Sew grow clothes designed to grow with your children and last more than one season. Vêtements pour se transformer en. Ropa para crecer en. Oдежда для выращивания в. Kleidung hineinwachsen.

Maddy skirt -the all free Tutorial and pattern 8 months to 2 years

The Maddie Skirt is an easy sewing project. 

 But easy does not mean boring, mix it up with applique, laces, and colour. Make something that she can wear for a couple of seasons!!

Feel free to help yourself to the Pattern and the Tutorial and whip up a few skirts for you little one this weekend, from stuff you have just lying around.


Fabric & Materials

The Maddie skirt can be made from woven scraps or knit scraps, or recycled clothing fabric but the waist band must be made from a piece of either rib knit or a stretch knit.

 If you are stuck for waist band fabric, an old pair of leggings will have the stretch needed for the waist band. Even some tees may work, but they have to have a high lycra / nylon content.
You will also need scissors or a cutter, some pins, thread and a sewing machine and material to decorate or not. 

Tip try to get matching fabric weights and types e.g. all cottons all polyester, all interlock knit etc... this will mean you garment will sit/hang together better.

For me, the most difficult part of this process is the selection of fabric scraps to achieve a look that is pleasing to the eye and does not scream "you must be colour blind". I do tend to just put things together and hope for the best. Sometimes it turns out, other times not so good.



The fit

The skirt will fit a 8 month old to 2 years, depending on the length you prefer on your child. The waist band is what I term the "fabric store" which allows you to flex the length & gradually release stored lengthening fabric as your child continues to grow. After all this blog is about clothing that grows with your child.


The "How to make"

Print your skirt pattern piece from here  have you printer setting at 100%. Check the test square size, and cut pattern piece out. Additionally cut a waist band that is 8"/20cm wide and 16"/40.5cm long with the maximum stretch going lengthwise along the waist band. The pattern piece will look like the pic below.

On the pattern piece, you will notice that there is a short end and a long end. The short end is the top/waist (marked top on the pattern) and the long end is the bottom or hem (marked bottom on the pattern).

Cut either 8 or 10 pattern pieces (called gores) for you skirt. I would recommend 10 for a woven skirt as it just gives a little more wriggle room. Cut your pieces along the straight grain of the fabric.

I have cut 10 gores, as in this instance I am making the Maddie Skirt from woven fabric scraps.

Sew the pieces together, matching top end (short end) with a top end and bottom (Long end) with a bottom end. Do this for all your pieces.( I use a 1 cm seam allowance, so there will not be any need to trim seam allowances).

Sew the last gore to the fist gore to complete circle. Finish the seams with a zigzag or over lock / serger stitch. 

Use straight stitch to join pieces and finish with zigzag (as above or over lock/ serger stitch)
Sew all pieces together to form a circle.

Iron seams out so they are smooth and laying flat. 

Tip It is a nuisance setting up the iron for such a small project, but truly an iron over your work is always worth it. I can assure you it makes a difference. I'm lazy I would not do it otherwise.

Take your waist band which you have cut at 8"/20cm and 16"/40.5cm long and stitch up the short ends. 

Sew using over lock/ serger stitch or a wide zig zag. There is no need to finish the seam edges.

Lay the waist band down flat and with a pair of sissors nick a small notch at each end. Bring the short ends together (in other words fold over) and nick small notches in each end.  You should end up with 4 notches evenly spaced over your waist band. 

Do the same with the skirt top (waist). Find the middle front and back and nick a notch in each and find the 2 sides of the skirt, and nick small notches. This is best done by folding the skirt in half and nicking a notch in each top corner. You should end up with 4 notches on the top of your skirt.

Fold the waist band in half lengthwise (wrong sides together) and slip the skirt inside the waist band. Line up the skirt and waist band notches and pin. You should be sewing 3 layers of fabric together:
  • one layer of skirt
  • two layers of waist band, with the waist band seam inside

There will be excess skirt fabric between the notches, you will need to stretch out the waist band fabric a little as you sew. Sew together using zigzag or over lock / serger) stitch. Tidy seam allowance up a little and neaten up with a zig zag stitch.

waist band inserted, view from the inside

Right side out, waist band folded over to shorten
That is the basic skirt finished. 



Finishing Touches



You can hem the bottom by turning it up or add trim, or bias binding. My preference for this skirt was to add a little lace as follows:

Pin the lace to the hem edge of the skirt all the way around. Zig Zag the lace in place and trim off any fabric strands.

Here I have over locked / serged the hem and added the lace trim above it

Add pockets and other trims to make you skirt unique. I have added pockets (for decoration more than anything), but at random spots so that no matter which way the skirt is being worn it looks right.  I have also added felt applique flowers (cut from a piece of felt) and a few crocheted flowers that where left over from a previous project.

On a 8 month old you may fold the band down twice on a 2 year old it will be fully extended. 

The blue skirt is made from knits with 8 gores, the black skirt is made from wovens and is 10 gore, you can see that they end up being the same width due to the stretch in the knit

Happy sewing to you all, send me your pics of your skirts, I'd love to see them.

Cheers Liz