Ruffly Rhumba Skirt

A sassy little skirt in all her favorite fabrics!  No pattern required!

How to:

Iron all fabrics first.

Begin by measuring your child from waist to knee.  Add 2 1/2 inches for hem and waistband.  Cut from selvedge to selvedge.  (Our two-year-old measured 10 inches, our eight-year-old measured 16 inches; we then added 2.5 inches to those measurements.)  Sew along the selvedge to make a tube out of the fabric.

Add a 1/2 inch hem to the bottom of the skirt.

Next sew the tulle/netting on TOP of the skirt.  You want it to hang over the hem about 1/2 inch.  I didn’t bother pinning the tulle, I just bunched it as I sewed.

Now we’ll cut the ruffle strips. Cut each 1/4 strip of fabric into two 4-inch strips. (You’ll have 1 inch of scrap.)  Put these right-sides together and sew along the short edge to make one LONG strip.  Hem the strip with 1/2 inch seam along the bottom.

Next we’re going to use the sewing machine’s longest stitch (or basting stitch) to sew along the top of each strip.  DO NOT BACKSTITCH.  Leave the strands of thread long when you cut them from the sewing machine.  Repeat these steps for all the ruffles.

It’s time to put the ruffles on!  You can gently pull the loose thread on the top of your ruffle to tighten your pleats.  Pin around the circumference of your skirt, covering the top stitching of your tulle.  Make sure that the ruffle is even all the way around.  Sew in place, and repeat for remaining ruffles.

Pin the ribbon in place, covering up the top stitch of your uppermost ruffle.  Make sure it’s straight!  Sew along the top and bottom of the ribbon.  You can add a little bow to the side of the ribbon if you’d like.

Now sew the pocket for your elastic by folding over the top of your skirt 2 inches.  Sew the pocket, leaving the ends unsewed so you can thread the elastic through.

Put a safety pin through the end of your elastic.  Use a straight pin to tack down the other end by the opening of the waistband.  Hold onto the safety pin and scrunch the elastic through the pocket.

Once it’s through, try the skirt on your girl and pull the elastic so it’s snug and comfortable.  Sew ends of elastic together, and sew the waistband openings shut.

Click here to find more free clothing projects to sew!

Made By Marzipan may have received product or payment for this post. Posts may contain affiliate links. Disclosed in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255.

35 thoughts on “Ruffly Rhumba Skirt

  1. Heather M says

    Super cute!

  2. Patricia says

    Wonderful. This is a great way to utilize ones fabric stash. A skirt every little girl would love to have. Thanks for sharing.

  3. D. Thomas says

    Would strongly recommend at least doing some edge finishing, even pinking or zigzag on the raw edges of each ruffle top and the waistband. Could fray a lot of strings with washing. Cute skirt but techniques could use a little extra time.

  4. deirdre ann says

    excellent, thanks a million for this, I’ve 2 little girls who’ll love me to make this!

  5. Gloria Allender says

    Love the skirt. I guess I’m old-fashioned because I would double turn the hems and the elastic casing edge to prevent raveling. An alternative would be to serge each edge.

    • Anonymous says

      me too! haha

  6. Patti Lee says

    have been looking for a pattern to make a 2 layer ruffle skirt for Christmas gifts for little nieces. thanks a million this one looks wonderful and to sew

  7. Yuki says

    I’ve been wanting to make a cute skirt like this!!! Thank you!! I am going to try this!!!

  8. Yuki says

    I have a question… I am a really begineer in sewing. What do you do with the part where the beginning and end of the ruffle meet when you put ruffle on the skirt??? I am not supposed to leave them raw edge right??

    • says

      For best results, tuck the ends of the strips under and topstitch in place :)

  9. Ann says

    Where do you find all your cute fabric??? So want to make this skirt for both my girls, but having a hard time finding cute fabric!

    • Marzipan says

      I bought this fabric at Porter’s, it’s a local craft & fabric store. Try looking in shops that specialize in quilting fabric :)

  10. Lynn says

    Cute ! You might mention that the thread to pull for gathering is the bobbin thread.
    Some new sewers might not know this. thank you

  11. Marzipan says

    Thanks, Lynn, for adding that tip!

  12. Flor says

    Hi, I just wanted to tell you I just found your site and I LOVE it!! You are so inspiring! Your daughters are very lucky to have a mom like you :-D
    Thanks a lot for sharing all this gorgeous things you do. I’m doing the Sunhat for toddlers for my 2 year old daughter, let’s see how it turns out…

    • Marzipan says

      Thanks for stopping by, Flor! How’d you find Made By Marzipan?

    • Flor says

      I found you through Burda Style. Looking at the Patterns section I found your nice summer hat and decided to make one for my daughter.
      I finished it just now, too bad she not home to try it on! I’ll post some pics of her wearing it on Burda so you can it. Thanks again!

  13. Eunice Rios says

    Hi, I loved this skirt, felt in love but I have a 10 year old and she wears size 12-14 how would i know how to measure the ruffles and the size of the tube?

    • says

      Hi, Eunice. You want to multiply your waist measurement by 1.5 to allow for gathering. Feel free to share your photos of your finished project right here :)

  14. Marilyn says

    I did ribbon on a pair of jeans recently and when I was sewing it tended to bunch up. Did you have issues with this and how did you fix it if so?

    • says

      The easiest way to fix this is to use a regular glue stick to tack down the ribbon first. It’s water soluble so it will come out in the wash :)

  15. Tina says

    Wow thanks …I can’t wait to try it.

  16. mrkirby365 says

    You are really awesome… you do so many amazing things for your kids plus you are a really crafty person I admire you!

  17. Samantha says

    I am totally gonna try this to make an ABU skirt for my daughter out of my husband’s uniform! Thanks for posting!!!!

  18. Amanda says

    What fabric did you use? I know it has to be a cotton or cotton blend but what specifically? Ty

  19. katey says

    Awesome! Can’t wait to make it for my princesses!

  20. yoliebean says

    Excellent tutorial!!!!!

  21. chia says


  22. RysShorty says

    I absolutely love this skirt!!

  23. Sophie says

    This is really cute and so easy!

  24. Dianna says

    I’m a beginner, but I’m dying to make this for my daughter! LOVE this, thanks for sharing your skill!

  25. Kandy says

    INCREDIBLY FABULOUS HOW-TO!!!!! THank you so much! This is exactly what I was looking for!!!!!

  26. Sparkles says

    Love this pattern! Thanks for sharing! Would love to see one on a dress with apron for a toddler or young girl.

  27. Debbie Butcher says

    If I’m making for my daughter who is a 21″ waist. What width am I cutting the skirt at? I see you say 1.5 for the ruffle pieces but if I do selvage to selvage for the actual skirt they’ll all be the same length thus no room for gathering for the ruffles right? Sorry I am very very new to sewing so I’m probably missing something.

    • Debbie Butcher says

      Never mind :-) I forgot I’m doubling my ruffle strips.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.