Ruffled Maxi Skirt {Tutorial}

Just in case you missed this a few weeks ago over at Me Sew Crazy.

Ruffled Maxi Skirt Tutorial

(allow about 3 hours to complete)

Materials Needed:

*3-4 yards of white cotton knit (medium weight or light weight).
The skirt above was made with 3 yards of medium weight cotton knit and the skirt below was made with lightweight cotton knit. I personally like the looks and feel of the lightweight fabric better, but they didn’t have any at the fabric store. And just to give you an idea on how much fabric you may need to buy, I am a short size 8 and 3 yards of fabric was just enough and would recommend buying more fabric if you want the ruffles to be more ruffled or if you want more then 4 rows of ruffles.

*1 yard of wide anti-roll elastic for the waist band (of course buy more elastic depending on the size of your waist band needed.)

Use any long A-Line skirt that you already have as your template. Fold the knit fabric so that you are cutting out two pieces at the same time with same sides facing. Sometimes it is hard to tell with knits which side is which and it really doesn’t matter which side you pick as the right side, just make sure that you keep using that same side as your right side. I realized after making my first skirt that since the edges are not finished they roll in a certain direction depending on the direction of the knit. So just try and keep track of the same sides.

Cut all around the skirt giving yourself an extra 1/2″ all around the skirt for a seam allowances.

You now have 2 pieces for the main skirt. With the right sides already facing pin in place and sew both sides.

Turn right side out.

Now let’s determine where to put the ruffles. I decided to have 4 rows of ruffles spaced out evenly every 8″. To figure this out I measure the length of the skirt and divided it by 4, the # of rows that I wanted to have on my skirt. Of course you can make the distance between your ruffles further or closer together. But just so you know, if you want to make more then 4 rows of ruffles you will need more then 3 yards of fabric. Start at the top of the skirt and measure down 8″ and draw a line horizontally around the skirt, front and back. This is will be your guide when sewing the ruffles onto the skirt. Measure down another 8″ and draw your lines horizontally around the skirt again. Now repeat two more times. Set skirt aside.

Now it is time to make the ruffles. Take the remainder of your fabric and fold it so that you can cut long strips of fabric that are 9 1/2″ wide or whatever width you have decided to have the ruffles. I used almost the whole remainder of my fabric in making my strips. Remember to keep track of the right sides and cut the fabric in the same direction. Set fabric aside for now and grab your skirt.

If you want your ruffles closer or further apart that is fine. Just make sure that you cut your ruffles 1 1/2″ wider then the distance you decided to have between each row. This way you will not see the top of your ruffles in each row. I just think it looks much better this way.

Now let’s figure out how long to make each ruffled piece. Start by measuring the bottom line on your skirt. Take that # and multiply by 2, that will give you the total distance around your skirt at that point. Now add 30″ to that #. The extra 30″ is so that you can make your fabric ruffle. Of course you can make your ruffles tighter or looser then I did, just make sure that you add the same amount of fabric to each row. That way your ruffles will all look the same.

For example: The last horizontal line on my skirt measured 24″. Then I doubled that # to give me the total distance around the skirt at that point which gave me 48″. Then I added the extra 30″ to make the ruffle. So I ended up with a piece of fabric 78″ long by 9 1/2″ wide.

Measure out one piece of fabric that is the size you just determined above. My piece was 78″ x 9 1/2″. Sew right sides together.

Turn right side out.

Now make it ruffle by sewing along the top of fabric with a long stitch. Pull one of the threads until it ruffles evenly all around. Now measure the remaining 3 rows and make ruffles for each the same way you just did above.

For example: my next three rows measured 76″ x 9 1/2″, 70″ x 9 1/2″ and 64″ x 9 1/2″. Now line up all of ruffles on their rows to make sure they all line up correctly.

Start with the longest ruffled piece and turn it wrong side out. Place your skirt inside of the ruffled piece and line up your ruffled piece onto the bottom line like so. Make sure that the wrong side of the ruffle is on the outside and right sides of ruffle and skirt are facing. Pin ruffle in place.

Sew ruffle in place using a zig-zag stitch. This will give your ruffle a little extra stretch. Now fold ruffle down. Now take the next longest ruffle and place it onto the next line up. Make sure right sides are facing and wrong sides of the ruffle are facing out. Pin and sew in place.

Repeat with the third ruffled piece.

Your skirt should now have 3 rows of ruffles sew in place. Gather the elastic for the waist band. Measure your waist to see how long to cut the piece of elastic. I like to slightly pull on the elastic when measuring around my waist so that the elastic stretches a little bit when it sits on my hips. I don’t want my waist band floating on top of my hips, but do what works best for you. My elastic was cut 30″ long. Zig-zag stitch the elastic shut.

Now take the last ruffle (right sides out this time) and line it up to the top edge of the skirt.

Now take your elastic band and place it on top of the ruffled piece. So it will be layered like so: A-line skirt (right sides out), ruffle (right side out) and then elastic on top. Pin all three layers in place. Zig-zag stitch all three layers together. If you need to, slightly pull on the elastic so that all three layers line up while being sewed together. Now lay your skirt flat and fold up the bottom ruffle. Trim off the extra fabric from the A-Line skirt underneath.

Now your finished! The perfect skirt for those hot summer days.

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  1. יוצרת בשרון-yozert basharon says:

    thanks, so easy when someone alse Measure and 1,2,3 your stap's

  2. elizabeth says:

    I STILL have this on my to-do list… it for Fall too!

  3. liZ evans says:

    I love this skirt…and I will be able to make one for myself soon…

  4. CraftCrave says:

    Just a quick note to let you know that a link to this post will be placed on CraftCrave today [26 Aug 01:00am GMT]. Thanks, Maria

  5. I have the same skirt you used to trace you maxi skirt with . . . CRAZY! It's too big now and I'm trying to come up with a redo for it. Any ideas?

  6. יוצרת בשרון-yozert basharon says:

    yes, make a vest it's a great fabric' or a bag

    good luck.

  7. Kara @ Mine for the Making says:

    Cute and comfy! Love the ruffles! Great tutorial :)

    Would love for you to come by and link this up to DIY Diva Thursdays…we party all the way until Monday :)


  8. what a cute skirt and looks so comfy

  9. Bonny Smelser says:

    I totally dislike elastic waists and was wondering if you thought a wide band out of same fabric and could be folded down like a maxi skirt would work??

    Might even drop the top ruffle down about 5″ in order not to have ruffles right next to where skirt will set. If you could let me know your thoughts on this would appreciate it..

    PS: Made 2 of the little onesies for a baby gift. Have one more to do and burp cloths’, Love them. Thanks for the tutorial!

    • Christina says:

      hi bonny, i would suggest using elastic. the skirts are kinda heavy and may need something more then just a fabric waistband. well maybe if you are going to fold it down it might work. guess im not sure on that one the more i think about it. worth a shot and if it doesnt work just plop some elastic in there. hope that helps:)

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  13. Oh my word! This skirt is amazing! I absolutely love it!!

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    Is anyone else having this problem or is it a problem on my end?

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  15. Hey there! I came across this while page hopping for something to do! I’ve just recently started sewing, so I’m still rather new. BUT I absolutely love this skirt and it’s definitely going on my ‘to-do’ list. My only problem is, I don’t have an a-line skirt to measure it with. Have any idea how I would go about making this without another skirt as a template? Any input would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!

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