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How to make a Ra-Ra skirt

Updated April 17, 2017

A Ra-Ra skirt is a term loosely used to define a skirt that has layers, or tiers, of fabric to it. It is typically knee length or shorter and is easy to slip on and off with the advantage of an elastic waistband. Ra-Ra skirts can be made of different fabrics, but cottons and cotton blends tend to work the best. Wearing a Ra-Ra skirt is fun, it is feminine and it will catch people's eye.

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  1. Measure the desired finished length of the skirt. Add onto that 30 cm (12 inches) to allow for the waistband and hem. Cut enough fabric at that length to wrap around the body loosely. Allow for approximately double the distance around the body in fabric. For example, if your hips measure 1 m (40 inches), you will want a 2 m (80 inch) strip of fabric that is the desired length. Seam together two pieces side to side, if needed. Sew the ends together to form a ring of fabric, pinning the seam before sewing on the sewing machine.

  2. Iron in a doubled 7.5 cm (3 inch) hem, and sew with sewing machine. Fold down a 7.5 cm (3 inch) doubled waistband and sew it closed, leaving about 5 cm (2 inches) open. Measure the waist and cut a piece of elastic so that it will loosely fit around the waist comfortably. Thread the elastic through the waistband opening, using a safety pin through one end to feed it through. When the elastic comes out the other end, machine sew the two ends of elastic together, overlapping about 2.5 cm (1 inch). Fit the elastic into the waistband and sew the remaining 5 cm (2 inches) closed with the machine.

  3. Cut strips of fabric for the tiers to the desired length. The tiers can be as short as 7.5 cm (3 inch) or as long as 12.5 cm (5 inches). The length of the tiers and the spacing will determine the exact amount of fabric you will need. The shorter the tier length, the more tiers you will need to cover the skirt body. Fasten the strips into one long piece of fabric using the sewing machine.

  4. Use a gathering foot or hand gather the tier fabric so that it is about double fullness. Attach the tiers, beginning at the bottom, to the skirt body. If you do not wish for raw edges that will fray and create a more casual look, first sew a small hem into the top and bottom of the tier fabric strips. Pin the tier fabric onto the skirt body and sew at the top, leaving about 1.2 cm (1/2 inch). When you finish the initial bottom tier, move up to the next tier and repeat the process. You can have as many tiers as you wish, but make certain the top tier is not sewn through the elastic waistband. Once complete, trim all loose threads from the skirt.

  5. Tip

    Mix and match fabrics for the tiers for a more casual and fun look. Leaving raw edges will allow the tiers to fray, adding to the casual feel of a Ra-Ra skirt.

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Things You'll Need

  • 1 1/2 to 2 m (1 1/2 to 2 yards) of tier fabric
  • 2 m (2 yards) of base fabric
  • 1 m (1 yard) of 2.5 cm (1 inch) thick elastic
  • Thread to match fabric
  • Sewing machine
  • Large safety pin
  • Scissors
  • Iron
  • Pins
  • Pencil
  • Sewing pattern

About the Author

Kelli Shaw has been writing since 2008. She lives in Michigan and is an experienced business owner with expertise in e-commerce and customer service. Shaw has been featured in "Entrepreneur Magazine," "Woman's World" and "The Detroit Free Press."

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