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10-minute skirt

Emma models her new skirt

Sewing doesn’t have to take a lot of time. I made this skirt yesterday morning in under ten minutes – with all three children awake.


  • fleece
  • elastic (for waist band) – we used 1/2”. Run it around your child’s waist to measure the length.
  • sewing machine
  • scissors
  • thread


simple skirt

The steps are very simple:

  1. Cut out a trapezoid shape (make sure the top of the trapezoid fits over the widest part of your toddler’s hips). The height of the trapezoid should equal the length you want the finished skirt to be plus 1.5 inches to encase the elastic. You can cut the bottom wavily if you want it to look like the above picture. The remnant we used for this skirt came that way for some reason. Emma liked the waviness, so we kept it.
  2. Put the right sides of the fabric together and sew down the two sides, using your machine’s zigzag stitch.
  3. Add the waist elastic:
    • The conventional way, by:
      1. Folding down the top 1.5 inches.
      2. Stitching the edge of your folded-down top (use a zigzag stitch), leaving a gap for the elastic to fit in.
      3. Threading the elastic through, either with an elastic threader or a safety pin
      4. Stitching the elastic together at the edges
      5. Sewing the gap in the edge from Step 1.
    • Or my way (I have never seen this method recommended anywhere, but it works well for me on anything where the elastic isn’t going to really bunch up the fabric and it’s a little quicker than the conventional method):
      1. Sew the edges of the elastic together to form a loop. I overlap them to connect them so that the elastic lays as flat as possible.
      2. Put elastic over wrong side of skirt roughly where you want the waist to be. Fold over the extra 1.5 inches (like step 1 of the other method).
      3. Zigzag down the edge of the folded down top (like step 2 of the other method, except you don’t leave the gap).
  4. Turn the skirt right side out.
  5. Give to your child to wear.

Fleece doesn’t fray, so you don’t have to hem the lower edge. Not a fancy skirt, but it made Emma happy on a Monday morning and a great technique for costume/dress-up sewing. I’d like to believe that it will keep her from wailing “but I don’t have a blue princess dress” every time we pass the toy aisle in Target, but I doubt I’ll get that lucky.

Let me know if my directions are confusing. I didn’t take many pictures, because I only had ten minutes to make the skirt. And three children “helping”.

MaryAnne is a craft loving educator, musician, photographer, and writer who lives in Silicon Valley with her husband Mike and their four children.

6 thoughts on “10-minute skirt”

  1. Valerie @ Frugal Family Fun Blog

    Lovely!! I’m planning to work with some fleece later tonight, and I’d love to whip up one of these cute skirts in 10 minutes… wow!

  2. That’s a great skirt. Good idea too. I love the way fleece doesn’t fray. We call it Polar Fleece for some reason here in NZ. I don’t know why!

  3. If you want to indulge her “need” for a blue princess dress maybe you could just make a longer one and she could pull it up to her chest. I know my kids put the dressup clothes on over there other clothes so the strapless nature of it wouldn’t matter :)

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