Easy Drawstring Skirt with a Ruffle at the Hem

Here is how to make an easy drawstring skirt with a ruffle at the hem.  You only need a pattern if you’re going to make several or put them into production.  But for yourself or a friend, you need a piece of fabric that is the length you want minus how long you want the ruffle to be plus a few inches for the drawstring casing at the top and the hem and a piece for the ruffle, width of finished ruffle plus its hems, length of 2 times the skirt hem.  The width should be the measurement of your hips at the fullest part plus 4″ for ease.  So if I want a 37″ skirt with a 7″ ruffle, that makes the skirt length 30″ plus the casing of 1.5″ and the hem of 1″.  You need a piece of fabric 32.5″ long.  And if your hips are 36″, add 4″ makes 40″ wide.  The ruffle should be a piece (or a few pieces joined together) of 80″ long by 8.5″ wide.  Your drawstring can be made from the same fabric, or you can use ribbon or cord.  Length should be your hips plus a bit extra to tie it.  You can adjust it later if you have too much.

Here is my skirt, duppioni silk, from the front.

Same skirt from the back.

My demonstration is with a silver duppioni silk skirt made for my friend K.

The pieces for the skirt, the ruffle, and the drawstring have been cut.

Sew the center back seam so that the skirt is a tube. Finish it how you like. Here it is sewn and pressed open and the casing has been pressed under.

The ruffle has been sewn into a tube, the seams pressed open, and the ruffle hems pressed.

The upper edge of the casing has been edgestitched at 1/8" from the edge and the ruffles have been hemmed.

Buttonholes have been put into the inside center front of the casing. The drawstring will come out of them so it can be tied.

The drawstring has been pulled a bit through the buttonholes and a bit into the casing.

The drawstring is being sewn into the casing. Be careful to sew along the very edge of the casing and don't catch the drawstring in the stitching.

The finished casing.

Get some string like crochet cotton and zigzag over it, along the whole length of one of the ruffle hems. This will be how you gather the ruffle up.

Put pins at the center front, center back, and sides of the skirt. Divide the ruffle into 4 and put pins in those spots. Then match the ruffle to the skirt at the ends of the string and the opposite point. Pull along to gather starting at the point opposite the ends of the string until you reach the side pins. Pin the ruffle to the skirt and continue to the string ends. Pin so that the edge to be gathered of the ruffle overlaps enough of the bottom of the skirt (here it wasn't hemmed because the selvage was used) that the ruffle actually gets sewn on evenly.

Here the ruffle has been gathered and pinned to the skirt.

Stitch close to the gathering string, but not through it, along the length of the ruffle. Then pull the string out.

The finished skirt.

This skirt can be used for a fancy event or a Steampunk event or something like that, if you make it out of fancier fabric.  You can make it any length you want.  If you use a cotton print or denim, it will be more casual.  Thicker fabric will not gather up as nicely.


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