Thursday, April 7, 2011

Little Girl's Button Up Skirt

Start with a button-up shirt or dress.

Lay it out flat and make your cut.  I wanted this skirt to be 19" long.  I took advantage of the pre-existing hem, so I only had to add an extra inch to allow for the waistband casing.  If you are using a shirt that has a shirt tail hem, you will need to square it up first, and then allow extra length for the new hem and casing when you make your cut..

Since I was making two skirts, I made a second cut.  This skirt is going to have a
finished length of 11", so I cut it at 13" to allow for the hem and the casing.

 I wanted to salvage the pockets.  I cut around them, allowing 1/2" allowance all around, including the top edge.  Then I trimmed away the excess on the back side.  If you don't have pockets to salvage, cut and make pockets from your excess fabric.  BTW, ignore the "well used" scissors.  They just endured Spring Break where my 16 year-old son spent the week being a cobbler and making shoes...hence the glue and such on the blades.  Is nothing sacred in mom's sewing supplies?!  Oh well, at least he was productive...I think he made four pairs!

Next, fold the trimmed edges to the back and press into place.  

I wanted contrasting flaps at the top of the pockets.  This was left over scraps from a repurposed blouse.  They need to be the same width as the finished pocket, plus extra for seam allowance.  Cut two flaps for each pocket.  Set aside.

If you didn't get to take advantage of a pre-existing hem, now is the time to hem it.
A small rolled hem is just fine.

Prepare for the waistband casing by first stitching the front placket down about 2".  Backstitch. 

Now, on the backside of the placket, trim away the excess bulk about 1 1/2" down.
This makes it nicer for the elastic casing.

Fold down the casing 1" and iron in place.  Stitch the casing at approx. 3/4" down.  Allow an opening in the casing to thread the elastic through.  Wait to thread the elastic after the next step of preparing and attaching the pockets.

Make the flaps for the pockets by placing two of the pieces right sides together, and stitching around the curved edge.  Trim the edges and turn inside out.  Press and topstitch close to the edge.  Finish the top edge of the flap by serging, or turning under and stitching.

Pin the flaps to the top edge of the pockets, overlapping about 1/2".  Make sure the back side of the flap is facing the backside of the pocket, so that when it is pressed forward, the right side shows.

Stitch along the top close to the edge, and then again about 1/4" down.

Pin the pockets in place.  I placed them midway between the front buttons and the side seams.  As for the height, I eye-balled and thought they looked best about 4 1/2" down from the top on the large skirt.  And, 2 1/2" down on the small skirt.  It's really your call.  When finished, fold down flaps and press in place.  Attach a cute button to each to hold them in place.

Once the pockets are in place, thread the elastic through the waistband and adjust for correct size.  Secure the elastic and stitch the casing closed.

Now you have a $56 skirt for next to nothing! 
In my case, I have two that cost me about 65¢ each! 
Have fun!!

Click HERE to return to the original post of the skirts.


  1. They are sooo cute! I'm going to have Shailey and Olivia try them on when we get them. I'll be sure to take pictures and send them to you!

  2. By the way, GREAT tutorial!

  3. I need to make one for my little girl. I actually have a shirt in my re-purpose pile I could do this with. thanks for the idea and I am your newest follower.

  4. Hi Susan, I have featured your fab tutorial today...