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Easy Elastic Waist Skirt

Updated: Aug 2, 2023

This skirt is our go-to beginner project for sewers of all ages. Using a wide elastic as the waistband saves time and brings a pop of color to the design of the skirt. She will feel instant gratification with this quick and easy project. Sew with your favorite woven (border prints too!) or knit fabrics.


  • 2” wide elastic – approximately 3/4 yard (you will need the same amount as the waist measurement)

  • Thread to match elastic

  • Wonder Tape (double sided wash-away adhesive tape)

  • Fabric (see charts below)

Cutting Instructions

Use chart below with the average measurements, but when possible, measure your child’s waist and length from her waist to just above the knee or desired finished length.

1. Cut the elastic to the same measurement as the waist.

2. Cut one panel (full width) of fabric by the finished length plus 1”. For 45” wide fabric sizes 8 and up (waist measurements greater than 24”), cut two panels of fabric by the finished length plus 1”. If you prefer to have less fullness with 60” fabric or two panels, you can adjust the width by trimming your panels.


1. For most sizes and fabric, you will have one panel of fabric with the seam in the center back without side seams. For skirts with two panels, your seams will be at each side, and the elastic will come together at one of the side seams. All seam allowances are 1/4” unless otherwise indicated.

2. If you have two panels, stitch one side seam with right sides together. Finish seam with a serger or a zig zag stitch. Press the seam allowance to one side. 3. Serge or zig zag (W 4mm x L 1mm) the top edge of the skirt fabric. 4. Sew two rows of lengthened (4-5mm) gathering stitches. The first row of stitches will be 1/8” from the top of the skirt. The second row will be 1/2” from the top.

5. Gather the skirt panels by pulling the bobbin threads as you push the fabric toward the seam. Gather the skirt so that it extends 1/2” beyond the elastic on each end.

6. Pin the elastic on the right side of the top of the skirt. Alternately, we prefer to use Wonder Tape (double sided adhesive tape) to attach the elastic to the skirt. The tape allows you to reposition the elastic if needed and keeps the elastic flatter as you sew it to the skirt. The elastic will overlap the skirt by 3/8”. 7. Topstitch across the lower edge of the elastic using zig zag (W 3mm x L 2mm). Remove gathering threads.

8. With the right sides of the skirt together, stitch the skirt together. Finish the seam with a serger or zig zag. Press the seam to one side. Turn right side out.

9. Butt the ends of the elastic together. Do not overlap the ends. Topstitch the elastic together using satin/zig zag (W 3mm x L 1mm), backstitching at each end.

10. Hem skirt by pressing the lower edge of the skirt up 1/4”. Then press up 1” and topstitch the hem.

Designed by Susan Whitman

Click the printer icon below for printable version.


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