Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Tea for 2: Tea Party Skirt Tutorial

I haven't taken a sewing class since I was in th 7th grade...about...gulp...12 years ago!
And that class was only a few weeks.
So I am by no means a highly skilled seamstress.
But, with some tips from all you amazing bloggers out there who are wonder workers on the machine, and the few things my aging brain has retained from that short class, I set out to create a one of a kind outfit for my little munchkin's birthday.

It turned out even better than I imagined, and a few of you have asked for a tutorial, so here it is!

 For the skirt, I started with:

  • 1 child shirt (large)
  • 2 yds. coordinating fabric (I'm not sure what this fabric is called.)
  •  Matching thread
  • 1 inch elastic (not pictured)
  • There is matching elastic ribbon in the picture.  I used this for the headband, not the skirt.

Cut Shirt to fit skirt length of child.  I did mine 12" for a size 2T.

Cut one side of shirt off, leaving you with the width of your child + 10" for gathering and .5" for seam.
So mine was 20"+10"+.5"= 30.5"
Cut 3 - 16"x43" strips of fabric.

Fold Each strip in half lengthwise and pin raw edges together, but don't iron the fold!

Measure every 7" at 2" from the raw edge on the first strip.
Create a cross with two pins at each spot to show where to begin sewing your cinches.

Sew from cross pins to the end (folded side) with your stitch length long and your tension tight.
For my machine, I set the length to 4 and the tension to 9.

For the next strip, I measured in 3", did my first cross pin, then measured every 7" for the rest.  I wanted the cinches to be offset.

For the last strip, I measured in 2", then measured every 7" for the rest.
As you finish each strip, be sure to tie off all the ends.

When you have sewn the scallops into each strip, it's time to cinch in the top.

Fold your top raw edges in 1/2" and iron.  Sew a running stitch with the same settings on your machine close to the edge of your ironed seems.  This will cinch in the length of your strip to about the length of your lining piece.  Be sure to leave a long length of thread on the ends so you can adjust the length of your strip if you need to.  Tie your ends off with a double or triple knot and cut off excess thread.  Repeat all three strips.
Sew bottom strip 5" from the bottom of skirt lining.  Be sure to sew just below your cinching line.
(Make sure you change your stitch length back to your normal settings)
Sew the second strip 2 1/2 inches from the lowest strip.
And the last strip 2 1/2 inches from the middle strip.

Now to turn the pretty strip of frill into a skirt!

Fold the top edge forward (toward strips) 1/2 inch.  Iron fold.
Now fold the skirt in half widthwise,with the skirt lining on the outside (right sides together.)  Pin.
Change your machine to a zigzag stitch. I chose M on my machine.
Stitch the edges together, making sure to backstitch at the beginning and end.

Turn right side out.  Fold the waistline down, until it just covers the stitching of the top strip.
(sorry for the lack of pictures for a little bit here.  I was distracted with a little one :) )
Pin down, then iron your new fold.
Change your stitch setting back to the straight stitch.
Begin sewing at the bottom fold about 1 inch from the skirts back seem.
Stop sewing one inch from the other side of the back seem.
Cut elastic 2 inches shorter than child's waist measurement.
Lace through waist band with a large safety pin attached to the end.
Overlap your elastic about an inch and sew together.
Sew the opening closed, then adjust the fabric evenly around the elastic.
Step back and admire your work.
If this tutorial made any sense, you have a sweet skirt that is perfect for Tea!
***Please let me know if you run into a problem with this tutorial.  I've gone through it a few times, but I have this fear I missed something.  I will fix anything that is pointed out.***

For a great tutorial to make the shirt go to My Own Road.

For the flower, I cut several circles in graduating sizes, and pinched them while I hand sewed them together to ruffle it a little bit.  Then I sewed some silver beads in the center and sewed it to the shirt.

I used the same technique for the headband flower, then took apart a silk flower to make the pink flower stand out more.  I decided the white needed a little something, so I lightly rubbed the edges of the back flower with some hot pink ink.  Then I just sewed it to the elastic ribbon.
I bought these hats at the dollar spot at Target.
Knowing she wouldn't wear the hat long, I made the headband so that she could wear it on the hat, or just as the headband.

Whew!  This is a long one!  Even for me!
Hope those of you that lasted to the end enjoy all the pink frilly-ness!
More to come this week on party prep!

*To see more of the cutie in her dress, go here.

Cherished Treasures”=


  1. I booked marked this. It is really great. I am going to have to make it for my daughter.

  2. LOVE the skirt, and your daughter is so adorable! Happy birthday to her!

  3. That is so cute! I have a little princess that would love something like this.

    I'd love to have you share this at my For the Kids Friday Link Party, going on now at SunScholars. Come join in on the fun!

  4. adorable! Love this one too! Thanks for linking up!

  5. Love your blog! Following you from blog hop.. I'm Opal from, hope you can check it out sometime.. :D

  6. I just love this! My daughter is about this age and would love to be a princess in something like this! I'm a freelance clothing designer and love seeing other women work their magic! =)

    Kristina J.

  7. Thanks for sharing this post at For the Kids Friday at Sun Scholars. This week's party is now posted. I'd love to have you share with us again this week!

  8. I love seeing little girls wearing the frilly, ruffling skirts...thanks for linking to my party and I hope you'll come back - I'll be featuring your super cute post!

  9. Precious outfit and ruffle skirt!! You threw a party after my own heart!