Skirts The Prudent Homemaker

This was a sewing the inherited stash project. The plaid came from my mother-in-law’s stash (a heavy fabric that was a home decorating scrap) and the pinwale corduroy came from grandmother’s stash. Both women have passed away (my grandmother this year and my mother-in-law 3 years ago) and I am happy to be using the fabric that I chose from their vast amounts.

Both of these are warm skirts that should be great for everyday wear and play. I made them long enough to go just past the knee cap. 

For each skirt, I simply used the full width of the fabric (from selvage to selvage). I sewed the selvage ends together using a French seam (wrong side to wrong side, sewn together using 1/4″ seam, then trimming the seam to 1/8″, turning, ironing, and sewing right side to right side using a 3/8″ seam).

I turned under the hem at 1/4″ inch and ironed it. I then turned it under again (an inch and a quarter for the green skirt and a couple of inches for the plaid skirt; I cut the plaid one longer to allow for a deeper hem on the heavier fabric).  I pinned the hem and sewed it.

I did the same thing along the top, only I folded it over 1/4 inch and ironed, and then 1 1/4 inches and ironed it. I pinned this top seam. I sewed the top seam, leaving about 2 inches unsewn.

I pinned the end of my piece of elastic (cut slightly shorter than the child’s waist measurement) through with a safety pin. I used the safety pin to thread the elastic through the casing I just made. Once I had it through, I overlapped the ends by an inch and sewed them together with a zig zag stitch. I then tucked the elastic into the skirt and finished sewing it closed along the seam line.

Headbands The Prudent Homemaker


Supplies for each:

2/3 yard of each fabric (more if you want a longer skirt, and twice as much if you want a fuller skirt)

2/3 yard elastic (depending on size of waist you may need a bit more or less)

headband fabric to match ( 2 1/2 inches wide by 16 inches long)

fabric for headband (a piece cut 2 1/2 inches wide by 16 inches long)


Sewing Machine


Sewing pins


Large safety pin

Time: Approximately 1 1/ hours per skirt, and 25 minutes per headband. 

Skirts and Headbands The Prudent Homemaker

Cost:  $0.34 each for the skirts (for the elastic) and $0.17 each per headband

My fabric was free, and the headbands were bought at a garage sale earlier this year. I removed the fabric covering to recover them to match. I purchased the elastic in bulk on sale from Wawak. The thread came from my grandmother.


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  1. I like them very much, my sister is giving me a wonderful gift today. The children have been getting me up multiple times a night for weeks. She is coming down today to take over so I can clean and go to the store alone.

  2. When my granddaughter was little (she is now 12 and adult sized) I used men’s shirts and made dresses and skirts for her.
    I bought the shirts used at garage sales, second hand stores and took all the shirts the men in the family wanted to hand to me.
    The fabric was so nice and I often used the button fronts as decoration in front or back of the dress or skirt. I just sewed the button flap closed so there were no accidents of them coming open and showing her cutie patootie. *smile*
    I’ve never thought to cover the headbands with fabric. I’ve used ribbon many times. I will be trying some fabric covered headbands next.
    I’m wishing you and your family much joy this Christmas season.

  3. Those matching headbands are so adorable! I love how crafty you are. 🙂 I know Winter has taken an interest in sewing; are the other kids shadowing you when you make these projects? I got to watch my mom sew things when I was little and it was a great memory with her!

  4. Those are beautiful skirts, Brandy. I really like the green corduroy one…it brings back memories of wearing corduroy when I was younger. The plaid is pretty to. They will definitely be durable for playing in. Your children are so lucky to have a mom with such great taste and amazing sewing skills!

    Today I delivered the presents to my daughter’s principal, teacher and EAs. They all loved the shoe bags I sewed them!

  5. I love making skirts. It is one of the clothing articles that is actually within my sewing level :). Thank you for explaining what a French seam was. My I’m always referred to it as a double rolled seam, so I’d hear someone mention a French seam and get confused :).

    Glad you are finding time to get gifts made. I finally got mine done (well nearly) day before yesterday and it was definitely a good feeling. If anyone is interested in seeing them they are up on my blog…

    Hope you can get some more gifts done before the big day. Getting this close to the wire must be nerve wracking!

  6. Those are just beautiful. I know your daughters will love wearing them. What is the blouse you made going to go with? My mother never learned to sew. She swears she could not boil water when she married my father. I learned my sewing skills at the knee of my grandmother. (I also took classes in school and college) I have since taken many quilting classes. (this was before youtube and you had to go to a class to learn a new skill)
    I recently made some pajama’s for myself. I found some fabric in my collection with red birds on it. My mother in law’s favorite bird. I know I got it with baking a quilt in mind for her. (I brought 5 yards) So I had plenty for my pajamas and made some pillow cases too. It has been ages since I wore pajamas, I mostly wear gowns.

  7. Beautiful! I’m finishing up Waldorf dolls and their outfits today. Then I’ll just have to make a study pillow for one daughter and I should be done. I hope the end is in sight for you, too!

  8. You make me wish I still had kids to sew for. I have made other things but I especially enjoyed sewing kid’s clothes. One of my nephews even asked for a nightshirt one Christmas and got it! He’s about 30 now–wonder if he remembers that?
    The only sewing I seem to do these days is mending. No one will sit still long enough to be fitted. I used to make my granddaughter a Christmas dress every year when she was little. And Halloween costumes!! I have some fabric for myself that I intended to make a simple jacket from–and still it sits there, doing nothing. Prom dress hems were my thing for a few years–although I don’t think anyone appreciates the time it takes to hem one! At least one niece wore hers for a play costume after having worn it for prom. She got into acting in college–she only sang in high school. It’s the only show I saw her in, and was happy to see the dress being worn again. I really should take up sewing again, as my stash of fabrics is quite large and I could be making useful things from it. Maybe that will be my job when I am really old—I’m only 73 so far and not sitting in a rocker all day just yet. Christmas just isn’t the same once the kids are grown up—I’m looking forward to seeing my granddaughter for the first time since Thanksgiving, and our family party is not until the 30th, but I will see some of the younger ones then. At least I get to keep up on the computer in the meantime.

  9. Brandy, thank-you so much for posting this project. What wonderful memories it brought to me of my mother. She taught me to sew a dirndle skirt when I was 9 years old. You have many of her attributes. The ability to create gifts and celebration with imagination and ingenuity.
    I have not thought of that skirt in years and I created it with her help 51 years ago. It was made from a piece of remnant black velveteen. I learnt how to cut fabric ( without a pattern), to measure my waist and gather with a running stitch ,to make a waist band and sew hooks and eyes to close the back. Then I made tubes of fabric into suspenders and finished my seams and hand hemmed the bottom.
    My mother knew how to make gold from straw. You gave me a gift of remembrance of my awesome mother. I miss her even 26 years after her passing. For a moment,I was back at that Singer with her guiding me through all those steps. There was more learning that went on then just the creation of a skirt. Thank-you Brandy:)

  10. Waldorf doll? Study pillow? Are these real things or did auto correct change the words? Whatever they are, I hope you finish. Merry Christmas.

  11. Definitely real things. A study pillow is a pillow with a pocket for a book or paper and another for pens, etc. My children tend to do their assignments on the floor, their bed, or the couch, so a pillow like that is a useful thing for them.

  12. Your sewing instructions are excellent! Thank you for sharing. I’ve not done a French seam before. Definitely going to try it.

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