The Harmony Drawstring Skirt Tutorial

on March 7 | in Sewing Tutorials + Patterns | by | with 8 Comments

I’m not sure many people intend to have their kids six years apart. It just happens because of unexpected life or body hiccups, but when the second one comes along you’re so grateful she’s finally here, you don’t really worry about the age difference.

Harmony Skirt

People comment about the spread more than you might think. They’re curious, and so you come up with pat responses like, “there are definitely advantages and disadvantages!” and “I’m sure it won’t matter a bit when they’re in their 30’s. Ha ha ha!”

Harmony Skirt

The truth is, raising kids six years apart does have its advantages, like the fact that you get to experience being a mother to a young child for longer. And the older one can express compassion and empathy by the time the younger one comes along.  And the younger one keeps the older one from growing up too fast by engaging her in play. And the older one is a more interesting role model than you’ll ever be.

Harmony Skirt

Like all families, you just love each other, try to make the most of every day, and hope you can do it in harmony. Some days are better than others.

Harmony Skirt

I don’t sew “matchy matchy” things for my girls very often. The young one would LOVE it, but the older one balks. They both loved the Echino prints we had in the shop, however, so I took a chance and made them similar skirts for Valentine’s Day. In honor of the two thumbs up from both girls and the happy photo shoot, I’m naming it the Harmony Skirt. It is quick and easy and should fit girls or women (or hey, boys and men for that matter) of nearly any size. It has a drawstring waist (with elastic) and side patch pockets.

Harmony Skirt

Supplies

  • 1/2 to 1 yard fabric for skirt body (depending on size of skirt)
  • 1/3 to 1/2 yard fabric for pockets and drawstring
  • 2/3  yard or more of 3/4″ elastic
  • scrap of fusible interfacing

Measure and Cut

  1. Measure around the waist or hips, whichever is larger.
  2. Multiply #1 by 1.25 (ease), divide by 2 (front and back), add 1 (seam allowance). This is the width of the body pieces. For example, my 4 yo’s waist is 23″.
    23 x 1.25 = 28.75
    28.75/2= 14.375
    14.375+1=15.375 (round up to 15.5″)
    **If you would like a fuller skirt, you can multiply by 1.4 or 1.5.
  3. Measure from the waist (wherever you like the waistband to sit) down to where you want the skirt to end.
  4. Add 2.5″ (total) for the hem and waistband. This is the height of the body pieces.
  5. Cut 2 body pieces using your width (from #2) and height (from #4) .
  6. Multiply #3 (the height of the body piece before hem and waistband) by .45 and add .5″ (seam allowance). This is the width and height of the square pocket pieces.
  7. Cut 4 pocket pieces using the width and height from #6.
  8. Cut 1 drawstring. For the little skirt I didn’t want a long drawstring but for the big one I did. The length of short one is the width of the skirt body piece (#2) x 2.5. For the long one I multiplied #2 by 3, so you could do anything in between. Both are 3″ wide. You will probably have to piece two lengths together in order to make one long drawstring.

Make Holes for Drawstring

  1. Turn top raw edge of front body piece down .25″ and press.
  2. Turn folded edge down 1.25″ and press.
  3. Repeat with back body piece.
  4. Fold front body piece in half width-wise and crease to mark the center.
  5. Iron a small piece  (approx 3″ x 1.25″) of fusible interfacing across the crease, below both folds on the wrong side of the front body piece. The button holes (drawstring holes) are going to go through this area, so the interfacing reinforces it.
    Harmony Skirt
  6. Turn the front body piece over to the right side. Mark the bottom edge of the buttonhole placement by measuring 3/8″ to both the left and right of the center crease and 1″ down from the fold.
    Harmony Skirt
  7. Put a smallish button in your buttonhole attachment. You want the finished size of the buttonhole to be approximately 5/8″.
    Harmony Skirt
  8. Sew your buttonholes according to the procedures for your machine. My buttonhole stitch starts at the bottom and works its way up. (Always do a trial run on a scrap of fabric to make sure you know which way your stitches are going to go.)
    Harmony Skirt
  9. Open your buttonholes with a seam ripper. (You can put a pin at the top so you don’t accidentally rip through the top stitches.)
    Harmony Skirt

Sew The Skirt

  1. Pin the front body piece to the back body piece at the sides with right sides together, making sure the folds for the waistband are open and aligned.
    Harmony Skirt
  2. Sew the side seams using a 1/2″ seam allowance. You can serge the seams or sew and finish them.
    Harmony Skirt
  3. Fold down the upper edge (already pressed) to form a waistband. Sew the bottom edge, leaving a gap of approximately 2″ for inserting the elastic.

    Harmony Skirt
  4. Edgestitch around the top to finish the waistband. (This is optional, but I think it looks cleaner and helps prevent the elastic from rolling.)
    Harmony Skirt
  5. Fold the bottom edge up .25″ and press. Fold up .75″ and press and pin. Sew to finish the hem.
    Harmony Skirt

Construct and Attach The Pockets

  1. To sew the pockets, place two pocket pieces right sides together. Sew all sides using a 1/4″ seam allowance, leaving a 3″ gap on the bottom edge to turn the pocket right-side out. Turn the pockets out and press, making sure the unsewn gap is tucked in. (If you’d like to see a demo of how I make nearly-perfect-corner pockets, sign up for my free Craftsy class, Bag Making Basics: Reversible Tote and Zipper Pouch and skip right to Lesson 4. Trust me, it’s magical!)
    Harmony Skirt
  2. Fold the pocket in half width-wise and finger press to form a crease all the way from top to bottom.
    Harmony Skirt
  3. The placement of your pocket somewhat depends on the size of your skirt and your personal preference. I think a good rule of thumb is to place the top edge of the pocket about 1/3rd of the way down the skirt. (e.g. if the finished length of the skirt is 15″, the top edge of the pocket is at the 5″ mark.) Line up the center crease on the pocket with the side seams on the skirt and pin in place. Sew around the two sides and the bottom.Harmony Skirt

Sew the Drawstring and Finish the  Waist

  1. To prepare the drawstring, fold each end in 1/2″ and press. Fold in half length-wise and press to crease. Fold both sides in toward the center and press. Fold in half again so raw edges are concealed.
    Harmony Skirt
  2. Sew along the outer edge of the drawstring.
    Harmony Skirt
  3. To measure your elastic, multiply the waist circumference by approximately .75. You  can make it a little longer or shorter, depending on how tight you like it.
  4. Thread the elastic through the waistband by attaching a safety pin to one end and pushing it through. Sew the ends of the elastic together, then close the gap in the waistband.
    Harmony Skirt
  5. Attach a safety pin to one end of the drawstring, insert it through one of the buttonholes then push it all the way around to come out the other buttonhole. Tie the ends in a bow. Finis!

 

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8 Responses to The Harmony Drawstring Skirt Tutorial

  1. Catherine says:

    Adorable skirt. I will make one for my niece! My sister and I have a 7 year age gap, similar to your girls. We hardly ever fought as kids and she was (still is!) a huge role model for me. Neither we nor our parents would’ve had it any other way!

    Good luck to you!

  2. Robin says:

    Love the skirt and so will my 11 yr old! My 16 year old, not so much. They are 5.5 yrs apart, share a room and get along probably better than if they were closer in age.

  3. Julie R says:

    My sister and I are 10 years younger than each of our two older sisters. My mom has always said it was planned like that and having the generation gap kept her and my dad “young”.

    By the way, the skirt pattern is great. Thank you for the “tute”.

  4. NiCaam says:

    Six years is nothing. I know of moms who “hiccupped” 12 yrs later, and my own sister in law 16 yrs later. They look thick as thieves already.

  5. Jane S. says:

    I am six years older than my only sibling (a sister), and I think it worked out fine for my folks. By the time she was born I was in school all day so Mom had plenty of time to devote to the new baby. We never had squabbles about liking the same boys, or who got to use the car. She did used to get into my stuff, but now she’s my best friend. :)

  6. Angela says:

    I love what you shared about your age spread with your daughters. If we ever have another one, the age spread will be very similar. So it’s great to hear someone talk about the joys of that. Thank you!

  7. Southern Gal says:

    Cute!

  8. Sarah says:

    Oh I LOVE this skirt!
    It sounds like your two girls have a lovely relationship.
    People comment about all sorts of choices relating to having children, I let the comments pass over my head and just get on with my life the way I see best :)

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