Tutorial: Pin-tucked Toddler Skirt & Music Class Blouse

10:36 AM

If school hasn’t already started, it’s probably around the corner.
Here’s a preppy little school-uniform-inspired outfit for my daughter that I made using a purchased pattern and I’ve made a little tutorial for the skirt.
Wow-- I am actually posting a tutorial…it’s been months!
The top is another Music Class Blouse from oliver + s.
I actually made three at the same time.
Purple plaid, white from a sheet, and now this orange print.
This orange one has been in her closet for the summer but I forgot I'd made it until recently when I was clearing out the clothes that are too small and found it again.
The skirt was made with a gray summer suiting fabric.
Leftovers from the gray secretary skirt that also featured pintucks.

This little skirt is pretty simple, a flat front with elastic in the back and three off centered pintucks.
The flat front makes it look a little nicer if the top is tucked in, and the back has the elastic for a comfy fit.
Kind of like a mullet: business in front party in back.
orange7If I’d been thinking, I’d have added some panties to the skirt like a skort so she doesn’t need a separate diaper cover.
I also made a quick little gray bow clip to match…still deciding if I like it.
The button seems too big in the center.
So on to the tutorial:
Pin-tucked Toddler Skirt
sizing is for 18 months

Skirt Front: 8” x 19.5”
Skirt Back: 8” x 18”
Waistband Front: 3.25” x 9”
Waistband Back: 3.25” x 12”
Elastic 3/4” wide: 8”
Interfacing Strip: 1” x 8”


1. Sew Pintucks on Skirt Front
Begin by drawing the lines of the tucks. 
I chose to place mine off center, and from one side drew the first line at 11” and then 1.25” apart, making the lines at 12.25” and 13.5” from the one edge.
The pintucks will be 1/4” high off the skirt and 3/4” apart.
To sew the pintuck, you fold the fabric along your chalk line wrong sides together. 
Sewing on the right or outside of the skirt, sew 1/4” from the fold.
Repeat on two other chalk lines and press tucks to skirt center.

2. Side Seams
With right sides together, sew the side seams of the skirt front and back.
Repeat with the side seams of the waistband front and back.
Serge or zig-zag finish seams.

3.  Gather Skirt Top
The skirt is larger than the waistband, so you’ll need to gather the top to fit it to the waistband.
I sew along the top raw edge with 1/4” seam allowance with my tension at 10 and my stitch length at 5.0, basically the tightest tension and the longest stitch length.
This will gather the fabric.
pleat4*If you’re using thicker fabric you can also hold on the spool of thread where it enters the machine to further increase the tension and help the stitching gather.

4. Attach Skirt to Waistband
Pin the gathered skirt to the waistband.
To do this, first start by pinning the side seams together, right side of skirt to right side of waistband.
Make sure the short side of the waistband is being pinned to the front pintucked half of skirt.
You’ll need to adjust the gathers on the skirt to fit nicely on the flat waistband.
Try to spread the gathering evenly across, avoiding any big tucks that will end up looking like a pleat.
**The front will be gathered more closely due to the smaller waistband.
Sew the waistband to skirt, making sure you sew below your gathering baste stitching.
Serge, trim and zig-zag, or pink this seam to reduce bulk within the waistband.

5. Press Waistband
To make a nice finish, press the waistband in half, 1” from the skirt seam. 
Also finish the top edge around waistband at this point.  I chose to serge.

6. Insert Elastic and Interfacing
Place the elastic along the back waistband and sew the ends along the side seams.
This makes the stitching un noticed from the outside, but only gathers the waistband for the back half, leaving the front flat and smooth.
Also, if you’re using a lighter weight fabric, you can add the optional interfacing to the front waistband to help it keep a flat, smooth appearance.
I use fusible interfacing and ironed the strip to the front waistband, only on the front or lower half.

7. Sew waistband and Hem
The casing is created by folding the waistband around the elastic.  
On the right side of the skirt, you’ll top-stitch the casing closed stitching in the ditch of your skirt/ waistband seam.
Make sure to feel underneath the seam as you go to make sure you’re catching the back of the casing in the seam. 
I used a smaller 1/4” double fold hem,so total 1/2”.
If you prefer a thicker hem, remember to add length to the rectangle when you cut it out.
You can obviously skip the pintucks and whip out bunch of simple mullet flat front toddler skirts!
This little girl is growing up so fast.  Just comparing the photos of the other blouses earlier this spring to now she looks a lot older to me!

RJ also wanted in on the photoshoot…Ellie was bugged.

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  1. This is darling! If I had a girl, I'd definitely make this. I love how the skirt only needs to be a few inches long to cover waist-to-knee. :)

  2. So cute!!!

    Hugs from Portugal

    Ana Love Craft

  3. you are doing so terrific and i bet your mother is so proud of your rapid growth as an accomplished seamstress and designer. kids are awfully cute too. i hope to see a tute on a skort. i need info on eliminating so much bulk without creating a wearable melvin.

  4. Love this!!! I think it may take me more than one try. My daughter is 19 mo but wearing a size 3T. She is very tall... How should I size compared to your little girl?


  5. Kari:
    This 18 month tutorial is for an child waist of 18-19".
    I'd measure your daughter's waist and use that as a guide as to how much wider you'll need to cut the rectangles and waistband.
    The biggest change will be the length. You could measure the length of a skirt she already has to know how much to increase, or measure her legs for where you want to hit and add 1.5" for hem and waistband seam.

    Lots of times you'll notice in kids clothes especially in the toddler range the waists really don't get that much bigger each size up, more in length.
    Good luck!

  6. You have made another beautiful outfit! So chic.

  7. Thank you so much for this post. I want to let you know that I posted a link to your blog in Creative Busy Bee Craft Inspirations, under the Page 4 post on Aug. 25, 2012. Thanks again.

  8. The skirt is so cute. I have My Little Skirt of my childhood which is somewhat similar to this skirt. memories rewinded. Thanks for sharing. You baby is so cute. Keep exploring.


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