Taffeta Skirt Tutorial

When fabric.com was having a sale on basics, or at least what they call basics, I saw this crushed taffeta that I just had to have.  I got the iridescent charcoal and the teal, 2 yards of each.  I had an idea for a full skirt with contrasting tutu underneath and wide grosgrain ribbon at the waist.  So I also got some tulle in the same order.  And then, I headed over to M&J Trimming to get some ribbon.  And then I set to work.  I want something relatively full, on the longer side, and with a bit of a vintage feel.  And this is what I came up with.

Yeah, souricette 1 loves the ballet poses…

It’s a very simple skirt.   The tulle and taffeta are cut to the same length so that a bit of tulle peeks out at the bottom once the taffeta part is hemmed.  You could use any fabric but my taffeta is wider than your average quilting cotton.  The link says it’s 48″ wide but I found it was closer to the 54″ of the tulle.  It might not make much of a difference in the end product but well, be aware…

I’m giving measurements for both souricettes.  Souricette 1 is 5 years old and usually wears a size 5.  She is 41″ tall and has a 20″ waist.  Souricette 2 is 20 months old and usually wear a size 18-24 months.  She is 32″ tall and has a 19″ waist.

Materials :

  • 1 yard of two colours of 54″ wide tulle (I used antique gold and grey)
  • 1 yard of crinkle taffeta (I used iridescent charcoal)
  • 1.5 yard 1.5″ grosgrain ribbon (I used brown)
  • enough 1″ elastic for your child’s waist
  • coordinating sewing thread

Measurements you will need :

  • child’s waist circumference (I’ll be calling it only waist)
  • desired length of skirt

Step 1: Cut out your pattern pieces.

  •  Waistband (taffeta, 1 piece): 4″ x waist + 2″ (22″ for souricette 1, 21″ for souricette 2)
  • Skirt (taffeta, 2 pieces): desired length x 27″ (18″  x 27″for souricette 1, 12″  x 27″ for souricette 2; 27″ is just half the width of the taffeta as I measured it)
  • Tutu (tulle, 2 of each color): desired length x 54″ (18″ x 54″ for souricette 1, 12″ x 54″ for souricette 2)
  • 1 piece of elastic long enough to go snugly around your child’s waist with a 1/2″ overlap

Step 2: Pin together two different coloured tulle pieces along one 54″ side and sew gathering stitches at 3/8″ and 1/4″.  Repeat with the two other pieces of tulle.

It's hard to see but there's one antique gold tulle over a grey tulle here.

It’s hard to see but there’s one antique gold tulle over a grey tulle here.

Step 3:

  • Finish short edges of the taffeta skirt pieces.
  • Gather and pin one of the tulle pairs to the wrong side of one 27″ long edge of a skirt piece, starting and ending 1/2″ in from edges.  Sew with 3/8″ seam allowance.
  • Repeat with other tulle pair and skirt piece.
Tulle gathered and pinned to taffeta

Tulle gathered and pinned to taffeta. See the 1/2″ at either end where there is no tulle?

Step 4: Pin two skirt pieces right sides together along a short edge.  Sew with 1/2″ seam allowance taking care not to sew the tulle. Press seam open.

Step 5: Fold the waistband in half lengthwise, wrong sides together. Press to mark fold. Open waistband.

Marked fold

Marked fold

Step 6:  Sew gathering stitches along the top of skirt at 3/8″ and 1/4″. I like to keep the tulle on top when sewing these gathering stitches.  The taffeta glides better on the bottom and when you can see the tulle, you can better control it.

Step 7: Gather and pin the skirt to the waistband, right sides together.  Sew with a 1/2″ allowance.  Press seam towards waistband.

Technically, this is for step 8 but you can still see the waistband attached to the skirt and the seam allowance pressed toward the waistband.

Technically, this is for step 8 but you can still see the waistband attached to the skirt and the seam allowance pressed toward the waistband.

Step 8: Pin and sew remaining side seam all the way up to the top of the waistband with a 1/2″ allowance, taking care not to sew the tulle. Press seam open.

Step 9: Press the remaining waistband edge 3/8″ towards the wrong side. Fold the waistband toward the inside of the skirt at the marked fold. The inside waistband should extend 1/8″ past the skirt/waistband seam.  Stitch in the ditch from the front to catch the inside waistband, leaving a 2″ opening.

Step 10: Insert elastic in waistband and sew it closed, taking care not to twist the elastic. Sew opening closed.

Step 11: Seam skirt with a 1/4″ double turned hem. The tulle will extend past hem. I used a 1/4″ hemming foot to get it all done in one go.

Step 12: Make thread chain belt loops at each side.  I had Mr Mouse take tons of pictures of this step and even had him take video.  In the end, I found the linked tutorial from Oliver + S.  It’s better than anything I could have done…  Thread ribbon through loops and tie in a bow in the back.

Step 13: Admire your work.


Creative mommy at home to two wonderful little girls, trying to juggle family, sewing, exercise, family, knitting, photography, and did I mention family?

Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,
Posted in Tutorials
One comment on “Taffeta Skirt Tutorial
  1. […] sweater does not an outfit make.  At first I thought I would make a taffeta skirt, just like in my tutorial.  I liked the contrast of shimmery taffeta and matte wool, princess-y style and unisex style. […]


I love reading your comments! I will try to respond to every single one.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

%d bloggers like this: