New This Month


Poodle Skirt

Source: The Martha Stewart Show, April 2011


Let your child's clothing express their puppy love with this contemporary version of the classic 1950s poodle skirt from fashion designer Lela Rose.


  • Fabric of desired color and pattern

  • Fabric measuring tape

  • String

  • Tailor's pencil

  • Fabric scissors

  • Iron

  • Steam-a-Seam

  • Felt

  • Pinking fabric scissors

  • Sewing machine

  • Cardstock

  • Cotton shirting fabric of desired color and pattern

  • Grosgrain ribbon


  1. Fold fabric in half lengthwise and then again in half widthwise.

  2. With a fabric measuring tape, measure child's waist and divide this measurement by 2 and then again by pi (3.14). This provides the radius for the waist opening of the skirt.

  3. Tie a length of string to a tailor's pencil and mark string to match the radius determined above. Holding the mark on the string at the folded corner of the fabric, stretch the string taut with the pencil perpendicular to the fabric and draw an arc across the fabric.

  4. Using the same technique described above, draw another arc to mark out bottom of skirt at desired length (measurement from waist to bottom of skirt), plus a 1/2-inch allowance for the hem. With fabric scissors, cut along both arcs.

  5. To create opening in back of skirt, first use an iron to affix Steam-a-Seam (following the package directions) to the back of a piece of felt. Cut a 7-inch by 1 1/2-inch strip out of the felt and use pinking fabric scissors to trim edges of felt.

  6. Remove release backing from Steam-a-Seam and with iron, affix felt to skirt with the strip running perpendicular to the circular waist opening.

  7. Using pinking fabric scissors, cut a 6-inch slit down the center of the length of the felt strip through both the felt and the skirt.

  8. To create dog silhouette applique, download and print out template on cardstock and cut out with scissors. Iron Steam-a-Seam onto wrong side of shirting fabric, trace dog silhouette template onto fabric, and cut out with fabric scissors.

  9. Peel release backing off Steam-a-Seam and use an iron to affix dog silhouette to skirt where desired.

  10. Using the pinking fabric scissors, pink bottom edge of skirt and then, on a sewing machine, use a topstitch to hem skirt with a 1/4-inch seam allowance.

  11. To finish skirt, topstitch a length of 2-inch-wide grosgrain ribbon to the outside of the waist, leaving tails in the back to secure skirt in place.

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