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  • Satin charmeuse (1 1/2 yards)
  • Nylon chiffon (about 3 yards -- see measurements below)
  • 1-inch-wide ribbon elastic
  • Iron-on interfacing (1 1/2 yards)
  • 1-inch-wide ribbon in coordinating color
  • Button
  • Iron
  • Sewing machine
  • Pins
  • Needle and thread
  • Scissors


  1. Step 1

    Satin charmeuse: one 7 1/2-by-48-inch rectangle 

  2. Step 2

    Iron-on interfacing: two 2-by-48-inch strips

  3. Step 3

    Nylon chiffon: six 3 1/2-by-46-inch strips; twelve 4 1/2-by-54-inch strips; enough lengths of 2 1/2-inch-wide strips to make 48 yards

  4. Step 4

    1-inch-wide ribbon elastic: one 17-inch-long piece

  5. Step 5

    1-inch-wide ribbon: two 18-inch-long pieces

  6. Step 6

    Iron a strip of interfacing to the wrong side of the satin charmeuse rectangle along each long edge.

  7. Step 7

    Fold the satin charmeuse piece in half widthwise (to make a 7 1/2-by-24-inch rectangle), with right sides facing each other. Match edges and pin along short side.

  8. Step 8

    Starting at one end of the pinned short side, sew a seam along the side for 2 inches and backstitch to secure. Leave a 1 1/2-inch opening and begin sewing again to finish the edge, backstitching at both ends.

  9. Step 9

    Flip the the waistband right side out and fold in half lengthwise by folding the top half in toward the center, matching the raw edges at the bottom. The fabric should be right side out on the inside and outside of the waistband. Press the fold and pin the raw edges.

  10. Step 10

    Straight stitch all the way around the waistband, 1 1/4 inches down from the fold.

  11. Step 11

    Straight stitch all the way around the waistband once more, 1 inch down from the first stitch line.

  12. Step 12

    Sew three of the 3 1/2-inch-wide nylon chiffon pieces together, end to end, to make one long strip. Repeat to make a second strip.

  13. Step 13

    Shirr along one long end of each strip.

  14. Step 14

    Attach the shirred side of one strip to the outer bottom raw edge of the waistband. Repeat with the second shirred strip and the inside bottom raw edge of the waistband.

  15. Step 15

    Sew 6 of the 4 1/2-inch-wide nylon chiffon pieces together to make a long strip. Repeat to make a second strip.

  16. Step 16

    Shirr along one long end of each strip.

  17. Step 17

    Attach the shirred side of one strip to the bottom edge of the outer first tier. Repeat with the second shirred strip and the bottom edge of the inner first tier.

  18. Step 18

    Sew enough 2 1/2-inch strips of nylon chiffon together to make two 24-yard long strips.

  19. Step 19

    Shirr these strips down the middle of the strip (not along an edge as before).

  20. Step 20

     Pin the stitched line of the shirred strip to the bottom edge of the outer second tier, and sew in place along the stitched line. Repeat with the second shirred strip on the bottom of the inner second tier. 

  21. Step 21

    On one end of the 17-inch elastic piece, attach a button. On the opposite end, sew a buttonhole.

  22. Step 22

    Attach the 18-inch pieces of ribbon to each end of the elastic.

  23. Step 23

    Attach a large safety pin to one end of the ribbon, and feed through the waistband channel.

  24. Step 24

    Button the elastic and tie ribbon ends in a bow. Cut ribbon ends neatly to finish.

The Martha Stewart Show, April 2008



Reviews (82)

  • ArtisticEdition 6 Dec, 2010

    Here's a DIY tutorial on how to make this skirt by Make It Love It.

  • pettiskirts 6 Dec, 2010

    Pettiskirt pettiskirt pettiskirts pettiskirtstyle pettiskrit style pettiskirt

  • pettiskirts 25 Jul, 2010

    no don't buy a $20 chinese made piece of junk off Ebay. Ugghh...they use tulle, and the skirts are nasty. The best place is . They are Made in America, real chiffon, and super full. They have all in stock. No waiting.
    As far as making a pettiskirt Eee takes 12 hours for some people.

  • luvbabedave 7 Jul, 2010

    I think the trick is learning how to shirr. After looking at some tutorials it seems not too bad. I think that if you are basting/gathering that could take forever.

  • My2Loves04and06 8 May, 2010

    What size are these instructions for? My tiers look way too short for my 5.5 yr old. 10 hrs already spent on this project and I don't even have my 2nd tier ruffled yet. Should have spent the $20 and gotten one off eBay.

  • pettiskirts 24 Apr, 2010

    Making a pettiskirt is a bit of a "Challenge". You will spend close to 70 bucks on the 35 yards of chiffon. PLUS 8 hours of time (if you are experienced)Then there is the non ending "ruffling" stage. Not to mention cutting 75 yards straight of chiffon so you can make the fluff ruffles. YIKES. I buy my dance teams pettiskirts / pettiskirt at or alternatively I have used

  • nwomack9 8 Apr, 2010

    I feel this was very helpful

  • meeka 9 Sep, 2009

    also check out this site for measurements

  • meeka 9 Sep, 2009

    go here for more detailed instructions!!

  • amylee333 19 May, 2009


  • paoanahi 29 Apr, 2009

    I've been trying to find some nylon chiffon in chocolate brown and mint. Do any of you know where I can find them? I have found tan and turquoise, but would like to find this colors as well... Thanks

  • juliglamer 10 Apr, 2009

    I found the cutest bows to go with these at The prices are cheap!!!!

  • oldblueeyes 4 Mar, 2009

    Great info. In the post.

  • pettiskirts 27 Feb, 2009

    Hot Pink in chiffon is a neon. The only other one is lighter, and called LipStick or Candy Pink. has the best prices. They have cucpcake fluff chiffon shirts, and the matching chiffon rosettes tops. Making a pettiskirt takes 4-ever. 10-14 hours

  • paoanahi 25 Feb, 2009

    I'm trying to place an order for some chiffon at but the colors look tricky. Does anyone know which pink will be considered a hot pink, but not fluorescent? I want to make my daughter her first pettiskirt for her birthday party in 2 1/2 weeks with the Hello Kitty colors: hot pink, turquoise, orange, lime and yellow. But don't know which of the pinks will fit best. Do any of you know?

  • mommytomaddieraine 21 Feb, 2009

    OK, so if I use my ruffler, what kind of thread would I use? Normal thread? or would you still have to use elastic thread?

  • Guptha 17 Feb, 2009

    I love the skirts but it is way too much work. Tried it after 3 times, gave up and bought one from this place

  • tinkerbelltrinie 12 Feb, 2009

    I was wondering what the button was for, and if it is outside the top piece. Is it used every time the skirt is put on?

  • cindermomma 9 Feb, 2009

    Shirring is another name for gathering or ruffling. I have made a couple of these skirts for my nieces and they are not too hard if you have some sewing experience. I ordered fabric online and the cost ended up being about $15-25 a skirt (depending on the size). I think you also need a ruffler foot for your sewing machine which will run you about $20-30. You can gather by hand but you will probably go crazy before you are done!!

  • dawnm1980 7 Feb, 2009

    I am very new to this and i don't know what shirring means can someone help please...also how much does it cost to make one? I have 3 girls and want to make each of them one but want to make sure it will save me some money instead of cossting just as much to buy them

  • oldblueeyes 12 Jan, 2009

    Ok Ladies check out this site
    The skirts are in stock,and ready to ship. Unless of course you have 10 hours to spare :} I got a gorgeous pink and black one there. Low price too.

  • pettiskirts 12 Jan, 2009

    I got a gorgeous "bunch" of pettiskirt petticoats made of the Nylon Chiffon, in that video. Wow...gorgeous billowing, floating...Got 5 one for me, and 4 for my girls. Christmas pfotos! We looked so awesome. My huband was drowning in chiffon and women. Poor guy. We did not make them, that is a joke. I tried for 2 days (about 18 hours). Went to
    Love ya Martha, but these are almost impossible to make.

  • lilangelsboutique 20 Dec, 2008

    sorry I posted 2x I didnt see that the first post posted so I reposted and then saw it....LOL

  • lilangelsboutique 20 Dec, 2008 shir you need to have a bobbin with elastic thread. Then just sew as normal. When you are filling your bobbin be sure to not pull the elastic too tight. If you shir your ruffle you will not have any need for a cord. Hope this helps

  • lilangelsboutique 20 Dec, 2008 order to shir you will need to have some elastic thread. Fill your bobbin with elastic thread and sew as you wouldl normally. Chiffon ruffles beautifully when shirred!! If you do it this way there is no reason you will need to use any cord because you will get a tight ruffle with the shirring. Hope this helps

  • Ruthieboo 5 Dec, 2008

    one more question - I see Potshe's advise to use a cord to ensure tight ruffles. What kind of cording to use???

  • Ruthieboo 5 Dec, 2008

    How do you shirr without a ruffling foot??? the only directions I can find for shirring involve elastic thread - HELP!!!!!

  • tulamae 22 Nov, 2008

    Handsome1 - just click on the close button at the upper right corner of video screen. The video field will close and the instructions will be revealed.

  • mairathomas 20 Nov, 2008

    I found reasonable priced pettiskirts at
    Great quality, they sell factory direct at wholesale price only $48
    I love it and they have nice satin waist.
    The owner so sweet, I e-mailed her regarding how to make a pettiskirt and she answered my questions. At the end I decided to buy from her.

  • hansome1 18 Nov, 2008

    Hi. I am trying to get the instructions for this skirt. I just got a printer and now it skips it and comes straight to comments.... can anyone help out a mom who wants to make this for her little girls ballet recital????? Thanks so much

  • mommyx2 3 Oct, 2008

    You can buy about 25 different colors from for $2.85/yd - they ship priority, too. It has been a good source for nylon chiffon.

  • DNA 29 Sep, 2008

    If anyone has made this in a size 2T or 3T please send me the fabric requirements? I really want to make this but I can't figure out how much fabric I need to buy.

  • Danielle74 11 Sep, 2008

    Help! Will a ruffler foot make it possible to shir and sew the tiers together at the same time? If nylon chiffon isn't available how do you keep the polyester chiffon from fraying? I made the skirt and it just looked awful cause of the fraying and the shirring by hand didn't really work with the chiffon cause it was falling apart as I pulled on it. Would making a stitch in the raw edges help?

  • Danielle74 11 Sep, 2008

    Help! When using the ruffler foot, do you shir first and then sew the tiers? If only polyester chiffon is available, how do you keep from fraying? Are the tiers sewn together on top of one another or end to end? Are the ends all raw on the ruffles? We're going to Disneyland and I would love to have these for my girls. Any advice?

  • heksa 10 Sep, 2008

    very nice, my doughter loves this!!
    i did somthing like this with my weddingdress, i gathered the fabric just by adjusting the lenght of the stitches on the machine, tie the threds in one end and then just pull one of the threads in the other end. very easy.

  • mklady56 2 Sep, 2008

    If you still can't get it by adjusting the tension, stitch length, and foot pressure, I would invest in the ruffler. I got mine at Joann Fabrics and it was about $15. I use the ruffler to attach both layers (tiers) of chiffon as well as the fluff. It saves me a ton of time. The only thing I dont' use it for is attaching the first tier to the satin.

  • mklady56 2 Sep, 2008

    I use a ruffler foot for my machine. It will allow you to gather your ruffle and sew it to the bottom of the skirt at the same time. The other thing you can do if you don't have a ruffler is gather it on the sewing machine. I put my stitch on the longest length (4 on my machine), set the tention on the highest setting (9 for me), and adjust the foot pressure to the highest setting. These setting work best for me. Running a long straight stitch and hand gathering will take you FOREVER!!

  • Potshe 1 Sep, 2008

    Whenever you want to gather fabric tightly, it is best to use a zig-zag stitch and stitch the fabric, laying a cord in between the stitches. That means the cord will be parallel to the zig-zag line you are stitching. Once you've finished your zig-zag, hold the cord on either side and slide the fabric to gather or shirr. Make sure you do not nick your cord as you sew along. It is useful to drape the cord over your shoulder as you stitch so that it can be easily fed as you work.

  • Potshe 1 Sep, 2008

    Whenever you want to gather fabric tightly, it is best to use a zig-zag stitch and stitch the fabric, laying a cord in between the stitches. That means the cord will be parallel to the zig-zag line you are stitching. Once you've finished your zig-zag, hold the cord on either side and slide the fabric to gather or shirr. Make sure you do not nick your cord as you sew along. It is useful to drape the cord over your shoulder as you stitch so that it can be easily fed as you work.

  • taradilenge 31 Aug, 2008

    Can someone explain to me how to shirr the chiffon? I have tried using a long straight stitch and pulling the strings but it is not working well. Do I need to use a gathering foot on my sewing machine? These pettiskirts are lovely and I cannot wait to make a bunch for my daughter!!

  • Bwags 28 Aug, 2008

    Where on earth does one find "ribbon elastic'?? I have looked everywhere!

  • Bwags 28 Aug, 2008

    Where on earth does one find "ribbon elastic'?? I have looked everywhere!

  • rbigchill 23 Aug, 2008

    Ask specifically for nylon chiffon that doesn't fray and tell them what you're doing. I got 100% Nylon Sheer Tricot. Look up fabric shops in the phone book or on the web in your city. I found a specialty fabric shop but the price wasn't higher. If colors are limited, they will probably dye the white for you if you don't want to.

  • mklady56 17 Aug, 2008

    You have to use nylon chiffon, it doesn't fray like polyester chiffon does. It's more like a finer, softer version of tulle (at least that's how I describe it) and you don't have to serge the ends to prevent fraying like you would if you used polyester. I've never found it in my local fabric stores, you will probably have to order it. carries it.

  • dawnm1980 8 Aug, 2008

    Okay every fabric store that I go to I ask " what is the difference between nylon chiffon and polyester chiffon and they say nothing so can someone tell me the truth?

  • Karix4 27 Jul, 2008

    I guess I bought the wrong kind of chiffon, because it is fraying like crazy! Does anyone know how to remedy this? It's especially bad at the ruffle fluff as all edges are exposed there. Any help would be appreciated.

  • FaygoFairie 24 Jul, 2008

    Your length measurement is basically based on how long you want the skirt. I do about 14" for my 2 and a half year old daughter which makes it almost ankle length. Her waist is 22 so I cut the elastic at 19 and cut the satin at 38" for the waist. I generally make 6" wide strips for the length of the skirt. I always order at LEAST 4-5 yards for a single skirt and yes, you only need a 1/4th of a yard for the waist. I hope this helps someone. Anyone know where to find the bright aqua chiffon??? =)

  • FaygoFairie 24 Jul, 2008

    I keep seeing posts about how to make this and what size this fits. I have a pretty simple way of doing this. I make these for my daughter almost one a month just to have something fun for her to wear out to dinner when we go out. its a 3:1 ratio on the fluff per layer. you need approx 18 strips 3" wide for the fluff. The bottom row is a full 6 54" long strips, the next layer is 3 54" long strips and the satin waist is double the waist measurement.

  • simplicityLeAnne 23 Jul, 2008

    You can find the nylon chiffon here Make sure you ge the nylon chiffon because polyester chiffon FRAYS like crazy when it is cut. It is 2.25 a yard and 54" wide. You can get the charmeuse here for a good price too. These look like a lot of work but I am sure if you take your time it shouldn't be too bad.

  • debtripp 28 Jun, 2008

    the more efficient way to sew this pettishirt is to start at the bottom and work your way would be attaching a shirred piece to a flat piece...then shirring the flat piece, adding it to another flat piece...etc...instead of dealing with the fullness of the ruffle when attaching the next row...

  • Sewing_Jen 20 Jun, 2008

    This pettiskirt pattern size is for 18 months old only. I found a GREAT tutorial that gives you details how to customize the size. (I have used it to make skirts for our three girls......10, 6 and 2 years old) The tutorial is for a three tiered skirt, using coton fabrics, by 3 Peas......
    Happy sewing ladies!

  • loves2sew 20 Jun, 2008

    you can find nylon chiffon and the satin charmuse at wonderful colors and very low prices, right now there is a sale on the satin charmuse very cheap.

  • gardening_eden 7 Jun, 2008

    I haven't been able to locate any others, but I used and was pleased. Shipping is a bit expensive but if you buy a bunch of fabric at the same time it's not so bad. Of note though, is that the colors on my computer screen were not nearly as bright as the actual fabric. Candy pink is really florescent pink.

  • kween022 6 Jun, 2008

    Does anyone know of any other vendors that will sell the nylon chiffon or satin charmeuse besides having lots of trouble locating online....

  • crafty5 13 May, 2008

    does anyone know how to shirr matrial on a huskystar 215?

  • crafty5 13 May, 2008

    does anyone know how to shirr matrial on a huskystar 215?

  • crafty5 13 May, 2008

    does anyone know how to shirr matrial on a huskystar 215?

  • gardening_eden 6 May, 2008

    I just finished making this skirt with a few alterations. I did the 3 tiers each an inch wider-ie 4 1/2 instead of 3 1/2- (to fit a 3 year old) but left the length the same. This worked great but I definitely needed more fabric. I bought 4 yards just to be safe but I still didn't have enough. My fluff wasn't as gathered as it probably would have been. I think 5 would be enough with a little to spare. I found the nylon chiffon just by typing "nylon chiffon fabric" into my search engine.

  • nikipoozoo 2 May, 2008

    I found "trico" or "tricot" at my local fabirc store, I'm not sure of the fabirc content, but it's soft, sheer, and most importantly knit so it won't fray.

  • sysunza 29 Apr, 2008

    I made it for my daughter and it looked to be 18-24 mo size (she is 2T-3T and I wish it were longer). I got the polyester chiffon and it is now unraveling, so it was a good experiment. I just can't seem to find the Nylon Chiffon anywhere, even online. Also, 2yrds is exactly enough for the skirt, but you need more than 1 yard for the fluff, more like 2 yards.

  • lizabu 23 Apr, 2008

    Here is another set of directions which may help with calculating the yardage:

  • cherylbee 23 Apr, 2008

    I emailed the maker. She said the skirt on the show is for an l8 month old. I emailed back to find out instructions for making bigger ones. Have not heard back yet.

  • busypreschoolmom 23 Apr, 2008

    Also their yardage requirements are wrong. If you add up the amount of strips, you need over 4 yds of chiffon (based on 54" wide) and only 1/4 yd of the satin.

  • tftcarrie2 23 Apr, 2008

    Doing the math on their measurements, the skirt will only be about 10" long which is an infant size. 12-18 months I would figure? If you want to make one for a 6 year old or a 3 year old or whatever, I would figure out how long you want the skirt to be and divide it approx. into thirds for the width of each row. You might also want to add a little more to the width as well.

  • busypreschoolmom 22 Apr, 2008

    I emailed the show using their "contact us" link to ask what size and seam allowances, etc. The answer I got was how to navigate their site to find the posted directions and to contact the designer''s site for sizing info. So I think we are all waiting for someone to make it and let the rest of us know.

  • cherylbee 22 Apr, 2008

    Has anyone gotten an answer yet as to the size? I would love to try to make it?

  • Donna_Todd 20 Apr, 2008

    Can someone please tell what size skirt these directions make. I want one for a 3 year old. If this one is for a size 6 or something it would be VERY helpful to know now. Sounds like many of us would like to know.
    PS It's adorable!!

  • thistlecreek 17 Apr, 2008

    As far as I know shirring is sewing the longest straight stitch you can and pulling the thread to create gathers. I've never used elastic thread in my bobbin for it. You can make two lines of straight stiching (about 3/8th apart) and sew in between them after they are gathered.

  • gogreennow 17 Apr, 2008

    Saw the show and loved the pettishirts!!! But I also am wondering what size the directions fit.

  • gardening_eden 17 Apr, 2008

    Do they mean shirring, as in with the elastic thread in the bobbin? I only wonder because I don't see elastic thread on the list of needed items. Also I would also like to know what size this pettiskirt will fit as well.

  • gardening_eden 17 Apr, 2008

    Do they mean shirring, as in with the elastic thread in the bobbin? I only wonder because I don't see elastic thread on the list of needed items. Also I would also like to know what size this pettiskirt will fit as well.

  • mliverance 16 Apr, 2008

    What size child will this pettiskirt fit?

  • joko 15 Apr, 2008

    Your Kaiya Eve Pettiskirts way outshine all the other knockoffs.Keep up the good work.

  • joko 15 Apr, 2008

    I thoroughly enjoyed the show.Kandi,you are beautiful,

  • Amen 15 Apr, 2008

    Nylon can be dyed any color you wish, using ACID Dyes. Dharma Trading company is a good source.

  • tysonjunior 15 Apr, 2008

    I am unable to find nylon chiffon at the 3 local fabric stores in my city. Any ideas of where to locate nylon chiffon?

  • yummybaker 14 Apr, 2008

    I was so excited after watching this episode today that I went out and bought all materials and spent lots of $$ only to later realize that nylon chiffon does not work! It's polyester chiffon that you need as the nylon is too rough and frays very easily.

  • watterson12 14 Apr, 2008

    I bought my daughter her pettiskirt last year on Garnet Hill's website. Watching Kandi on today's show made me realize how much work actually goes into these. Unbelievable. I'm crafty, but there's a limit :-) Hats off to these pettiskirts and their creator. My husband and I call them the "uber-tu-tus."

  • lepinkowl 14 Apr, 2008

    WOW- here is something cute to wear for dress up or down. I will be making one or 2 if i can find the fabric.

  • ladybugjan 14 Apr, 2008

    With a Grand-Daughter on the way I have found this Pettiskirt delightful and I am going to make one this week to get into practice with it. Thanks Kandi for all your creative ideas. You are an Inspiration! God Bless!

  • joko 12 Apr, 2008

    These pettiskirts are absolutely beautiful.I had seen one on the tv show,Keeping Up With The Kardashians,