Paper Bag Skirt Tutorial


I am really happy to be here today on Ucreate!  I’m Christie and I have a blog called A Lemon Squeezy Home. Kari is so great, am I right???  To take the amount of time she does to share such wonderful things with all of us is really so generous of her.  I had the chance to meet Kari a few weeks ago, and she was so fun, happy, positive, and just everything that you’d imagine.  Today I am going to show you how to make a simple paper bag skirt with ruffled pockets.


The belt and belt loops are totally optional.  Things will move faster without them, but they just add more to it all.


  Little Miss B was pretty excited when she found the pockets.


Here is a front view of the skirt.  You can really put the pockets anywhere—I think they would look great on the front of the skirt as well.


    This tutorial is for a size 18 month to 2T.  I’ve included some ways at the very end to adjust for different sizes.  You might have to do a little figuring out yourself—but the concept is very simple.

    What You Will Need to make an 18 month-2T size skirt (notes on how to adjust the size at very bottom of tutorial):    -Two 13 1/4” x 17” rectangles fabric -One 2.5” x 40” piece of contrasting fabric for belt -22” of one inch wide elastic -Six 2.5” x 3” pieces for belt loops *All seams are 1/4” unless otherwise stated


Cut out the pocket pieces.  Since I have two pockets on the skirt, double what it says to cut out on the pattern piece.  You can print out the pocket pattern here.   If you want to make the pocket stronger, cut out some fusible interfacing to match the rounded pocket portion.


Take the two rectangles, right sides together and pin the short sides (the length of the skirt).  Sew, then zig-zag or serge the edge.

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To hem the bottom of the skirt, first fold down 1/4”, then down an inch.

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Pin, and sew close to the edge of the 1” fold.

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For the waist, fold down 1/4” and sew close to the raw edge.


Fold that down 2”, pin, and sew, following the line that’s already there from the previous step.  Leave a gap for the elastic.  I put my gap over one of the side seams, but that means that one of the belt loops will be over that and I won’t be able to sew that area with my machine, as the belt loop will be in the way, so I’d put the opening for the elastic somewhere where a belt loop will not be there.

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Take your elastic and see how much space you need to leave for it, and sew on top of your skirt leaving enough room for the elastic.  You can sew all the way around and not leave a gap on this top stitch.


Mark where you want the loops, about 5” apart (up to 5 1/4” apart).  My marks are on each side seam and then 5” in from the sides.


For the belt loops, fold in half right sides together.


Turn right side out, then move the seam to the middle.  Tuck in the ends and press.  Do this with all the belt loop pieces.


      Take your loops and center them on the markings.


Sew the ends of the loops shut onto the skirt as pictured below.  Repeat with the remaining belt loops.


  For the belt, iron the long piece in half lengthwise, then fold the rest towards that middle line you ironed.


Fold in half again, tucking the raw edge inside the fold.


Sew along either sides and thread through the belt loops.


Onto the pockets now.  Take your long rectangle piece from the pattern, and fold in half right sides together.  Sew along either edge and clip the corners by the fold.


  Turn right side out.  Sew a basting stitch along the bottom and pull one of the strings to gather.  Gather it enough to fit the straight edge of the pocket piece.


Pin the ruffle at the top of the pocket pieces, right sides together, raw edges of the ruffle at the top.


Sew along the top only, so you’ll now have this if you open it up:


Now close with right sides together again, and just sew along the curved portion of the pocket.  Clip the curve so it lays flat, and turn right side out through one of the two gaps.

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Topstitch just along the top of the pocket, as shown below.  Don’t worry about the raw edges of the ruffle still sticking out.


Now you might be worried about this little piece sticking out on the side:


No worries, just tuck in that raw portion to give the pocket the rounded ruffled look.


  Pin the entire pocket onto the skirt, and topstitch around the entire thing, making sure to tuck in the parts of the pocket that were unfinished.

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Thread the elastic through the casing.


Zig-zag stitch the elastic together and sew the casing closed.


You are done!

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To adjust the size, try doing the following: Take the waist measurement by wrapping elastic around the tummy comfortably.  My elastic was 22”.  For the skirt portions, take the waist measurement and add half that for the waist part.  Divide in half for the two rectangles you’ll be cutting.  So here’s what I did:  Since my waist measurement was 22”, I added 11” (half of 22”) to get 33”.  33” in half is 16.5”, but add half an inch to allow for 1/4” seam allowances, so 17”.  For the length, decide how long you want it, but then add 1 1/4” for the hem.  Depending on how wide you want the ruffled waist portion to be, you’ll want to add some to the length.  For mine, I added 4 1/4” to the 9” length I wanted it to be, to allow for 2” around the top, including where the elastic is.   So my length is 13 1/4”.   The sash can just be however long you need it, depending also on how long you want it to hang down.  I hope that helps with adjusting the size!  If it’s confusing, I’d be happy to help with any questions!

I’d love for you to come say hello over at my blog! 
Thank you so much for having me here today, Kari!

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  1. says

    OMG, this is so adorable! I have to, have to, find time to make this for my little Izzy. I sort of have to laugh at myself right now because I promised myself a LONG time ago that I would never make clothes for my daughter, since my mom always did for me and I hated it! But, things are just so much cuter these days 😀

  2. says

    Now listen here, I told my husband I was done sewing for the week and would get some good old-fashioned housework done today. Like vacuuming, and putting away laundry. And then you put up a post like this. Now I’m going to have to rush through the dishes, “forget” to vacuum, hide the laundry baskets, and get back to my sewing room.
    I’ll refer him to you when he inquires about missing socks.

  3. says

    I just made one of these in a cute brown cord with owls and apples all over with brown cord pockets and sash. I bought it on the remnant rack for $1. What a bargain. It turned out so cute. I think I am hooked. My daughter will definitely be getting more of these. It was so quick and easy too.

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