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Make a Girl's Skirt with Pockets

07 January 2021 08:30


If  you follow Fabric Fun Craft Club on Instagram, you may remember that I made a little skirt for my granddaughter in the summer, using Marnie Makes' Rainbow design.  I wanted a skirt with an elasticated waist at the back, a waistband at the front and pockets - because we all like pockets in our skirts, don't we!  (Apparently, my GD proudly told anyone who would listen that she had pockets when she first started wearing her skirt!)

Unfortunately, I couldn't find instructions for such a skirt, so I made my own.  Here they are, this time making a skirt in Alison Uvner's Under the Sea design.  

To make the skirt you will need:

You can make this skirt in any size.  I'm making it to fit a 2 year old with a waist of 20" (51cms) and a length of 10" (26 cms).  These are the 2 measurements you need. I will use these measurements throughout, but you can adapt them to fit any size.

For the front of the skirt you need a piece of fabric the width of the waist and the length you want the skirt to be plus 4" (10  cms) - so mine is 20" x 14" (51cms x 35.5cms)

For the back you need fabric the width of the waist and the length plus 6" ( 15 cms) - so mine is 20" x 16" (51cms x 41cms)

For the waistband you need fabric ½ the waist plus 1" (2cms) - 11" x 3" (28cms x 8cms)

For the pockets you need 4 pieces of fabric, each one 7" x 4" (18cms x 10cms.)  If you're making a bigger skirt, you will probably want the pockets to be bigger, too!

Before you email me complaining that the cm measurements and the imperial measurements don't exactly correspond - I know!  You don't want to be working with too many fractions, so I rounded the cms accordingly.  Feel free to change them to suit the child you're making for.

You will also need a piece of ¼" elastic about the length of the waist.


Before you start to sew, trim the pockets and front of the skirt as follows:

Put the pockets together with right sides facing.  Round one bottom corner of each pair - the RH side of one pair, the LH side of the other pair.  If you're nervous about doing this freehand, you can draw round a saucer or pot of the right sort of size.

On the wrong side (WS) of one pocket piece, with the rounded corner at the bottom L, measure 2½" along the top edge from the R corner and 2" / 5cms up the straight edge from the bottom corner.  Join the 2 marks and cut along this line.

You can use the triangle you've cut from this pocket to cut a similar corner off the matching pocket piece from the other pair of pockets (so, with wrong side up, and the rounded corner bottom R, you will cut off the top L corner) and the corners at the top of the front of the skirt.

Now stitch these two pocket pieces to the front of the skirt, RS together, along the diagonal line.

Press seam towards pocket, then press the pocket to the back and understitch the pocket seam.

With RS together, stitch the pockets together along the rounded edge.  

Make 2 pleats in the centre by making a fold and bringing it to the centre front, one on each side.  Then make 2 more pleats on each side, folding the fabric towards the centre.  The size of the pleats will depend on the size of the skirt.  For a bigger skirt, you may need another pleat on each side.  


The width of the skirt front at this point should be the same as the waistband. (½ the waist plus 1" / 2cms).  Tack the pockets to the skirt along the top and sides.

Cut a piece of interfacing the same size as the waistband and press it onto the WS of the waistband.  With RS together and edges even, stitch the waistband to the skirt front.  Press the waistband up and the raw edge of the waistband under by ¼".  Fold the waitsband in half so that it just covers the stitch line.  Either sew this down by hand with a slip stitch, or machine stitch 'in the ditch' - sewing on the RS along the seam line.  Make sure, if you do this, that the stitches will catch the back of the waistband and hold it in place.

Fold the top of the skirt back under ¼" and press.  Fold it again approx. 1" / 2cms, to make casing for the elastic, so that the back and front are the same length.  Stitch along the bottom of the casing, along the top edge (not too close to the edge!) and half way between the two.  Check your measurements before you put the middle row of stitching in.  Each channel should be wide enough to take ¼" wide elastic.  If it isn't wide enough, omit the middle stitching and use one piece of slightly wider elastic - the widest that will fit in the casing.

Cut two lengths of elastic  ½ the width of the waist minus about ½" / 1cm. 

Thread these through the channels, holding the elastic at each end with safety pins, so it doesn't disappear!  Stitch them in place with several rows of machine stitching.

Pin the skirt front to the skirt back at the side seams, starting at the top of the skirt, so you get the edges of the waistband and casing level.  Stitch and press the seams.*

Neaten the seams and stitch the seam allowances onto the waistband.  They should then lay flat when the skirt is being worn.

Hem the bottom of the skirt.  I turned a fairly narrow hem and machine stitched it, then turned the hem to the required length and hand-stitched it, so that it can easily be let down if the child grows taller before she grows wider!

* If you want a slightly neater waistband, stitch the front and back together before making the casing - don't forget that you will need the casing to be higher than the front of the skirt!  Make the casing as described above.  The casing will then enclose the edges of the waistband, but it is more fiddly to make like this.  Young children grow fast, so it may not be worth it for them, but maybe it is for an older child or adult.