Ruffle knit skirt - a tutorial

The Waistband

I also got to sneak in a little clothes upcycling into this too - as I had a skirt of my elder daughter that was a bit too small for her, and also a little ripped and frayed:

I checked to see if it fit my younger daughter (which it did) and so unpicked the elastic to use for a skirt for her!

If you want to make a skirt from scratch - then you need a band of elastic around 2 or 3cm (1") shorter than your waist measurement (depending on how stretchy your elastic is).
 This wide black elastic I used here is very firm, so I cut the actual waist measurement and the overlap when stitching the loop makes it firm enough to stay up when worn as a skirt waistband!

 Stitch this elastic together in a loop using a few lines of zigzag stitching.

Now for the main fabric..

As a general rule for the width of fabric needed for a skirt you cut one and a half times your waist measurement.

(I used the folded (in half) elastic waistband to measure mine - and cut 3 times this length.)

For the length - I wanted it a little longer than the discarded black skirt - so just lay this next to the fabric and guestimated!

Choose what length you want your skirt to be - remembering the width of the elastic that will sit at the top.

Now fold the fabric in half so the short edges are together.
Pin then stitch down the edges:

If you have an overlocker (serger) you can finish the seam edge off with that. I did, but knit fabric tends not to fray, so you don't really have to.

Now all you need to do is attach the skirt fabric to the waistband!

Fold the waistband in half and put pins into the folded edges. Then fold it in half the other way - so that your two pins are together, and put two more pins in the other edges.  So now you should have 4 pins evenly spaced around your waistband.

Repeat this with the top of your skirt, then attach the waistband to the skirt at those 4 points - matching the pins.

Note: you need to pin the elastic to the RIGHT SIDE of the skirt fabric!

Then stitch around the waistband using a zig zag stitch.
As you can see between the pins there is a lot more length of fabric than elastic...

As you stitch, stretch the elastic to fit the fabric.
Try to stretch the elastic from both behind and in front of your machine foot (I just needed one hand to take my photo here!)

And that's it!

Again the hem doesn't need finishing off as the knit fabric shouldn't fray. Plus the ruffles add a nice finish!

For the downloadable PDF version of this tutorial, click here.

If you liked this tutorial - there are over 100 more free sewing tutorials on my tutorials page, so do go and take a look!


  1. I love the skirt! Where did you get the wide elastic? I haven't had any luck finding any. I have the exact same material and would love a black elastic waistband.

    1. Hi Heidi - I got the wide elastic from Spotlight here in Australia - a large sewing and craft supply shop. - Perhaps you could try online?

  2. When did you sew the elastic band together? Before or after you sewed the skirt to the waist band?

    1. Yes - stitch the elastic band together FIRST, then add the skirt to the waistband!


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.