How to make a pettiskirt for women

Written by nicolle gunay
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How to make a pettiskirt for women
Make an adult-size pettiskirt for women. (Ian Gavan/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images)

A pettiskirt is a full fluffy skirt that is different from a petticoat. A petticoat is worn under a dress or skirt to make it fuller and a pettiskirt is meant to be worn alone as a skirt with a decorative waistband. A pettiskirt is not very difficult to create, but it can be rather time consuming. Purchasing a gathering foot or a ruffler foot can save you a great deal of time. To make a fluffy skirt, a gathering foot gathers the fabric as you sew; a ruffler foot can gather or pleat fabric as you sew.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Measuring tape
  • Satin fabric
  • 7-inch wide roll nylon chiffon
  • 2-inch wide roll nylon chiffon
  • Scissors
  • Sewing machine
  • Thread
  • Gathering foot or ruffler foot
  • 7/8-inch wide elastic
  • Safety pin
  • Needle

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  1. 1

    Measure yourself around the waist. Cut the satin fabric with the scissors twice your waist measurement long by 14-inches high, for the waistband.

  2. 2

    Cut 2 pieces of the 7-inch wide nylon chiffon, both three times the length of your waist measurement, for the first tier. Cut 2 pieces, both six times your waist measurement, for the second tier. Cut 2 pieces of the 2-inch wide nylon chiffon, both twelve times your waist measurement, for the fluff.

  3. 3

    Place the centre of one of the strips of fluff 1/4 inch from the edge of one of the second tier strips. Sew down the centre of the fluff with the gathering or ruffler foot on the sewing machine, ruffling the fluff as you go. Repeat with the other fluff and the other second-tier strip.

  4. 4

    Place one of the second tier strips on top of one of the first tier strips, with right sides together, lining up the non-ruffled edges. Sew the tiers together 1/4 inch from the edge, ruffling the second tier as you go. Repeat with the other first and second tier strips.

  5. 5

    Place one of the first tier strips on the one of the edges of the satin waistband, with right sides together. Sew the tier to the waistband 1/4 inch form the edge, ruffling the first tier as you go. Repeat with the other first tier and the other side of the waistband.

  6. 6

    Fold the skirt in half widthways with right sides together. Sew the skirt together along the length starting at the fluff, up the two tiers to the waistband. Sew across the waistband for 7 inches. Skip an inch, leaving it open, and sew the other 6 inches. Sew down the other 2 tiers and end at the fluff.

  7. 7

    Tuck one layer of ruffles behind the other folding the waistband in half, with the wrong sides together. Sew around the top of the waistband 1 inch from the folded edge, starting at the opening you left in the seam.

  8. 8

    Cut a piece of the elastic 1-inch longer than your waist measurement and attach a safety pin to the end. Insert the safety pin into the opening in the waistband and guide the elastic around the top of the skirt. Remove the safety pin and overlap the elastic 1/2 inch. Sew the ends of the elastic together and sew the opening closed with the needle and thread.

Tips and warnings

  • The finished length of the skirt is about 19 inches. If you would prefer a longer or shorter skirt, purchase a wider or narrower roll of chiffon.
  • Make sure you use nylon chiffon not tulle or polyester chiffon. Tulle is netting and will be much harder to ruffle. Polyester frays and will need to be finished.
  • If you can't find or don't want to buy the rolls of nylon chiffon, you can buy the chiffon by the yard and cut it into strips. Be sure to use a rotary cutter and a ruler to cut the strips.
  • If you don't want to buy a gathering or ruffling foot, cut the long strips into 18 waist length strips to make gathering by hand much easier. You don't need to seam the smaller strips together, just overlap them a little when you attach them to the other layers.

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