Elastic Band Skirt {Toddler Size}

Because the Bestie asked me to, my first post is a sewing tutorial on how to make a

~toddler sized elastic band skirt~
So here’s my take.

Now before you get started {with any clothing project} there are two things that seperate a well made article of clothing from a poorly made one: 

  1. Reinforcing your raw edges by running them through a serger or using a zig zag stitch on a regular machine
  2. Pressing all your seams open

For this project you will need:

  • a piece of fabric 46″ wide and 14″ long
  • 2″-3″ wide elastic (I used what I had on hand, which was 1″ and it was far too small)
  • sewing machine 🙂
  • thread
  • iron/ironing board
  • seam gauge

Step 1

Iron any wrinkles out of your fabric, then cut the length to 14″. I used the width of the fabric, leaving the selvages on to save me the step of having to reinforce the raw edges of my back seam.

Step 2
Overcast your raw edges – make one seam 1/4″ away from the raw edge and a zigzag on the edge, lining the raw edge of the fabric up with the inner part of your machine foot.

Step 3
Taking the selvage edge (or short edge if you didn’t leave the selvage on), machine stitch right sides together, creating a 5/8″ seam. Iron open the seam

Step 4
Turn lower edge up 1/4″, using your seam gauge as a guide, and press. Turn up another 1/4″ and press, encasing raw edges. 

Sew hem, staying as close to the upper edge. (I use the inner part of the machine foot to guide me)

Step 5
Make two running stitches on the skirt top. Using the largest length stitch your machine has (mine only goes to a 4, but it’s ancient) and not back stitching, make one seam 5/8″ away from the raw edge and another one that is 1/4″ away. Make sure you leave nice long tails of thread. Using two running stitches, you create a nice flat surface to sew on later, when you attach the elastic.

Step 6
While holding the top ends of both seams, push the fabric back and away from the seams, creating gathers. 

Step 7
Sew the elastic together.
Step 8
Pin the skirt top to the elastic, stretching the elastic out and adjusting gathers to fit. Start by pinning the middle front and back of the skirt and elastic together, adjusting the gathers, then marking the middle between the front and back pins, pinning that mark and doing the same. {This was really hard to take a picture of, seeing as how my toddler can’t work my camera, so I’ll post pictures later when my hubby is home}

Step 9
Unpin and baste gathers. Then repin elastic to top of skirt.
Step 10
Sew elastic band to skirt with a zigzag stitch. (a straight stitch will pucker and look funny) Hold the elastic taught while you sew, using your left hand to stretch and guide the fabric and your right to hold the back taught. Make sure to keep the needle in the fabric and elastic when you adjust your hold on the elastic, otherwise it will create funny gaps in your stitches. Backstitch.
If you use a wide elastic, it will look 100% better than mine does – looks like underwear, doesn’t it?
Step 11
Unpick your basting stitches (because they will show)

Yes, I initially used a straight stitch to attach the elastic, which promptly puckered and ripped as soon as I stretched out the elastic.

And you are done!

I wish I had a picture of the finished skirt, but my camera batteries died and my daughter would not wear the skirt long enough to snap a shot of… Maybe another day.
Next Post
Leave a comment


  1. Kristin, this is so fun! I can't wait to see what else you teach us all to do!!! 🙂

  2. Ahhh, I so recognize that material! You used it for my nursing cover when I was preggers w/Georgia. Makes me miss you a little more.So, is the elastic supposed to show out the top, then? Right? I might try this when all the current craftiness I have going on slows down.

  3. I suck at sewing! Is there hope for me?Seriously, this gives me hope. Ask Elaine – I gave up and tried to give her all my patterns. 😛


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