MAKE it :: Elastic Waistband Skirt


MAKE it :: Elastic Waistband Skirt | The little Red Heart

For the first time ever I got out my sewing machine and actually used it. Seriously, I have had my machine for 3 1/2 years and have never finished a project because I never knew how to use my machine! Growing up my mom made all of my figure skating costumes, basically made my wedding dress, and usually anything else I could rope her into doing, so I never needed to learn.

This time I live 16ish hours away from her and needed it within a week. There was no way I could rope her into this one.

The idea:

I recently joined the Luscious Lunch Ladies, a roller derby home team with the Forest City Derby Girls, in London, Ontario. Unfortunately, the colors are bright lemon yellow and a light  aquamarine blue. I do not own a single piece of clothing in either of those colors.

I went out shopping to find a skirt of some fashion to wear for the team photo and was having no luck, until it dawned on me…

I have a Alice in Wonderland costume dress that has a tulle skirt in {almost} the exact Lushies blue I need. In my mind, all I would have to do was take the bodice off the skirt and sew on an elastic waistband. Sounded super easy and I don’t even have a clue how to sew.

{Insert laughter here}

After being advised by my mother as to what I should do and quadruple checking tutorials I found, I got to work. This tutorial, How to make a tulle skirt, is the closet in steps to my process below.


Dress to Refashion

{Note} If you need to make the layers follow Everyday Reading Tutorial, link #2.

Sewing Machine

3″ Elastic — I bought 1 Meter

Seam Ripper



And possibly one of these resources that I found around the blog-o-sphere:

{1}  Dana Made It : The Circle Skirt

Where does that 3″ Yellow elastic come from? She has a link to the tutorial in her Circle Skirt Blog!

Dana Made It :: Circle Skirt DIY

{2} Everyday Reading : A Easy Tulle Skirt Tutorial

Who doesn’t love this gorgeous emerald green tulle and leopard belt?

Everyday Reading :: Tulle Skirt DIY

{3} Crafty Amy : DIY Skirt with Elastic Tutorial

Her video shows the basic steps to making a skirt with an elastic waistband.

Here are the steps I took, starting with a dress.

Step 1: Remove the zipper and save it! Waste Not!

Step 2: I deconstructed my Alice dress with a handy seam ripper, if you don’t have one of those I have seen that an X-Acto knife works quite well. The skirt had a lining and two layers of stiff tulle and I did not want to have to put those layers back together so I ripped some of the bodice seams and then straight stitched where the previous basting stitch was.

Note: A slightly long and tedious way to do things but was easiest for me.

Step 3: I stitched up the edges where the zipper was previously, leaving me with a circle of fabric.

Step 4: Using the 3″ black elastic I measured around myself, fitting it to my personal comfort level and then adding one inch.

Note: My waistbands need to be tight because my body does not afford me the room to wear a loose waistband without it riding up to under my breasts.

Step 5: Finish the edges of the elastic with a tight zig-zag stitch.

Step 6: Fold the elastic, right sides together, and zig-zag stitch one inch from edge.

Step 7: Fold the two flaps down and stitch flat. I used the same zig-zag stitch because my machine was already set and it looked rather polished that way.

Note: When looking down at the elastic edges you just stitched together the “closure” will look like an 8.

Step 8: Quarter the elastic and chalk or pin to mark.

Note: The elastic is a clock and you want to pin at 12 & 6 and 3 & 9, evenly. Then I quartered again using the already marked parts as my starting points, so 1:30, 4:30, etc.

Step 9: Repeat Step 8 to the skirt.

Step 10: Attach right side of elastic and skirt together, starting at the back seams of both elastic and skirt.

Note: Think of this like wearing a belt with a skirt, if you were to flip the belt down onto the skirt you would pin and seam it in that position. The outside of the belt would be face down on the outside of the skirt.

{Optional} If this skirt is going to be a clothing piece, not a costume piece, you may want to attach the layers to the inside of the elastic, done by all three tutorials above. This way the layers will lay flatter and have less pouf then my skirt.

Step 11: Using a looser zig-zag stitch then previous steps, pull the elastic taught and stitch. The elastic should be pulled so the skirt fabric is taut. Continue this process all the way around the skirt and be sure to take your time.

Step 12: Stitch in the Ditch! This means you want to stitch over top of your existing stitch, in the same manner as Step 11.

Note: This helps the skirts durability. This is a tip I got from my sew-tastic mom and was not in any of the 10 tutorials I looked at, but she knows her stuff and I saw a marked difference once I added another stitch.

Step 13: Flip the skirt inside out and press the seam.

Step 14: Try on skirt and dance to Everything is Awesome!

I also made a tiny yellow apron, with no pattern and even less of a clue, it turned out alright, but I am in no way going to put you through the agony of reading that tutorial.

I wore my blue tulle skirt and yellow apron and felt like a total dorky cupcake when people told me my tutu was cute, seriously, it is not a tutu. Oh, by far my favorite compliment was, “I like how you have been a Lunchie for like 20 minutes and you already have this whole outfit.” That’s right people, big hair, usually a too big smile, and my outfit is teetering on the edge of being too much, that about sums me up.

Love. Marisa

P.S.This is an awful picture of me, but I shall throw caution to the wind and share it with you!

Luscious Lunch Ladies | Tulle Skirt DIY | The little Red Heart



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