Thursday, July 12, 2012

The Drawstring Skirt Tutorial : :

The Drawstring Skirt Tutorial

Today I'm thrilled to be sharing my very first garment tutorial for a Simple Drawstring Skirt with a sweet Melody Miller Ruby Star Shining Typewriter Applique, as part of Skirting the Issue for Project Run and Play!

What is "Skirting the Issue?" From the Project Run and Play intro post -- "Skirting the Issue is an event that has been planned for the month of July to make and donate handmade skirts to girls in Foster Care. We have teamed up with our local Foster Care Agency, Utah Foster Care Foundation,  in our local efforts, but we have been assured that there are plenty of local Foster Care Agencies across the nation (and world) and that there is plenty of need for skirts!

As part of the event we have asked over 40 celebrity sewing bloggers to participate and share simple handmade skirt tutorials that we can all use to make and donate skirts to our local agencies (or mail to us if you would like to!)

We have set a goal for 100 skirts to be donated by the first week in August---and we REALLY need your help to make our goal!"

You can follow this link to read the rest of that post and to find ALL the details you'll need to join in our efforts! If you have any questions feel free to email me anytime at

Now let's get started!!  

What you'll need : :
  • 1 - piece of fabric for main skirt measuring 14" x 44" (source)
  • 1 - piece of fabric for skirt waistband measuring 4" x 44" (source)
  • 1 - piece of fabric for skirt bottom measuring 4" x 44" (source)
  • 2 - pieces of fabric for drawstring ties measuring 2" x 44" (source)
  • 1 - fussy cut Melody Miller Ruby Star Rising Typewriter for applique (optional)(source)
  • 1 - small square piece of Heat Bond Lite for applique (optional)(source)
  • white thread
  • Sewing pins
  • Sharp scissors and/or a rotary cutter/mat set   
Skirt Fabrics

Making the Drawstring Tie : :

1. cut two - 2" pieces of fabric from selvedge end to end, trim those ends away 2. with right sides facing match up ends, pin, and sew together at one end. Making one very long strip of fabric. Press that seam open

Cut Tie FabricsMaking Ties -- step 1

3. fold in both short ends of the long fabric strip 1/4" and press well 4. fold in both long ends so they meet in the middle, press well 5. fold in half one last time, press well, pin, and sew along the folded edge to create the drawstring tie

Making ties -- step 2
Pin & Sew Ties

Sewing the Skirt : : 

6. cut and press the skirt fabrics

cut skirt fabrics

7. sew the waistband and skirt bottom pieces to the main skirt fabric using a 1/4" seam allowance

sew skirt fabrics together

8. press waistband seam so the seam is facing the top of the skirt, press bottom piece seam so it's facing the bottom of the skirt

press seams

9. fold in both side edges of the skirt piece 1/4" and press well

fold in both outer edges

10. fold in waistband edge 1/4" and press

Fold in on waist side

11. bring that folded end to match up with the waistband and main skirt fabric seam, press well to create the skirt waistband. Pin in place

My creation
pin waistband

12. Sew along both sides of the waistband, staying close to each edge. Leave each end open

sew on both sides of the waistband

13. Bring the skirt ends together, pin, and sew along that edge, leaving the waistband ends open. This is very important, since this is where you'll add the waistband tie. Press that seam open

match up ends, pin, sew

14. Hem skirt bottom. Fold bottom edge of skirt in 1/4", press, fold again, press and sew along that edge to hem the skirt.

hem skirt

The skirt body is finished and now it's time to add the drawstring tie!

Finished Skirt Body

Add the Drawstring Tie : :

15. Add a pin to one end of the tie and thread through one opening of the skirt waistband, coming out the other end. Add a knot to each end of the drawstring and tie a nice bow to cinch the waistband of the skirt

Pin Tie End
Thread Tie for Drawstring

Add the Applique : :

16. Press to adhere the typewriter fabric piece to the Heat n' Bond Lite. Fussy cut the typewrite and remove the Heat n' Bond backing. Press to add the applique to the skirt and stitch around the outer edge of the typewriter with white or black thread to attach permanently. So cute!!

My creation
Making Skirts!

Now you're Drawstring Skirt is finished and ready for wearing!


Melody Miller Applique

Drawstring Skirt

I had originally planned to make this skirt for a small child, then for a tween - teenage girl, when I read that the greatest need for these charity skirts is for older girls. When I had finished, this skirt fit me just fine! After having every female who happened to stop by my house throughout these last couple days try this skirt on, I feel like it really works for so many ages and sizes -- from a child size, all the way up to an xs/small adult size. The drawstring waist just makes it that versatile! You can make a smaller or larger version using this method, by simply taking away or adding a few inches to the width and length!

I hope you do enjoy this tutorial and find it helpful! As always -- be sure to let me know if you give this one a go!!  Maureen

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  1. A lovely skirt and beautiful concept. I hope you get bunches and bunches donated!

  2. I think it's wonderful that these skirt are being donated! I will definitely check out the details to see if I can contribute in some way.

  3. Such a wonderful skirt for a wonderful cause. I like the fact that it requires no pattern and with the drawstring waist it will be easy to fit any girl.

    Also love the pretty, cheerful patterns you used, I'm sure it will brighten any girl's day. :)

  4. I just read the reason behind these skirts and love them even more! Thank you Maureen! This is a very meaningful outreach!

  5. I love the way you used an office item to decorate a kitchen item. Very clever. Love the apron, love the tute, love the cause. You are an energetic bundle of giving. Good job.

  6. No buttonholes? I'm so in. Thanks!

  7. A drawstring skirt would be just divine! I have been working hard to lose weight and all my skirts (and pants for that matter) seem to constantly be in my sewing pile awaiting an alteration so they don't end up around my knees at the wrong time. Thanks for the awesome tutorial.

  8. Very cute and thanks for the tutorial.

  9. This is just too cute! You may not think you're very good at making clothes, but you are very capable of designing some adorable things! Thanks for sharing this with us!!

    1. Thanks Cheryl! It is just so new to me, that's all! I am super excited about really getting into designing some clothes for my daughter and even for myself! It's really fun and I enjoy learning all the techniques that come with sewing garments, it's so different than quilting and sewing up home dec items!

  10. Very pretty Maureen - loving that line of fabrics! The typewriter finishes it off perfectly!! Think I must go hunt me some of that fabric. :-)

    *one suggestion, if I might (just because I've made many a skirt with drawstring waists) is that you may want to either narrow your waistband width with an extra seam or tack the drawstring down in a couple spots, otherwise you might find it's going to twist and not lay flat. If that doesn't bother you - no biggie, but for me I like the drawstring to lay flat so it doesn't twist up when you wash etc...)

  11. This should be very easy to adjust to an adult size (larger than a small--I don't think I was a "small" even when I was a child!), especially if I use only one pattern/color fabric.

    I'm about ready to make my first skirt and this tutorial just might be the one I use.

  12. Darling! I don't wear skirts but I know so many do. It's very cute and simple to make. Those girls are going to love them!

  13. How sweet of a skirt--and with that adorable typewriter, too.

  14. Very cute, and love the fussy cut typewriter!

  15. Great skirt, so simple yet a very effective Mother may just get that skirt she has been requesting! Loving those pezzy prints! =D

    1. Thanks! If you have any questions about adjusting the size, just ask here or shoot me an email! I plan to make myself one in linen and I'll be adding about 2-4 inches to the width, just to make it roomier. The length was perfect and I'm about 5.4'. Thanks again!

  16. What an amazing tutorial, Maureen! So impressive!

  17. It's made of very fun fabrics, and it makes such a happy skirt. Great job, Maureen!

  18. Too cute, Maureen! I love those Pezzy print shades you put together...such a great mix with the typewriter!

  19. sooooo beautiful! how fun that you're getting into garment sewing; it really is fun to switch back and forth depending on your mood, you know? i love the fabrics you used on this skirt!

  20. Very cute skirt and I love your fabric choice. I will be making some of these for my girls for sure!

  21. Thank you for the tutorial. It looks a great multi-fit skirt.

  22. I would love to try to make a larger version of the skirt. I have an idea as to how I would do it, but I was wondering if you could give a few pointers. New to this whole sewing clothes thing! Thank you! This is such a great pattern!