Three Layer Baby Girl Skirt

(This is the project for Week 4 of the Learn to Sew series.) Seriously, I need to stop sewing things for baby girls. Last week it was the dress and the shoes. This week a baby skirt. If I’m going to sew I ought to sew things that are useful to my life. But I just couldn’t resist this fabric! So, I made a three layer ruffled baby girl skirt.

Baby Skirt Free Pattern

This skirt is so quick and easy! Probably a good project for a beginner to try. I think. Let me know how it goes.

Here’s another version:

Girls Skirt Tutorial

3 Layer Ruffle Baby Skirt Tutorial:

What you Need:

3 coordinating fabrics-about 1/2 yard each for a baby or toddler size (you will have leftover) Get more though if you want to make this for an older girl.


Large Safety Pin



First you need to figure out how long you want your skirt. Mine fits about a 12 month size and is a total of 7 or 8 inches long when totally finished. You need to add a couple of inches when you are cutting to account for the hem at the bottom of the skirt and the elastic casing at the top. So, for my 12 month size, my top layer of fabric was cut about 6 inches by 42 inches. My second layer is about 8 inches by 42 inches and my third layer is about 10 inches by 42 inches.

To figure out how long to make it if you want a different size you can measure your little girl from her waist to her knees or wherever you want the skirt to hit her and add 2-3 inches to compensate for the hem at the bottom and the elastic casing at the top and make that the width of your bottom fabric (as opposed to my 10 inches). Then make the middle layer 2-3 inches smaller than that and the top layer 2-3 inches smaller than the middle.

To figure out how long to cut your fabric (as opposed to my 42 inches), measure her waist and then double it. You may have to piece some fabric together in order to get it long enough if you are sewing this for an older girl.

1. Sew a hem on the bottom of each of the fabrics. To do this simply fold the fabric under about 1/2 inch once and press flat, then fold it another 1/2 inch and stitch in place:

3 layer baby girl ruffle skit

Once you have done that for all 3 pieces, line them up one on top of the other:

How to make a girl's layered skirt

Fold the top of the skirt down about 1 inch, so that wrong sides are touching:

Easy skirt pattern for baby or little girls

Do that again, just like a hem-so that it’s folded down twice. Sew along the bottom of that creating a casing for your elastic.

Grab your large safety pin and attach it to the end of your elastic. Slide the safety pin into your little casing that you just made and pull. Continue to pull and slide your elastic into the casing.

Ruffle the fabric of your skirt onto the elastic to the desired width of the skirt. (You can measure your child’s waist first to determine how wide you want it. My elastic is about 17-18 inches long for this 12 month size.)

When you have it just how you want it, sew the two ends of the elastic together and get it all nestled in your casing good. Then sew the two sides of the skirt together through all three layers of fabric:

Easy free pattern for baby skirt

Your top ruffle should look like this:

Ruffle skirts

That’s it! You’re done. Was that easy? I hope that was easy!

Then you go try it on your baby boy and hope he’s not scarred for life, but you have to try it on someone!

Girl's skirt

This would look great with a pair of matching baby shoes.

And seriously, I am vowing to take a break for sewing baby girl things for a while.

This post was originally posted at The Ribbon Retreat.

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Hey there! I'm Amber, mom of 4 crazy boys, wife of 1 and non-stop, always busy, crazy project doer. (There's a reason why we call it *Crazy* Little Projects.) I love chocolate, reading, sewing and being with people!

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  1. Sharon says

    Hmmmm maybe you’re unconsciously telling hubby that you’re not done having kids yet Amber, and your dreams are telling you that it’s time for your girl :-D I’m loving these beautiful girls stuff and I have joined your “Learn to Sew” classes even though my sewing machine is basically a toy. I am checking out new machines though.

    • Amber says

      We always thought we would have at least one more…maybe our girl. But I had some major, life threatening complications with the last so alas, I think we are done.

  2. Marcia says

    Your tutorials are great and I love your fabric choices. But when making the casing for the elastic turning the fabric under twice will avoid any freing.

  3. Renae Kamler says

    Very adorable!! My girls are older, but would certainly be easy enough to do with some fabrics they might choose on their own, and even help me sew. I would add another step to prevent fraying. Often I will zigzag the raw edges to keep the fraying to a minimum on the things I make – in hopes they will last a little longer for the next one that gets to wear it down the road.:)

  4. Jess says

    Thank you SO much for these lessons! I have successfully completed all of the others and this one is almost done. I am on the last step, sewing the sides together through all layers, but I can’t seem to sew over the top where the elastic is, it’s too thick. Do I need to change something on the machine to be able to sew something this thick? I had the same problem attaching the nose for the frog hooded towel. Thanks!

    • Amber says

      Hmmm, my machine will sew through anything, so I forget that not all machines do that. Still, you should be able to get it through, you just have to pull and guide the fabric a little. Did you do it yet?

      • Jess says

        Well, I have a VERY old machine (40 years old) that I got at a thrift store as I am just starting out. I talked with the ladies at my local fabric store and I think that’s the problem. I was able to jimmyrig it, but it’s not pretty. I couldn’t even get all the fabric under the foot. I am going to start looking for a new machine. Thanks for your help though!

  5. AnnieG says

    I made my daughter this skirt today and it did not turn out as pretty as yours! :-) I bought a knit fabric instead of just cotton. I think the store said fashion fabric or something. I also think I made it too long. I used 40 inches and my elastic made it really bunched together. I bought 3 1/2 yards like you said and can get two skirts out of it. I am able to learn from my mistakes on this skirt and make the second skirt better (I hope!). Thanks for the tutorial!

  6. AnnieG says

    Question: When you sew the two sides of the skirt together do you sew through the elastic too? Just wondering what the front ruffle looks like where the two sides come together. I’ve made two skirts this weekend and it’s all bunched together at the seam. Do you just not worry about sewing the front fabric where the elastic is? It’s hard to explain. Does this make any sense? :)

    • Amber says

      Yes, you do have to sew through the elastic a little. Just try to make sure your seam goes far enough in that you hide all the bunching.

  7. Kristi says

    Love this tutorial. I found some adorable fabric yesterday and decided to make this for my 10 month old daughter. I used you same measurements. It fits big now and because of the elastic will probably fit until fall at least (she’s on the small side). I did change the top a bit. I only made the elastic casing out of the top layer and cut the other 2 layers shorted than just sewed them in with the casing. I used a micro corduroy fabric so it was way too thick when I tried to press all 3 layers twice. It looks the same though. Now if I can get up the courage to make matching shoes…

  8. Natarsha says

    Thank you so much :) I love this skirt made one today for my 2 yr old and I’m going to make one for my 8 yr old. Thanks heaps :)

  9. Chris Pennifold says

    Hi Amber, thanks so much for this cute little skirt. I made one for my 3 year old grand-daughter yesterday and I just added a couple of extra layers of fabrics for her length. The tutorial was easy to read and follow. I also wanted to know if I posted your url on a website I am a member of, is that o.k.? If you email me back I’ll send you a picture of the one I did. Love and blessings Chris

  10. gina says

    I am new to sewing and wondering why you wouldnt do this more like the pjs -where the top is sewn and then you add the elastic at the end – vice doing the elastic then sewing the sides?

  11. Kelly says

    So cute!
    I made one today for my little one.
    First skirt I have made and it turned out great!
    Ty for the great tutorial.

  12. Trina says

    First of all, excellent, easy to follow tutorial. I already bought my fabric! Question: Why make the casing first then sew the sides? Why not sew the sides first? I’ve only made one other simple skirt but it had me sew the side seam up first then make the casing.

  13. Jessica Baker says

    Love the fabrics you used!! Very cute dress and nice tutorial!! Attempting this tonight! One question, when sewing the sides together, did you sew straight up and down or at a slight angle? When I picture straight up and down, I picture a square skirt, not ruffled. The pictures look like the top is smaller and slightly gets wider closer to the bottom. Thank you!

  14. says

    I love the tutorial. I’m grandma to three lovely little girls, ages 6, 3, and 1. The older girls have “twirl” skirts as we call them. Brooke (3) wears them every day, over every thing. My youngest doesn’t have a twirl skirt and has been walking for about 6 weeks. Now that I’ve seen your tutorial, I’m going to make her one! Thanks!

  15. Lauren says

    This might be a silly question, but why did you double the width? Wouldn’t that be way too much fabric? Sorry I’m a total newbie and wanted to make sure I read that correctly.

  16. Courtney says

    I loved this pattern! I made it for 3-6 month old size meaning the finished skirt was only 5 1/4″ long. I only did two layers. I read all the comments before starting this skirt, so I decided to do the elastic casing last since my machine struggles through too many layers. In the end, same results. <3 Thank you for the great tutorial! I can't wait to make another one.

  17. Aimée says

    So cute I’m going to make this for my 15 month old. I am new to this I made Santa sacs at Christmas and the other night a pretty pink pillow for my dd with hearts sewing around the edges. I’m thinking of adding a inch to each fabric length she’s by all means not a big girl and sits @ the 50th percentile. We shall see how it turns out I’m so excited going to start cutting at nap time.

  18. kaitlyn says

    I am a little new to sewing ( 1 year in August) and this was a breeze. My 6 year old daughter loved it. But it was sort of heavy, but it was probly just the fabric. The three layer were with a cotten fabric.

  19. Sara says

    Looks adorable – looking forward to making it. Quick question – assuming the one and only seam lays down the back of the skirt? I did not see it in the photo when you tried it on your little boy but this is the only logical conclusion – or is there in fact two side seams?

  20. Tammy says

    Keep sewing for the girls. I have 2 boys now grown. I’ve always sewn for my nieces. Now I get to sew for granddaughters and great nieces.

  21. Nicole says

    Question because I have never seen a skirt sewn like this. I love this idea! If you connected each layer and sewed that seam and then put all 3 together wouldn’t it have greater freedom of movement?

  22. Sydney says

    On the part where you put the elastic in/on how you do it was explained confusing. I’m only 11 so it is a little cunfusing but have been sewing for 5 years

  23. Corey says

    I’m so excited for all the stuff I’m sewing with your “learn to sew” series when I just got my first sewing machine a month ago (and I’m 33!)! They’re all very clear so far but with this one, I’m wondering if I got the wrong elastic or something. My little girl’s waist is about 19″ so I made the elastic 18″ and the fabric 36″. After I put the elastic in and sewed just the elastic together, I put it on her to see if it worked. It was almost as if there was just too much fabric bunched/ruffled up and it was stretching the elastic without it even being on her. The circumference of the skirt was about 21″ and definitely too big on her. I got a braided elastic 1/2″ wide. Is that right? I just cut 6″ off the three layers of fabric and made it work, but wondering if I should have looked for a “tougher” elastic…if they even make something like that.

  24. Kerri says

    I just made this adorable skirt! Thank you so much for this cute pattern. It is the first time I have made a skirt and your instructions were so easy to follow. I can see my little girl and all of our friends little girls in these skirts. Thank you again. So glad I found you :)

  25. Cindy says

    I made this today and it was adorable. But next time I will sew the sides together and then add the elastic. I don’t like the way it looks sewing through the elastic at all. Cute skirt though.

  26. Angelina says

    This skirt is sooo adorable and I can’t wait to make it for my girls! I’m confused about cutting the fabric? Could you please explain further when you say measure how long you want the skirt to be , that is your width and then measure her waist, double it then that becomes how long you cut it? It would be much appreciated, I’m totally new at this
    Thank you :-)

    • says

      Measure the length from your little girl’s waist to where you want the skirt to fall-like to her knees or whatever. That is your width. Then measure how wide her little waist is and use that measurement to create your lengths.

  27. grandma debbie says

    I LOVE this pattern! Cutting the fabric takes longer than making the skirt! Just made 2 for my granddaughter. Can’t wait to mail them tomorrow.
    Thank you so much, Amber.

  28. Jana says

    Hi there,
    I love your tutorial. I’m new to sewing but want to make this for my 9 month old daughter. I am wondering how big the child you made the 12 month size was? My daughter is tall for her age so I’m just trying to figure out what size length to cut the fabric.

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