From Beth: Lara’s made several fantastic Little Hip Skirts, and shares her expertise (and tips!) with us in this great pattern review. Check out Lara’s introduction and blog, thornberry, for more of Lara’s skill and sewing ingenuity. Lara lives in Melbourne, and there’s something wonderful about a mama in Australia reviewing a pattern from our shop in Oregon for you, wherever you are. Enjoy!
Little Hip Skirts, by Favorite Things (designed by Leslie Gladman)


Little Hip Pleated Skirt (version one) by Lara, thornberry
(in Pink Rose from the Princess Butterfly collection by Jason Yenter)

As per the pattern envelope: A simple, pull on skirt, with bias waistband that fits on the hips and has 3 different versions. Four panel, full circle skirt that is great for twirling, with option to make it double layered. “A line” button skirt and ten panel pleated skirt. All versions have the option of belt and belt loops. The waistband is wide enough to act as a yoke with an elasticized casing at the top.I made all three versions (circle, button and pleated) in size 5/6.


Circle Skirt (version two) with belt and belt loops, in mystery cotton from stash.


Button Skirt (version three), in mystery linen lookalike from stash.

Fabric Recommendations
The pattern envelope suggests cotton, wool, cotton voile for the double circle skirt, corduroy, linen, rayon and soft flowing fabrics. I used cotton or cotton/linen for the three that I made, since it is spring here and these skirts are to be worn through summer. The recommendations are appropriate for the design.
Circle skirt: 1 yard fabric (sizes 1-4) or 2 ¼ yards fabric (sizes 5/6 – 13/14), 1 yard 3/8” elastic, thread

Button skirt: 1 yard fabric (sizes 1-4) or 1 1/3 yards fabric (sizes 5/6 – 13/14), 1 yard 3/8” elastic, 5-7 ½” buttons, thread

Pleated skirt: 1 yard fabric (sizes 1-4) or 1 ½ yards fabric (sizes 5/6 – 13/14), ½ yard contrasting fabric (waistband), 1 yard 3/8” elastic, thread

Optional: ½ yard fabric for belt and belt loops, An additional ¾ yard fabric (sizes 1-4) or 2 ¼ yards fabric (sizes 5/6 – 13/14) for double circle skirt

Make sure that you measure your child to ensure that you make the correct size and buy the correct amount of fabric. My daughter is 4 ½ years old and on the short side, but her measurements directed me to make size 5/6 in this pattern – and I’m glad that I did. The skirts aren’t terribly long (they hit at around the knee for a child of average height), so you may need to check the finished length before cutting out too. All of this will affect how much fabric you need. I feel that the recommended amounts are generous.

Overall Design 5 stars
This is a great design. It sits on the hips, and because the waistband is cut on the bias it fits nicely and the skirt hangs well. The elasticised casing at the top of the waistband makes it easy to get on and off and comfortable to wear. The three versions offer great scope for variety, all looking quite different yet being equally simple to sew.


Written Instructions 4 stars
Like Katie in her review of the Little Jammies pattern, I found the lack of cutting layout disconcerting. If you were a complete beginner the lack of layout could easily lead to fabric wastage and add time to the project. The written instructions simply indicate how many of each pattern piece need to be cut. Grainlines are indicated on the pattern pieces, but are not mentioned in the instructions. This could also be a trap for those new to sewing. Otherwise, the written instructions are clear and straightforward. In some places some extra information might be helpful, such as in Step 2, where the waistband is constructed. Although the instructions say to topstich ½” from the foldline, it would be good to add that this creates the casing for the elastic.
Diagrams / Images 4 stars
The hand-drawn line diagrams were clear and helped to clarify the written instructions.

Pattern placement: pleated skirt. This version requires the skirt panels to be cut ten times, so I folded the fabric in half lengthwise, then in half lengthwise again, so that I could cut out four skirt panels at once. I repeated this for the second set of four, then folded the fabric in half again for the remaining two panels and to cut the waistband twice on the bias.


Pattern placement for the pleated skirt.

Pattern placement: button skirt. I found this to be the best pattern placement for the fabric I was using, which was approximately 150cm wide.


Pattern placement for the button skirt.

Pattern placement: circle skirt. I folded the fabric in half with selvedges together, then cut 2 skirt pieces, another 2 pieces, and the waistband on the bias.

Pattern Pieces 4 stars
The circle skirt uses two pattern pieces – the waistband (cut twice on the bias) and the skirt (cut 4). The pleated skirt uses two pattern pieces – the waistband (cut twice on the bias) and the skirt (cut 10). The button skirt uses three pattern pieces – the waistband (cut twice on the bias), the front (cut 2) and the back (cut 1 on the fold). The double circle skirt uses the same pattern pieces as the circle skirt, but directs you to cut the additional 4 pieces for the underskirt one inch longer than the upper skirt.All three designs use the same pattern pieces for the waistband and for the optional belt and belt loops (which could be used on any of the skirts).


Optional belt and belt loops.

The pattern pieces are printed on brown tissue in two multi-sized sets, one for sizes 1-4 and one for sizes 5/6 – 13/14. I should have traced the pattern but was lazy and wanted to get right into it, so cut the tissue. I have kept the pieces of tissue with the larger sizes to sticky-tape back onto the pattern pieces!

Overall Level of Difficulty Advanced Beginner
This is a straightforward pattern, probably aimed at the advanced beginner. A complete beginner may have trouble with laying out the pattern pieces in the best manner.
Modifications + Tips
I made the skirts pretty much as per the pattern instructions. I used the overlocker to join the skirt panels together, to join the waistband to the skirt, and to finish any other raw edges. I used my machine to topstitch the elastic casing and to sew the pleats in the pleated version.


Sewing the pleats.

Rather than doing a double turned hem on any of the skirts, which is what I would often do, I simply overlocked the edge then turned it once and used a decorative machine stitch to hem. I find that this works well on flared or circle skirts where the grain varies along the hemline, and it’s quick and looks neat.


Tip for tricky hems!

If I was going to spend a little more time making this skirt I would possibly stitch the hem by hand, and join the waistband to the skirt in a manner that would enclose the seam. Since the waistband is double once folded, it would be easy to attach only the outer piece to the skirt, with the edge of the inside piece turned under ½”, the seam pressed up towards the waist, and the inner edge then hand-stitched or top-stitched into place over the seam. There is plenty of scope for using more complex construction methods and for a variety of hem finishes. Different fabrics could be used for the waistband, skirt, belt carriers and/or belt, and I may experiment with alternating fabrics in the panels that make up the pleated skirt. I haven’t made the double circle skirt yet, and it also offers the opportunity to use contrasting or sheer fabrics. There is plenty more for me to do with this pattern!


Finished pleated skirt in Pink Rose
(from the Princess Butterfly collection by Jason Yenter)

I love this pattern, and so does my daughter. Since she always pulls skirts down to sit on her hips and under her belly, it’s the perfect pattern for her! I’ve already made three versions, and predict that there will be many more to come. The circle skirt has great “twirlability” and all three designs work well in winter or summer weight fabrics. The optional belt and belt loops make it a very versatile pattern and adjust the level of difficulty. Each skirt took about two hours (or less) from cutting out to completion. I definitely have to buy the adult version of the pattern for myself!


Circle skirt, all stitched up and ready to twirl.


Button skirt (don’t you love the rainbow buttons?!).

[tags]sewing pattern review, Little Hip Skirts pattern review, skirt pattern review, Favorite Things pattern, Favorite Things Little Hip Skirts pattern, Favorite Things skirts pattern review[/tags]