This Pixie Skirt sewing tutorial has two size variations included. You could also call this skirt a “petal skirt”. One size is for larger kids, the other for smaller kids. The best way to know which size suite your little pixie is to measure! The smaller skirt is intended for toddlers and small preschoolers. While the larger skirt will work for preschoolers up to about a size 8 or so. (You could even adapt it to make a bigger third size.)
For the larger size pixie skirt, you’ll be making longer, fuller petals. The longer length and fewer petals make it perfect for older girls. You’ll want to pick two or three different cotton fabrics and have about 3/4 of a yard of each. (You can make the underside of the petals in a solid color if you like. Or you can make each petal different if you’re daring.)
Making a Petal Pattern
First, you’re going to make your petal pattern. So, grab your graph paper (or whatever paper you make your patterns on), your straight ruler, your curve ruler (if you have one- if you don’t, you can eyeball it), your pen, and your paper scissors (never to be confused with your fabric scissors!).
Mark a line on the top of your paper 7″ across. Put a little mark at the halfway (3.5″) point.
Draw a line down the center mark 10″ down. The bottom of the 10″ mark is the bottom of your petal.
Fold the paper in half along the center line. Also, note how I marked the bottom of the 10″ line. Once your paper is folded, it can be hard to see where the end of the line is.
Grab your curve ruler and draw a curved line from the end of your 7″ line to the end of your 10″ line. If you don’t have a curve ruler, you can just eyeball this part. You are only marking one side of your folded paper.
Keeping your paper folded, cut along the curved line.
Unfold your petal. This is your pattern piece. Write all the necessary stuff on you pattern piece. I usually include the dimensions of the pattern piece and the dimensions of the pieces that are to go with it. Also, not the two pattern pieces above. Your pattern is your own. It may be more pointy or round than mine. In fact, you can make triangles and make a Pennant Skirt if you like. (That would be super cute in the summer for baseball season.) If you don’t like the shape when you unfold it, try again. For my skirt, I used the left pattern. I liked the rounded look of it.
Cutting the Fabric for Your Pixie Skirt
Now, you are going to cut out all your skirt pieces. You will need to cut out 12 petals (front and back will make 6 completed petals). You’ll need 2 rectangles for the skirt body 20″ wide and 14″ long. You’ll also need 2 skinny rectangles for the waistband 19″ wide and 3″ long. (Note my pretty new scissors that The Pastor bought me for my birthday! He knows the way to my heart is not jewelry, but sewing accessories!)
First, we’re going to work on the petals. Take two of your petal cut outs and place them right sides together.
Sew around the edges, leaving the top open. Since these seams will be completely enclosed, there is no need to finish them. Clip the curves all the way around your petal so that when you flip it right side out, it lays nice and flat.
Repeat for the other 5 petals. Flip them right side out and iron them flat. If you want, you can topstitch once you’ve ironed them flat. I didn’t on this skirt, but have on others. It is really just for looks, so do whichever you prefer at the moment.
Sewing the Under Skirt
Set your cute little petals aside and let’s work on this underskirt. With the right sides together, sew the short sides of the two rectangles together, making a tube.
Go ahead and finish the side seams of your skirt. I serged mine. You can finish them however you like!
You are also going to go ahead and finish the bottom of the underskirt. You can do a double fold hem if you like. I serge mine, then flip that under and sew it down. I use a zig-zag stitch just because I like how it looks.
Putting Petals onto the Pixie Skirt
Pin your petals to the outside of the underskirt. I like mine to overlap a little bit. You arrange them how you want. There will probably be about 1/2″ more underskirt than there are petals. You are going to box pleat the center front and back underskirt. The size of the box pleat depends on how you want your petals arranged.
This is the best picture I have of the pleat. I like the pleat, because it adds just a bit of volume to the skirt. However, if you don’t like the pleat, take about an inch off the width of the underskirt. I usually don’t do the pleat for the Pixie Skirt, since it is smaller and shorter and naturally holds a little more volume.
Sew the petals to the underskirt. Make sure you sew close to the top edge.
Adding a Waistband
Sew the short sides of the waistband together (with right sides together). I go ahead and serge what will be the top of my waistband. You can do it now or later, it really doesn’t matter. With the right side of the waistband facing the right side of the skirt, sew the waistband to the skirt.
Fold the waistband over and sew it closed, leaving a small hole to feed the elastic through. It may be easier if you press the waistband fold before you sew. You do whatever works for you. I didn’t want to walk across the room to the iron, so I just flipped it and eyeballed it.
Here is the hole I left for the elastic.
My elastic is now ready to thread through the waistband! The length of elastic you cut will depend on two things. The first is the girl who will wear the skirt. Clearly, skinner means shorter elastic. Wider means longer elastic. The maximum waist on the skirt is about 37″. The second factor is what kind of elastic you are using. I use a gentler elastic that doesn’t dig in or squeeze as tight. I find it more comfortable to wear. Your elastic may squeeze tighter, therefore you’ll want it a bit wider than I make mine. Eyeball it.
Thread the elastic through the waistband. Sew the elastic closed. When sewing elastic closed, you want to sew along the length with a stretch stitch (or a zig-zag). I always sew about an inch, that way there is very little chance of an overly zealous dresser snapping it.
Sew the hole closed and YOU ARE DONE!
Finished Pixie Skirts
Pixie Skirt in green and blue paisley. I added a matching hem band on the bottom of this one by sewing a 3 inch strip of the contrasting fabric around the bottom of the main skirt panels. I tucked the edges under and sewed around the edges, like using bias tape.
Smaller Pixie Skirt Dimensions
To make the smaller pixie skirt for a toddler or small preschooler, follow the directions above and just change the dimensions. (Also, don’t pleat the underskirt.)
For the petals: Make a pattern with a 7 and 3/4″ top and 8″ long. You are going to cut 16 petals for the Pixie Skirt, since you are making 8 full petals. I also make my Pixie petals a bit more pointy. It just seems right to me.
For the underskirt: Cut two 26.5″ x 11″ rectangles.
For the waistband: Cut two 26.5″ x 3″ rectangles. (If you want a more narrow waistband, try making them 2″ wide instead of 3″.)
Follow the directions for the larger Pixie Skirt.
As always, this tutorial is free for you to use in any way you like. Make them to keep, sell, gift, whatever. Just don’t take credit for the pattern because that just isn’t cool. Share the free and link back here.