and the length of your future skirt. My Alexandra’s skirt will be long – from her waist almost to the floor, which is 26 cm. Her waist circumference is 15,5 cm and hips 21 cm.
How many ruffles do you want to make? Three, four or five are most common. Think about it, search the internet, draw it, whatever will help you. I chose four. Now divide your skirt length by the number of your ruffles. For my skirt, 26 : 4 = 6,5 cm. This is the height of one ruffle. Write the number down.
I will be making an elastic waist – propably the easiest option. This means that the skirt waist must be elastic enough to get over her hips. That’s 21 cm plus 1 more to put the skirt comfortably on. 22. Write your result down too and start constructing. Draw a rectangle using your own measurements – mine has 6,5 x 22 cm. This is the first ruffle pattern.
For the second ruffle, just add 50 % of its length. 22 + 50 % = 33 cm. My second rectangle will have 6,5 x 33 cm.
For the third one, do NOT add another 50 %! That would extend your skirt circumference too much and you would get a funnel-shaped skirt. Add the same amount you added before. For me, it’s another 11 cm (50 % of 22). So, my third rectangle will have 6,5 x 44 cm and the fourth 6,5 x 55 cm. Now add seam allowances and do not forget to double them at the top of the first layer (for the waist elastic) and at the bottom of the last layer (to finish the hem).
Congratulations! You constructed your own layered skirt pattern!
(Black lines and measurements show my own pattern, pink ones are my seam allowances 5 mm.)
Now get some fine fabric, wash it and iron it carefully. I do not recommend using satin nor anything glossy – it looks somehow “cheap” and messy in this design. (But maybe it’s just me.) Cotton voile has been used in this tutorial. And now, let’s ruffle. Check my ruffling tutorial if you need any advices.
Fold the bottom edge of your longest fabric stripe twice, iron it and sew it. This hem will also give a nice shape to the bottom edge. Now take the fourth stripe and ruffle it to the third one.
Sew the ruffle, take the third stripe and ruffle it to the second one, sew the ruffle, take the second stripe and ruffle it to the first one. Do not ruffle the shortest stripe now if you want to make an elastic waist just like me. Trim all seam allowances near your ruffles and zig-zag them. Do NOT iron this skirt-to-be – all those ruffles will lose their fullness. Press the seams with your fingers instead. The ruffles will gain a better shape while staying fluffy and puffy.
It starts to look like a skirt, doesn’t it? Now sew the side seam, trim its seam allowances, zig-zag them and press this seam down with your iron. (Press the seam but avoid your ruffles – but you already know that.)
Now the waist. Take your doll and a thin round or flat elastic and measure his/her waist. Do not forget to pull the elastic over your doll’s hips and back to be sure it will allow you to dress the doll lately.
Now fold the skirt’s waist twice, press it down and sew. Leave a small gap close to the side seam, just a few millimeters wide. Get your elastic and a tapestry needle.
Tapestry needle is my best friend for pulling an elastic through a tunnel. It’s thin enough for doll clothes tunnels, doesn’t pierce out of the fabric unintentionally and therefore doesn’t hurt my fingers.
Pull your elastic through and tie its ends. Trim the overlaps and hide the knit into the waist tunnel (I’ve just stuffed it inside with the tapestry needle). You can close the seam gap now but I do not do it – it allows me to change the old elastic when it’s necessary.
Iron the skirt waist again – reducing the bulk is essential on doll clothes. Choose some nice top for your doll and put it on!
If your finished skirt looks too bulky or wide, and you want it to hang down naturally, try one of the following: press your skirt with a cold turned-off iron, or soak it in the water and let it dry inside a sock, scrunched up lengthwise.
I’ll definitely sew more skirts in different colors. If you liked my tutorial or even made your own doll skirt, I’d appreciate hearing from you!